The Socrates School

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Socrates School at Oak Hill Academy

Dear Parents and Friends of Oak Hill Academy,

            The world our children face is rapidly changing, requiring new skills and preparation to be ready for college, career, and citizenship.  With this as our backdrop, we are currently examining the feasibility of starting a secondary school which would be a continuation of our existing PK-8 program with a focus on a personalized approach.  With this framework, students learn at their own pace, are challenged, and move on when they have mastered the subject matter.  The curriculum addresses a broad view while meeting the needs of the individual who takes ownership of a process where the emphasis is on thinking, creating, communicating, understanding, and producing.  Teachers are able to act as mentors allowing the learner to explore as the teacher directs, questions, and tracks progress.  The beauty of personalized learning is that the student is motivated since he or she determines much of the pace and selection of material studied.  This method permits collaboration dealing with real world problems.  These 21st century skills are being demanded by higher education and the global workplace.  Personalized learning helps build skills in using technology, but also in communications, team building, creativity, and problem solving. 

            We will be calling our high school, “The Socrates School at Oak Hill Academy.”    Our thoughts are that this would be for a very small number of students who are eager to learn and be pioneers.  We would use space currently available on the Oak Hill campus.  We are presently in the planning stages of the process and have put a target date of September 2020 for our opening.  To date, we have done a great deal of research, but realize that the greater input we have, the more prepared we will be to succeed.  To this end, we are reaching out to our Oak Hill parents, alumni, and community members to help us navigate this process of change since we are looking at an alternative path for the curious learner.  Therefore, we will be hosting numerous think tank community meetings to get suggestions focused on the following types of questions.


Assuming that the current high school model needs to be rethought for some learners:

            “Can we learn in better ways?”

            “What are we learning about?”

            “What is the future of learning?”

            “Are we using learning time in High School effectively?”

            “What would be your vision for the future of education?”

            “What learning experiences are needed for students to be future ready?”

            “If we could do school differently, what would we do?”

            Today, I am asking you to spread the word on this new Oak Hill adventure and help me invite those interested in aiding us to develop a reimagined high school in the Oak Hill tradition that would make a difference in our children’s lives.  We have scheduled the following dates and times for sounding board meetings.  Held in the OHA Tech Center. 

Thursday, March 14th 8:00 AM

Monday, April 8th     8:00 AM

Tuesday, May 14th 7:00 PM

            To attend, please go to our website to register (click the Quick Link “Socrates School” or under “About OHA”) and spread the word to all those who may be interested in sharing their ideas.  Thank you for your time and interest.      


Very truly yours,


Joseph A. Pacelli