Archive for News

Community Day Success!

Thank you to all of the Five Oaks Academy parents, alumni, and community members who came out to help during our Fall 2020 Community Day! Together we accomplished so much and had a lot of fun along the way!

A special thank you to FOA parent Hilary Bean, of Hilary Bean Photography, for taking these beautiful photos!

A Letter of Support from our Curriculum Council

Internationally Known Artist, Eva Oliver-McGill, Explores Her Creative Process with FOA’s Upper Elementary and Middle School Students

Creativity is woven through the entire experience at Five Oaks Academy. It begins on a sprawling 11-acre campus with a hiking trail that runs alongside a bustling creek. It then winds its way into classrooms filled with hands-on materials and a process-based learning experience that engages each student.

As a S.T.E.A.M accredited school, skills such as creativity, problem-solving, empathy, teamwork, and critical thinking are infused into every aspect of the classrooms at Five Oaks Academy. The Academy hosts special guest artists and innovators throughout the year as part of their rich creative curriculum. Recently, local artist Eva Magill-Oliver took students on an artistic journey of discovery. Known internationally for her design collaboration with Nike, Anthropologie and a French linen company, Eva gets her inspiration from the natural world. With her guidance, students gathered images of interesting colors, textures, and patterns to create personalized inspiration boards. She then demonstrated different techniques with liquid watercolors, allowing students to experiment with color and collage papers together in new and unexpected ways.

This nurturing and inviting atmosphere is an environment that stimulates students’ natural curiosity and invites them to explore learning in a meaningful way.

Five Oaks Academy’s welcoming natural environment, research-based curriculum, and hands-on materials engage all learning styles, appeal to the senses, and cultivate the perfect setting for critical thinking and the creative processes.  

Five Oaks Academy’s Middle School Receives 2020 Best of Simpsonville Award

SIMPSONVILLE March 23, 2020 — Five Oaks Academy, Inc. has been selected for the 2020 Best of Simpsonville Award in the Middle School category by the Simpsonville Award Program.

Each year, the Simpsonville Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Simpsonville area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2020 Simpsonville Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Simpsonville Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Simpsonville Award Program

The Simpsonville Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Simpsonville area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Simpsonville Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Simpsonville Award Program

MPIA Focusing on “The Adolescent Brain: The Emotional Years”

Please join the PTO on Tuesday, January 14 at 8:30 am for an informative MPIA focusing on the Adolescent Brain featuring special guest Dr. Caitlyn McLear with Synergy Psych, LLC!

Dr. McLear looks forward to sharing her expertise in the adolescent brain that will give great insight into these self-conscious and emotional years. She will also discuss the effects of Social Media on the brain and its effect on risk-taking behavior at a time when reasoning and risk-taking don’t align. 

We will provide coffee and treats in the main house prior to her presentation. This event is open to the public. If you are not a current parent, please call the front office if you would like to attend this educational event. We hope to see you on January 14!

MPIA Featuring Guest Artist Eva Magill-Oliver

We are excited to welcome local artist, Eva Magill-Oliver, to our Montessori Parents in Action (MPIA) on Tuesday, December 3 for a special guest artist event.

Eva gets her inspiration from the natural world. She creates delicate, meditative collages, drawings, and paintings that reflect and explore different elements in nature and organic environments. Eva’s earthy, fluid brushstrokes channel plant life, the flow of water, and the horizon and they caught the eye of athletic gear giant Nike in 2018. Since March of 2019, her artwork has been featured on their women’s running apparel and footwear. Her dynamic patterns are intentionally soft and bold and serve to connect runners with the environment around them.  “Running is the time when I can focus my ideas and decompress while connecting with nature,” McGill-Oliver says. “I wanted my designs to demonstrate that feeling.” Nike promotes Eva Magill-Oliver’s designs by touting that her designs “give running apparel a meditative vibe.” Her designs are available for purchase at        

Join us to learn about Eva’s art, her process, her journey as a rising woman artist, and how she caught the eye of one of the world’s largest suppliers of athletic shoes and apparel.    

