River Oaks Baptist School
In 1955, the River Oaks Baptist Church established the River Oaks Baptist School (ROBS) as a weekly preschool and kindergarten program with two teachers and thirty students. River Oaks Baptist gradually expanded to include the Lower School (elementary) and the Middle School (fifth through eighth grade) and graduated its first eighth grade class in 1979. By 1980, River Oaks Baptist grew to 527 students and began a master plan to enlarge the size of the campus and facilities. As of 2006, River Oaks Baptist can accommodate 850 students. The school remains at its original location next to River Oaks Baptist Church.
Although River Oaks Baptist School was founded by the Baptist Church, the student body is a mixture of religious backgrounds including Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Episcopalian, and those whose faith is not Christian. ROBS incorporates the Christian faith into its curriculum, requiring students to attend weekly chapel services, morning devotionals, Bible classes, and community service projects. Lower School students have readings and discussions in homeroom, and Middle School students discuss spirituality in real-life situations during their group advisory class. Their Bible classes teach and explore Christian values through the stories of the New and Old Testaments without expressly teaching Baptist doctrine.
Location and Facilities
River Oaks Baptist is located in the River Oaks area, just north of Westheimer at 2300 Willowick Road. The surrounding neighborhood is residential and the campus includes a 9,000 square foot library and media center, a gymnasium with an indoor basketball court, and a full-sized track encompassing a football and soccer field. A large portion of the current school facilities were constructed after 1980. However, most of the buildings were renovated during a major construction campaign that began in 1996 and was completed in 2007. Currently, no future construction plans have been announced.
River Oaks Baptist admission process requires 1) a completed application 2) parents must attend either a school tour or open house 3) register for group testing for ages 3 through fifth grade 4) schedule an individual evaluation for Kindergarten through fourth grade 5) ISEE and OLSAT results for fifth through eighth grade 6) Parent Interview for Kindergarten and fifth through eighth grade 7) and Student Interview for sixth through eighth grade. Depending on the grade, group testing can include participating in a class and taking a reading and mathematics assessment test.
River Oaks Baptist does give weight to applicants whose parents or siblings have attended or currently attend the school. Students whose parents are members of the church or are current faculty/staff are also given preference in admission. Twenty percent of openings in age 2 (Discovery) through eighth grade will be reserved for applicants who have never attended the school nor have parents or siblings that have attended the school. Legacy does not guarantee a position at River Oaks Baptist. The school recommends turning in applications well before the application date. If not accepted initially, students can reapply without submitting a new application or paying a new fee. The admissions process in need-blind with a 25-30% acceptance rate. Financial aid is need-based.
Academic Tracks and Curriculum
River Oaks Baptist features On-Track and Honors curriculums, with the Honors curriculum beginning in seventh grade. In each grade, students complete a full year of English, science, math, history, and physical education. Fifth and sixth grade students complete seven-week rotations in Bible, art, music, theater arts, and computer. Seventh and eighth grade students must take four weeks of Bible each semester and must choose one of the following classes for each semester: art, music, theater arts, or computer. ROBS offers a two year Algebra I curriculum beginning in seventh grade. Honors courses include Algebra I, English, and Spanish 2.
No information is available at this time about River Oaks Baptist School's accommodations for students with special needs.
River Oaks Baptist’s Spanish Language curriculum begins with Discovery (age 2) students. Teachers expose the students to vocabulary through class discussions and software for Discovery through Pre-Kindergarten students. Previously learned science and math concepts are used as a point of reference for further instruction in Spanish for Kindergarten through fourth grade students three times a week in an immersion style class taught by native speakers. Fifth grade students are taught almost entirely in Spanish for 30 minutes four times each week, while teachers continue to incorporate math and science concepts learned in English. Students in sixth through eighth grade may choose to follow the path of Spanish 1A6 in sixth grade, Spanish 1B7 in seventh grade, and Spanish 2 Honors in eighth grade. Students may opt out of Spanish their seventh and eighth grade year by taking an English Seminar in which they study current young adult literature, such as Unwind and The Hunger Games.
River Oaks Baptists incorporates Fine Arts into its curriculum for all grades and includes music, art, theater arts. Students play instruments and can perform in public venues. In art, students are exposed to weaving, print-making, sculpting, and painting. Students in grades 1-4 perform an annual musical. Beginning in fifth grade, students further explore the fundamentals of theater arts and perform plays in seventh and eighth grade. Middle school students can sing or play an instrument in the Chapel Worship Team, which performs during each weekly service, or join the choir. There is also an annual Talent Show that interested students can audition for.
Classrooms are equipped with Smart Boards, overhead, LCD, and Document projectors. Students in grades 6-8 benefit from a one-to-one laptop program. 148 iPads are used collectively by students in grades K-2, while 248 laptops are available to students in grades 3-8. Classroom instruction stresses digital citizenship and how to safely navigate the internet.
River Oaks Baptist offers several after-school programs for its students. Prime Time is designed for students whose family structure necessitates a longer school day and allows the student to remain on campus as late as 6:00 p.m. Students participating in Prime Time are offered a snack and time to complete homework. Prime Time costs $2700 a year. Students may also participate in after-school enrichment programs such as Chess, Chinese, Building Brains, Art, Dance, Drama/Musical Theater, Golf, Gymnastics, Mannerific, and Tae Kwon Do.
Outside of physical education, River Oaks Baptist offers sports opportunities for its students as early as sixth grade. In sixth grade, boys and girls can participate in cross country and track. In seventh and eighth grade, boys and girls may participate in volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, track and field, basketball, and cross country. Girls may also play in field hockey and softball, while boys may also play football. Kindergarten through sixth grade students can participate in the United Church Athletic League in baseball (K – 5th), basketball (2nd – 5th), soccer (K – 6th), and volleyball for girls (4th – 6th).
Parents can participate in more than 30 committees whose cumulative efforts represent the work of over seven full-time employees. More than 95% of school families participate as volunteers. Volunteers enrich student experiences in the classroom, contribute to the smooth operation of the School, and organize hours of entertainment. Parent volunteers engage directly with students through classroom programs such as Art-a-la-Carte and Math Investigations. Parents help organize special academic days such as Passport to the World in Preschool, sixth grade Japanese Festival, and seventh grade Renaissance Faire. Volunteering in the library, the dining room, and at annual traditions such as Fall Fair, the Reading Festival, and Field Day also creates strong connections between parents, students, and teachers.
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2300 Willowick Road, Houston, TX 77027