LearnBoost welcomes Oxford Academy
Oxford Academy is a college preparatory school in the suburbs of Cypress, California for academically gifted students. The school is rigorous and highly competitive as students test to get in. According to U.S. News & World Report  on December 5, 2008, Oxford Academy is ranked second in the nation among public high schools, and first among those with open enrollment systems.
A combined junior high and high school, Oxford has less than 1200 students, 200 or less in each grade 7th through 12th, and over 60 faculty members.
Although Oxford is not classified as a Magnet School, an entrance exam is required for all students. As of 2009, potential students must achieve a minimum GPA in elementary school to take the exam. Entering seventh grade students can compete for 200 spots. These spots are divided among the 8 junior high schools in the Anaheim Union High School District, with admissions for 25 students from each corresponding school. Oxford mandates minimum GPAs (2.5 for grades 7-8, 2.7 for grades 9-10, and 3.0 for grades 11-12) for all students and if students fail to stay above the minimum for 2 semesters, they are dismissed from Oxford and enrolled in their home district's junior high or high school. Because some students inevitably drop out because of poor performance or other reasons, admissions tests are also administered each year for the empty spots in 8th and 9th grades. These spots are not restricted by home schools, but it is a district wide competition. After ninth grade, admissions are closed. In the past, the senior class has been seen to shrink from 200 in freshmen year to less than 100. However, recently more students are staying longer at the school, resulting in slightly higher numbers for the upperclassmen. Graduates have matriculated to Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, and various University of California schools.
Students are required to follow a dress code, which is enforced by current principal and assistant principal, Mrs. Scott and Mr. Hoshi. It generally includes red, white, gray, or navy blue polo shirts, class shirts (only worn on Fridays), or blouses embroidered with the "OA" logo, and beige, black, navy, red, or gray pants. Denim is not allowed. These rules have been amended many times. While wearing black was previously prohibited, students are now permitted to wear black pants. Wearing black was allowed at the beginning of January 2007. Wearing denim is allowed on "Free Dress" days, usually given once a month. Recently, additions to the dress code have been made, including the restricted wear of jewelry and colored shoes (anything other than solid white, black, brown, gray, or blue). Junior High students are required to wear uniforms to dances unless otherwise stated. Jackets and sweaters must be in school colors only and cannot have logos that are large and visible. A recent change during the 2009-2010 school year to the Oxford dress code now prohibits black clothing as well as any college-logo bearing sweatshirt.
Oxford offers Honors and Advanced Placement classes. This is in line with the mission statement to "provide students with a rigorous educational program in a collaborative setting, with emphasis on mastery of academics, critical thinking, effective communication skills, and character development."
Oxford Academy follows a "UC system" approved A-G course listing, meaning that all required classes meet the standards and recommendations for entrance in a University of California college. Most students consider attending a school such as Everest after graduating. In addition to the UC course listing, Oxford requires all students to choose the Business or Health pathway in their junior year.
Although students must take more required courses than other AUHSD schools, Oxford offers an array of electives, including AP European History, AP Computer Science, Band/Choir, and the opposite pathway class. Recently, Oxford has added Sports Medicine and Biotechnology as health pathway electives.
The seventh grade curriculum includes:
Students must also take a foreign language C/C (culture and conversation) class. Spanish, French, and Mandarin are offered at the school.
The eighth grade curriculum includes:
Students can change their foreign language course from their 7th grade year. However, 8th grade begins with Foreign Language I, so students are required to continue that language in high school. Incoming freshmen who have not yet taken foreign language at their home school are required to take Foreign Language I their freshman year. Oxford Academy currently offers Spanish and Mandarin (Japanese was once temporarily offered).
There is also a Learning Skills class which allows students to work on homework and ask for help in subjects they are struggling in.
The high school curriculum is designed to specifically satisfy the entry requirements for the University of California system, satisfying Oxford's primary mission statement "to prepare students to be ethically and academically focused for entrance into college or university post-secondary education." All students are required to take at least a few AP classes (usually when an AP class is offered, an Honors version is not offered for those who do not wish to take the AP class). The only instance where students are not required to take an honors class is if they fail their math class and must retake it as a regular class. Students are also required to take the end-of-year AP tests.
