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Ossining High School

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Ossining High School
Ossining High School.jpg
West elevation, 2010

29 So. Highland Avenue

Ossining, NY 10562
United States
Type Comprehensive public high school
School district Ossining Union Free School District
Principal Stephen Hancock
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1427 (2017)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 16:1
Color(s) Maroon and white
Athletics conference Section 1 (NYSPHSAA)
Ossining High School
Ossining High School is located in New York
Ossining High School
Coordinates 41°09′37″N 73°51′36″W / 41.1602°N 73.8600°W / 41.1602; -73.8600Coordinates: 41°09′37″N 73°51′36″W / 41.1602°N 73.8600°W / 41.1602; -73.8600
Architect James Gamble Rogers
NRHP reference # 88001827[2]
Added to NRHP August 9, 1989

Ossining High School (OHS) is a comprehensive public high school located in Ossining, New York, United States, along the Hudson River in northern Westchester County, New York. Serving grades 9 through 12, it is the sole high school within the Ossining Union Free School District. The school serves the entirety of the village of Ossining, portions of the Village of Briarcliff Manor, Town of Ossining, and Town of New Castle, as well as a very small southern portion of the Town of Yorktown[3].

Its building is a historical contributing property within the Downtown Ossining Historic District, which was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1989.[2]


The present Ossining High School building was designed by James Gamble Rogers in a Collegiate Gothicstyle, with a warm-toned blend of brick and stone. Construction began in 1928 and was finished the following year; the school was built to replace the smaller Washington School (Ossining, New York), which then became an elementary school for the district.[4] The school was built by Rafael Paiva. The school building has been substantially enlarged in the years since.[5]

Between 1968 and 1974, the town of Ossining experienced a string of four race-related disturbances. The final one, on March 13, 1974, began in the school's cafeteria and resulted in several days of school closure, 15 student suspensions, and 19 injuries (including one to a school administrator); a student at the time recalls being locked in a biology classroom for hours, and a curfew for Ossining was implemented for days as a result. This disturbance took place just days after the district's announcement of a plan to redraw elementary school boundaries; at the time, one elementary school was over 60 percent Black, while two others were under 10 percent Black.[6] Many believed this elementary school segregation to be an underlying cause of these racial disturbances. This eventually resulted in the implementation of the "Ossining Plan" for elementary school desegregation in 1981, which assigned each elementary school within the district by grade level instead of neighborhood.[7][8]


Ossining High School has 9 periods, each 41 minutes long. A normal school day begins at 8:04am and ends at 2:45pm.[9] The school offers optional extra help time from 2:45-3:15pm. Classes run on an A/B day schedule, so that days alternate, and some electives or labs may occur every other day. The school operates an open campus for students above the ninth grade; these students are allowed to leave school supervision during school hours, and often take advantage of food establishments in surrounding Downtown Ossining.[10]

The school's current full-time principal is Stephen Hancock, and the school's three full-time assistant principals are Christopher DeMattia, Katiana Simon, Francesco Fiorillo.[11]


As of the 2016-2017 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,378 students and 97.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14:1.[1][13] 135 students (9%) were classified as English Language Learners, 217 (15%) were classified as Students with Disabilites, and 775 (54%) were Economically Disadvantaged.[1] The school graduation rate in 2016 was 76%.[14] Roughly half of the student population is Hispanic or Latino, with large White and Black minorities and a smaller Asian minority.


In 2012, OHS was named a School of Distinction finalist by Intel in the High School Science category; of those schools, it also received the top "Star Innovator" award from the company. The award, only one of which was granted annually, came with a prize of $100,000. The award recognizes K-12 schools that "provide a rich, rigorous science or mathematics curriculum by incorporating hands-on investigative experiences that prepare students for future jobs." OHS was recognized on the basis of the success of its long-running Science Research program, as well as the surprising success of the school's robotics program, founded that year.[15][16] In 2016, the school was named a "School of Opportunity" by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) for its efforts in closing the achievement gap.[17][18] OHS has also been recognized by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools as a School of Distinction for its programs in music, school counseling, and world languages.[19]


