Ojai Valley School

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Ojai Valley School
Ojai, CA
United States
Coordinates 34°27′0″N 119°9′38″W / 34.45000°N 119.16056°W / 34.45000; -119.16056Coordinates: 34°27′0″N 119°9′38″W / 34.45000°N 119.16056°W / 34.45000; -119.16056
Type Private, Boarding, Day
Religious affiliation(s) No religious affiliation
Established 1911
Faculty 60
Campus 425 acres (1.72 km2)
Color(s) Green and White
Mascot Spud

Ojai Valley School is a co-educational independent boarding school located on 195 acres (0.79 km2) in the Ojai Valley near the city of Ojai, California, United States. The school was founded in 1911 and offers pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education. [1]

The motto of the school is Integer Vitae. In English it means, "wholeness of life" or "symmetry of life".[2]

Ojai Valley School was one of the first boarding schools in the Western United States to establish English as a Second Language (ESL) programs for all ability levels.[3]

Campus and facilities[edit]

The school is located on two campuses in the Ojai Valley. The Lower Campus, located near downtown Ojai, enrolls 187 day and resident students in grades pre-kindergarten to eight. The facilities include a performing arts center, cottage-style classrooms, dormitories, library, art studio, woodshop, technology center, athletic fields, a swimming pool, and stables for the equestrian program.

The Upper Campus, located seven miles (11 km) from downtown Ojai, is nestled amid orange groves and rolling hills in the east end of the valley. It enrolls 117 day and resident students in grades nine to twelve. The campus is situated on a former cattle ranch and features dormitories, classrooms, athletic fields, climbing wall and ropes course, a swimming pool, art and ceramics studios, and a state-of-the-art Science and Technology Center.

The academic program on both campuses is challenging and well-rounded, encouraging students to explore their interests, know themselves, and develop a respect for others. Students participate in outdoor education, equestrian, fine and performing arts programs, as well as athletics and community service.


In the early part of the 20th century, a distinguished Eastern couple settled in the beautiful Ojai Valley and opened a small private school. Little did they know it would be flourishing almost 100 years later.

Edward Yeomans, a Chicagoan educated at Phillips Academy and Princeton University, had written a series of articles in the Atlantic Monthly on the need for educational reform. The articles caught the eye of a wealthy businessman, Frank Frost, who persuaded Yeomans to move to Ojai and create a school that would embody his modern ideas.

At the core of Yeomans’ beliefs was the concept that children learn best through experience. Yeomans considered his own education to have been dull and stifling, and wanted to establish a school that would emphasize experiential learning and a love for the outdoors. He envisioned a place where music, art, and woodshop would be taught alongside math, history, and languages. Yeomans declared that “Integer Vitae” – meaning the wholeness of life, symmetry of life, and soundness of life would become the school’s motto and philosophy.

Today, the breadth of learning experiences offered at OVS is Yeomans’ legacy. The school has grown from a one-room classroom serving 12 pupils to a two-campus boarding and day school for more than 300 students in pre-kindergarten to 12th grades.


The philosophy of Ojai Valley School is contained in the words Integer Vitae meaning wholeness of life, symmetry of life, and soundness of life. To accommodate the school philosophy, every effort is made to create an atmosphere for students and staff that is conducive to learning and growing in a warm family environment.

Guided by this stated philosophy, Ojai Valley School has as its goals and objectives the development of each student’s character through the use of Ojai’s natural surroundings, diverse educational community and a strong, professional staff. The goals and objectives for each student are outlined in the school philosophy as follows:

• Wholeness of life - Ojai Valley School students are presented with a wide variety of experiences through college preparatory studies, campus life, educational field trips, student activities, athletic programs, and outdoor education. These activities allow students to explore the extent of their interests and abilities; to know themselves, and to develop an appreciation and respect for other people on a global scale.

• Symmetry of life - Ojai Valley School students are exposed to a well balanced program, both academic and social, with consistent standards set for each discipline and activity.

• Soundness of life - Towards the development of character, Ojai Valley School students are given responsibilities which relate to their personal lives and to school affairs. Students have an opportunity to learn, perhaps to fail and to try again. With staff support and guidance, students begin to develop the knowledge and strength needed to make sound judgments.


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