The Oakwood Difference

What is unique about the Lower School at Oakwood? The entire Lower School experience includes the following features:

Academic Development

  • Specialized Faculty -- Teachers are specialized in discrete content areas.
  • Academic Clubs and Competitions – Students have the option to participate in school-wide, local, regional, and state academic competitions in math, science, geography, robotics and spelling.
  • Eagle and Scholar Awards – Each year Oakwood recognizes students in the Middle School Division based on their strength of character, their creativity, and their contributions that make a difference. Deemed the Eagle Award, Upper Middle School faculty can elect to award up to three Eagle Awards per grade. In the Lower Middle School, the faculty use the same criteria to choose one student in both grades 4 and 5 to receive the Junior Eagle Award. In addition to Eagles, Upper Middle School staff nominates and selects a student from both grades 6th and 7th to receive Oakwood's Scholar Awards. Students earning the Scholar Award are chosen for their class performance as well as scholarly attitude and thirst for learning in it's purest form - the love of knowing.

Co-curricular Experiences

  • Fine Arts-- Comprehensive fine arts program with musical options (band, strings, chorus), weekly studio art classes, dance, theater classes, annual public displays of student artwork, and the opportunity to participate in an annual school-wide musical production.
  • Athletics -- Athletic program are available with intramural options for grades 4-5 and competitive athletic teams for grades 6-7 with a no-cut policy. Fitness classes as well as daily outdoor free time provide students time to move, run, play, and interact outside of the classroom.
  • Experiential Seminar Days – On scheduled half-days, students spend an entire morning participating in activities of their choosing in which a faculty member is sharing one of his/her passions or facilitating a special learning experience.
  • Specialized Clubs -- More here.

Social, Cultural, and Community Building

  • Division Meetings -- Tuesday morning Division-wide meetings foster community among all Middle School grades led by the elected Middle School SGA representatives.
  • Mentoring Programs -- Organized throughout the year to build social connectedness and responsibility and ease the transition for younger grades. Examples include H.U.G.S. (Help Us Grow Successfully) pairing 5th graders with Kindergarten and B.U.D.S. (Building Unity, Determining Smiles) pairing 7th and 4th graders.
  • Advisory Groups – Weekly class period advisory for 4th and 5th grades while 6th and 7th have daily advisory group exercises and conversations encouraging character development and fostering the sense of the “Oakwood family.”
  • Community Service – Students are engaged in grade- and division-level hands-on, student-initiated, and student-driven community service projects throughout the year. Proceed here to learn more about Community Service at Oakwood.
  • Dances.

Meet the division coordinators


Ashley Blackmer
Lower Middle School Coordinator
ablackmer@theoakwoodschool.org
(252) 931.0760 EXT 1204




Anita Rish-Hodgkins
Upper Middle School Coordinator
arishhodgkins@theoakwoodschool.org
(252) 931.0760 EXT 1207



Division Coordinators' Letter: Transitions

Division Coordinators' Letter: Science is Fun Everyday!

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