Your student’s success – today and in the future – is Oconto Falls High School singular purpose. We recognize that each student is an individual with unique talents, specific needs, and unbounded aspirations. Our fundamental mission is to challenge your child to reach his or her dreams. We accomplish this mission by promoting academic excellence, and by empowering students to achieve their maximum potential within a safe, nurturing environment.
Oconto Falls High School has been recognized for student achievement in academics, sports, creative and performing arts, and career and technical programs. As a premier high school in North Eastern Wisconsin, Oconto Falls is a leader in providing educational choices to students and their parents from 9th through 12th grade.
Below, you will find frequently asked questions that are meant to help you select a high school as the best fit for your prospective student. In a competitive educational marketplace, we believe that Oconto Falls High School is strategically positioned to help you. But don’t take our word for it; compare for yourself. Download the High School Scorecard below so you can compare our answers to other schools you visit.
Dr. Bruce Russell, Principal
This is a list of frequently asked questions, and answers, to better assist you in selecting a high school that will be the best fit for your prospective student(s). In a competitive marketplace, we believe that Oconto Falls High School is positioned to help you and your child best prepare them for their future endeavors. But don’t take our word for it, compare for yourself. Use the scorecard on the bottom of the page to compare our answers to other schools that you visit.
Is there a culture of academic excellence?
Oconto Falls tradition of excellence dates back to our first year as a school in 1904. Since then the list of accomplishments and accolades has grown to include being named a School of Excellence by the National Association of Student Councils and National Association of Secondary School Principals. Our faculty has received local, state, and national recognition for the many awards and honors that have been earned through hard work and a passion for excellence. For example, our Technology Education department has been recognized as the Wisconsin Department of the Year; and our Science department has been recognized by the Wisconsin DPI for their effort in implementing one of the largest STEM Symposiums each year in the state. Nine of our faculty members have been recognized as Kohl Fellowship Award recipients and 85% of our staff members have advanced degrees.
Our students are just as accomplished and they boast a fine list of accomplishments. Since 2005 we have been awarded 15 Kohl Scholarship recipients, a gold standard for student success in Wisconsin, sent students to prestigious universities on a yearly basis including MIT, California-Berkeley, Stanford, Purdue, UW-Madison, MSOE and many others. For a school our size our per capita offerings of college credit classes (10) is high and our college-bound students typically earn up to 30 college credits while in high school. A look at the annual Scholarship Awards program is all one needs to see that our students are being recognized with the best and brightest throughout the state.
While post-secondary options are stressed, it is equally important to ensure that those students entering the workforce are just as highly prepared for their own new ventures. A comprehensive curriculum and strong focus in the Career Technical and STEM areas enables Oconto Falls to do this. A district emphasis on creating and sustaining school/community partnerships that concentrate on common goals helps us build the necessary community business partnerships that enable us to send students directly to the work force if needed. Building Apprenticeship Training programming remains a focus in these areas.
No other school of our size in our area offers the depth and breadth of experiences that the Oconto Falls student body enjoys.
Will you fully prepare my child for college, career, and beyond?
Oconto Falls students had a composite ACT® score of 23.1 in the 2015-16 school year. Boasting a 98% 4-year cohort graduation rate, nearly 85% of our students continue their education post graduation from high school. Maintaining a comprehensive curriculum ensures that whatever a student’s choice, they will be best prepared to take it on, in full stride. Celebrating the diversity that our students bring to the school, their post-graduate plans also reflect this, showing students attending 4-year colleges, regional technology schools, military training, and a few entering the workforce directly each year.
Our counseling department goes to great lengths to individualize the career and post-graduation planning process for each student. This includes individual discussions from the time students are first semester freshmen and throughout their four years of high school. Utilizing a systematic approach and utilizing Career Cruising technology, allows our counselors to walk each student through the career and college application process that involves a complex 4-year plan to help guide student decisions for what to do after high school. The list of successes and outstanding career accomplishments that the inducted members of our Wall of Fame have demonstrated are examples of this.
Ensuring that our students are prepared to apply and be accepted to the college of their choice is only the first step. We also believe that we need to ensure to the best of our abilities that they are prepared to be academically successful once they are there. In addition to the broad range of Advanced Placement (AP) classes that we offer, we also partner with the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, and St. Norbert College in DePere, and Northeast Technical College to offer college classes to our students here at the high school as part of their normal school day.
We also realize that 4-year college options are not needed for every student. This emphasizes the importance of our ability to prepare students for technical school, apprenticeship training, and for matriculation directly into the workforce. To be considered a comprehensive school we must continue to do this, and admittedly we do it very well. Six (6) highly qualified and certified teachers (higher than any school in the area) manage our career and technology programming ranging from welding, and metals options, to business, agriculture, and engineering classes in our Project Lead the Way programming. For students wishing to earn practical experience, Oconto Falls has the answer for them.
The depth and breadth of our academic programming options result in graduate that can function on their own and, ultimately, are well prepared for the rigors of college and career.
Are there multiple options to explore personal interests?
In addition to our academic offerings, Oconto Falls also offers a wide range of extracurricular and club opportunities. There are over 90 different clubs and activities in which students can become involved in. While athletics are common, music and the fine arts, CTSO organizations, Robotics, and academic based clubs such as Forensics and Destination Imagination are popular.
We strongly suggest that all students be involved in some activity outside of the classroom. While we cannot make students participate, we place a high priority on involvement, in which most of our students enjoy. For those students that don’t identify with a specific club or interest, they are encouraged to reach out to the faculty and walk through the process of creating new clubs and activities to become involved.
What support will you offer my child?
As we endeavor to challenge, grow and stretch our students’ minds, we acknowledge that even the brightest students may encounter academic, social or emotional difficulty at various points of their high school career. The initial supports for our students starts with our year-long Freshmen and New Student Transition Program. Working with our students even before they attend classes is important to lay the foundation for success once they are here. Learning Labs, which are 45-minute blocks of time where students are unscheduled so that everyone may get extra help in areas that are important to them, are built into the weekly schedule. The development of a Student Assistance Team (SAT) has aided in the identification of struggling students and school counselors, psychologists, administration, parents and teachers work together to find solutions for individual student success. These specific structures complement peer tutoring opportunities that are available before and after school and Intervention classes that are available throughout the day. Of course, our staff is always available before and after school, and throughout the day for additional help as needed.
We also recognize the importance of mental health and students’ overall well-being. Services such as individual and group counseling through our Pupil Services Department or Bellin Health, are offered within our school. Combined with a daily program entitled Project Wisdom which is one of the oldest and most respected characters education/social-emotional programs in the nation, and with the use of nationally recognized presenters and motivational speakers, we proactively work to build resiliency during periods of overextension, anxiety, and stress.
Will my child be safe here?
Student safety is paramount. While Oconto Falls High School has a strong record regarding safety, we adhere to a continuous improvement model. We work closely with law enforcement and emergency management agencies to ensure our policies and practices are cutting edge and that our safety and security protocols meet the standards that our community expects.
Visitors are welcome to stop by and observe the hallways, common areas, and lunchroom during the school day to observe our calm, safe environment. Our behavior management systems include many interventions and supports through not only the classroom but through our Pupil Services Department that has proven to be successful in providing a proactive approach to school culture and climate. While the staff and students appreciate the atmosphere that we have cultivated over time, we continually stress the importance of respect and personal responsibility as we overtly address the hard questions that may arise in response to student emotional issues, bullying, and substance abuse.