Our teachers inspire us

High School

Oakwood High School provides Morgan Hill and neighboring communities a local, private, independent high school. Growing from roots that run nearly fifty years deep, Oakwood is led by a family in its third generation of running successful private schools. Starting in ninth grade, our individualized, intentional college counseling process fully supports your student as she defines, pursues, and reaches her higher educational goals. It’s no wonder our students regularly score in the top percentiles on their college entrance exams, go on to attend some of the finest colleges and universities in the nation, and continue to learn and lead for a lifetime.

We are Morgan Hill’s independent, non-sectarian, college-preparatory school for students in preschool through grade 12. Our diverse community, thriving on an expansive campus, provides a home for an extended family of learners. Here, we share our unwavering commitment to a more intentional education. To learn more about our educational philosophy, download our Upper School Brochure. The best way for your family to meet our family is to tour our scenic Morgan Hill campus, meet our teachers and students, and observe our learning in action. Our family looks forward to meeting yours.

High School Snapshot

Oakwood High School strives to create an enriching, nurturing educational environment in which students advance within a rigorous academic core curriculum while also developing intellectual maturity, self-confidence, and strong character.

The School and Faculty

Oakwood School, founded in 1998, is an independent, co-educational, nondenominational college preparatory school serving grades preschool-12 with an enrollment of 535. Visit Our History to learn more. Oakwood High School, founded in 2005, is located on the same campus and serves 137 students in grades 9-12. The student to teacher ratio is approximately 8:1.

Oakwood High School faculty, three quarters of whom hold advanced degrees, were educated at leading colleges and universities such as UC Berkeley, Dartmouth College, UCLA, University of Virginia, and Northwestern University. Oakwood is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

The Community and Students

Located 15 miles south of San Jose, California, and Silicon Valley, Oakwood attracts students from diverse cultural, religious, socioeconomic, and ethnic backgrounds who seek rigorous academics and opportunities to engage in a nurturing environment that supports a high standard of behavior. Oakwood develops well-rounded, insightful, respectful, and motivated learners focused on responsible leadership in the global society of the 21st century. The school also works diligently with parents to foster the development of each student as an individual.

Honor Code

Oakwood High School is an academic community whose educational mission requires the highest level of character, integrity, and trust among students and faculty. Oakwood’s mission is sustained by the honor of all, out of respect for all. Honor code violations, whether academic or personal, are met with strict sanctions imposed in accord with the best interest of the Oakwood community and the student.

Academic Program

Oakwood offers a college preparatory program with established standards for academic excellence. Oakwood’s rigorous academics are balanced with a rich experience in the arts, athletics, and community involvement. Teachers are encouraged to use creative lesson planning, which includes field trips, hands-on projects, the latest technologies, and cross-curricular assignments. Small class sizes (average class size is 11:1) provide maximum opportunity for focused attention and help uncover and develop individual strengths. We also take great care to create a wholesome environment in which character, values, and compassion are priorities. Admission is competitive, and is based upon performance in middle school, test results, faculty recommendations, and a comprehensive application.

Grade Point Averages

GPA is weighted and calculated for all courses taken at Oakwood. Courses taken elsewhere are not calculated in the GPA. All Honors and AP courses are given an extra point in the weighted GPA. After six semesters, the middle 50% range for Oakwood’s Class of 2020 includes students with weighted GPAs between 3.72 and 4.11. The average cumulative weighted GPA is 3.88.

Graduation Requirements

Oakwood’s college preparatory curriculum requires six courses per semester for all students enrolled in grades 9-12. Minimum graduation requirements are:

English

Mathematics

Lab Science

World Languages

Social Sciences

Visual or Performing Arts

Electives

Physical Education

Community Service

5 years

3 years

3 years

3 years

4 years

1 year

3.5 years

2 years

20 hours per year

SAT and ACT Scores

From the class of 2020, the average SAT score was 1310 and the average ACT composite score was 32.7.

