From Principal Tim Payton:
Thank you for choosing Oak Hill High School to educate your child. As a parent, I know how important it is to have a school that not only prepares students academically, but also socially, for life beyond high school. It has been said on numerous occasions that schools and the “real world” are two different things. I disagree with that. Schools exist in the real world, and therefore must represent and reflect the world around us.
To that end, our teachers spend much time in the study and development of engaging lessons. These lessons are peer reviewed for relevance and accuracy, and implemented to foster student involvement. Teachers monitor teacher and student engagement from time to time through a process called IPI (Instructional Practices Inventory). Basically, teachers are visiting other teachers’ classrooms and taking a “snap shot” of what is going on at that moment in time. They are looking to see if students and teachers are engaged in the lesson and to what degree.
Our teachers spend time collaborating and planning lessons. Students are asked to think about the topic at hand and they are asked to produce unique and novel ways of looking at situations that may affect them outside of the classroom. Our teachers have spent countless hours in developing instructional strategies that allow students to take more control of their education. To this end, teachers rely more on questions than answers. This paradigm shift will enable our students to become better thinkers and problem solvers. They are also encouraged to work collaboratively. There are not many situations where people work in isolation in this day and time. It is important that students have the necessary skills to work with others.
Additionally, our students and staff have spent much time in improving the climate and culture at Oak Hill High School. We are changing how Oak Hill High School is perceived in the wider community. Not only have we tried to improve the aesthetics of our campus, but we have worked on the emotional environment as well. We believe that we are making a difference and our culture and climate data reflect those positive changes. This is not work that ever stops.
At Oak Hill High School we ask our students to behave appropriately, engage themselves academically and socially, and complete the required coursework to graduate on time. We believe in a rigorous curriculum. To that end, our students have the opportunity to choose from up to 14 AP (Advanced Placement) Courses. Students are encouraged to further their education by attending post-secondary institutions such as: Career and Technical Colleges, Community Colleges, and four-year colleges and universities. We also have a great tradition of students serving their country and community through volunteering at their local fire department, joining the National Guard, and volunteering for full-time military service.
Please feel free to contact any member of our school administration, faculty, or staff if there are ideas or concerns that need to be shared. We want to hear from you and we want you to be involved in your school.
I am proud of the work that our students and teachers do here at OHHS. I enjoy being a member of the Red Devil family. I look forward to working with our students, teachers, and all stakeholders as we continue to grow and mature in all levels of teaching, learning, and life.
Timothy J. Payton
From Assistant Principal Katie Hayes:
At Oak Hill High School, we care about our students. We care about their academic achievements, their safety and their emotional well-being. These past five years our faculty and staff have been committed to improve the culture and climate at our school. As a recipient of the Safe and Supportive Schools grant, our school was in a position to truly address the needs of our school community. Our students, parents and teachers take surveys addressing safety, engagement and environment every spring. From that survey data, we make a plan to improve. Each year of our grant we have improved our School Safety Index score, which is on a 9 point scale. Our 2013 score was a 3.9, and in 2014 our score jumped to 4.2. Through work with this grant, we have improved teacher collaboration, school pride, discipline and attendance rates and overall student involvement. We have seen a steady decline in discipline referrals and a steady increase in attendance rates for both teachers and students.
We attribute a portion of our success to the implementation of our Freshman Academy in the 2010-11 school year. Our 9th graders have a separate wing of our building which houses all freshman core classes, homerooms, and lockers. All academy teachers participate in professional development specific to the issues of transitioning 9th graders.
We have many successes to celebrate at Oak Hill High School; however, we face many challenges daily. It is so rewarding being a part of an administrative team, faculty and staff that works tirelessly to make life for our students better every day.
Katie Keffer Hayes
From Assistant Principal Chad Quesenberry:
A primary goal of every successful school should be continuous improvement. At Oak Hill High School, we have targeted a number of areas that we wish to improve upon each year, with our graduation rate being a primary focus. Through our many concerted efforts we have seen our graduation rate rise from 71% in 2011-2012 to 80% in 2013-2014. As the former graduation coach I can speak to the dedication and compassion our faculty and staff have when it comes to helping our students stay on the path to success. Due to the level of trust and commitment we all have to the common goal of improving education for kids, we have been able to usher in a new era of innovative and intricate programs to fill our needs. Some of the programs and resources we’ve allocated to improving our graduation rate include credit recovery options for students and teachers. Students will be able to recover credits lost through an online curriculum in content specific courses. We have also implemented Instructional Intervention Teams (IIT) and Student Assistant Teams (SAT) that include teachers from multiple subjects, administrators, and counselors to provide interventions for students having trouble in a single class or classes. Not losing sight of the importance of including a supportive home environment for student success, we also conduct home visits throughout the course of the school year. These visits can include, but are not limited to counselors, administrators, PRO Officer, and/or the attendance director. Over the course of the past several years, our methods have certainly changed concerning how we prepare students for the future, but the expectations are still as high as ever.