Questions that students frequently ask about Oceana
1. How does Oceana's block schedule work?
Oceana's block schedule means that there are 3 classes per day, plus an advisory class four days per week. One day is periods 1, 3, and 5. The next day is periods 2, 4, and 6. Each period is 100 minutes long, so over two days you have six periods of 100 minutes each (similar to a traditional school where you would have six periods per day at 50 minutes each.) There are two breaks each day: a Nutrition break between blocks I and II, and lunch between blocks II and III.
In 100 minute periods, students have more time to think, discuss, write, experiment, practice and work on projects. Also, teachers have more chance to spend time with individual students when they only have 2 or 3 classes a day. Students are not rushing from class to class, adjusting to a new teacher, and trying to keep track of so many disconnected subjects to learn and assignments to do.
2. How are classes different at Oceana?
Teachers see themselves as "coaches" who help students be responsible for their own learning, not simply as experts who tell students facts to memorize. There aren't as many lectures , or use of textbooks and worksheets as you'll find at most high schools. We believe people learn better by doing things. Students are asked to do activities, research, and projects covering a lot of information. Also, we believe that most things in life are best studied from more than one point of view. So we try to make connections between subjects.
3. What does a student at Oceana need to do to be successful?
Be responsible for your own education. This means knowing how to learn, and realizing that no one can make you learn except yourself. Think about how you are building the skills and knowledge you need in order to prove that you are ready to graduate. This means more than doing homework; it means talking to teachers about what and how you're learning, and doing your part on group work, and not doing long-term projects at the last minute.
4. What is community service and how does it work?
One of Oceana's goals is to develop people who are active, aware citizens of a democracy, and contributors to their community. By doing service, you are learning valuable skills in the "real world" and you are gaining pride in helping others. You learn how to work with others, how to make contacts and keep commitments, and skills that will help you find a job someday. One of the reasons for our shorter school day on Wednesdays is that it gives students an opportunity to do community service during the day.
5. When does Advisory meet and what is it for?
Advisory allows you to have one adult at the school who can get to know you well and help you through school. Parents can contact the Advisor if they need to talk with someone at school and teachers can talk with the Advisor to find ways to help students succeed. The Advisor makes sure you are meeting the requirements for graduation and college, and offer help when you need it. Advisory also gives you time to work on homework and projects.
6. Besides passing classes and doing community service, what else do I need to do to graduate?
One requirement is to successfully complete the "Senior Exhibition." This is a major research project that you work on all through your senior year. You pick a topic that is of interest to you, read about it and talk to people in the community about it, then write a paper and make a presentation to an audience. Your teachers throughout your four years at Oceana will work with you to build the skills you will need for the Exhibition.
7. What about sports and extra-curricular activities at Oceana?
Although we're a small school, we do have an excellent sports program and there are many opportunities for extra-curricular activities. Oceana has four basketball teams (girls and boys varsity and junior varsity), and we currently have wrestling, cross country, tennis, and baseball teams.
This year we have 12 clubs, which meet at lunch or after school. Clubs range from Anime, to Musicians to the Gay-Straight Alliance to Mixed Martial Arts. Students are encouraged to form new clubs to represent their interests.
The Associated Student Body, Oceana's student government, plans dances, the prom, three spirit weeks & rallies per year, as well as blood drives, canned food drives, and other community service activities.
8. Can I take Advanced Placment classes at Oceana?
In the 9th and 10th grade, enriched English and Social Studies classes are available to all students. In your junior and senior years, you can choose from eight AP classes: US History, English Literature and Composition (11th grade), Government, English Language and Composition (12th grade), Calculus, Chemistry, and Spanish Language.