Camp Oak Hallows was founded on the belief that public school general education as we know it just doesn’t cut it. Texas’s loose education laws allow for a lot of lee-way when it comes to accommodating diverse learners, but most PSDs (public school districts) haven’t caught on quite yet that not every student is able to succeed in lecture halls and stuffy computer labs. The notion that students with poor grades are “not trying hard enough” is outdated and dangerous. Additionally, the concept that students who cheat are delinquent, and not simply subject to a system that values grades more than it values providing a quality education to its students, can be even more harmful.
Our current PES (public education system) asserts that students are the only ones to blame when the report card rolls around. Teachers who do not account for different learning types, Section 504 administrators who “don’t believe” in a student’s disablity, and lazy campus authorities who will faster send a gifted child to “special education” than to academic competitions “because they don’t perform well on standardized tests” creates an environment of Othering, sorting out the traditional students from the unique. Meanwhile, these unique minds have much they could offer their campus, if only given the chance. That chance needs to come in the form of accommodation. That chance means not stuffing students into classrooms where they will fall asleep with the pace, not assuming comprehension by test scores, not perpetuating the belief that being bad at art is fine, not all students are artists, after all, but a student failing science is unintelligent, just study a little harder next time.
Camp Oak Hallows is ready and willing to listen to the needs of the students who come through our doors, walk our halls, sit at our tables, and find the solution to give them the best school experience possible.
Self-paced online classes exist.
Independent study for Credit by Exam exists.
Peer-led small-group discussion study exists.
A teacher with a powerpoint is not the only person who can profess knowledge. Especially when it comes to kids who thrive in environments like ours.
This is an education revolution, it has to start somewhere. And if that somewhere is a small town in northeast Texas where a couple of girls with a dream that started in high school are sitting in beanbags in a study lounge reading bad fanfiction, then so be it.
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