Exploring Global Citizenship in the 21st Century

Five Oaks Academy has partnered with other educational institutions as well as the Greenville business community for a special community-wide educational event, “Global Citizenship: Preparing Students for Success in the 21st Century” featuring Dr. Derrick Gay. Dr. Derrick Gay, an internationally recognized consultant to organizations both domestic and abroad, will address the importance of this generation’s understanding of our interconnected global society. To address this topic, he will focus on issues including Cultural Competency, Inclusion, Diversity, and Global Citizenship that will help prepare students for success in the 21st century.

Dr. Gay has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, 60 Minutes, and on New YorkPublic Radio just to name a few. His Ted Talk “Why Elephants Hold the Key to Success in the 21st Century” has enlightened audiences around the world on the challenges facing students today. He collaborates with thought leaders to cultivate cultural competency, promote empathy, and deepen inclusion in educational and business settings. Global citizenship is a key factor in creating successful businesses and in basic everyday interactions in an ever-changing world.  

We hope this “Synergy” event will inspire and educate our fast-growing international Greenville community. It is free and open to the public. Please join us for this empowering community event!  Seating is limited to less than 300 at the Greenville One Center. To register, go to

Primary Parent Workshop Exploring Sensorial and Practical Life

The Five Oaks Academy Primary Teachers will hold an educational workshop exploring the Montessori Practical Life and Sensorial areas of the classroom on Thursday, September 12 from 6:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. They will demonstrate works from both areas as well as discuss Dr. Monotessori’s philosophy in regards to these areas of the classroom.

If you are interested in attending this workshop, please call the front office by Thursday at noon so we will have the appropriate number of handouts and chairs.

Pets in the Classroom and on Campus

“The child who has felt a strong love for his surroundings and for all living creatures, who has discovered joy and enthusiasm in work, gives us reason to hope that humanity can develop in a new direction.” Maria Montessori 

At Five Oaks Academy, we support Dr. Montessori’s vision of creating a relationship with animals and plants so that students can gain first-hand knowledge of the plant and animal sciences. We believe that animals on campus set a positive, welcoming tone and provide students an opportunity to learn about various aspects of the Animal Kingdom. An emphasis on the natural world establishes a school climate that is accepting, supportive, and curious. We want our students to learn responsibility, compassion, empathy, and to have an understanding and respect for all living things. 

Unique to the Montessori curriculum is the direct link Dr. Montessori observed between child and nature. In developing the student’s understanding of the natural world, Dr. Montessori created a curriculum that involved students in caring for, being exposed to, and studying the Plant and Animal Kingdoms. Another aspect of the curriculum is Grace and Courtesy, which encourages an environment of love and respect for all living things, including plants, animals, and people. As part of the Montessori Science curriculum, caring for the pet teaches children about Biology, Life Cycles, and Parts of the Animals, all of which incorporate correct vocabulary. “Just as a child is learning to be kind to one another and to respect plants, this is the time to give careful hands-on lessons on being kind to animals too. Children naturally have a wonderful disposition toward animals. Having animals in the classroom (also the homes) provide a child with daily and correct demonstrations of how to care for them. Children find satisfaction in learning the tiny details of feeding, giving affection, and cleaning after animals” says Dana Severidt of Montessori Tides School. 

Some pets to be considered for the classroom or campus are fish, turtles, snakes, lizards, iguanas, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, cats, dogs, chickens, etc. “Especially if a child has no experience at home with pets, exposure to a wide range of animal life in the classroom can benefit a child: from touching, observing, caring for, and making connections to the natural world, to understanding the delicacy and uniqueness of all life” says Severidt. 

Having a rich plant and animal life will greatly benefit all community members, children, and adults. Health benefits such as a reduction in blood pressure and heart rate have been shown as well as reducing stress and anxiety and helping children and adults who struggle in social interactions. Our goal is to create a warm and caring environment. 

First MPIA (Montessori Parents in Action) Meeting Next Week

Please join us for our first MPIA of the school year next Tuesday, August 27. Dr. Caitlin McLear, Ph.D of Synergy Psych will be explaining how to look for warning signs of academic, social, and/or emotional distress and when to seek intervention. There will be a Q & A session following her presentation.

We welcome anyone from the Greenville/Simpsonville community to attend this event. If you are not currently a part of the FOA community and would like to attend, please call the front office and ask for Jessica Greer to confirm your attendance.