Oakton is an excellent school, but needs work to stay on top against competition from other excellent schools in FCPS. Let's get the bad out of the way first. 1. The principal is totally MIA. I have NEVER seen him at a school event, and my kid has only ever seen him once, at a football game. Being used to other FCPS schools this shocked me, and is a red flag. The principal is like the standard bearer of an army: if they are missing, something is not right. 2. The facility is decrepit. For example, mice in the science labs and mold in the bathrooms (which was only resolved when the students kicked up a stink about it and went public) Now for the good: 3. The teachers are very good. Core subjects taught very well and electives strong too. Too many good ones to name but Sharkoffmadrid was a standout in Art History and Jones was a Latin rock star. I'm told Jones was pushed out and ended up at Flint Hill, which if true would be another strike against the administration: she was Teacher of the Year material.
Attending from 2008-2012, there was little support for clubs and extra curricular activities, with the majority of which being self funded by students. While money was tight due to the economy. The teachers are okay, there was a good number of engaging faculty members that challenged and worked with the students, however there seemed to always be at least one or two teachers per department who were, in a way, under-performing in their duties as educators. As far as the principal leadership goes, it seems like the principal and his staff members were at a disconnect with the other faculty and the students. The severe lack of personal involvement by the administrators was evident in that they were only present for the handing out of disciplinary action and then putting students on their way instead of trying to seek a reform. The school social structure is divided in two segments. There are two types of students a person can be, with little overlap. AP students hardly mingle with general education students, leading to a system where general students wouldn't seek to challenge themselves, for the fear of entering what would seem like a whole new school.
its a poor school now. Parents obviously don't understand anything that is really going on. most teachers are terrible few are tolerable. in each of my years, I have had one teacher I have actually looked forward to seeing and learning. Most teachers just give you filler packets and then slightly alter them and give them to you as homework and then give tests on completely different material
I'm constantly amazed at how poorly run this school is. Oakton has a reputation for graduating students for some of the finest colleges and universities. However my daughter's teacher scheduled a field trip to NYC that conflicts with SAT testing. Hello, anybody home there?? Apparently no one is responsible for approving this, or they are just incompetent and not checking for conflicts like this. Guess the parents must be amazing to offset incompetence like this.
I've had 4 kids go through Oakton and have been a parent of a student since 2000. Really great school. A few complaints - we hit bad teachers only in math, but consistently one of the kids had a bad math teacher from 2000 - 2011. They dropped Honors classes around 2008 forcing all kids into AP everything or gen ed. Gen ed was ridiculously easy and AP was ridiculously hard so there was no happy medium for the kids. Also lots of emphasis and support of the sports teams but little support for any other student activity. Otherwise, this is a school to be proud of.
Great school. My son is a rising senior and my daughter will enter the school in a year. My son has nothing but great things to say about his teachers, peers and coaches. He gets good grades and the teachers challenge him and he has a lot of homework and exams/quizzes but that's why it's a great school...because the teachers care. Yes, there are a lot of rich families and the school have clicks and as a parent, I don't care for that either. However, there are average families with good kids as well. You just have to look.
To start off If I I could give the school a zero I would. Although Oakton high seems to be the top rank school in Fairfax county it is way over rated. Oakton gets the high marks due to high AP testing results that have nothing or very little to do with teachers. My experience with teachers has been a average experience there are some good ones that I really liked and some ok ones and some horrible ones that I dont think should have jobs there. I ran across 3 horrible ones in 3 years. The reason for the high AP scores are from tutors that parents higher. I Knew people that had tutoring multiple days a week. I can only imagine that there were some people that had it 5 days or more. Oakton seems to be controlled by money in almost all areas. The people with money can pay for tutoring multiple days a week while the people with little money are left to fending for themselves. Some teachers stay after school regularly and that helps but generally there are multiple students there as well. Some teachers you will have to stay on them for just a little help. It is really hit or miss. I also ran across several cheaters at the school. The students are rich and dont care for anyone but them.
Oakton is a fantastic school. When I moved back to Fairfax, it was in the top 100 for Newsweek's rankings but has since fallen out of the listing. Don't know why. It is a challenging school and very competitive which can be stressful for the kids. I think my kids have benefited from the competition. Cafeteria is pretty bad (according to my children) but what school cafeteria isn't? The school is very supportive and builds in plenty of opportunities for the children to excel (i.e. Cougar Time and Collaboration days). Teachers stay late to work with kids after school hours most days. All in all, I am happy that we moved close to the school.
