Good school with great academics. I love all the teachers, but the students not so much.
I love Oak Park! I'm going to be in 10th grade in the fall. I love the teachers. Of course there are some teachers who are just bad, but you have to get used to them. Some of the students are the typical snobby people, considering the neighborhood. It was my first time going here, and I loved it! I'm out of the district, and it is a very challenging school (regular CP classes feel like AP classes sometimes). It's a very nice school in a very safe area!
The teachers at this school are very good with many that truly want to be educators. The administration is awful. Their answer to a student with any challenges or behavior issues is to send them to Oak View or get rid of them. All they care about is where the school ranks in the county and test scores. If your child is an independent learner, gifted and only wants to please then they will do well here. If your child struggles academically then they will not be happy here. On several occasions my child was not allowed in a group for a group project because the students refused to allow anyone without a 4.0 in their group and the teachers do not try and stop this behavior. Students belittle other students if they don't have straight A's. I know of a child that was teased and called an underachiever because they had a B average.
Based on our experience, Oak Park is an excellent school. My son was in private school until 8th grade. We obtained an inter-district transfer and moved him to Oak Park for 8th grade and he will be graduating this year. I read some of the other comments ... It did not appear to me that the kids had too much homework ... my son frequently has/had none. He chose to take only a few AP courses ... and did well in them. I don't think he felt any pressure to take a lot of them. He loved the teams at Oak Park, and loved cheering for them. A lot of the teachers at Oak Park are great, some are okay, and some are not so good, but that is normal, and every child needs to learn to deal with all types. Nothing is perfect. The best things about Oak Park are that it is not the 'status symbol' oriented school that Agoura, Calabasas and Westlake tend to be; the school has a very good reputation with colleges, and it will help when it comes time to apply (he was accepted to almost all of the schools he applied to); the Life Skills Retreat is an amazing experience for each child; and every one of the friends my son made were great kids. Most important, he has been very happy here.
Don't be seduced by the high API and test scores. If you want your child to be a happy , kind hearted , well rounded individual that is prepared for life , this is not the school for you. If you believe that your child should spend most of his waking hours on school work and in a state of perpetual tension and stress, this is your school.
I think Oak Park High School is a great school. My son will graduate this year and started in the school district in middle school at Medea Creek. We are not one of the wealthy families in the neighborhood but that has not presented an issue for my son. He made lots of friends. This school has an extensive list of course offering compared to L.A. Unified and everything is done online; which made is easy for me to keep up with grades and school informaton. This is a fairly small school but I liked that. Not as big as Westlake & not a small as some private schools. The counselors and principal were always available when needed and they have good processes in place at this school where they try to address scheduling & everything systematically so all questions are answered at the parent meetings they have in the evenings for big benchmark items like how to register for classes, fill out college applications, order transcripts etc. This is a very family oriented community & neighborhood. You will want to participate as a parent & hopefully you will be able to. Everyone there has been nice to me & my son. I am glad I chose to move to this school district. We have no regrets.
My son is in 9th grade at OPHS and is having a good experience. We are out of district but have been there since middle school. He has a nice group of friends from all grade levels and does alright academically. I disagree that the teachers don't care or the counselor is not helpful. Anytime I have needed to communicate with them they have got back to me immediately and have helped me figure out how to best help my son achieve, whether it's meeting up for 7th period or peer tutoring with kids whom have already had the class. He was recently approached by a teacher to enroll next year in an AP class so I don't know if it's difficult or not to get honors/AP but I feel the teachers know who's capable and who's not. There are a lot of families with money, us definitely not being one of them, but my son has no problem with anyone making him feel less than. I feel the school is safe and am happy he's here. The only reason I didn't rate it 5 stars is that some of the teachers expectations in a CP class is a little much and it can cause some stress but I'm also glad they believe the children are capable of rising to the occasion instead of dumbing down the curriculum. On that I'm torn.
I sent my child to Oak Park High School, and she was out of district. Biggest mistake of my life. My daughter is a very smart person, and she is also a very bright girl. However, she had little friends because we aren't the richest people, and she had a hard time keeping up with the rigorous education here. A regular class is like an AP class! Teachers DO NOT care about their students, only about their pay. Only a few students have actually been inspired by their teachers. Along with that, there is literally only one counselor for 300+ freshmen. How they think they can handle that, I don't know. Oak Park High School is a very overrated school full of fake, spoiled, competitive brats.
I regret sending my child to this school. The environment is intense and anxiety provoking.... For anyone. CP classes have the rigor of an AP at any other school. Most of the teachers are terrible and set a bad example for kids. The students are competitive, spoiled, and selfish.
