A Lively Learning Experience
More About our School
"We might not realize it, but being outdoors doubles cognitive processes in our kids" (John Ratey P.H. D).
OCCA is a combination of the indoor and outdoor classroom. As our students make progress following rules and procedures, they are welcome to choose an area where they can complete their tasks comfortably. We have observed that young students naturally enjoy being outdoors more than older children. At OCCA, we encourage all students to spend sufficient time outdoors due to the endless benefits for their health and academic achievement. Our students happily enjoy 60%-70% of their time in our outdoor classroom during good weather. The indoor classroom is used under severe weather conditions.
What is our Outdoor Classroom?
Enriching the Lives of Our Students
OCCA's philosophy of education is based on Christian teachings and the value of learning outdoors. We are also advocators of the existing "Outdoor Classroom Project" co-founded by Eric and Nelson in 1979. The project started in classrooms that were part of a former elementary school. Teachers learned how to organize themselves to supervise the children outdoors, and began to take traditionally indoor activities outside. With the understanding of the value of learning outdoors; today, our school has embraced the same approach for students in the Elementary School.
Is the outdoor classroom safe?
Changing the World one Step at the Time
Accidents in school-age children can happen indoors or outdoors. At OCCA, whether children are outdoors or indoors, they receive instruction about the appropriate use of equipment, materials, and centers. Grades TK- 2nd graders commonly use the indoor classroom to start the day, naps, outdoor transition, cool off time, restroom breaks, or severe weather. Other than that, our younger kids spend 80% of the time outdoors. For extra precautions, students are encouraged to use long jeans and sunscreen is applied during sunny days.
Rainy days are a treasure to our school; they provide with a diversity of teaching moments. Therefore, rainboots and raincoats are part of the school supplies at the beginning of the school year. A change of clothes is kept to use when necessary. Students who don't have rain gears and a change of clothes in school stay indoors.
Due to the constant nature exploration and experimentation in our outdoor classroom, washing hands is a typical routine before eating and going back indoors.
Why Christian Values?
Meeting Emotional and Spiritual Needs
Our school is a Non-denominational Christian School. Our philosophy of education is rooted in Bible teachings, and we believe that we are part of God’s amazing creation. We are convinced that Christian values and principles are the norms to be at peace with oneself, others, and the rest of God’s creation. Jesus himself taught and preached to multitudes in the opened air through parables and words that were relevant and meaningful to adults and children. Thus, the Bible tells us that when God created heaven and earth, he commanded humans to be the stewards of His creation.
Therefore, we encourage our students to care for nature and the environment by feeling part of it. OCCA is combining the concept of the outdoor classroom with Bible teachings, which we find to be a perfect fit. Our current teachers are Christian Educators who are also parents and understand the importance of a nurturing, loving, and formative environment for our students.
Why to attend our school?
Attending the Whole Child
At OCCA, we care for the development of the whole child (not only academics). Rather than confining young minds to 4 walls to learn academics for long periods of time, our outdoor philosophy and Christian values provide an environment where students can grow physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially. As a result, academic content is easier to grasp and learn. See the benefits of learning outdoors below!
Advantages of Attending OCCA
Small school and classes that facilitate a family caring environment
The practice of exercise and healthy eating habits
Age integrated classrooms
Promotes social and emotional skills
Promotes appreciation for education
Promotes appreciation for the environment
Develops Interest in learning Science and Math in connection with natural elements
Foster Emotional Intelligence along with Intellectual
Foster learning through self- initiation, control, and personal responsibility
Wide, expansive view of how the world works
Stronger language, problem-solving, and communication skills through projects and group activities
Passionate, Christian, and professional teachers that truly care for the development of the whole child.
Areas of Study