Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle." - Steve Jobs

Frequently Asked Questions

Oakridge International School of Young Leaders
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What is the educational philosophy of Oakridge International School?
    Oakridge International School of Young Leaders uses latest researches in education and learning to meet the needs and goals of our young learners. We stress the importance of preparation for life and education of the 21st Century Learner. We give emphasis to thinking and decision making skills that are necessary for success. We deviate from debunked practices of the 1950s and 1980s , and starts educating the child, rearing the child for Greatness.
  2. What makes it different from other schools in Dagupan City?
    We use up to date strategies and approaches in teaching and learning. We deviate from lecture type of lessons. We uses various methodology including cooperative learning, exploration, experiments and field work to teach and make meaning.
  3. Why is there a need to implement policies and procedures at school?
    Children need boundaries and limitations. We believe that raising our children in a strcutured environment will give them security and proper work ethics.
  4. Why is the schedule too long for primary grades?
    Every great school in Metro Manila, throughout the country and abroad- including US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, London, Italy, etc. have a whole-day schedule for First Grade to Twelveth Grade. We believe that giving ample time for teaching, analysis and synthesis is the key to meaningful learning. Shortening the schedule will simple short change our parents and students. Furthermore, a whole-day schedule will train our young students to have good work and study habits that they will need in life.
  5. Why do we focus on Reading than Writing?
    Oakridge International School has Reading, Writing and Math at its very core. Reading is given equal importance to Writing and Math. But Reading at Oakridge International School is about making connections and understanding what they are reading. It goes beyond decoding as some schools and teachers have focused on. We believe that successful reader is when the child fully understands what he/she has read.
    Writing is given equal empahsis at school. We train them to express their thoughts through writing and compose well written sentences and paragraphs. We do train them to write well without focusing so much on handwriting. We believe that when we focus on handwriting we are actually hampering children's individual character.
  6. Why dont we compete in competitions locally and national?
    Oakridge International School hasnt competed locally and nationally. This is because we are still training and giving our students the foundation they need to represent the school fully. We- the team checks and studies competition being held locally and nationally to ensures that it co-incides with every the school is working towards for. We deviate from shallow and meaningless competitions that will simply exploit our young students.
  7. Why is there a need for “100% Supervision”?
    Oakridge International School is proud to have “100% Supervision All The Time” at school. This is to ensure that no bullying occurs in the campus and our students are safe 100% of the time.
  8. Why dont we join varsity teams?
    Oakridge International School is still preparing for varsity teams who will be qualified to join basketball tournaments in the city. Nevertheless, with the goal to push our students ahead academically with so little time, we have devoted our After School Programs to Academic Enrichment for High School to push them to success in the universities.
  9. How do I help my first grade child in his studies?
    First grade marks an important milestone for young children who finally feel like part of a "big" school. First graders now have to use the social skills they developed in preschool and kindergarten in more mature ways. But the true magic of first grade happens as children develop the ability to understand what letters and numbers really mean. When they’re ready, they’ll be able to "crack the code" and read words.
    The key in helping your child succeed in school is through Reading. First Grade is still the transition from early childhood education to formal schooling. Giving children time to play and relax after class is necessary to make a well-rounded child. Nevertheless, imparting reading skills will eventually help our young first graders to be successful at school.
    Students who are having difficulty in their lessons will be given time and opportunities to catch up. Parents can also assist them by working hand-in-hand with the teachers.
  10. How do I communicate with my child's teachers?
    Teacher-Parent communication and partnership is the key to unlock your child's potential. This will ensure success. Teachers are available after class from four o'clock in the afternoon for consultations.
  11. Why do we have a Narrative and Descriptive grading system?
    Oakridge International School uses Letter Grades to avoid unhealthy comparisons and misinterpretations for numerical grades. Numerical analysis of grades are given less importance, while Learning is given utmost importance at Oakridge. We focus on Student Success and thus measures children's performance accordingly.
  12. Why do we print our Report Card in paper?
    Oakridge International School believes that technology is an ally, not an enemy. As we have shifted to modern strategies and approaches, we have also embraced technology to aid our teachers in performance record keeping and reporting. Student performances are printed on paper every quarter for reports and to inform parents of their child's performance at school. Formal Report Cards will be printed and issued in the last quarter to ensure NO Erasures in our Cards.
  13. Why dont Oakridge Teacher have a Traditional Teachers' Uniform?
    Oakridge Teachers need to be comfortable. We need to move around and express ourselves in our attire. We chose to have polo shirts over Traditional teachers' unfirom to give our teachers more freedom and comfort in moving around.
  14. Why are students from Kinder Class last year placed in First Grade without having to go through proper Kindergarten/ Prep?
    With the Department of Education pushing for K-12, All 5 year olds should be in Kindergarten and all 6 year olds should be in Grade 1. This indeed has cuased a lot of confusion and “catching up” in our First Graders. But we believe that this is still the best time for them to adjust and catch up- while they are young. Oakridge International School has now executed a bridging program from the old educational system of the Philippines to K12. Thus, there is a need for proper placement of students according to age to avoid students graduating in High School later.
  15. Why do we need scholastics?
    Scholastics Reading Program intensifies our desire to impart the love for reading. Using age-appropriate, Lexile based reading program, students have access to reading materials and books throughout the school year.
    Furthermore, Scholastics Reading Program supports Oakridge's core of Reading and Writing- giving our young students the best reading and writing foundation they need in a spiral approach.
  16. Why dont we do spelling and vocabulary?
    Oakridge International School primary levels do have some spelling and vocabulary. But we do not give emphasis to these type of activities. Spelling and Vocabulary are part of Scholastics Reading Program but are not the main lessons in our Reading and Language class.
  17. What is Singapore Math?
    Singapore Math is basically our approach in teaching Mathematics where we follow the Concrete to Pictorial to Abstract approach. Mathematics is a language and teaching it to our students entails undertsanding the mathematical language. We give our students the procudre in understanding math concepts- making connections and meaning out of math lessons. This will eventually give our students the in-depth understanding of math concepts they need in higher levels including algebra, trigonometry, calculus, economics, logic and engineering.
  18. Why do we stress Critical Thinking?
    Oakridge International School prepares our young students for life. We prepare them for the 21st century. Having said so, it is very important that we train our young students to make decisions, make connections , think and express their thoughts eloquently- which will be their leverage in their future. As John Gokongwei puts it, “...we make the world their home, the future at the palm of their hands”.
  19. Why do we have so much homework in Middle and High School?
    Oakridge International School sees the importance of good study habits which will eventually equate good work ethics. Homework given in Middle and High School will not just give our students practice work at home, but will also train them to meet expectations of their professors and meet requirements.
  20. Are incoming Fourth Year (10th Graders) eligible for College?
  21. When are we starting to offer 11th and 12th Grade?
    We will be starting of 11th grade on School year 2014 to 15.
  22. Whats our goal in Chinese Curriculum?
    The ability to communicate in a lan­ guage other than one’s own enables stu­ dents to grow academically and personally. Competence in communicat­ ing in languages in addition to English enriches learning and creates a new foun­ dation for intellectual growth that is unique to language studies. Students are not only mastering another subject but also creating a new source of academic and personal enrichment. Learning a new linguistic system means acquiring an objective view of one’s native language and, indeed, of one’s own cul­ture. The structural elements of language, the range of ideas expressible in a lan­ guage, the intense interdependence of language and culture—all these become apparent as the student becomes increas­ingly proficient in a new language. With these understandings comes a more so­ phisticated appreciation of the structures and the patterns of the new language as well as a better understanding of the learner’s own language. The Foreign Lan­guage Framework seeks to prepare more students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels for further foreign lan­guage studies, including advanced place­ment courses.
  23. Does my child need a tutor?
    No. Oakridge International School trains our young students to be independent and to work on his own. We do not tolerate dependence on tutors and tutorial centers. Students who need extra academic help should be taking Homework club, Academic Afterschool programs (that are mandatory) and should be working hand in hand with their teachers. Outside support like Enopi, Kumon and Galileo will surely enrich the academic performance of the child. Programs like these are basically in line with everything Oakridge is working towards- critical thinking, mastery and independence.

