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.
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.