Five Oaks Academy Celebrates 20 Years of Continuous Innovation

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Five Oaks Academy, an award-winning, innovative Montessori school in Simpsonville, SC, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a host of special events, from a new annual golf tournament and a campus-wide World’s Fair, to a year-long Guest Artist-in-Residence program and community speaker events.

Thank you to Five Oaks Academy for sponsoring this article.

Five Oaks 2023

Community Outreach & Cutting Edge Programs

With its motto of “Minds Opened Here,” Five Oaks has a razor sharp focus on continuous improvement and an ongoing commitment to serving both its internal and external communities.

Proof came in November 2020 when Five Oaks was recognized by the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) with its prestigious W. Keller Kissam School of Honor Award.

Five Oaks 2023

Representing more than 120 independent schools in South Carolina, SCISA recognized Five Oaks for its “cutting edge” interactive academic programs, its commitment to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) education initiatives and its overall focus on parental involvement and community-centered outreach education.

“When you look at the caliber of schools that were nominated, and to be recognized not by a Montessori organization, but by an independent school organization recognizing best practices no matter what pedagogy you’re using, and to say that yes, your community is happy and thriving and yes your children are learning…well that was a very big moment.”

Kathleen Trewhella-Grant, Founding Executive Director, Five Oaks Academy

Five Oaks Academy received its initial accreditation from SCISA in 2017, and in a major distinction, that same year became the first South Carolina Montessori school to receive SCISA’s dual accreditation in Montessori and STEAM.

Something Special for Everyone

Campus Experience

Five Oaks is also unique in that it serves 250 students from toddlers to eighth graders; this age range is a rare trait for any school in the state of South Carolina. Moreover, more than 38 countries are represented at the school through families and faculty.

Five Oaks 2023

Visitors to the 11-acre campus witness a peaceful environment, which features multiple outdoor class areas and green spaces, including:

  • a lush nature trail
  • cultivated flower and vegetable gardens
  • a labyrinth
  • an art mural
  • a chicken coop

These outdoor spaces were a particular godsend when they proved to be a big reason why Five Oaks never closed its doors during Covid.

Campus Events

There’s hardly a week when something special isn’t happening at Five Oaks. Through the years students have looked forward to Fall Festivals, International Festivals (which have now morphed into the World’s Fair), and International Day of Peace celebrations. Other traditions include Holiday Peace Performances, the Annual Student Art Show, Spirit Week, Strengths Shows (where students showcase their strengths and practice their public speaking skills in front of their peers), and STEAM Shows.

Five Oaks 2023

In addition to its focus on students, Trewhella-Grant says the school is highly attuned to creating leadership opportunities for its teachers, which include attending educational conferences and potentially serving on the Curriculum Council. Teachers also are encouraged to create their own on-campus projects; recent examples include Comfort and Dog Therapy and cooking programs.

Five Oaks plans public events as well, including internationally renowned speakers addressing such subjects as globalization and technology, diversity and inclusion and parent-child communication.

Learn More About Five Oaks

To learn more about Five Oaks’ anniversary, events and tours visit

Five Oaks 2023

Five Oaks Academy | 864-228-1881 | Admissions Inquiry | 1101 Jonesville Rd, Simpsonville, SC

parks with swings
About the Author
How does Kidding Around® bring readers high-quality and up-to-date content month after month and season after season? We have a dedicated team of writers and editors who regularly update our fabulous content to keep it current and relevant for our readers. This team combs lists of events, heads out into the community to experience new Upstate offerings, and communicates with local businesses. Many of our updated articles and event lists, like this one, reflect the contributions and hard work of multiple Kidding Around® team members.

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