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Bishop Denis J O'connell High School

Private | 9-12 | 1100 students

Our School is best known for its commitment to Academic Excellence
 
 

 
 

Living in Arlington

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $595,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,610.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 5 ratings

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Parent involvement

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36 reviews of this school


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Posted 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


Posted March 1, 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


Posted September 5, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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.


Posted 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


Posted April 1, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted January 17, 2009

Just a great school with tradional core values.


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted January 3, 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


Posted 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


Posted December 2, 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


Posted 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


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

College readiness and student pathways

Colleges most students attend after graduation University of Virginia
Virginia Tech
George Mason University
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Security personnel
Special education coordinator
Foreign languages spoken by school staff None
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Catholic Honor Roll School of Excellence (2014)
  • Blue Ribbon School (2014)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
Clubs
  • Math club
  • Recycling club
  • Robotics club
  • Science club
  • Technology club

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Theory
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Anime club
  • Art club
  • Drama club
  • Literary magazine
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • German
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
Clubs
  • Foreign language club: French, Spanish, Latin, German

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
Clubs
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Advanced placement courses
  • Honors track
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Clubs
  • Debate
  • Forensics club
  • It's Academic
  • National Honor Society
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 7:45 am
School end time
  • 2:55 pm
School Leader's name
  • Dr. Vorbach
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Roman Catholic
Associations
  • NCEA
Fax number
  • (703) 237-1465

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Advanced placement courses
  • College prep
  • Honors track
  • Independent Study
  • STEM
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Religious
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • German
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • Security personnel
  • Special education coordinator
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • None
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Tutoring
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Transportation options
  • Accessible via public transportation
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Diocese of Arlington
  • Marymount University
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Crew / Rowing
  • Cross country
  • Diving
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Sailing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Wrestling
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Crew / Rowing
  • Cross country
  • Diving
  • Field hockey
  • Ice hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Sailing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Theory
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Amnesty international
  • Anime club
  • Art club
  • Book/reading club
  • Boy scouts
  • Chess club
  • Community service
  • Debate
  • Drama club
  • Foreign language club: French, Spanish, Latin, German
  • Forensics club
  • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
  • Game club
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • It's Academic
  • Literary magazine
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)
  • Math club
  • Mock trial competition club
  • Model UN
  • National Honor Society
  • Recycling club
  • Robotics club
  • Science club
  • Student council/government
  • Student newspaper
  • Technology club
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Photos

School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

Submit your application by

January 23, 2015

 
90
days left!
 
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What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2014-2015 school year
$13000 - $18000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid
Outside scholarships

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
University of Virginia
Virginia Tech
George Mason University
College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
SAT/ACT prep classes
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

6600 North Little Falls Road
Arlington, VA 22213
Website: Click here
Phone: (703) 237-1400

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