My daughter was there for the last semester of the 2012-13 school year and is now in her senior year. She is thriving there, and happy. Seminole was a HORRIBLE environment that did nothing to foster her drive, movitation to succeed, or education. I'm thrilled with Osceola, the teachers, the parent involvement that is required, the dress code, etc. It's the closest thing I've found to that "private school" environment that her and I were both accustomed to.
I really like the Fundamental program overall. We've been in it for 3 years (between Osceola and Clearwater Fundamental for middle school), and I think it really keeps the kids in line with expectations of responsible, and respectful behavior. Osceola High School is a friendly environment, good teachers (not great), and I feel very safe sending my daughter there. Considering she is a top straight A student, she is not challenged as much as she could be. Teachers stick with typical curriculum and don't think outside the norm, and do not require the kids to as much as I'd like. That said, not sure what school would do that outside St. Pete Collegiate High School which is a much more challenging program and not the usual high school experience. Osceola used to have good drama, but unless they make some changes, it will not be good in the future. The principal is average, nothing special, and I'm not impressed. Other than that - no complaints.
OFHS is much better than other area schools. There are an abundance of great teachers in all subject areas and the coursework is challenging, but fair most of the time. Plenty of AP courses are offered. There are pretty much no disciplinary problems whatsoever. It is a very safe environment, and welcoming for the most part as well. The only aspect keeping it from being a 5 star, excellent school is administration. The principal cares, but isn't as strong a leader as is needed. The assistant principals are rude occasionally and aren't consistent with disciplinary measures-they pick favorites. The guidance counselors are the worst of the staff. They don't seem to care and have lost all passion for their jobs. They constantly miss deadlines, don't respond to meeting requests, and get frustrated at any requests. Almost every office staff member gets constantly irritated with students and is unnecessarily rude. For reference, I am a 4.0 unweighted/4.7weighted GPA student who has attended for 4 years.
Yes this school is fundemental, but it does not prepare the students for life after the 'fundemental experience'. As a dual enrolled student (meaning instead of taking all four classes at Osceola, I take two and the other two are actual college classes at SPC), this school is the complete opposite of college. The teachers can't teach i ntheir own way due to the guidelines. The principal does not care one bit about the students. Yes, when the parents are there, she is a great and caring person. However, once they leave, she is stuck in her office, does not handle disciplinary problems or anything. I was talking to her once, asking a question, and she just up and walked away in the middle of my sentence without a word. There are awesome teachers there, but literally, if you forget a pencil, that's a demerit. Homework not signed? There's another.
As an alumni of Osceola I have mixed feelings about the quality of the school. I think it's an average school. The great teachers there are what make it anything but terrible. Osceola had some great educators, and I feel honored to be taught by some of them. However, i feel the fundamental program is not good. Sure it may make students do well on tests, it may even make the school seem like a good place. But it is not preparing students for the future. It teaches complete reliance on teachers and parents; telling students to never ever think for themselves. It's punishments are too harsh for minor transgressions (Missed a homework? One step to getting kicked out of school). And, it doesn't let teachers teach in their own style, imparting the knowledge students need.
The teachers are wonderful but extra curricular activities are poor. Communications to parents are about sports activites and little else.
This school is safe... to a fault. Grades are improving due to the fundamental program because the parents are essentially doing all the work. Students spend more time sitting around in class while teachers stamp homework and pass out demerits for not having pencils than they do actually learning. This school will not prepare your child for the real world, because it does not allow them to develop the independence and personal responsibility that is needed to survive alone.
OHS is a melting pot school filled with students from various areas of pinellas county and many with cultural backgrounds. With this there is going to be problems but in the end it is a better experience for the students because they learn how to deal and work with other students of different cultural backgrounds. The administration is the weak point of the high school unfortunatly. Although it has improved greatly with the new Principle most of the administrators are looking out for their own personal gains and not what is best for the school or the students. The sports programs are very well coached but the school, in the recent years has lost a lot of the athletes because it has become a fundamental school. OHS probably has one of the best high school football coaches in the state of Florida, George Palmer. Too bad he doesn't run the school!
My child is in the fundamental program, not our choice but grandfathered in, figured it would be just as good as any and close to home. Alot of the students 'grandfathered' in do not care for some of the rules. As a parent I think it is a good school and will only get better. The feedback I get from my child is not that great about the teachers but its funny how they describe a teacher and then we meet them and we get a completely different impression. But some of the teachers left an expression on me that they are not interested in the fundamental program and they let some of the rules slide, which is okay by me as long as my child is learning.
Unless your child is a honors student this school is not suited to help other students that may be lacking in learning. I have 2 children in this school. One has no problems, the other is a slow learner and they promise to help and never follow through. They will fall between the cracks unless you stay onto of things daily!
I've had 5 children graduate from Osceola High School and each has had a good experience. All were honor's students; one earned the National Merit Finalist Scholarship during her time at Osceola. I appreciate that 'serious' students (and my kids were certainly not perfect) have AP opportunities. We have also enjoyed the many extra curricular activities. Since Osceola is a smaller high school, each of my kids was a'starter' in various sports. I am not sure that would have been the case at a larger school. Same was true for a son who tried drama as a junior. He had lead parts in his senior year. I do not like the current 4 X 4 schedule. I see much less homework and much more empty school time. Challenging coursework at Osceola permitted a solid college preparation.
It was always told that OHS was a quality experience. For myself, I believe that is true.
Academic Programs at Osceola High are great they teach give one on one help and are truly concerned with the students achievenment. Art programs are great kids consider them extremely relaxing! The music programs are lacking a lot! The music teacher is not one to be complimented, while taking guitar my child was not taught or even spoken to on how to complete the work and lessons in this class. There should definietly be a new guitar and band teacher ... it would greatly benefit the school as well as the students! Parent involvement at Osceloa High is not very popular most parents are way to busy with other things and their jobs. They probably want to help but there is also not enough parent notification about when they could help with events and such.
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