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9-12
Private
Arlington, VA
Students enrolled: 1,100
Before care: No
After care: No

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6600 North Little Falls Road
Arlington, VA 22213

School website
(703) 237-1400
(703) 237-1465
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Bishop Denis J O'connell High School address.

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HONOR ROLL

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December 13, 2013
Very few teachers appeared to enjoy any aspect of their job. Very politically-driven school with biased leadership who cares more about athletics and image than education.

- submitted by a student
March 01, 2012
What a mistake; not only once but twice. After our daughter begged to get out of Bishop O Connell after her second year we relented and sent her to a much better school in the area. She complained that she was not being taught by the instructors. She had to teach herself. We just didn t really believe her. We asked why such low grades, why do you think you re not learning. She was student of the quarter seven out of eight quarters in Jr. High. It wasn t until she arrived at her new school and the English instructor told us how ill prepared she was in English. Her last school did her no favors. Her new school prepared her and has accepted an appointment to a service academy. I only wish my wife had listened to my daughter when we sent our son there. Two years of misery again! Worst money spent.

- submitted by a parent
September 05, 2011
I love Bishop O'Connell and everyone I know does too. There's not a single one of my friends who wishes they could go elsewhere. At O'Connell everyone fits in! No matter what, each person has at least some friends and that's what's important. The uniforms are cute and tasteful for girls and standard for boys. The teachers are so nice and genuinely care about the students. Overall the vibes are REALLY good! It's a much better environment than public school. (I went to public school before OC and now often times in class i want to pinch myself because i cant believe how much nicer people are!) I knew from the second I stepped foot here that I would love it and I don't think I'll ever change my mind. It really is a gem of a school. If you decide to attend Bishop O'Connell your High School memories will be wonderful!!!! take my word for it :) this is a place where people respect you and are always incredibly supportive!

- submitted by a student
June 29, 2011
When I read the reviews below I wonder what kind of grudge former students/parents have to discredit a good school like O'Connell. Our son went and thrived. Great caring teachers and guidance couselors, good coaches and lots of challenging honors and AP classes. He did well in college placement exams and was accepted to his first choice university. He was well prepared for university classes by the O'Connell staff and maintains a high GPA. I highly recommend this high school.

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2011
Ok, I recently just graduated from Bishop Denis J. Oconnell and dont really know where to beign about this school. First off before you even send your kid here, stop. The school is terrible and i have probably a list of 50 reasons but i will sum it down to five. 1) The academics here are an complete joke, even my parents agreed with me sophmore year, but i decided to stay because of my friends. 3/4s of the teachers just pound you with home work and massive amounts of work that does not accomplish anything productive but stressing you out. I learned more in my first month in college then all 4 years at O'Connell. 2) The rules their are absurd, half the time kids dont even follow them so their set up to fail from the beginning. The administration needs to easy up and stop hosting a prison where kids have little freedom. 3) i could have gotten into better or the same colleges that i did from a public school and saved $40,000. 4) The kids their are all rich so that means for all your parents that dont know, Lots of drug use and alcohol use. 5) at a public school your childs friends are all in a close designated area, not all over Virginia like some of my friends were

- submitted by a student
January 25, 2011
O'connell was a great time, however I felt very unprepared for college once I graduated. I always thought the teachers and security guards were more concerned with pointing out students flaws rather than preparing us for the real world. If you are a girl or low key boy you will do fine there. The sporting teams there are ok. Football and lax teams need the most work. Overall, not worth the money. There were alot of babes though :)

- submitted by a student
January 14, 2011
Does not show a Catholic environment. The atmosphere at sporting events is violent and mean. To sum up the attitude of O'Connell: Do whatever you have to to come out on top...integrity doesn't matter.

- submitted by a community member
August 11, 2010
I couldn't be happier with my experience at O'Connell. If you are trying to decide on a school in NOVA I don't think there is a better option. O'Connell had amazing school spirit, not just for sports, but for the drama and music departments, for religion, and academics. Everyone can find a place to fit in at O'Connell. The principle, Dr. Vorbach, is the absolute nicest man alive. He knows every single student in the school and makes a point to always be available to his students. The guidance department is extremely helpful in the college application process. And finally, every teacher really has a love of their job. In all my time at O'Connell I never met a teacher who genuinely didn't love teaching and try their best to help the students learn.

- submitted by a student
no rating April 01, 2010
Our son is a Junior at O'Connell and has enjoyed his time there very much. Academically: the teachers and curriculum have helped him turn from someone who hated writing, into someone who thinks surprisingly deeply and coherently, and has become a very good writer;. He has played club sports (i.e. not a sponsored, mainstream sport) which he has loved, and his teammates have become another supportive group of friends for him;. He had a group of friends from his grade & middle schools when he entered O'Connell, and while that group has remained tight, he has developed new groups of friends, and even fallen in and out of 'love' a few times. When he has had difficulties with a subject, his teachers have been more than accommodating in helping him through it; meeting before or after school, or during lunch. O'Connell has been a really good experience for him!

- submitted by a parent
November 18, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 17, 2009
I've been going to O'Connell for three years and am about to enter my Senior year there. I have never had a problem with any of my classes. If I ever needed assistance on a topic, the teachers were readily available. I was able to either meet with them before school, after school, or during my lunch period if they didn't have a class. Everyone there has been very helpful and I'm sure I will benefit from these experiences in the future.

