I absolutely love Oakstone. I've been going there for about eleven years now, and I'm thirteen currently. I'm not autistic myself, but my oldest brother is, and (according to my mom) was struggling in other schools. When he first came to Oakstone he (once again, according to my mom) had tantrums daily. He gradually improved however, and now he speaks like a "regular" person. He's graduated now, and has a job. He still takes a college class at school, though. He's busy, and I can tell this is really stressful for him sometimes, but he's managing. He sometimes talks like a small kid would (as in "potty talk" and whatnot), though, which disappoints me, because he often does it to annoy me or my other brother. But I understand that he grows much slower than others, I think I mainly understand because I'm growing up with people with so many different personalities.
My non-autistic brother and I are still going to Oakstone. The teachers here are absolutely wonderful and dedicated, despite how difficult it is to work at this school. When I see my previous teachers, we greet each other, and (if we have time) ask how things are going. It's true, some teachers are 'sour' and strict, but that makes them respectable in my book. Most teachers are friendly, however, which is why I love the community we have. I'm even able to act like a friend towards some of my teachers, which I would've never have thought of until I went into middle school, and started talking to my teachers more often because of some things set up to help me, and just because the teachers were so friendly.
What really makes me sad, though, is that amazing teachers are often let go, and the students aren't told why, or in some cases, that the teachers are being let go at all. Which brings up another point. There seem to be so many secrets, sometimes ones that teachers have to keep, other times ones that students are keeping. I completely understand students keeping secrets, that's just a part of school, but teachers? From what I've read in the other reviews, teachers are forced into keeping things from students. I find that unfair. But what I find more unfair is that, apparently teachers are forced to do things that the teachers wouldn't typically do. Extremely unfair.
I've been here long enough to see some of my favorite teachers be let go, and it makes me sad to think that even more will leave.
It's unfortanate but I guess necessary that soured staff and soured parents have to release their frustrations on what is truly a great school for children with autism. While I understand that bitterness comes when your child doesn't succeed as expected, or a teacher does not work out due to the high standards that Oakstone upholds, in reality, those of us know that 95% of the students at Oakstone are thriving. Here is the thing. There is a reason for everything and the reason for Oakstone is about the kids and only the kids. They never promised a cushy job. I've seen the staff work there and they are constantly on and they know that these kids are what its all about. But, like all other jobs, you either do it right and to their expectations or unfortunately your out. Once again, its about the kids and that is the way it should be.
I went to this school from 7th to 12th grade (2009-2015) and still go there to take college courses in the morning and work at the bakery in the vocational building from Monday to Thursday and just to take college courses on Friday. If you are considering enrolling your developmentally disabled child in this school, I'm going to list the good and bad things about this school. First, I'll tell you the good things. Schoolwork isn't overly challenging for the grade levels and homework is rarely given out. If you want your child to do sports or other extracurricular activities, they have a brain games club, anime/manga club, Magic the gathering, choir, swimming, girls volleyball, boys basketball, cheerleading, ultimate frisbee, and track and field. There are also plenty of nice, friendly teachers. However, there are also bad things. There are also some very rude, snappy teachers. I can understand why some of the teachers aren't very patient with students because they tend to be younger and less experienced than most teachers at public schools, with some being just fresh out of college. I remember that we had to do self assessments at the end of 7th period. I don't know if they still do it, but I just warned you. They have also got a lot stricter since when I first started here in 2009. I remember in my first 3 or 4 years at school, we could do a lot of things that could land you in restricted lunch or detention now, such as using the school computers for non-academic purposes, using I-pods and I-phones during lunch or study hall in a manner that now violates the school rules, and saying curse words to other students. They also have gotten a lot stricter with the I-Pads since it was discovered that someone had hacked into the filter. Now, if you want an iPad, a teacher has to sign it out before the class period starts. I also heard that earlier this year, a girl who was a junior at this school got expelled for saying the f word to the CEO who was a chaperone on a field trip. I also don't like that they do nothing to prepare you for college in your senior year. In fact, I'm currently taking college prep, which is a college course and I think this school is why I'm not really prepared for a for a 4 year college like OSU or otterbein. Again, if you're considering enrolling your child in this school, please make an informed decision.
