A Brief History of OceanaOceana High School first opened in 1962, but our identity as a small restructuring school began in 1991. With district, union, and community support, the old Oceana closed as a traditional comprehensive high school and reopened as a small school with s design borrowing heavily from the work of Theodore Sizer and the Coalition of Essential Schools, especially the Ten Common Principles. As part of its redesign, the school adopted the following features:
- Students would be required to demonstrate mastery of the school's five outcomes primarily through an instructional program that stressed authentic assessment and project based learning. The school's schedule was changed to a block schedule to support the shift in instructional goals and methods.
- An advisory class was added to support student-teacher personalization.
- The Oceana graduation requirements increased in rigor requiring students to complete 100 hours of community service, a Senior Exhibition, a Graduation Portfolio, and four years of humanities - English and social studies.
- The school's governance structure changed to include an Academic Council comprised of five elected teachers, the principal, a clerical representative, students, and a parent representative.
We applied for and received an alternative school designation from the California State Department of Education (CDE), which included a time waiver on instructional minutes. Our time waiver enables us to release students early on Wednesdays to accommodate their community service requirement. It also enables our faculty to meet weekly. We use these weekly meetings to review student data and to discuss and collaborate on common assessments and teacher practice. We submit an annual report and a bi-annual renewal application to the CDE to report on student performance and the use of our time waiver. With each bi-annual application since 1991, our time waiver has been renewed.
Since we began our restructuring program, we've continued to change, adapt, and grow to meet the needs of our students. Along the way, we've won awards and accolades from the goverment, public agencies, foundations, community members, educators, and--most importantly--parents and students.