- submitted by a student
March 11, 2009
GREAT school !! The public school my children should attend is five minutes from my house. We drive 45 minutes to a hour to get to O'Connell and it is worth every minute and every penny. Excellent academics, phenomenal teachers, wonderful christian atmosphere, incredible competitive sports. The school has the whole package. Loads of extracurricular activities and clubs to participate in. Although the best attributes is the sense of moral and ethical values the school instills in it's students. We have sent our two children to O'Connell and we send the other two there as well. This is a school to believe in. We are, and continue to be very impressed.

- submitted by a parent
January 21, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 17, 2009
Just a great school with tradional core values.

- submitted by a community member
no rating December 13, 2008
We agree the education at DJO is good. But the administration and the coaches show a lack of consideration and respect for our children. In an atmosphere that is supposed be an example to our children of what a christian community should be DJO falls so far below what is expected.... very disappointing -

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 25, 2008
I disagree with the below post. Im an athlete at O'Connell, I was not recruited, and to be honest im not a phenomenal athlete. I've had an amazing experience at OC and never had a problem with athletics. Many of the sports teams are very competitive and are highly ranked, but more power to them. There are still many opportunities to stay involved in some form of athletic activity regardless of skill level. Also, the number and variety of clubs is awesome...there is something for everyone as long as you take the initiative to get involved. My experience has been positive academically, athletically and socially.

- submitted by a student
May 21, 2008
Academically, this is a stellar school with an outstanding faculty. My child has attended for one year. Unfortuately,the downside of this school is the coaching and recruiting for sports that goes on at this school. If your child is not one of the 'chosen recruits' they are basically treated like second class citizens and for the students, the school should be a well rounded place for them to enjoy their high school experience academics and extracurricular activities. Again, academically, I can not say enough great things about O'Connell...sports wise..BEWARE... they have away of make 'great' athletes feel belittled for not being PHENOMS... If it's all about academics..this is the school...If it's about academics AND sports...THINK TWICE before sending your child here.

- submitted by a parent
February 12, 2008
This past fall, we decided to move our daughter from Langley to Bishop O'Connell. We were at first nervous to transfer our daughter to O'Connell because she didn't know anyone there, but that immediately changed. The school works hard to ensure that there is something for everyone....the number of clubs and activities is amazing. The sense of spirit and community is something even we as parents never experienced at Langley. The curriculum and course offerings are great and the service component has led to a well-rounded education. O'Connell is by no means an academically 'easy' school; However, O'Connell truly defines 'college preparatory.' We will surely send our two younger kids to DJO!

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2008
Being a graduate of Bishop O'Connell and a graduate of Virginia Tech twice for BS and Masters recently, I have to say that Bishop O'Connell served me extremely well. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and I made lasting friendships, played football and baseball and excelled in the math and sciences especially. I will send my future children here.

- submitted by a student
December 27, 2007
Great school, great teachers, great extracurricular activities and something for everyone! The atmosphere is very positive and there is a positive peer pressure to do well and to do your best. The students are wonderful, respectful, service oriented and just plain fun to be around. A very well rounded experience for our four children. Our eldest, now attending UVA and excelling there, attributes his success to how well prepared he was at O'Connell. His AP classes were true AP classes he tells us and he is so very thankful!

- submitted by a parent
December 02, 2007
This school has severe problems. The school does not consistently apply its rules, does not consistentlty treat students, and does not teach respect thru showing respect. The last straw for me was when the proincipal refused to apologize when an accusation against my child was shown to be wrong.

- submitted by a parent
November 12, 2007
My daughter is a senior, my son is a sophomore, and my husband is an alum of O'Connell. We have been very pleased with the academics at O'Connell. My children have taken regular academic, honors, and AP classes. I feel that my daughter is well-prepared for college. I like the fact that they attend Mass, do service projects for people in the community, and are required to learn about their religion. While there have been times we haven't always agreed with the teachers, their methods, or their ideas, it is unrealistic to think that that would not have happened anywhere else. I appreciate the range of activities available to my children -- clubs, sports, service opportunities -- at O'Connell. I would wholeheartedly recommend DJO to any student who wants to attend a Catholic high school.

- submitted by a parent
July 11, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
April 05, 2007
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.

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2007
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.

- submitted by a parent
December 10, 2006
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.

- submitted by a former student
May 19, 2006
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!

- submitted by a former student
April 08, 2006
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.

- submitted by a parent
March 14, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2005
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.

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
April 10, 2005
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.

- submitted by a student
March 27, 2005
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.

- submitted by a former student
January 07, 2005
'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.

- submitted by a student
November 20, 2004
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.

- submitted by a former student
October 09, 2004
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.

- submitted by a former student
April 27, 2004
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.

- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2004
High quality school with a legendary principal. Most friendly and supportive atmosphere. Heavy on sports but catching up in the arts. Highly recommend.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2003
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.

- submitted by a parent
August 25, 2003
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.

- submitted by a parent
August 25, 2003
Outstanding athletic organizations (all sports); Skilled, caring teachers; Sense of community among students, always felt safe.

- submitted by a former student
August 25, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
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Bishop Denis J O'connell High School
6600 North Little Falls Road, Arlington, VA  22213
(703) 237-1400
Last modified Bishop Denis J O'connell High School is a Private school that serves grades 9-12
Bishop Denis J O'connell High School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 42 reviews. Top