Oklahoma Christian School
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Oklahoma Christian School (OCS) is an independent, private school located in Edmond, Oklahoma serving grades Pre K-12. It is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and fully recognized by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
OCS is a faith-based college preparatory school promoting academic preparation, Christian values and character development. The school's motto is "To Partner with Families to Educate the Whole Student to the Glory of God". Almost all OCS graduates go on to attend college, and while most attend public Oklahoma universities like Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma and University of Central Oklahoma, others go to private schools, other regional schools, and out of state. OCS graduates often find success in college because of the strong academic foundation they received, and go on to a range of careers, including business, law, medicine, academia and ministry. Some OCS graduates also go on to play collegiate sports like football, basketball and tennis. The most notable example is NBA star Blake Griffin, who won 4 consecutive state championships at OCS, then played for the University of Oklahoma before being drafted number 1 overall to play for the Clippers. OCS consistently has strong showings in football, basketball, golf and tennis, including a 2012 football state championship.
Oklahoma Christian School, originally known as the "Christian Center School", was founded in Fall 1970 and operated as an arm of the Christian Conquest Center Church in Oklahoma City. During the 1974-75 school year, the church decided to terminate the operation of the school as an arm of the church. Interested parents and teachers decided that the school must continue. The reorganized, independent school was incorporated as Oklahoma Christian Schools, Inc. on January 13, 1975.
Thirteen seniors composed the Class of 1976, the school's first. In 1987, OCS moved to the MetroChurch campus in east Edmond, Oklahoma.
After renting facilities for approximately 20 years, OCS completed its first major building project in 1991-92. It included a gym complex, with eight new classrooms added in 1995. The facility also houses a band room, science laboratories and the middle school administrative offices.
In 2000, after MetroChurch merged with Life Church (also in Edmond), the school began to convert church facilities to fully functional educational facilities.
OCS completed its multi-purpose Student Center at the end of the 2007-2008 school year. This building, the first phase in OCS's campus expansion, houses a cafeteria, band room, classrooms, concession stand, football locker rooms, and a secondary gymnasium. The OCS Master Plan includes a long-term expansion plan that will eventually move OCS out of many of its present buildings into new facilities.
OCS is of comparable quality to nearby Edmond North High School, one of the best public high schools in the state (3rd strongest in the state according to US News rankings). Parents choose OCS over North for the more closely knit environment, the safety of the campus and the opportunity for their children to learn about the Christian faith in the context of their formal education. OCS welcomes and encourages parents to be involved in the school, and offers SPO (Saints' Parents Organization) and the Barnabas Club for parents to participate in. Students at OCS will also experience significantly less exposure, if any at all, to drugs and alcohol, as OCS has very strict policies against illegal substances.
One noted weakness of the academic curriculum at OCS is the absence of AP (advanced placement) coursework allowing students to take tests for college credit, a program that other area schools (like Edmond North) offer. OCS is actively addressing this need, and have already made moves to offer AP history by bringing a UCO history professor on-site. The main goal of OCS education is Christian education, and if AP classes can't be taught by instructors sharing the same goals, then AP classes can't happen.
OCS typically sees students score well on tests like the ACT and the PSAT, but as with any school, there is a range of student ability and thus a range of scores. In 2010, for example, OCS had 3 of 60 seniors become National Merit Scholars based on their PSAT scores, putting them in the top 1% of scores in Oklahoma. That same year, there was a group of students scoring 30 and above on the ACT. The Oklahoma average for ACT test takers is a 20.7 according to act.org, while the average at OCS is a 25 and Edmond North is a 24.2 according to ok.gov.
OCS has a chapel program under the leadership of the chapel council—class chaplains and the STUCO Chaplain(s). This is a time of student-led worship, Bible reading, and messages either from administrators or outside speakers. It is not a non-denominational time, but rather an inter-denominational time in which students from all denominations are equally respected. Chapel is traditionally held every Wednesday, and classes on that day are each shortened to make time for the event.
OCS students and faculty of all grades (Pre-K through Seniors) reserve one week of every school year to raise money for a charitable cause. HEROES stands for Hands Extended Reflecting Our Exalted Savior. Recipients have ranged from OCS students to families outside the student body to Westwood Elementary School in Oklahoma City to the No Boundaries International Missions Group in Sierra Leone, Africa. This week consists of many events such as movie night, a date auction, flamingo football, and teacher auction (teachers auction off notes, quizzes, tardy passes and homemade items). The largest grossing item to date is a seven-course homemade gourmet Italian dinner that collected over $300 a plate. At the end of the week, the school assembles in an all-school chapel assembly, and after worship songs and scripture readings, the check is presented to the families or the organization representative.
OCS is also home to FIRST Robotics Competition team number 3169. The "Saint-Borgs" have been competing for 3 seasons. Their latest robot, Hellen Kepler, performed in the semifinals of Rebound Rumble at the Oklahoma City regional competition.