This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Oakton High School3
Posted September 08, 2014
- a parent
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.
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.