A Viking at GBHS: Transfer student compares GBHS to Oakmont

CULTURE

The culture at Granite Bay is drastically different compared to Oakmont’s. From what I have seen so far, GBHS seems to be highly academically advanced. Staff do their best to help their students strive for excellence within the curriculum. They genuinely want what is best for their students and help them tremendously to achieve these goals by providing ample resources and extra help to help every student succeed. GBHS is filled with high-achieving students who create a fun environment for their peers, which allows them to enjoy their experience here. Students at GBHS have more freedom and expectations from teachers and for themselves when it comes to academics and school rules which I feel helps students become more mature, responsible and respectful individuals. Differing from GBHS, Oakmont is more restrictive when it comes to school and classroom rules, which can create a more hostile environment for students and strains student-staff relationships. GBHS is more lenient than Oakmont when it comes to self expression and the dress code, with fewer rules that could limit your self-expression. Students at GBHS have more school spirit when it comes to sports and seem to be very proud of their school whereas at Oakmont students are often ashamed or embarrassed of their sports teams because they typically don’t perform as well.

ACADEMIC OPPORTUNITIES 

Oakmont offers a number of academic programs and courses targeted to students interested in certain career pathways. Courses at OHS are more guided and less interactive. Students interested in a career in the medical field can be a part of Health Academy, a program with different classes that better prepare students interested in healthcare or the medical field. To be a part of Health Academy, students must sign up and go through the interview process their freshmen year. Once accepted, your schedule will be formed around the program. Courses include, but are not limited to Medical Science & Terminology, Advanced Medical Science, Hospital Practicum and Medical Trends Seminar. OHS also includes many different CTE and IB courses, including Culinary Arts and IB Environmental Systems and Societies. These courses are unique to Oakmont with my personal favorite being Culinary Arts, which I took last year and was surprised GBHS didn’t offer anymore. Although I personally am not interested in the medical field, I think that having courses like this at a public high school is an amazing resource for students when deciding their future. GBHS has a variety of courses here that are not offered at Oakmont, such as Fish & Wildlife, Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Principles of Business and a variety of band related courses, whereas Oakmont only has two band courses.

CAMPUS

Granite Bay’s campus is much larger than Oakmont’s, with the majority of classrooms being in two-story buildings. Oakmont’s campus is set up with what seems to be an equal number of portable classrooms to original classrooms. Its original classrooms are in one-story buildings with outdoor hallways. Since Oakmont is much older than GBHS, the campus is more dated. Oakmont opened in 1966, whereas GBHS opened in 1996. GBHS has a more upscale campus with features such as a nicer football stadium and newer classrooms, making the campus look cleaner. I personally prefer our campus over Oakmont’s due to its accessibility and being larger, which makes things more open and less crowded.

STAFF

Oakmont has about 70 teachers that typically specialize in teaching one particular subject/course similar to GBHS. During my time at Oakmont I had many positive experiences with the staff; very rarely did I dislike a teacher or have a negative experience. The teaching style at Oakmont is more guided with less room for freedom. Teachers are more strict when it comes to engaging with other students, even if solely for academic reasons. My experience with staff at GB so far has been nothing but positive. I feel that the staff do their best to help their students succeed and establish good relationships with them. Teachers at GB have a more engaging teaching style, which helps involve students with the school and with each other rather than making students work on their own and feel isolated. Both schools have a Wellness Center providing information regarding mental health issues and offering support to students who are struggling.