Curriculum Vision - Our Big Ideas

The integrated approach to teaching and learning at Red Oak Community School is guided by four key ideas. 

Life on Earth

The Way Things Work

Citizens of the World

Skills for Living

JK: Write more about these...

INCLUDE A SAMPLE CONCEPT MAP BRANCHING FROM ONE OF THESE TO A SMALLER CONCEPT - ie Wants and Needs or Simple Machines with learning objectives and activities...


Environmental Education

Environmental Education (EE) is the central pillar in ROCS curriculum. EE provides students an alternative to traditional classroom education that encourages environmental literacy, reduced disciplinary issues, overall higher test scores, and a love of learning. Outdoor education provides emotional, physical and cognitive benefits to students while providing a learning environment that encourages students to explore themselves in relation to their community and the natural world. Through their tim to make informed decisions. Students immersed in environmental education at Red Oak learn traditional classroom lessons in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies through place-based environmental education. Ohio State Standards provide guidelines for ROCS’s curriculum with students’ interests and curiosities focus our studies.


Traditional Content Areas


Reading & Writing

At Red Oak Community School we approach language arts through balanced literacy instruction. We teach decoding skills and reading strategies through an integrated curriculum of songs, stories, and games, during read aloud, shared reading, guided reading, and individual conferencing.  Students at Red Oak are immersed in literacy through a print-rich environment and given ample opportunities to engage with literature, nurturing a lifelong appreciation of reading.  Red Oak students engage with fiction and nonfiction texts, following the subjects of group study and their individual interests. Students learn to make increasingly sophisticated connections between books, themselves, and the world.  

Red Oak uses Writer’s Workshop to take students through the stages of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing their writing.  Throughout this process students explore their voice as writers as they practice writing for different purposes and audiences with whom they share their writing.

Through our integrated language arts instruction, we help students understand that readers write and writers read.  As their appreciation of language arts develops, students learn to identify and then use conventions of writing as they see while reading to communicate ideas about the full range of subjects under their investigation.


The program we use includes concepts of early numeracy such as one-to-one correspondence, numeral recognition, more and less, sorting, cardinality and number sense.  As students grow in their math learning, we explore computation, algebraic thinking, geometry and measurement, and data analysis.  Mathematics instruction at Red Oak is constructivist, with students creating their own meaning and methods, guided by teachers who are skilled at using lines of questioning to draw out concept comprehension.  Math instruction at ROCS is engaging and hands-on, using real-life applications and a wide range of manipulatives to illustrate concepts. 


At Red Oak we use an inquiry-based project approach to science.  Students are encouraged to articulate questions and wonderings while educators introduce and helps students explore ways to answer their questions using critical thinking, information-gathering, and the scientific method with an emphasis on hypothesis-testing.  Our investigations bring us in contact with the three main branches of science: life, physical, and Earth sciences. The natural environment serves as both inspiration and testing ground. Our campus is our laboratory - the woods, creek, and farm.

Social Studies

We believe the best way to approach social students with young learners is to start with themselves and expand outward. As such, our social studies curriculum includes studies of self, community, and world.  We explore personal timelines, what it means to be a part of community, current events, and social justice.  This curriculum is project-based, where we identify real life problems to investigate.


ROCS students study Japanese language and learn about cultural practices and traditions alongside traditional core subjects. As environmental education prepares children to be stewards of the natural world, exploring foreign languages and cultures at an early age prepares them to be stewards of our global society. Spoken and written language are learned organically through art and music. Students are invited to compare and contrast new knowledge about Japanese society with their own experiences through fairy tales, folklore, and history. Building relationships with the Japanese community of Central Ohio and schoolchildren in Japan students are gaining new understandings and forging new friendships through cultural exchange, inspiring them to see beyond the barriers of language, borders, and differences as their social geography expands outward from self to community to world.


*Red Oak Community School meets the academic requirements set forth by the Ohio Department of Education in order to be registered as a Non-Chartered Non-Tax school. We are developing our own learning objectives which incorporate the CORE Curriculum concepts as well as social and emotional, environmental, and physical standards for learning.