As a former student I can honestly say, what you see is what you get. A small town school catering to the needs of a small town. Football, yes. Prayer, yes. Emphasis on succeeding, yes. And last but not least, it's like any other school with student/teacher ratio and passion. The ratio is good, but some teachers are more passionate than others. I spent all of my 13 years of education here, and my family still lives in Arcanum. Everyone knows everyone. Plain and simple. I am currently in college with a 3.98 GPA, so my education must not have been too bad. Small town school, small town. Perfect for those who value education, family, and simplicity.
As the parent of two honor-roll children who attend AHS, I can say with definite certainty that this school is best suited for children who fit the "midwestern stereotype" profile. In other words, if your child/family enjoys farming, country music, drinking, and football (in particular, OSU football), this is the PERFECT environment for you. Free thinkers, individuals, and those with open minds need not apply, lest you will be tortured on a daily basis for your lack of conformity. There are two administrators providing above average direction (Middle School Principal Kirby Tipple, and High School Principle Jim Gray). The rest of the faculty is sub-standard. The guidance counselor's advice to my honor-roll, never-had-a-detention in his life son's request for help with a personality conflict with a teacher: "Well, maybe if you dressed NORMAL and played FOOTBALL you'd have a common ground". Curriculum is 20 years behind.
Arcanum High School is fine academic institution. It's small size allows students great teacher to student ratios and more one to one time with teachers. Parents and community members are highly involved in both curricular and extracurricular activities. This year's Ohio Graduation Test results were the best in all Darke County schools! AHS met ALL state indicators. Students scored: 96.9% proficiency in citizenship, 91.6% in Math, 100% in Reading, 96.9% in Writing, and 94.8% in Science
Acanum High School offers a creatively and intellectually stifling environment. Course selection is minimal due to the small size of the school. The faculty seem largely uninspired and obtuse, often deliberately so. The guidance office has bungled sending information to the right school for at least 2 students I know of in recent years. As the school is largely made up of protestant christians, public prayer is a common occurance. A local minister lead prayer at graduation every year, even over the objection of students. Strict dress code and punishment procedures create almost a militaristic environment. The science teachers cling to their personal beliefs in creationism. If you are looking for a free public school that is as close to christian private school as it can be, then look no further, this is it.