National Merit Scholarship Programs

From the class of 2020, 13% were Semifinalists and 9% were Commended Students.

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

Oakwood students pursue individual talents and interests through extracurricular activities and athletic participation. In addition to a high school athletic program that includes, but is not limited to, girls’ and boys’ basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, cross country, track and field, and coed badminton and golf, students may participate in club and individual sports outside of school. School-sponsored activities include student council, yearbook, drama, Interact, debate, speech, journalism, robotics, and service clubs.

Travel Study

Oakwood High School sponsors a yearly international student trip with the belief that travel study is an exceptional way for students to deepen their understanding of the world and broaden their perspectives. Oakwood provides students with work opportunities on campus to assist with affording international exploration. Working their way to these countries also helps foster a strong work ethic.

Past destinations have included France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, England, China and the Galapagos Islands. A trip to Japan is planned for the Spring Break in 2020.

Visit the Travel Study webpage for photos and videos of recent trips.

Community Service

Oakwood High School’s Student Service Program includes service to both community and school. A minimum of 20 hours per school year is required. Ten, or more, of the hours are to be served at an area nonprofit organization other than Oakwood.

College Admissions and Placement

The following list of colleges and universities indicates where members of Oakwood’s 2009-2019 graduating classes were accepted for admission. 97% of Oakwood graduates go directly to 4-year colleges and universities, and 3% attend community college, gap year programs, and/or military service.

Academy of Art University +*
American University +*
Amherst College
Arizona State University +*
Azusa Pacific University +*
Barnard College
Baylor University +*
Bethlehem College & Seminary *
Biola University +*
Boston College +*
Boston University +*
Bowdoin College
Brigham Young University +*
Brigham Young University-Hawaii +*
Brigham Young University-Idaho +*
Brown University
Cabrillo College +
California College of the Arts
California Institute of the Arts *
California Institute of Technology
California Lutheran University +

California Polytechnic University
Pomona +*
San Luis Obispo +*

California State University
Channel Islands +
Chico +*
Dominguez Hills *
East Bay +*
Fresno +
Fullerton +*
Humboldt +
Long Beach +
Monterey Bay +*
Northridge +
Sacramento +*
San Diego +*
San Francisco +*
San Jose +*
Sonoma +*
Stanislaus

Canisius College
Carnegie Mellon University +*
Case Western Reserve University
Catholic University of America
Central Washington University

Chaminade University of Hawaii *
Chapman University +*
Claremont McKenna College +
Colby College *
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado State University +*
Columbia College Chicago
Columbia University *
Concordia University-Irvine +*
Concordia University-Montreal +
Corbin University
Cornell University +
Cornish School of the Arts *
Covenant College *
Creighton University +
Dalhousie University
De Anza College
DePaul University *
DigiPen Institute of Technology *
Dixie State University
Dominican University
Duke University +*
Emmanuel College
Emory University +
Eugene Lange College +
Evergreen State College
Evergreen Valley College
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising *
Fordham University +
Full Sail University
Gavilan College *
George Fox University
George Mason University +*
George Washington University *
Georgia Institute of Technology +*
Georgia State University
Gonzaga University +
Hamline University
Haverford College +
Hawaii Pacific University +
Hofstra University
Holy Names College
Howard University
Hult Institute of Technology
Indiana University-Bloomington
Iowa State University *
Jacobs University
James Madison University
Johns Hopkins University +
Kenyon College
King’s College
Laguna College of Art & Design *
Lewis and Clark College +*
Loyola Marymount University +*
Loyola University-Chicago
Loyola University-Maryland
Louisiana State University *
Maastricht University *
Marist College
Maryland Institute College of Art +
Marymount Manhattan College
McGill University +*
Menlo College
Middlebury College
Montana State University +
Mount Holyoke College *
Mount Saint Mary’s University
Muhlenberg College
New York University +*
Northeastern University +
Northern Arizona University *
Notre Dame de Namur University +
Nova Southeastern University *
Occidental College +

