Academic Program, Philosophy & Mission
Orangevale Open K-8 (OVO) has an instructional program designed to encourage students to explore their world. Learning activities are child-centered, creative, and authentic. Students go on frequent field trips. Teachers and parents plan activities that nurture community involvement. Visitors come to school to introduce students to varied influences and guest speakers provide presentations on topics of special interest. Students interact with children of all ages and stages of development. They are placed in active roles, and our curriculum is integrated and relevant. Time is flexible so that children learn at a pace that meets their needs. At OVO, students find freedom and acceptance to make mistakes and to learn from experience. The environment is rich with ample opportunities to develop knowledge and skills around a standards-based curriculum as well as to develop self-esteem, self-reliance, interpersonal relationships, and problem solving.
Our teachers are learners themselves. They facilitate lessons, monitor parent-run activities and teach directly. Teachers know their students very well in order to support their personal and intellectual growth. Teachers guide children to set goals for themselves, and to evaluate their individual performance. Students learn to value quality for its own sake. Intrinsic motivation is fostered; competition is downplayed.
Parents were the catalyst in the 1970’s that led to the founding of Orangevale Open, and their involvement is a cornerstone of the institution. Families who send their children to our school commit to making donations and to volunteering two hours each week in order to support the program. They attend monthly meetings led by officers they have elected from class parents. Parent participation is crucial to OVO.
Orangevale Open K-8's Mission is to ensure that our students
1) feel excited about their education
2) are prepared to meet new challenges positivel
3) consider themselves capable, caring members of society
To achieve this, we have a learning community that aims
- To develop a love of learning within each child
- To extend the learning environment beyond the classroom and to link instruction to real life through field trips and community resources
- To promote personal best rather than competition and to involve students in establishing their own goals
- To create an environment that strengthens self-confidence and that allows students to take risks and to learn from mistakes
- To appreciate and celebrate uniqueness and to develop respect for self and others
- To learn through hands-on activities and experiences and to emphasize process rather than product
- To foster developmentally appropriate learning environments that encourage responsible choices and that provide opportunities for students with all learning styles
- To be a strong, caring community that feels like family