Through the generosity of the Taylor Family Foundation, Northern Light is currently the only Oakland school with indoor classroom tower gardens. Students grow lettuce, kale, cucumbers, bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, and much much more! Kids monitor the towers regularly to ensure that water, nutrient, and pH levels are maintained for optimum growth. As hubs of hands-on learning, tower gardens allow students to collect data, perform experiments, and be rewarded with the fruits (and vegetables) of their labors.
Service to the community is a crucial part of a Northern Light School education. Our Service Learning Coordinator works with every grade (K-8) to provide opportunities for our students to give back. From Kindergartners singing Christmas Carols at local retirement homes, to 4th graders collecting plastic and glass bottles to raise funds to for African farmers, to Middle School students sorting medical supplies to be sent to Peru, our students don’t just understand that they can make a difference in the world – they go out and do it.
Outdoor education is a proven way to build community and responsibility in students and to promote active learning through a direct, personal connection to nature. At NLS, students in K-3 participate in a variety of day field trips that build on classroom lessons and provide new perspectives. Students in grades 4-8 go on highly anticipated team-building adventures that take them farther from home each year. Trips include Coloma Gold Country, Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Washington D.C.
NLS is part of the Middle School Sports League (MSSL), a league composed of top East Bay independent schools. We offer six competitive sports teams: Co-ed Soccer, JV and Varsity Boys Basketball, Varsity Girls Basketball, Co-ed Volleyball, and Co-ed Track. Last year, the Soccer team and Varsity Boys Basketball team both finished in 2nd place in the league, while the JV Boys Basketball team went undefeated in its inaugural season. Most important, all our scholar athletes learned valuable lessons about teamwork and sportsmanship.