O'Neill High School offers more academic and extracurricular programs than any school it's size in the region. This is in part to its proximity to West Point and location in the Hudson Valley. The exceptional programs are supported by a guidance team that provides support to those that need it. The facilities (cafeteria, gym, track, and more) also provide a great high school experience.
O'Neill doesn't excessively build up nor tear down. Experiences your child get's LITERALLY results from what they have inside, or you ALL make of it; little comes from the school itself. If you're an introvert, or struggle with "school," life will be a challenge. Force them to help you! School starts early; buses arrive by 630. It's very clique-like because of what they offer and focus on. If you're not a sportsaholic, academic junkie or "attractive-college-transcript focused," little is left. EVERYTHING is centered around academics and sports!!! Arts are offered as courses but there aren't activities after school or clubs that support that type of interest. This set up forces kids into groups, or cliques, rather than them choosing their passion. Well-roundedness is verbally encouraged but not fostered by activities. The counselors are responsive to me when I call for help and strive for your child to look attractive to colleges. In general, the school has a decent atmosphere. What I would like to see is more clubs offered for the artsy-fartsy or engineer-minded kid. Generally, the area is very competitive. Students follow suit. There isn't an much of an outlet from that mindset.
Pro: high achieving children are well supported, decent course offerings, decent extracurricular variety. Small size seems to make inclusion easier for military kids. Large population of high achieving kids due to high achieving parents stationed at/employed by West Point. Con: as in most high schools, foul language, inappropriate attire during the school day and lewd behavior at dances. I think parent chaperones would solve some of this at dances.(not allowed) Dress code is randomly enforced. Uniforms might be helpful. (Also minimizes difference between 'haves' and 'have nots')
This school caters to the high performers - both academic and athletic. If your kid is already in the top 10% of his or her peers, this school will focus lots of effort and resources to maximize your kids success. The remaining 90% of the student body are neglected in every way. An awful cadre of teachers serves the majority of the student body, extracuricular sponsors ignore the students not competitive for college scholarship, ect. The vast majority of the student body would progress farther if the government simply issued out the text books, sent the kids home, and bulldozed the school.
This is a great school with great teachers. Your child will get a solid education if he really wants it. Try hard enough and you will succeed. Every school has its problems but there are none significant enough to mention. 92% of the students graduate and many go one to 4 year colleges. My child graduated 4th in her class and went on to a university that was almost impossible to get into from out of state.
O'Neill is definitely what you make of it as the October 17, 2007 post said. If you take advanced classes you will be surrounded with other students determined to do well, and you will do well. I would highly recommend getting envolved in extracurriculars. Sports take up a lot of time but you make a ton of friends from the other feeder schools. As far as high schools go O'Neill is amazing good at not having cliques. There are general categories that one can groups some students in, but considering there are a lot of military kids there and new students, its easy to make friends. If you go to O'Neill take chorus!! The director is amazing and they win a ton of competitions. If you have some talent, I recommend the audition groups too. I love the school but it's really what you make of it.
All of my children are graduates of O'Neill High School, and all are doing very well. They received a very good education at O'Neill. Those who knock this school should take the time to compare with other area schools. I think that they will find that O'Neill is one of the best.
O'Neill is what the student makes of it. If he/she is lazy and unmotivated he/she will quickly fall behind here. However, if he/she is determined he/she will accelerate with peers with similiar goals. Course offered are sub par. They have the basic AP class and nothing more.