For most parts a "do-it-yourself" school. If your child plans to attend a community college or a university with SAT score in very low 1000, you may be OK with what the school has to offer. If the goal is something more exciting, start looking for tutoring services in grade 9 or your child will have hard time catching up. Be prepared to take AP classes and exams outside the school. OPHS doesn't offer that many AP classes and process of getting into a class is not so straightforward. Even if your child gets into AP class, having 50 peers in the classroom is nowhere optimal. Applying for colleges is going to be 100% your responsibility, the best school can do is help you applying to MCC or CSUCI. Keep in mind that it takes at least a week to get an appointment with one of the school counselors, so make sure to plan well ahead if you need signatures. OPHS doesn't accept community college classes for HS credit. Cost of the summer program run by the district is rather steep; $300-$600 per class. For us the school consumed much more resources than we ever planned to invest, both time and finances
The school used to be much better, now they tend to spend money on things such as customized golf carts for staff to drive around on along campus rather than paying for paper and ink so students don't need to print out their 25 page homework packets. The work is excessive and some of the teachers seem inexperienced and are trying new things in the classroom too often. The vast majority of the students are very nice and approachable. The school itself, as a student, I would not recommend it unless you want your children in something of a Japanese Cram School.
The focus of Oak Park High School is Oak Park High School, its mission being to solicit at least a third of its student body from out of district instead of serving the students enrolled. They need the $$$. The administration is completely inept at handling and resolving conflicts between staff, students and parents, which has lead to embarrassing public scandals in recent years (*as is documented in The Acorn). The facilities are lovely, the teachers the usual grab bag ranging from inspiring to inept. The students themselves are generally above average academically and socially accepting.
I have one child who attended and graduated last year from Oak Park HS. Although the classes were tough she was able to work hard and do well. My daughter now attends a Cal State college and is doing great because she was so prepared for the rigors of college. I have another daughter still attending OP High and is doing great. I will admit there are a lot of spoiled kids that go to this school because of the affluent surrounding area. We are a middle class family and from out of the district but both of our girls never felt rejected or that they did not fit in. We will also be sending our third daughter to Medea Creek.
there is something odd about this school's scores. API score is very high (in the top 25 schools in Cali) while the college readiness index is much lower. The college readiness index is about the same as for the schools with API in lower and mid 800's. Either the school is teaching to test targeting CST questions and letting AP preparation to be done by parents and tutors or something else is going on. High CST score is great for the district, but has zero value for students in terms of college admission. From the school report data only 25% of the students at the school were able to pass AP exams. Would be interesting to get common core data for the school and compare to similar schools in other states.
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.