Oglethorpe University *
Ohlone College
Old Dominion University
Oral Roberts University
Oregon State University +*
Otis College of Art and Design *
Oxford College (Emory University) +
Pacific Lutheran University
Pacific University +
Pellissippi State College *
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design
Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University-World
Pepperdine University +
Pitzer College +*
Pratt Institute +
Purdue University +
Reed College +
Rhode Island School of Design +*
Rice University
Rutgers University +
Saint Mary’s College-Moraga +*
Santa Barbara City College *
Santa Clara University +*
Sarah Lawrence College +
Savannah College of Art and Design +
School of the Art Institute of
Chicago +*
School of Visual Arts
Scripps College
Seattle Pacific University +
Seattle University +*

Sierra Nevada College
Singidunum University *
Southern Oregon University +
Southern Virginia University +*
St. John’s University
Stanford University +*
Stevens Institute of Technology
Suffolk University
Syracuse University +
Temple University
Texas Christian University *
Texas State University
Texas Tech University *
The New School
Trinity University
Tulane University
Union College
University of Advancing Technologies
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
University of Alaska-Fairbanks
University of Alaska-Southeast
University of Albany
University of Arizona +*

University of California
Berkeley +*
Davis +*
Irvine +*
Los Angeles +*
Merced +*
Riverside +*
San Diego +*
Santa Barbara +*
Santa Cruz +*

University of Cincinnati
University of Colorado-Boulder +
University of Delaware +
University of Denver
University of Georgia *
University of Hawaii-Hilo +
University of Illinois, Chicago
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign +
University of La Verne
University of Michigan
University of Missouri *
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of Nevada, Reno +*
University of New Hampshire *
University of North Carolina, Charlotte
University of North Dakota *
University of Northern Arizona
University of Oregon +*
University of Pennsylvania *
University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown
University of Portland +*
University of Puget Sound +
University of Redlands +*
University of San Diego +
University of San Francisco +*
University of Southern California +*
University of Texas at Arlington
University of the Arts
University of the Netherlands
University of the Pacific +*
University of Toronto
University of Twente *
University of Washington-Seattle +
University of Wisconsin, Madison *
University of Utah +*
University of Vermont
University of Victoria *
Utah State University +*
Utah Valley University +
Villanova University
Wagner College
Washington State University +
Washington University (St. Louis)
Weber State University +
Wellesley College +
Wesleyan University
Western Oregon University *
Western Washington University +*
Westmont University +*
Whittier College +*
Whitworth University +
Willamette University +*
William and Mary
Williams College +
Woodbury University +

+ Indicates multiple acceptances

* Indicates institutions where one or more Oakwood graduates are, or have been, enrolled

High School News

Oakwood Brings the Thunder at New Athletic Center Grand Opening

On Monday, November 18, Oakwood School's newest campus addition, the Athletic Center, officially opened with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and All-School Spirit Rally! Michelle Helvey greeted the eager community in the Athletic Center Quad to cut the ribbon for another jewel of our campus. Students, staff, and guests proceeded inside and marveled at the size of the new gymnasium before making their way to their class' assigned seating areas. Athletic Director Kort Jensen welcomed the crowd, and explained to them that this newest facility is so much more than a gym, but a true athletic center where they will enjoy locker rooms, team rooms for game strategy, weight and cardio rooms, and a concessions stand! Oakwood's new mascot finally made its debut and Mrs. Helvey announced its name--Thunder! Kort Jensen then asked all middle and high school athletes for the 2019-2020 school year to please stand in the bleachers for our community to honor them and their hard work and dedication to their various sports! Students were able to participate in a shoot-around on the court with thunderous cheers from the entire student body and our new Mascot! High school student-athletes then led students from kindergarten through 12th Grade on tours of the facility, pointing out the various spaces and answering questions from inquisitive minds. The morning ended with high fives and hugs from Thunder and each student taking home a brand new Oakwood Hawks pennant flag!

