I had 2 graduate Oly (05' and 08') and I currently have a senior at Timberline High School since we moved to Lacey. When my husband and I moved from Seattle to Olympia in 2001, we were told that 'Olympia High' was the 'Best'! High test scores! At the time my children attended, they had about 10% minorities and I've been told they 'fudge' these numbers so they don't appear as an 'all white school'. English isn't a second language for many and so yes, they do tend to test better. The elitist attitude that parents have regarding this school is unfounded. It's not 'better' than any other school in the area. They get more funding yet they require the kids to bring $1.00 here and $5.00 there for various activities and snacks that other schools with LESS funding provide for free. You'll find you pay MORE to attend a school with the most funding. Due to the academic pressure at OHS my kids were burned out by the time college came and chose to attend a local community college. My Timberline Senior can't wait to attend UW next fall and she was less 'advanced' than her older siblings. OHS isn't 'the Best!' It's full of 'Middle class, elitist, white snobs' who just think it is...
One kid thru, one attending now and three more in the Oly district pipeline. Needless to say we are vested in the public schools here. Being a military family and living literally all over the country and world, this is a great school because we have seen both ends of the spectrum for sure. Funding, curriculum, sports programs, music and drama - all very good. Plenty of opportunities for your child to succedd and prepare for college. Clean facilities. Kids all say bullying and gangs are not an issue. Happy with the choice to live within this district, even if housing is expensive. If you are moving to Olympia, look here first.
This year OHS and the district hired new staff to focus on 504s and IEPs. Last year we could not get cooperation. Teachers maintained discretionary adherence to the 504 and many refused to provide accommodation. Comments indicated, they just thought my son a slacker and devalued his diagnosed legitimate conditions and the hurdles that come with it. It is much better now. Solicitous staff and help working with teachers. It is constant work as this public school focuses on the mainstream and the age-old methods. We can see they are trying to catch up with innovation but the system could use a hacking/a reimagining.
I attended OHS freshman through half of my senior year. I believe if you read all of these reviews and take them as a collective mass you get a petty accurate picture. When I attended, the administration was a joke, as well as their bullying policy. I felt at times the bullying policy helped the bully more than the victim. It got to the point that the administration was required to parental permission to talk to me. I did well at OHS, but I tried. They leave many behind that choose not to attempt or succeed. The diversity of the school was good, but largely white compared to others in the area. I had some great teachers and two that I didn't care for out of four years. This is definitely a middle class school. Administration could use continuing education courses in bullying and students rights. I felt like many times the administration glossed over issues and tried to find the easiest way out instead of effectively dealing with the problems at hand. If you have no issues with the administration it was because you never dealt with them. I am glad I went there and had the opportunity because it prepared me for college.
The demographics help the school to be at an above average level. Teachers are motivated and dedicated!
I have a high achieving student at OHS, and it has been a positive experience so far. Classes seem challenging, homework required but not impossible amounts, teachers engaged. I feel she is learning time management skills and advocating for herself in the large environment. I cant speak to how the administration responds to struggling students or bullying etc, because we have not experienced those issues.
We have two students at OHS, and are very happy with results. The level of expectation and support for future success is high. I read most of the reviews below, and acknowledge that every school will have some poor teachers, but most at OHS are of a high caliber and very dedicated. That said, one teacher from last year that was not great, but we told our children they must find a way to work and learn even with a poor teacher. This also can be a learning experience, and thankfully -- at OHS will be relatively rare. Our kids have access to great academic, sports and music programs, and are thriving -- despite being distinctly different individuals with different learning styles. There is a great deal of emphasis placed on the student learning how to self-manage time and effort. Online access to grades and regular emailed updates from the school helps us keep on top of homework. Online access to syllabi and homework assignments is great. Students are encouraged and supported with taking AP courses -- which means getting College credit while still in high school, saving us dollars and time in the future. No wonder this school is rated one of the highest in the US.
OHS is an elitist school, basking in their AP programs. Average students flounder. A science teacher has a long reputation of calling kids names in class. Within a month he had badgered my child to tears. A science teacher was placed on disciplinary leave. The non-science substitute in that class allowed students to watch DVD for weeks (Finding Nemo, Forrest Gump etc.) Feuding teachers shut down the Oly Bear Early Childhood Development program. Students surfed the net for weeks. A science teacher praises students with excellent answers to homework questions, while making sport of laughable answers to amuse the class. A teacher refused a request for a written progress report for my child, stating it was not in her job description. The administration refused my child s transfer to New Market Skill center because of a personal beef with me. This was overruled by the district superintendant. Average students or those sensitive to very public criticism you should explore other options. Do not let the administration/counseling office string you along or placate you. DEMAND ACTION IMMEDIATELY. They will try to string you along (conserving resources) until it is too late.
I am a former student at this school and came from another HS in the area. OHS does prepare a student for college and has a higher expectation for students to do thier homework and assign them homework almost daily. The other HS I went to was Timerline who did not care about thier students and just "hands out" good grades for showing up to class and had barely any homework, if any (depending on the class).
We had high hopes for this school which seems to be coasting--actually slip-sliding--on its good reputation. Very disappointing--leadership is weak, teachers are still assigning word searches for homework (or no homework at all). LUCKILY my kids particpate in the Running Start program at South Puget Sound Community College and spend little time at Olympia.
One day my son will go to this school, so I would love a chance to invest in the future of this prestigious institution. Olympia High School has a great reputation in our community.
What a great school. Great learning environment, lots of programs being offered. I like this school because my sons grades have improved and he seems much more focused.
I am a current student and I heard great things about this school and was really exited, but when school started, it wasn't as good as everyone said. I had a really hard time trying to get into the right classes, and they leave the students clueless a lot. it's great compared to alternatives, but it's really not a great school.
Both my children graduated from OHS and were successful in very diverse colleges, one with a degree from TESC and the other from Harvard. Principal Matt Grant has led steady improvements to what was already a fine school during his tenure, and my children found their teachers to be ever ready to help. They related better to some than to others, which is to be expected.
Administration is nothing to be proud of. Half the teachers actaully teach and help the students who struggle. Good academics but not a welcoming enviroment. I transferred schools because Oly was not somewhere I felt comfortable or felt I was getting all the help I could. It's okay.
I am an ex-student and a preservice teacher right now and I have to say Olympia High School prepared me well for college. Expectations are high and the teachers strive to help you achieve what you want to whether that be to go on to college or get your diploma and go into the work place. This is a top notch school and hope that my children will attend there someday and hope to be a part of the amazing teaching staff there as well!
My daughter participated in sports and got average grades but often expressed intense pressure to over achieve in order to get kudos-- overly competitive atmosphere from the top down leaves little room for other viable ways to be successful and happy in this world. It has a very standardized approach that suits one type of kid. The social pressure for things and clothing was immense.
I think that Olympia High School really prepared me for college. However, I think that, like most schools, you, the student, is responsible for learning. Nobody else can learn for you. I think that the opportunities at Olympia High School are amazing and if you take advantage of them, you can have an amazing high school experience. If you choose not to, then Olympia High can just be publicly funded baby-sitting.
Not only is Olympia High School one of the best high schools in the area, but it is ranked one of the top high schools in the nation. Many former students have gone on to do great things. The teachers are very dedicated to their students, and sometimes willing to go to great lengthts to help them out. Failure is not an option here, and the environment is friendly.
great school, dedicated teachers and staff working together for every child's success. Parent out reach program is also great. Students are required to participate and help underclassmen.
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