As I watch our students preparing to depart for our two-week Spring Break today, I’m reminded that one of the greatest similarities between boarding school and college is the flow of the school year. Like college, Oak Hill Academy’s schedule is punctuated by significant breaks. This is important for a few reasons:
- The Oak Hill Academy student body currently represents 24 states and 20 countries. That’s a lot of plane travel! Logistically, students need considerable stretches of time to make travel home worthwhile and meaningful. To this end, in addition to our Spring Break, we have a 10-day Thanksgiving Break and a two-and-a-half week Christmas/New Year’s Break.
- Because our students all board (we do not have a lot of day students from the surrounding area in rural Grayson County, Virginia), it is healthy to reconnect with family and friends after an extended period of focused study and busy campus life. We attend school on most Saturdays (half days) and frankly there just aren’t any “days off” in the boarding school schedule. These breaks are equally important for our parents and families, as they are excited to catch up and reconnect with their students as well.
- An important part of our students’ experience is learning to finish strongly while anticipating scheduled breaks. Our students have to guard against, in the words of a past OHA principal, “mentally packing their bags too early.” With the college calendar of breaks preceded by deadlines and exams, this is vital training. We are intentional in helping our students learn how to see things through and delay the gratification that comes with breaks.
By the way, there is a lot of planning and coordination involved in providing shuttle service for over half of our student population. Buses are chartered to get kids to flights from Charlotte, North Carolina’s Douglas International Airport. Travel plans are confirmed with each family. More local families (a relative term) are coordinating ride sharing permissions with each other as we have a strong contingent of students from Northern Virginia, Maryland and the D.C. area. In the midst of the excitement, there are a multitude of details that are handled by our transportation coordinator. A big THANKS to you, Mrs. Cooper!
Right now, as I brace for a much quieter campus over the next few weeks, I’m still excited about the current admission cycle. As more than a quarter of our student body graduates in a typical year, I’m enthusiastic about how next school year’s enrollment is shaping up already. I’m also very involved in working with summer session applicants. Oak Hill Academy’s summer school session is a great opportunity for grade improvement and for new students to gain momentum and settle in heading into next school year. Please feel free to contact the Admission Department, especially during Spring Break, at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply call (276) 579-2619.
In the meantime, A Happy Spring Break To All! Bring on the snow!