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Cross Country Athletes Find Success in PCAL Championships

Congratulations to all of the Cross Country athletes who competed in the PCAL Championship last Saturday. The Boys Varsity team raced to a second-place finish in the Santa Lucia division, led by Ellis Richardson, who finished as Santa Lucia division champion. Ellis Richardson and Kate Marcotullio both earned recognition as all-league athletes and both qualified to run in the CCS Meet later this month. We are proud of all that the Cross Country team accomplished this season - Go Hawks!

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The verdict is in on HERE COMES THE JUDGE... and it's H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!!!

Oakwood's beautiful new Gwendolyn Riches Liberal Arts Center Theatre had its debut performance on October 25th and 26th with the high school comedy "Here Comes the Judge." The rapid comedic dialogue, superb acting, and zany characters in this play held the audience's attention. Thank you to everyone who came out to support Oakwood's Performing Arts Program and the cast, tech crew, creative staff, and parent volunteers and supporters for their time, talent, and hard work putting the show together.

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Seven Oakwood High School Seniors Recognized by National Merit Scholarship Corporation

Last week seven of our high school seniors were notified of honors received from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Four students, Nolan Kornelsen, Jashan Pabla, Abhas Rajhans, and James Xu, are among the approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue for some 7,600 National Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. Three additional students, Shria Bulusu, Ali Rastbaf, and Anne Rickard, were named as Commended Students in the 2020 National Scholarship Program, an honor recognizing their exceptional academic promise. We are proud that 21% of our students have already been recognized nationally for their outstanding academics! Bravo Seniors!

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Guest Speaker Cecelia Ticktin Speaks to Oakwood Performing Arts Students About Becoming a Broadway Actor

Actress Cecelia Ticktin, the current Elphaba Standby in the National Broadway Tour of Wicked, graciously came to speak to Oakwood's Performing Arts Students on Wednesday. Ticktin recounted that at the age of ten, during a Broadway performance of Les Miserables, after feeling a connection with the lead actor, she decided to pursue a career as a Broadway actor. While speaking to the students, Ms. Ticktin relayed it was her willingness to work much harder than others, an enormous amount of perseverance, and a slight touch of delusion, that allowed her to pursue her lofty goals and finally achieve her dream role. Click "Read More" for details.

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Aiden Huang Plays Violin at Carnegie Hall by Invitation of American Protégé

Aiden Huang, an Oakwood High School student, had the incredible opportunity to play his violin at Carnegie Hall in New York City, this past May at the International Piano and String Competition 2019 Winner Recital. Aiden was invited to play by American Protégé after being chosen as an Honorable Mention Winner for the Junior category of the competition. He decided to perform "The Boy Paganini" by Mollenhauer. Aiden has participated in the San Jose Youth Symphony for the past six years. He enjoys playing violin in the orchestra setting; however, after watching his sister perform at Carnegie Hall last summer, Aiden was inspired to see if he was capable of playing solo; therefore he entered this year's competition. It was an exhilarating moment for Aiden, especially after seeing many great musicians performed on the stage. During the Winner Recital, each musician needed to deliver their performance successfully to receive the award. It was indeed a fantastic experience for Aiden. He not only was allowed to travel to New York City and play on the iconic stage but also met new friends who are also very talented violinists.


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Oakwood High School Class of 2019 Commencement

Oakwood families and friends gathered on Wednesday, May 29th, to celebrate the accomplishments of the senior class, and watch them as they progress from high school students into graduates. Highlights of the event were the national anthem sang by Jade Bautista and Brooke Murphy and the speeches given by Head of School Michelle Helvey, Senior Advisor Dr. Wilson, Seniors Jeb Goldman, Grace Chapman, Collin Moosman, and Nikhita Gopisetty and Principal Crone. We are incredibly proud of our graduating class for their hard work at Oakwood and the legacy they leave behind. We are confident that they leave Oakwood ready to face the future with boldness, but hope they return as Alumni to share their future successes! A special thank you to the Graduation Committee volunteers!