One word to describe OHS. Cliquey. Jocks and preps are all very numerous and annoying.
My daughter has attended Oakton for 3 1/2 yrs. She is a senior this year. We LOVE OHS! Wonderful, dedicated teachers! Student body is very diverse which has been a positive attribute. OHS offers many activities. I do look forward to remodeling. The school is an old building however the class rooms have recent technology for teaching/ learning. My daughter has many wonderful & well rounded friends.
Oakton has been a great disappointment to me. First of all, hardly any of the students are motivated and just text or listen to their iPods during class. Even though I am taking all honors and am two years ahead of the normal math sequence, my classes still seem completely elementary and are not stimulating at all. My teachers are subpar and don't really know what they are talking about. They are also condescending and treat their students like they're kindergartners. I tried switching out of a class because the teacher was just unbearable, but the administration and guidance departments are just simply not there. I received no help at all and was told I would have to just deal with it. I am a freshman and luckily applying to several independent schools so I can spend as little time at Oakton as possible.
I'm currently a sophomore at Oakton High School and just moved here from Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. I lived in Vienna 6 years ago so I'm not completely new in the area, however virtually all of my peers were new to me. At first Oakton seemed terrible to me and I assumed that was just because I was new. It's been a month to the day now since I started at Oakton and it has actually gotten worse in my eyes. I've even had several confrontations with students who were acting snotty, arrogant, and condescending, and unwelcoming. Also, I do not believe that the wealth of Oakton's residents contributes too much to the attitudes of students because I was new in Austin just a few years ago in an area less diverse, and more wealthy than Oakton and I didn't encounter this problem.
Im a current student, sophmore, at oakton high school. I agree with most of the other reviews. Oakton is a very competitive and hectic school. Basically, slackers won't survive. The atmosphere is not really relaxed due to the tough, non ten point grading system that we have. Everyone is striving for their absolute best. We, the students, are overly uptight about grades and stressed out. Oakton high school is a very good school academic and sports wise but its really competitive so outsiders, new students, have a hard time catching up and making friends. The cliques are terrible here too. Most people are obsessed with material things such as clothing. (ex: Hollister). I encourage new students to hope for the best and try their hardest to keep up.
I'm a parent of a current Oakton student and have been disappointed in my interactions with the student body, coaches, and staff. Luckily my child is a great athlete and good student; but for the most part, kids just slide through the system. It is supposedly very competitive in both academics and athletics but I think the hype is the higher than average income of the families who feed into the school. For the most part the kids are snotty and cliquey. Too bad.
I'm a junior at Oakton right now and I just recently moved to Northern Virginia. I must admit that I felt very out of place from the day I walked into the school. Coming from a smaller community, I was quite unprepared for the hectic and overly-competitive atmosphere. I gave Oakton a fair chance, but it was quite disappointing. The atmosphere is very unwelcoming and somewhat aloof and none of the students/staff really made me feel welcome. The school is full of cliques, and many of the kids are snobby and stuck-up. The school is extremely competitive in all aspects: sports, academics, etc. This is probably due to the wealthy community in which these students live. I found the school to be kind of a 'sink or swim' situation. It's hard to make friends and break into the tight circle of cliques. I don't recommend this school to the average student.
Great school and athletic dept. My brother is there now and is doing a great job in preparing for his college experience.
I was really not impressed with Oakton. I felt the atmosphere was very unwelcoming and many of the students are in their tight knit cliques. It was a huge disappointment after all of the positive things I have heard. The leadership is lacking.
This school has been a huge disappointment, and has not at all lived up to its billing. Students are generally treated as if each one is a problem. Average students are simply moved through the system. Gifted kids are completely ignored. Your child has to be tough and resilient to find their place. The teachers are a mixed bag. Some of the teachers are fabulous, but many talented teachers have left. Knowing what I know now, I would have insisted on enrolling my child in some other county high school.
Our child will be graduating from Oakton this spring, and he has had a very positive high school career at OHS. The academics are phenomenal, and the AP courses that he took have prepared him well for a challenging college curriculum. The teachers are very involved and well qualified. The music program is fantastic, and provided many leadership opportunities. We found the level of parental involvement to be very high, with many volunteer opportunities available. The safety at the school, which was very important to us, is very good. The education available at OHS stacks up well to any private school education I have ever seen.
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