“FAMILY. When you join us, you join a family”, Monica Ivener, Director of Oak Brook School states.
And to me, this was very obvious by all the warm welcomes and big hugs between Moncia, and school Owner, Dolly Vishwanath, when we arrived for a tour.
As a mom of a pre-schooler, I was so excited to be able to take a tour and report back to Collin County Moms Blog what a special place Oak Brook School is. Situated off of Plano Parkway in Murphy, Oak Brook is convenient to several suburbs like Plano, Wylie, Richardson, and even Garland. They provide full time preschool and Pre-K services, afterschool programs, and some amazing Summer Programs.
When I pulled up, I was immediately impressed with the beautiful and charming look of the school; it felt warm and welcoming, an atmosphere that I’d want my child to be a part of.
As Monica led me on a tour through the classrooms, I quickly saw that Oak Brook is much more than a “cute school”.
“We are not a daycare, we are an academic facility. Everything we do has a purpose and learning objective.”
The “Early Learners” (18 months-3 years) were working with sensory objects, learning sign language and working through the alphabet. The preschoolers were counting and sorting, and the Pre-K students were writing, and developing reading and Math skills as they follow McGraw-Hill curriculum. Ages 3 and up even have a Spanish lesson twice a week!
Everything is so well thought out. Each classroom is intentionally separated into two spaces: a tiled area for arts & crafts and fine motor skills, and a carpet side for movement, music, and dramatic play. (Keeping minds busy and bodies moving!) Schedules are deliberate, age appropriate, and posted so the kids know what to expect next.
“Safety is also very important to us”, Owner Dolly tells me. Each classroom has two cameras, which are viewed on a large monitor at the front desk. At any time a parent can come in and see their child without disrupting them. Oak Brook also uses the HiMama app, which sends parents pictures throughout the day and daily reports.
Technology in the Classrooms
Students Age 3 and up attend the computer lab twice a week, working with ABC Mouse and other educational curriculum. The Pre-K students will even learn how to Open & Save a File! Additionally, Pre-K rooms are equipped with “Smart Boards”, a cutting edge technology that allows kids to touch, drag, and maneuver smart technology. They are also provided with tablets to work with, and since they have their own profile and login, parents can follow their child’s development at any time and work with them at home! I absolutely love this program! What a great way to know what your child is learning at school and how you can enhance it!
The students are hardly bound to the classroom though! There are plenty opportunities to get all those wiggles out! I was totally impressed by the indoor gym and the darling theater where music and drama takes place. They even bring in a special act each month like jugglers, musicians, and puppeteers! In addition, there are three separate playgrounds: one for the Early Learners, one for the Pre-Schoolers, and one for the Pre-K’s and older after schoolers.
When we walked in from the playgrounds, I smelled a delicious aroma coming from the small cafeteria. Owner, Dolly says that healthy, homemade food is one of the things that make Oak Brook different. Every snack and meal is planned in advanced and made from scratch using FRESH ingredients. (They even pick their milk up from Braum’s!) The students even get to participate in a little cooking as they have planted some of their own produce and spices in an outdoor garden. After a look at their monthly menu, I was sold! (And hungry.)
Afterschoolers are given special treatment too! They have a rotating schedule including computer, gym, theater, outdoor, and snack time! (And the all-important homework time!) Their rotation, which is divided by age group, is tracked on a board, so they know where to go when they arrive. Additionally, there are extracurricular activities available like Dance, Basketball, Soccer, and STEM activities.
Now for one of the most EXCITING features Oak Brook offers …the Summer Program! This full time program will ensure that your little one has the BEST summer ever! There are some amazing opportunities such as weekly field trips, and numerous camps like Cooking, Art, Science, Soccer, Tutoring, and Dance! And probably the MOST exciting element of Summer Program is…drumroll please…the on-site swimming pool! That’s right! Nothing wears those wild ones out like pool time, which Oak Brook does twice a week. Even more, they offer three levels of on-site Swim Lessons by certified swim instructors!
There’s not enough room to talk about all the things I loved about Oak Brook. But what stood out to me was definitely the family atmosphere. Parents can stop in and check on their child or have lunch with them at any time. The calendar is filled with seasonal festivals, picnics, and other activities to bring the families and school together. For someone who lives far away from family, this means a lot!
If you’re ready to check out Oak Brook yourself, you’re in LUCK! Oak Brook is holding an Open House on Wednesday, March 15th from 6:30-8:00. Teachers and management staff will be on site to answer all your questions! And you’ll be just in time as Summer Registration begins March 20th!