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2019 Senior Walk in the Books

The Oakwood High School class of 2019 wore their caps and gowns for the first time as part of the Second Annual Oakwood Senior Walk! Seniors proudly walked through the Oakwood campus while students, parents, faculty, and staff enthusiastically cheered them on and celebrated their achievement. This was a special moment for graduating seniors and the younger students who look up to them. We are all very proud of our senior class!

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HS Students Immerse Themselves in Spanish Culture

Oakwood High School students traveled over Spring Break to the beautiful country of Spain. They toured Madrid, Toledo, Córdoba, Sevilla, and Granada, visiting many places of historical significance and learning about the heritage of the different regions. As they toured the country they were able to soak in Spain's natural beauty, practice their Spanish and enjoy traditional cuisine. The trip was a tremendous opportunity to learn about Spain, submerge themselves into the Spanish culture, and delve into life in this incredible country. The students came home very happy and full of stories of their adventures.

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Oakwood HS Students Demonstrate Problem-Solving Prowess at CodeWars Competition

On Saturday, March 2nd, eight Oakwood High School students (comprising three teams) traveled to Roseville to compete in the annual CodeWars computer programming contest. For three hours, the teams competed against 180 students from all over northern California in attempting to solve a collection of 29 problems of varying difficulties. All three teams coded impressively, and thrived in this exciting and competitive environment. Special congratulations to the team of Shayan Daijavad, Kate Jackson, and Konark Vinod, who finished 4th in the Novice division.


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Senior Nikhita Gopisetty's Volunteerism Recognized with Receipt of President's Volunteer Service Award

High School Senior Nikhita Gopisetty has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with the President's Volunteer Service Award, granted by Prudential Financial, in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). The award recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country. Volunteer activities were judged on criteria including initiative, effort, impact and person growth. Nikhita has logged over a thousand hours of volunteering locally, nationally and internationally. Click "Read More" for details!

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High School Junior and Senior Class Attend Panetta Student Lecture

Monday, February 25th Junior and Senior Advisory classes journeyed to the Monterey Bay Conference Center to attend the Leon Panetta Student Lecture Series. This year's theme Checks and Balances – Will Our Democracy Survive? provided the topic of our lecture The Mueller Investigation, the Law and the Presidency. This annual event has become a highly anticipated tradition at Oakwood and one that delivers enduring memories for all involved. The experience serves as a catalyst for deep conversation and in turn generates new perspectives. Click "Read More" for details.

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Patriotism and Veterans Honored Throughout Annual Freedom Festival

The Oakwood gym was filled with song and dance today during the Freedom Festival. Our Oakwood community enjoyed this school-wide celebration of patriotism. Students honored our country and our veterans with grade-level presentations, which included patriotic songs and videos produced by students. Veterans and members of the military had special VIP seating and were honored with a song sung especially for them by our 5th grade students, "American Heroes."

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My daughter's going to Cal Poly. She got so many scholarships and grants that she's going to go there cheaper than San Jose State. It's amazing that she got in. It's amazing that she had such a stellar education. It's amazing that she got free money. And I attribute it to this school and the staff and the focus that they give our kids.

Oakwood Parent

My son has been a student at Oakwood since kindergarten. He is graduating from Oakwood HS next month. Oakwood is absolutely the best school in this area - maybe in the whole county. It has been worth every penny. I can't say enough good things about the school, staff, faculty, facility, owners. Oakwood is exceptional in every way.

Oakwood Parent

Oakwood provides me with much more opportunity to participate than I would get at a larger school. It amazes me that I can be on the soccer team, the tennis team, Student Council, Speech and Debate, Model UN, a service club and in a play all in the same year.

Oakwood Student

The teachers are so dedicated at a personal level that you will not find anywhere. That is so important, because going into college admissions you need those references, and these teachers know these kids.

Oakwood Parent

College & University Acceptences

Here is a partial list of where some of our graduates have been accepted:
Visit our College & University Acceptances webpage for a more complete list.