Q&A - Your questions and Our answers. Please feel free to contact us with any other questions.


What grades will you offer? For the 2017/2018 school year, we are offering classes for students ages 5-11.

What is the daily schedule? Our schedule for the 2017/2018 school year, generally looks like this:
9:00am-School day begins outside with check-in.
10:00am - Students come inside and have a snack.
10:15am - Structured instructional time.
11:45 am-Lunch.
12:45pm - All students head outside.
1:45 pm - Students come inside and have a snack.
2:00 pm - Structured instructional time.
3:30 pm - Dismissal.

What is a typical day at Red Oak like? A typical day at Red Oak will begins outside.  Students will arrive, get signed in by their adult.  After an hour of unstructured, playful learning time, students and staff ready themselves to transition inside with a mindfulness exercise.  The students’ interests and needs guide instructional time, but expect to see a mix of teacher-led instruction (whole group, small group, and individual) and student-directed learning (choice centers, immersion projects, and inquires). Students are given ample time to sit together to eat snacks and lunch allowing time for reflection.  After lunch, students have another hour of time to explore the outdoors and time for more formal instruction. Staff and students go outside as often as weather permits.

Are you a charter school? No. Typically when people use the term “charter school” they mean “public charter school.” However, many private schools also have charters, and Red Oak has plans to apply for our charter as well, but we will remain a private school. The decision about whether or not to apply for a charter will be made as a community and we will weigh the benefits vs. any obligations that may be attached to obtaining a state charter.

Will the part-time and full time kids be together in the same space? Yes.

Can kids move between the full-time and part-time programs? Yes. If your child is enrolled in a part-time class one year, you can change your enrollment in subsequent years to the full-time class, or vice versa. Decisions about students who would like to switch in the middle of the school year will be made on a case-by-case basis.

What is the Parent Involvement Policy? One unique characteristic of Red Oak Community School we are proud of is our commitment to building community.  In the spirit of community and to the benefit of the school, we invite each family to give his/her time to the success of the school, 30hrs per full-time family (15hrs per single parent family), 18hrs for 3-day families, and 12hrs for 2 days..  We understand that not every family has the capacity to give time as freely as others; for this reason families may choose to contribute $25/hour in lieu of volunteering time.

Will you have before and after school care? New for the 2017/2018 school year, parents may sign up for after school care through Sunbury Urban Farm. Contact ROCS Director to inquire about care before school.

Will I have to register as a homeschooling family if I enroll my children in your program? Yes. All students at Red Oak will register as homeschoolers. We will provide and file all the paperwork with your local school superintendent, as well as providing the necessary assessments that each student will need to have when they file in subsequent years. This also allows all Red Oak families to receive various teacher discounts at several local businesses! 

What if my child needs/wants to transfer to another school? Admission to other schools looks very similar to what any other student may experience. However, since our students are homeschoolers, you would simply provide your annual homeschool assessment form (Red Oak provides these annually to all of its students) instead of school transcripts. Most public schools (CCS included) do not require any testing to determine which grade students would be placed in, they simply place the child based on their age.

Private schools in Columbus have a similar admissions process for homeschoolers. The only difference would be that you would provide letters of recommendation (1-2) from teachers, the students portfolio and your annual homeschool assessment form instead of a school transcript. Red Oak will provide all of these documents to families. However, most private school DO require students to take a standardized test for admission, but this is required of ALL their applicants.

Here are two great articles about university and ivy league admissions for homeschoolers.

Are there sibling discounts or scholarships? We understand that the cost of an alternative education for your children can sometimes put a strain on finances. While we are unable to provide discounts or scholarships in these early years of the school, we are working diligently to begin fundraising with the goal that every dollar we raise for that fund will go towards helping families in need of financial assistance.

Are you doing anything to increase diversity? We are doing everything we can to get the word out about our school to any and all communities we feel might be interested in a nature-based school for their children. If you have any ideas on how to help us in this regard we would love to hear them!

How do you teach arts and music?  Our project-based learning approach provides various opportunities for creativity, problem solving and artmaking. The children have access to art materials, time during which to explore them, and examples of fine art on a daily basis. Singing, music-making, and movement are all incorporated into our regular school day.

What are the clothing requirements? The kids are required to wear weather appropriate clothing when they are dropped off for school each day. This includes any necessary sunscreen/bug spray/sun hats during warmer weather. During the winter months students are required to have the following: waterproof/resistant winter coat, snow pants, insulated snow boots, hats, and gloves. Students are also required to have an extra change of clothes in their backpacks/cubbies throughout the year.

How will you deal with discipline issues? The discipline policy of the Red Oak Community School is based upon the goal of self-regulation. Therefore, each child is helped to take the responsibility for which s/he is ready. Respect for self, others, and property is the paramount rule at Red Oak Community School, and it applies to students, teachers, volunteers, and community members.

When an issue occurs, children are encouraged to realize that they are always accepted even though their actions may not be acceptable. Redirection, explanation, interpretation, and, in extreme cases, removal from the group until the child feels able to rejoin the others with acceptable behavior are the methods used. The emphasis is not upon punishment for the kinds of behavior which occur very naturally as children learn how to work cooperatively in a group situation, but upon understanding what happened and helping the child to learn better ways of dealing with conflicts and learning to self-regulate with ever-increasing ease and sophistication.

Still have questions? No problem. Please feel free to call, text or email us and schedule a visit!