Our New Vision, Mission, and Values

This summer the ROCS Education Committee began the process of strategically reviewing and evaluating Red Oak as an organization. The effort, headed up by Jodi Kushins (ROCS mom and board member), began with a careful and critical look at our existing vision, mission, and values statements. These statements were written when ROCS was still incubating, as its founders were dreaming up ideas and attempting to define what we wanted to become. Now in our third year, we know more about who we are and what kind of ideals we want to guide ROCS in the years to come.

After many hours of deep thinking, sticky notes and emails, the committee (including Kushins and fellow ROCS mom Christine Davidson, ROCS teachers Maureen Alley and Michelle McNabb, and myself) unveiled a new set of statements. The board recently approved them and they will be published on our website soon. We look forward to developing our daily and long-term work with these ideas at the forefronts of minds.

Cheryl Ryan, ROCS Director

Red Oak Community School fosters our students’ sense of their place and power in the natural world and in their communities.

Red Oak Community School offers a learner-centered approach to education for families dedicated to cultivating joy in learning, fostering self-confidence and agency, and preparing students to be environmental stewards and champions of social justice.


  • Connectedness: Cultivates curiosity, creativity, and care through time spent playing in and studying about the natural world; 

  • Joy: Fosters a love of learning through learner-centered teaching strategies and content linked to students’ emerging interests; 

  • Respect and Responsibility: Promotes community through modeling healthy and respectful relationships, teaching emotional literacy, encouraging personal and civic responsibility;

  • Power and Agency: Supports children as individuals worthy of respect and encourages children to find their own voice to advocate for themselves and others;

  • Community: Supports the role of the family and larger community in children’s development and education.

melissa frueh