Upper School (Grades 8-12)

Oakwood’s Upper School is the capstone to a student’s preparation for academic independence and strong character that has been developing in both Oakwood’s Lower and Middle Schools.  The Upper School’s challenging curriculum prepares its students for colleges and universities around the nation; the advisory program focuses on helping students become positive members of our communities; and the athletic and fine arts departments contribute to nurturing empathetic and tolerant students with strong leadership, collaborative, and critical thinking skills.

With the guidance of an outstanding faculty, our Upper School students develop writing, researching, debating, and critical and creative thinking skills, as well as a passion for life-long learning. Experiential and differentiated learning ensures each student in the Upper School has the potential to succeed.  In the classroom and beyond, Oakwood Upper School students are encouraged to cultivate wisdom, creativity and strong social skills that will prepare them for a future that is constantly changing.

One of the Upper School’s end goals for its students is acceptance into the college or university of their choice. Working one-on-one with Oakwood’s college counselor beginning in 9th grade, students and their parents are engaged in a process that helps them narrow their selections, apply to colleges and universities of interest, and apply for merit as well as financial aid scholarships.  88% of our students attend their first choice college and university, and over $1.2 million was awarded to our senior class in merit-based scholarships last year.  

Despite the success of college placement, Oakwood looks beyond college in the teaching of its students. The Upper School desires for its students to become game changers of the future— individuals who help to make the world a better place, whether through social activism, medical discoveries, or cultural engagement.  Oakwood students will have a lasting impact —and the flame is ignited here.

What is Unique about the Upper School at Oakwood

  • All classes are Honors level and/or Advanced Placement level coursework in Math, Science, History and English with Advanced Placement courses available beginning in sophomore year
  • The Honor System is a respected institution in the Upper School and is governed by students and the faculty advisor
  • Student-directed community service programs
  • Participation in the Senior Adoption program, in which students partner with each other in order to give back to the community in which they live and study
  • 60% of students achieved at least a score of 3 or higher on AP exams – higher than other regional independent schools’ scorings
  • Off-Campus Education Week teaches students to apply their knowledge by living their learning. While on these trips to destinations such as China, New York City, Germany, and various college campuses, students have participated in community service projects, conducted science activities, practiced language skills, and viewed first-hand other cultures and ways of life.
  • Through music, dance, drama and studio art classes, The Oakwood Upper School encourages students to appreciate the arts as well as to embrace participation in creative activities
  • 85% of our 7th through 12th graders participated in at least one sport last year
  • On-line courses and independent study projects are allowed when appropriate