In tenth grade students choose to take either the business or health pathways, a series of classes over the next 3 years related to those fields. Those who choose the business pathway take courses such as Accounting and Virtual Enterprise, a class for seniors simulating a company. Health pathway students take classes such as Exploring Health Careers, Anatomy and Physiology, (formerly) Forensics, and extra science classes (see Science). The pathway system has been criticized as being too restrictive for students who are not interested in either field, and thus useless to them, however, with limitations on staffing and courses outside of the core curriculum, it is better than nothing. However, it is possible to declare one pathway and take classes pertinent to both. For example, students in 11th grade and in the Health pathway can take Accounting and Marketing as an elective. While it is unclear in the senior year, a student may also take Virtual Enterprise while in the health pathway, although this has yet to be seen.
There are also clubs available at Oxford Academy. Among them are Artists Anonymous aka Visual and Performing Arts Club, Broadcasting Crew, Tech Crew, BOB (Bunch of Believers) aka Christian Club, Future Business Leaders of America, ASB (Associated Student Body), Red Cross Club, Key Club, Health Occupation Students of America, National Honor Society, Speech & Debate, International Club, Computer Club, Math Club, Environmental Science Club, Publicity Team, Paul's Posse, GameDay Athletics/Events, Youth Philanthropy Worldwide, Gay Straight Alliance, and many others.
The school's newspaper is called The Gamut, which is run by high school students who take the elective Journalism class. The editor-in-chief is a student.
Yearbook, or "Memory Book", is another elective, hosted by Mr. Chang. To take part of this class, students must submit an application. Four students are selected from each grade level, however, seventh graders may not participate.
As of the 2007 school year, the Senior Video project exists as an unofficial club. It is not sponsored by any faculty member, but is actively worked on by students from the graduating class. The project is expected to be repeated by future graduating classes, which may cause the club's status to become official.
Recently, a permanent morning announcements crew had been added to the campus. Previously, anyone who wanted to be on the morning announcements had to turn in a slip for the day they wished to participate. Morning announcements consist of daily announcements about sporting events, club meetings, upcoming dances, and various other student-related information. Generally, the morning announcements ends with several student-created video clips to promote a particular event. This has been very helpful for student as it updates them with valuable notifications such as upcoming SATS and test dates.
For high school, Oxford offers varsity baseball, JV, varsity tennis, swimming, JV and varsity basketball, JV and varsity soccer, volleyball, varsity softball, track, and cross-country. The physical education department recently attempted to add water polo, but was unable to add the school to any competitions. Varsity baseball is the only team to win California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Championship, with titles in 2009 and 2010. Swimming has won several individual or relay events.
For junior high school, there is an intermurals program involving flag football, tennis, volleyball, basketball, swimming, soccer, and track and field.
Currently, Oxford Academy does not have a high school football or wrestling team.
The Junior High ASB is in charge of planning events such as dances, class activities, and fundraisers. The largest event the Junior High ASB holds is the Eighth Grade Promotion Dance.
As for high school activities, ASB, which is run by about 25 students, is in charge. Each grade in high school has its own president and vice-president who run their own class committee. These class officers are in charge of planning their own fundraisers, creating t-shirts and class cheers, and activities which include movie nights and bonding events such as bowling, ice-skating, and bonfires.
The freshman class is in charge of planning the high school Cheap Dance. Furthermore, the sophomore class plans Sadies. The Junior Class traditionally organizes the Senior Prom. The senior class plans Mr. Patriot, a contest in which Oxford's finest seniors compete for the title "Mr. Patriot".
In order to bring a guest to a school dance, students must get a guest form signed by their parents, administration, guest, guests parents, and guests administration. Recently the administration implemented a rule that guests must have a GPA of at least 2.7, although it has been repealed as of date.
ASB as a whole plans such events as Homecoming, Winter Formal, Back to School Dance, Giving Tree, Clothing Closet, Club Rush Week, Class Committee Banquet, and much more.
The core ASB students are elected by students in the fourth quarter. After elections for President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, elections for Class President and Vice President are held. Following these elections, the ASB Executive Board, made of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, along with the ASB Advisor, conduct interviews for the remaining appointed positions.
In addition to the elections and appointments, ASB holds open applications for all high school students to apply to the ASB Senate, a representation of the student body appointed by ASB and led by the Vice President. ASB Senate functions in a similar way to ASB. They plan events, such as Random Acts of Kindness Week and the Talent Show.
Along with these successful activities, Oxford Academy also holds lunchtime activities, spirit rallies, and class competitions. Students are encouraged to participate in clubs and activities, and to start their own clubs if they find the selection lacking.
The first annual Dodgeball Tournament was held in 2007. Ran by a committee of students, the first tournament was a success, raising $2000 for the charity Stand Up For Kids. The great turnout led to two more tournaments, with MCs from KIIS FM and performers from Kreative Movement.
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