Oakland Christian School offers a rigorous and unique education experience to all its preschool through 12th grade students. From a Spanish immersion program and advanced classes for high school students, there are plenty of options in and out of the classroom, which features small class sizes and a Christian-based curriculum.
Located in Auburn Hills, Oakland Christian School provides a solid academic foundation starting in preschool, and by kindergarten, families can choose an English track or Spanish immersion program.
“In kindergarten, we offer Young 5s, half-day and a full-day program and then we have a kindergarten Spanish immersion program. This will be our fourth year of the program,” says Susan Brock, senior director of development at Oakland Christian. “Once the students are in class, there is no English spoken. The teachers are native speakers and only speak Spanish to them.”
Brock says many of the students that enter the Spanish immersion program have no experience with the language.
“They can just understand what the teacher is saying by her inflections and hand gestures,” Brock says. When it comes to homework, parents don’t have to know the language to help their child. Brock says most of the work that comes home in the early grades is math, which doesn’t require Spanish experience. In second grade the work involves story problems, but if parents can’t help the students at home, the teachers will help during the school day.
By third grade, more English will be introduced into the Spanish classroom so students can learn the rules of the English language as well, Brock says.
“When the students leave fifth grade, they will be bilingual and biliterate,” Brock says. The students go back into the English curriculum in middle school. “We are really the only school in the area that offers a total immersion program for elementary school students.”
The school is also known its rigorous academics at the high school level.
“We’ve done a lot of work in our high school to offer the AP Capstone program,” Brock says. The program includes two year-long courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. Through these courses the students use an interdisciplinary approach to learn critical thinking, research skills, collaboration, time management and presentations skills that they will use in college.
Students at the high school level have the option to take general track diploma courses, a college prep course-load or the AP Capstone diploma. Several of Oakland Christian’s AP classes qualify for dual enrollment, which earns students college credit while in high school.
Brock says Oakland Christian keeps class sizes small. In elementary, she says classes in the English and Spanish programs have no more than 20 students. At the middle school and high school level, they are no more than 20 to 30 students in a classroom at time.
“A lot of times, our families come from larger schools and are looking for a smaller and more personal environment,” Brock says. “In the area of academics, because of our size, students have the opportunity to experience more things. Students have the chance to be in the band or orchestra or choir. It’s all up to them and what they want to try. The same is true for participating in a drama production or playing a sport. There are not tryouts for the teams in middle school so all of the students have a chance to participate.”
Brock says Oakland Christian is competitive in athletics, which are offered to middle school and high school students. Unlike many other schools of its size, Oakland Christian even offers a football team.
During their time at Oakland Christian, students will deepen their Christian faith.
“We’re a private school, but we’re also a Christian school. Students have Bible classes every day and chapel once a week,” Brock says. The school isn’t affiliated with one church and Brock says more than 80 different local churches are represented in the school. Families sign a statement of faith when they come to Oakland Christian. “Christian beliefs are taught throughout all of our curriculum, like in science, we teach from Creation.”
At the high school level, students work with the spiritual director to plan retreats and chapel services.
At Oakland Christian, the students also participate in various community service activities at all grade levels. Brock says in elementary school, the students have a service activity tied to all classroom parties for holidays and special events. They will gather supplies or make cards for seniors. Additionally, students get involved in other service activities like working at Gleaners Food Bank.
For more information about Oakland Christian School, visit oaklandchristian.com or call 248-373-2700.