Matt Burgy, Head of School

September 29, 2023

Dear Oakridge Family,

Transactional experience versus a Transformational experience

I have been thinking quite a bit about the paradox between these two adjectives lately as I have been assessing the value of an Oakridge experience. A transaction is simple- it is a product, good, or service you buy to do a job or perform a task. In a way, as parents you have a transaction with the school. You purchase an educational product through your tuition. The school then utilizes those tuition dollars to hire highly qualified teachers, coaches, artists, administrators, and other educational professionals to educate your child. We continue to use those tuition dollars to care for the physical plant of the school, ensuring we have facilities to deliver the product that we promise. 

Simple, right? Not by a long shot. An Oakridge experience is not simply a good or service that is easily consumable, nor is it consumed by each person who purchases it at the same rate, in the same manner, or with the same outcomes. It's not a transaction because our goal is for your child to have an experience that challenges them while simultaneously nurturing them to seek their full potential. A transaction, by definition, is a one-time occurrence, and Oakridge is a series of experiences that build upon one another. Therefore, it is a transformative experience in which your child(ren) isn't simply passively absorbing an education. They are active participants, constantly changing the calculus of their development with a myriad of decisions they and their peers make each day. A school community is a precious ecosystem that we are constantly balancing, building, and maintaining a healthy schoolwide culture while also trying to cater to each student's strengths and needs. Sometimes, decisions made by children and their peers around them slip outside the norm of what is acceptable behavior. And that's ok. That's their job…to find the boundary and to test its fortifications. We want them to test boundaries because that is where learning happens at its most exponential rate. When that happens, it is incumbent upon us to act in partnership with one another, one that is based on mutual trust that the school has experts in their field to help your child grow and learn in a developmentally appropriate way and has their best interest at heart even when times might get tough. 

As we enter Homecoming week next week, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. If you're new to Oakridge and haven't experienced our Homecoming festivities, you're in for an exciting week!


Matt Burgy
Head of School