The true friends I made are the only reason I don't rate this worse! The time I spent there was not worth it! Very few teachers there do their job right and help! Most are very rude and snappy! Some of them even put you down when you really don't need it! When I was forced to get an internship the job coach constantly followed me, would not leave me alone, and eventually said I wasn't going to last long! Then she constantly bumps into me and never says anything! Extremely rude! I was even lectured about not getting into college! My life has changed very nicely since I left! I have a nice job that I absolutely and although I haven't applied to college yet I have gotten the attention of some well known colleges! That includes Denison, St. John's, Virginia Commonwealth, Rutgers, Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Miami (Florida), Northwestern, Southern Cal, and even Georgetown! And I didn't even need this place to accomplish all that! They seem to be very impressed with kids who will struggle in life even though they treat them wrong! But they completely ignore and shut out the students who do some amazing things! If I was a parent I would never send my child here! Another thing I have to say is the good teachers seem to quit or be fired while the rotten ones stay and make things harder for the students! before you send you're child here think twice about what you are doing! And there is another thing! They are really getting out of hand with the fire wall! they won't block useless crap like Disney Princess, SpongeBob, and other garbage! But yet they block sources that can actually have very useful information! Another thing I will say is keep you're belongings in a safe place! DO NOT trust a teacher when they say they will take care of it! About 70% of the time you're things will disappear or be badly damaged! And the teachers will give you a pathetic and untrustworthy excuse like that it was you're fault and not take any blame! The last thing I'm going to say is this! My personality has significantly changed since I went there! Mr. Nice guy is no more! I am not as forgiving and I will never change! Not after what they did to me! Going there was one of the biggest mistakes I have made in my life! And I will never forgive them for what they have done to me and a few of my friends! Everyone has a different opinion and this is mine!
Teachers work harder than most people realize so that they can meet the diverse learning needs of their students. Teachers here are fantastic, administration puts them in tough if not impossible classroom situations, expects perfection, offers no assistance or guidance. Administration is absent.
Routinely students will have homework in 1 class each night if that. Students learn quickly that homework is only allowed to count for 10% of their final grade so not doing it has very little effect on their overall grade. If your student tells administration that the homework is too hard or too much, the teachers are told to not give them homework for the next few weeks to lessen their workload ( which as stated above, is very small)
Grades are routinely inflated so that no student receives lower than a B. If a teacher has a student that has a quarterly grade lower than a B it is there fault and there will be a visit from the principal to "remedy" the situation. Rather than teaching their students to work harder when faced with diversity Oakstone would rather instill the belief that not doing your work and refusing to study will result in a B-. Compare the Oakstone Honor Roll to testing scores and you will see the proof
Administration lacks the fundamental skills needed to run a school. They routinely make decisions on staffing or student placement based on a quick glimpse of events when they have been out of a building for days if not weeks at a time.
I have four children that attend Oakstone Academy and although none of my children are on the autism spectrum I would not want my children at any other school. My children range in age from first grade to sophomore in high school and all have thrived. The staff are so caring and loving to my children. My children went from struggling in every class to being so proud every report card. I would never have my children at any other school!
I have been going to this school for a decade and I can both brag about it and distrust it all at the same. The teachers are the best, having real passion in what they teach and care about each student succeeding. The teachers set a high standard of good teaching, higher than any other school. I haven t even considered homeschooling because of them. Our current principals of the elementary, high, and middle school are some of the best leaders you will see, and need more say in matters in my opinion. Word of caution: cronyism and nepotism are the norm (allowed because the school is not public). This is true in most schools, and this school does have a higher staff-kids-to-non ratio, but there are too many instances to mention here of obvious favoritism (strangely enough, doesn t happen very much in the classrooms as far as I see, it is mostly in anything extra-curricular.) The lack of transparency in most of the leadership doesn t help. At least I haven t really been bullied here like I probably would be at another school. Overall, I wish I could be much more proud of my school, but I ll give credit where credit is due and not where it isn t. Also the schoolwork is insanely easy.