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Oakwood School provides a multisensory educational program in which students with learning differences are guided to achieve their unique academic and social potential in a nurturing community environment

History and Philosophy

Brief History of Oakwood School

OAKWOOD has continuously served the Virginia/Maryland/DC metropolitan area since the school was founded on March 1, 1971 by Robert and Mary McIntyre and Wretha Petersen. The McIntyres and Dr. Petersen brought to the new school many cumulative years of experience as teachers and education administrators and they were among the earliest educators developing innovative teaching strategies for the bright child with specific learning dysfunctions.

Oakwood was originally incorporated as Children’s Achievement Center, Inc. in the Commonwealth of Virginia as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization with a non-salaried board of directors. In December 2001, the Board of Directors revised the Articles of Incorporations and changed the corporate name to Oakwood Services International, Inc.

Oakwood was site-visited and recognized in its earliest years by the State Board of Education in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia and has maintained credentials with those Boards of Education continuously as a school for the average to above-average student with the need of a special learning environment. The credentials from the State Board recognize Oakwood as a program for the student with “learning disabilities”. This approval requires special education certified teachers, appropriate and sufficient teaching materials and equipment, and a limited staff-student ratio. On-site visits continue to be conducted periodically to assure compliance, and annual written reports are made to the Virginia Board of Education.

From 1971 until 1981 Oakwood was located in various rental facilities in the McLean/North Arlington area, at one point operating out of three different locations at the same time. During those years, space for the Oakwood program was leased from St. Luke’s Methodist Church, McLean Church of Christ, McLean Presbyterian Church, and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

In June of 1981, Oakwood purchased and moved into its current property at 7210 Braddock Road, Annandale, Virginia. The 3.1 acre property includes a large athletic field, an impressive newly renovated wooden playground, a parking lot, 2 sheds, an annex that includes a music room, conference room, tutorial rooms and meeting rooms, and the main building which has two floors and two wings. The main building houses 10 classrooms, a science room, a library, a gymnasium/multi-purpose room, a lunch room, a computer lab, storage areas, staff offices and an OT room. The school has furnishings appropriate for the educational environment of the school, and is state-of-the-art technologically with a wireless network, SmartBoards, TV’s, DVD players, and computers in each classroom, and a portable laptop cart.


Oakwood School is operated by Oakwood Services International, Inc., a non-profit, tax-exempt, independent corporation. The corporation/school is non-sectarian and has no religious requirement for any staff or student and provides no religious instruction. However, the Board of Directors has a clear and firm dedication to a Judeo-Christian world-life view and its educational and administrative policies, procedures, and methods will reflect that commitment.

Oakwood School does not discriminate based on race, color, religion or national origin in student admissions, student aid or any other opportunity or benefit for students, nor in hiring and employment practices.

It is not Oakwood’s purpose to compete with other public and private educational institutions, but to provide distinctives in philosophy, methods, staffing patterns, and environment that set the school apart as an important alternative component in the continuum of educational services available to our community.

Oakwood offers specialized services to the bright but often atypical learner in a normal or traditional learning environment.

It is Oakwood’s educational objective to return each of its students to a “mainstream” school environment as soon as practical.