Monday, October 8, 2012

you have no idea for stressed and anxious i am everyday. i am so afraid of loosing students, of being "not good enough". it paralyzes me thinking that some students might leave the school, when all i do everyday is make learning meaningful and doing whats best for the kids.and its frustrating that teachers dont get it, parents dont get it and worst even my staff dont get it. you know how i get frustrated and depressed that parents see the school as "not being good enough" when all we do is innovative things for education and learning.
i saw the feature discovery channel did for Steve Jobs this morning. how a visionary was rejected, overcame his challenges and succeed in his desire to change the world. i can see the similarities of the world i live in now and the world steve had during the 70s. persecution and rejection of one's beliefs, principles and vision - this was our scenario. and this is what i feel now. if i am weak, i could have given up years ago and decided to just help manage the other businesses. but i saw my place in this world in education. i know that my heart for public service can be brought by education and can be executed by my passion in education.
but in every desire to contribute in the society where people live in the past, rejection, ridicule and fear of "the new" is inevitable. I just hope it will pay off. this time, i dont rely on myself. ill just give everything to the Lord. afterall, Oakridge is of the Lord and has the Lord in the center. Ill just live by faith once again.

Need grace though.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Crazy. I've been thinking about this the whole day. After the day I had, I kind of had a feeling that all leadership ABCs and basics are not applicable here in the Philippines. I know we all need to change and face progress. But at the same time, we face the reality that our country might not be ready for it.
Like following and doing one of the most important leadership tactics of all time - Begin with the End in Mind. That definitely doesnt fit in the Philippine settings. The irony here is that we have always been accustomed to "diskarte" or some sort of skill to execute something. Being flexible to make sure that we execute the job. But thats not acceptable in Leadership ABCs.
Dont get me wrong. I loooove and am a firm believer of Stephen Covey's Habits. But more and more, I get to feel that we - as a society are not ready for this.
The first habit for example is to be Proactive. We all know it doesnt work here. We learn to wait whats given to us- Filipinos. We dont really take control. hmmmm..probably thats where Im not so Filipino. :) I do take control. and I do not wait.
Third habit is Put First Things First. Yeah. This is one of the most important traits we need to have as a country, as citizens and as human beings. But prioritizing things is one of the things we lack in. Believe it or not, we give utmost importance to family bonding than work, family bonding over Civic Obligation.

NOW, lets ask the question again. " are all the leadership basics not applicable in Philippine culture?" or "are we not just open for change and progress". :(