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.
As a student, i have been going to OPHS for three years and can say it's an average school. I'm sure most people know that OPHS is all about academics, which is totally true. My complaint is that the school really doesn't care about anything but academics. For three years I've dealt with horrible administrators that don't care about the students at all. The school also has numerous rules that are absolutely crazy, even some administrators admit it. I have a number of other complaints but in the end, if you're a student that likes variety and having fun, don't go to OPHS. If you're a student that cares only about grades and you are willing to give up your life to it, OPHS is for you.
I had three children that attended Oak Park High School, and I found it to be an excellent public school with many advantages of a private school. It is a small school, and so the students get a lot of individual attention. Two of my children were good students in high school ( in the 3.7-3.9 range) but not the top students at the high school. However, both felt their high school classes prepared them well for the work load and work requirements of college, and both were awarded academic scholarships based on their first year college performances for the following years. My last child credited a lot of his success in learning how to write for college to his AP language teacher. My third child, more artistic and less academic, also did well there; I always felt like the small school environment helped him not get lost in the crowd.
Have 2 kids attending this school. The councelors are horrible - difficult to see and make countless mistakes on class schedules. Good college prep and majority of teachers are pretty good. School needs to address the student parking shortage.
I have a son graduated from OPHS and another attending there currently. Because of OPHS' prep classes, the one in college is doing very well. Most teachers' classes agenda can be found on-line. They are as good as or even better than when I was in college. Check out the Chemistry entry, and you will see what I mean. Keep up with the good works, and thanks all the teachers and staff for their dedication.
The only public school in Ventura County where your the class are college prep and the school is considered for college entry as a private school. The negative reviewers are only bitter because 'Yes, it is difficult but I know no other public nor private school that will prepare your child better for college than OPHS!' Congrats to the staff!
My daughter is a senior this year, and while she may complain about too much homework, or homework that she feels is meaningless, the bottom line is that these kids learn a lot during their four years in high school. They're being accepted to top colleges across the U.S. My daughter is more artistic, and administrators bent over backwards to tailor a program suited to photoography.
my child attended private school until Junior year, what a rip off, this school is so much better, and the kids are more normal.It's a nice environment for learning.
OPHS was awarded Blue Ribbon status years ago and has been plummeting of late. Everything is about the struggle to be one of the top schools again...at the price of a well-rounded, interesting education. It's all about the test scores and grades and absolutely nothing to do with who a student might be and what wonder they may have to bring to the table. If your child is more of a cookie-cut student who lives for achieving good marks....this is the school for you. If your child is a thinker, of a more unique or artistic mold, I would sincerely go elsewhere.
I graduated from OPHS in early 90s, and as a new parent I have been trying to move the family back to the area so my children can go to the same schools I did. Though the school has grown in recent years (my graduating class was just a hair over 100 people), I believe OPHS and the district is one of the best in California, and we're so much better than Agoura, T.O., or Westlake (the alumni talking). One of my classmates returned to OPHS and is currently a teacher. I returned as an assistant coach for a season after I graduated, and won the Tri-Valley League that year. OPHS gives students a unique family environment you can't find in big schools, and the faculty REALLY cared about every student - they still remember me after 13 years, and I was just another student back then.
My daugher is a senior at OPHS. Overall, she has had a great experience at the school. Some of the girls can be brutal, but she has learned to hold her own. I think the school is very good, but I also think that it caters to kids who are Honors and AP students. Because of a learning disability, my daughter has been in Resource since freshman year and it has been tremendously helpful. I attribute most of that to her two extremely capable teachers, Patty Pedretti and Allison Aronson. They are wonderful. It would be nice, however, if the school offered more general electives such as photography, film, and home economics (nutrition, interior design), and classes geared toward more 'average' kids. For Seniors, Life Skills was great (as is Dr. Appell), but should be a year rather than only one semester.
Wide range of electives including C+ certification, wood shop, art classes and 3D animation. Outstanding championship coaches. Many booster clubs w/dedicated parent involvement. Super VP Kokinos and P Moore. Great teacher websites, feedback and access to info.
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