This IS an overall good school and it IS a good value for its price in Catholic and private education. There are some excellent teachers.Would we do it again for our child? No. It was the wrong school for our child, because the kids who shine here are the super-brains or they are the star athletes. The other students, while for the most part, are ALL good students, can often struggle to shine or find their identity here. The emphasis lately is more on creating efficiencies in running the school - outsourcing the book store and food service, but less on the students and teacher recruiting (especially in science). My child has excellent grades, some AP credits, is going to attend a good college, but I think would have had more confidence if had attended a different school. We chose public school instead for our second child.
I agree with the person who commented about the sports and bringing in out of state players. I would rather see the school focus more on academics than sports. Other than that, the school was recommended to us and we have been very happy with its quality. No regrets.
Looking back now, I thank my parents for sending me to DJO. O'Connell couldn't have prepared me better for college. O'Connell is a very tight-knit community with strong parent and student involvement. The Superdance for Cystic Fibrosis is a testament to the outstanding generousity of the school. As I read the alumni newsletters and other publications, I'm amazed at how far DJO has come since I've graduated...the President/Principal model seems like its worked wonders for the school, and from what I read in the papers and hear on the news, Bishop O'Connell has earned a stellar reputation in the DC Area. I will without a doubt send my kids to Bishop O'Connell High School.
I am an alumni of DJO and love the changes I am seeing with the new President! I think the school is headed in the right direction, and I have even been motivated to get involved in the alumni association. Academics seem to be the focus now, with caring teachers and a great community. Of course, the sports are still great too!
In high school, I expect my children to enjoy academics, social opportunities, and extracurricular activities. My biggest disappointment in O'Connell is the 'recruiting' done to bring out of state athletes onto the school teams. Students who are not able to compete against these blue chip athletes are left on the sidelines. While there is an impressive set of championships on display, this college level emphasis on athletics leaves me cold.
I am an O'Connell alumnus, and I have been nothing short of impressed with the school. Absolutely terrific environment. Teachers are extremely caring and attentive to my daughter's needs. Amazing sense of community among the students and families. I would highly recommend DJO to anyone.
I was considering many local public and private schools when I moved to the area from Texas. I chose Bishop O'Connell because everyone we talked to had nothing but positive things to say about the school. It's smaller than a public school, but not too small where it doesn't feel like high school. My guidance counselor and teachers were quick to ask how I was adjusting, and if I needed any help. To be honest I wasn't looking forward to going to O'Connell because I had met friends who attended other schools, but I am so glad that I did choose DJO. There are many ways to get involved, and my only advice is to take the initiative. The school isn't going to come to you and ask you to do things...you have to take interest! that is what I learned. I'm so happy I chose Bishop O'Connell High School.
This school will hire clearly incompetant teachers, and even when their incompetance become obvious the school still refuses to fire them. I hated this school and would never go back. Oh and they still send me stuff in the mail even though i have specifically requested that they stop. No room to even discuss the drug abuse in that school.
'I'm a Junior at O'Connell that made a switch from Langley High after my sophmore year ended. All I can say is that O'Connell was the right path to take. The enviroment has a positive feeling to it and the kids enrolled there are easy to get along with. The student body has a very active social life with dances, clubs, sports, and so on. The teachers there do take the time to make sure your student is on the same page and understanding the material. Langley was basically the opposite of O'Connel; Enviroment had a negative feeling, wasn't always easy to get along with others, teachers don't have the time to help most of the time, because of SOLs. Though tution is high for some like me, it's well worth the money and I'm glad my parents were devoted to do use that money for my benefit in education.
This school is too large to give real personal attention. It's a step up from the public school in many ways but it was not a good choice for me. It might work well for some, but for an artistic, sensitive person it is not the best choice. In many ways I was misguided and over-looked, much of my potential went down the drain while I was at O'connell. I would never send my children there.
I transferred from PVI during junior year. It was the best decision I could have made. The teachers and administration were so caring to me. I became involved with the school's legendary Superdance where we raised over $200,000 for CysticFibrosisFoundation. Unlike PVI, there is a real atmosphere of community, and the teachers care more about us learning than giving detentions. The principal was outstanding! After the principal retired, the school has a new President&Principal which everyone seems to like. I graduated last year, and am doing superb in college because of the efforts of O'Connell. 99% of my class went on to college-that says alot about the school!(esp. compared to public schools). I only had one regret about O'Connell- and that is I wish I had gone there to begin with so I had more time there. To students who are debating between PVI and O'Connell, I know you'll love O'Connell.
The school provided an excellent curriculum with a dedicated teaching staff. After success in the classroom, above avg. SAT scores, and several college credits due to AP exam scores, my student will be very prepared for college. The religious influence is not overpowering for young adults but, rather, offers them a chance to put their faith in action through numerous community activities, service requirements, and extracurriculars. The school was extremely sensitive and caring during the 9/11 tragedy. Prayers were offered over the PA system, and students were allowed to use the office phone or personal cell phones to check on their families. Only downside--some of the guidance counselors could be more helpful. Rather than creating a portfolio at the end of Jr. year (which doesn't appear to be used), students/teachers/counselors should be required to fill out the common app. forms. Much of this could be better performed electronically, too.
High quality school with a legendary principal. Most friendly and supportive atmosphere. Heavy on sports but catching up in the arts. Highly recommend.
My child received a very good education at O'Connell High. He was challenged academically and was accepted into a very good college. 98% of the students at this school go on to college.
We live in Maryland, but are sending our daughter to Virginia at additional expense and inconvenience because we feel she will obtain the best education possible. Choices of Catholic High Schools are limited in Maryland, which led us to look out of state. So far I am very impressed and pleased with everything about Bishop Denis J O'Connell H.S.
Outstanding athletic organizations (all sports); Skilled, caring teachers; Sense of community among students, always felt safe.
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