What can I tell you, my family moved here for the school district. I thought it was a small-ish school, with good teachers and great opportunities. However I was denied entry in an honors class because of space. I doubt they even read my letter, and my friend had the same problem. All I ever hear is how lucky we are to go to such a wonderful school. How I have so many people to talk to. Did you know that there's only one freshman counselor? There's over 300 freshman at this school. There's no personal connection with students and any faculty at this school. Teachers have so many students, it's no surprise that they don't care about them. My English class has over 40 students, same with my PE and Science class. My math class has about 50 desks crammed in a small little room, making it hard to navigate across the room. No space. None of the teachers know what goes on in their school. Almost every teacher I have went to this school when they were younger. They still believe that Oak Park is a tiny little bubble of amazing education and a great learning experience. It's not. Sports and honors classes have very limited spaces making it hard for students to make the most of school.
The teachers here are in no way role models. They do not know how to connect with their students. The staff does not care about the lives of their students; only their grades. Classes are too big, and many of the kids are terribly spoiled. Would never return to this school again.
I agree with the previous reviews that space and the number of students is a serious issue. Many people got cut from sports teams even if they were good, hardworking players. The class sizes are too big, some classes are 40+ students. My English class has around 50 students. Although a lot of teachers are good teachers, they can't individually teach that many students. Also, if you want to talk about a "rich kid" school, go to Oak Park. So many kids take money and where they live for granted. Although there isn't classic, "take my lunch money," bullies, there is definitely bullying and backstabbing and cliques. I would recommend learning about the school before sending your children here. Just because it has good test scores does not mean it's a good school.
All I can say is that if your child is not an athlete, scholar or involved in ASB then they could care less about them. Counselors really only care about grades which my child had but was being bullied because he didn't participate in the school activities. We ended up pulling him out to do independent study and he is so much happier.
Moved to Oak Park for the school district. Then the state budget cuts came into play. Now the system is over crowded. What once made a great neighborhood school is now a traffic jam and crowded nightmare. Toomany kids trying out for liited positions on teams means that kids from out of district taking spots away from neighborhood kids Wish I never moved here
As a parent I would say its not a great school. Though they have AP and Honors programme, they have space constraints, even for a student who is academically great, they reject to provide the course because of space. My Kid was not admitted for honors programme because of space.
Academically Rigorous, but Rewarding Pros: Excellent teachers, challenging but fascinating AP classes, wonderful English/Social Science/Science departments, nice kids, safe environment Cons: School spirit is nonexistent, athletics (most part) sub par. Here are the basics: it is a school definitely geared towards academics rather than the overall "high school experience;" because of this, the athletics department is not very good and there is . However, the AP program is one of the strongest in Southern California, and all of the teachers are both knowledgeable and engaging. It is a small school, which can be either good or bad, depending on the student. Most of the students are also very down-to-earth and friendly, and the campus is very safe. As an AP student, I can say that I have had a wonderful experience at OPHS. I have made fantastic friends, and have grown a great ordeal. It isn't for everyone; if you are looking for a high school to simply get through and have an evenly-balanced social and academic life, this probably isn't the school. However, it is always possible to find something enjoyable to do.
Both my children have been part of the great Oak Park Education system since kindergarten now both are at college doing excellent progress and mostly due to their efforts and the great education they received thru those earlier years . One will have a master degree in Computer Science and Engineering and already has had 2 wonderful high paying internships, which he said is "like getting paid to do my hobby".. My youngest is also happy attending college, that for culinary arts and has since the beginning held a job at the school where he attends and at another establishment, he brags too of making a living and studying , all doing what he loves. The teachings of this school sent them in the right path, they come back every break and visit teachers that made a difference to them. I am proud to have made the choice and thou I pay high taxes for being here ..it has been worth every penny!
OPHS is fantastic for certain people and not so great for others. Its a small school which has its pros and cons. Students are able to join sport teams that they could never make at other high schools. Sadly this causes all of our sports programs other than Basketball, Track, CC, and Mens Volleyball to be pretty dismal. We don't have a wrestling team or a even a pool for a swim team. Academically, the school is elite. It is a very hard school, but for the academically gifted, I can think of no other school that compares. Honors and AP teachers are absolutely fantastic with some AP teachers pulling 100% pass rates on AP tests. If your child is a C or D student, this is probably not the school for you as expectations are high, and the workload is even higher. School spirit, although I don't think it matters, is comical. Teachers are fantastic but administrators are dismissive to students but great to parents and teachers. If your child is an A or B student and interested in taking multiple AP or honors courses, there is no better place than OPHS.
As a student, I can tell that the school is overrated. Too many clique. Drugs use is an issue and the school is looking the other way. Administrators/Counselors are not too friendly. If it is not for the asian kids, test scores would not be very high.
Oak Park High School is strongly focused on academics and, somewhat on sports. Students are strongly encouraged to take AP classes, even if their reach sometimes exceeds their grasp. The intense pressure on the students to get into a top college obscures the fact that each year a third or more of each graduating class enters the local community college. Nothing at all wrong with that, except that the school treats it like a badge of shame, instead of the practical alternative it is. The school offers virtually no social activities. This year the spring dance, which had not been properly promoted, was cancelled for alleged lack of interest. The district now actively seeks students from the outside. I would recommend OPHS to anyone focused solely on taking tough courses. Those looking to get more out of high school should look elsewhere.
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