Creating Space, Enjoying Silence: How Oliverian Cultivates Student Reflection

Creating Space, Enjoying Silence: How Oliverian Cultivates Student Reflection

cultivating student reflection
cultivating student reflection

Oli Today > Blog > Creating Space, Enjoying Silence: How Oliverian Cultivates Student Reflection

Creating Space, Enjoying Silence: How Oliverian Cultivates Student Reflection
March 20, 2018

Against a backdrop of natural beauty, Oliverian creates space for students to explore, push boundaries, and chase ideas — without the distractions of today’s overstimulated world.

After chaotic experiences with public schools and even worse encounters at punitive alternative schools, two-time Oliverian parent Karen Wolk and her family chose Oliverian for its radical acceptance, compassionate care, and sense of peace.

“Oliverian gives kids a safe space to get lost — and then find themselves,” she says. “It’s a place where any kind of kid would be comfortable.”

At Oliverian, we understand the value of a little peace and quiet. We believe that in order for students to find themselves in an overstimulated world, they need space. Whether that’s physical space, emotional space, or even sonic space, Oliverian provides a safe and comfortable environment in which it’s okay for students to explore, take risks, push boundaries, and chase ideas.

Looking At the Big Picture

Oliverian doesn’t exist to simply push students toward credit completion or high school graduation. And while graduation is certainly considered an important piece of each individual student’s success, we also work to ensure our students are equipped to function and thrive in the real world — not just pass a series of standardized tests.

“I don’t stop being a parent when my kid turns 18,” says Karen. “And Oliverian doesn’t quit teaching the minute class is over — or even when a kid gets their high school diploma. They invest in every student, and really approach each of them as individuals.”

We don’t measure success by a series of report cards. Even if a student gets straight A’s in high school, if they start having panic attacks the first day of college, the AP credits that seemed so important during junior or senior year suddenly become less important. That’s why we give students room to not only learn geometry, but to discover what they’re passionate about, who they want to be, and how they interact with those around them. This type of learning doesn’t end when the bell — literal or proverbial — rings.

Staying Grounded In a Hectic World

In today’s hyper-connected world, over stimulation has reached a fever pitch. As a result, levels of anxiety and depression in teens continue to rise. At Oli, we want our students to learn to focus on the here and now, how to interact face-to-face, and how to strike a healthy balance between their social profiles and their IRL relationships. We work to cultivate a space for teens to be teens, and for young people to explore the natural world around them.

“One of the most important things about Oliverian — that I haven’t seen at other schools — is that it’s so peaceful and quiet and accepting,” says Karen. “There’s a creek right behind my daughter’s door. I love to go there and just listen to the nothing. My daughter hated ‘outside’ before Oliverian — now she takes pictures of her beautiful walk to class every morning.”

That’s the Oliverian way.