Oak Hill School is launching a new partnership program with schools throughout China, commencing this coming September. English-immersion schools, patterned on American/Oak Hill type educational techniques and curricula, will be created within existing public high schools throughout China. The goal for these programs will be to prepare Chinese students for matriculation in American universities. The operations of these schools will be undertaken by the Cambridge Institute in Waltham, Massachusetts in collaboration with Oak Hill who will oversee these operations. It is anticipated that Oak Hill might open as many as three schools this coming fall. The locations will be in close proximity to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
Languages and cross-cultural understanding are vital to Oak Hill’s mission. We presently teach three languages from kindergarten through high school: French, Spanish, and Mandarin. We are the only recognized school in the region that teaches Chinese, and we, this year, have expanded this program into the high school. Advanced placement for college will be available this coming fall. We have a strong collaboration with the University of Oregon’s Confucius Institute who has supported us through grants and professional advice. In addition to language studies, Oak Hill has several students from other countries, this year from China and South Korea. They are housed with host families and are fully-integrated into the Oak Hill academic and social programs. Only those students with strong English skills are admitted, and support in ESL is still offered to bolster those skills.
It is the school’s intent to develop rich relationships with these partner schools. Modeled after the program created by Armando Morales in Spanish, our intent is to develop exchanges of students, parents, and teachers over time. It is also our hope that the best students in our partner schools might finish their high school education by coming to Oak Hill for the more intense exposure to English and our curriculum.
Bob Sarkisian, Head of Oak Hill School, will be traveling throughout China for the next two weeks, meeting with local and school officials in order to develop relationships, answer questions, and help finalize the partnerships. In the future, it is anticipated that he will travel to China once or twice a year to oversee operations. It is also anticipated that designated teachers and/or administrators will travel with or in lieu of him to our schools. It should be noted that Oak Hill is in the forefront of such undertakings nationally. This announcement follows three years of extensive study, travel to China, and much analysis and deliberation. Special thanks is owed to Oak Hill School’s Mandarin Teacher, Sophie Wang, whose hard work and wise counsel was vital to this project.
“Oak Hill is always striving to provide the best education it can for our kids and this heralds the beginning of a bold new adventure for our special school.” –Bob Sarkisian, Head-of-School