We started our morning at Oakley School in Oakley, UT. James Meyer, executive director, opened with a presentation on Myths and Realities about Oakley. What impressed us about James’ presentation was the consistency of purpose and programming since Oakley’s opening in 1998. He reviewed the continuum of care from a psychiatric hospital to a traditional boarding school. On one continuum the focus is almost exclusively on therapy while at the other end, the focus is mostly on education. While difficult to do, Oakley’s goal is to make the academics, the therapy, the milieu and recreational all equal.
Louise and James Meyer, Executive Director
The tour of the campus was beautiful with the changing of seasons. During our tour, we were able to see all aspects of the Oakley Model. The experiential education at Oakley is amazing. Oakley’s schedule is broken into 42 weeks of six–seven week blocks. Within those blocks, students are required to take one art class, two recreational classes, and one service class. The students here donate over 20,000 hours of community service each year.
Jay Williams, science teacher at Oakley. He talked to us about teaching science and how he and all the teachers are part of the therapeutic AND academic process.
We loved his classroom and his passion for his students and their adjustment and learning.