As of the 2018-2019 school year, Ossining High School offers 41 college-level classes, mainly in partnership with the University at Albany, SUNY (SUNY) and Westchester Community College (WCC), although a few are also offered in partnership with Iona College (New York), SUNY at Oneonta, and Syracuse University. Labeled the "SUNY Early College Program," they allow OHS students who plan to attend SUNY or WCC schools to complete a significant portion of their college curriculum at OHS.[20] A notable SUNY class offered is "SUNY Racism, Classism, and Sexism," started in 2005 with the intention of drawing more nonwhite students to advanced courses; it has achieved success in doing so, although more rigorous AP classes are still disproportionately White.[8][21]

The school also offers 14 Advanced Placement classes, which include AP English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Spanish Language and Culture, Studio Art levels 1 and 2, U.S. History, U.S. Government and Politics, World History, Biology, Environmental Science, Calculus AB and BC, Computer Science, and Statistics. For the 2014-2015 school year, 38% of 12th-graders took at least one AP exam at any point during high school, and 57% of AP exams taken were passed (received a score of 3 or higher).[22]

OHS offers foreign language classes in Spanish, French, and Italian, as well as American Sign Language classes.[20]

9% of the OHS student population were English Language Learners in 2017[1], and the school has received acclaim from the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) for its academic programs to help this population. These students are taught using an Integrated Co-Teaching Model, in which an English as a New Language Teacher and a content area teacher collaborate to teach and aid ELL students participating in full English-language classes. In addition, OHS runs an Emergent Literacy Program for students with interrupted education or low literacy skills. The school has also been noted by NEPC for its co-taught classes for students with disabilities, in which these students are similarly aided by the collaboration of a special education teacher and content area teacher. [18]

The school offers specialized vocational education instruction through the Putnam/Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (PNW BOCES) in Yorktown Heights, New York; interested eleventh- and twelfth-graders can complete some vocational courses for high school credit within a two-hour class at the BOCES Tech Center.[20]

Science Research Program

Science teacher Angelo Piccirillo started OHS's science research program in 1998 with three students. Twelve years later it had 90 students, with Piccirillo and a second teacher, Valerie Holmes, working on the science research full-time. The program includes guidance on research topics, mentors, and help with writing papers and presenting them. It accepts approximately 30 freshmen yearly out of more than 100 applicants.[23] The science research program was nationally recognized in 2012, when it had eight semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search, more than any other program in the country.

Extracurricular Activities


Ossining High School offers a wide variety of sports throughout the school year, ranging from modified to junior varsity to varsity levels. Physical education (PE) is a requirement for all students to attend each semester. However, sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are on varsity teams are exempt from PE class while the sport is in season.

These sport teams are open to both genders, though some are more dominated by a single sex[24]:

Exclusive girls' and boys' teams exist for the following sports[24]:


Band, marching in Manhattan

For 73 years, Ossining teams were the "Ossining Indians". In June 2002, the school changed its mascot after a request from the state education commissioner.[25] The request to change American Indian symbols and mascots was part of the Native American mascot controversy. A new mascot, the Riverhawk, was then chosen. After opposition from the student body, the Riverhawk was dropped. The school's athletic teams are now called the Ossining Pride.

Clubs and activities

OHS has many clubs for learning, leading, socializing, empowering, and reaching out to the community.[26]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Ossining High School Enrllment (2016-2017)". New York State Education Department. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  2. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ "Mapping Westchester County". Westchester County Geographic Information Systems. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  4. ^ "Downtown Walking Tour". Village of Ossining. Retrieved 20 March 2018. 
  5. ^ Williams, Gray (2003). Picturing Our Past: National Register Sites in Westchester County. Westchester County Historical Society. ISBN 0-915585-14-6. 
  6. ^ "School Desegregation in Ossining, New York: a Staff Report of the United States Commission on Civil Rights" (PDF). United States Commission on Civil Rights. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  7. ^ Costello, Ann (6 March 1994). "20 Years After Ossining's Riots, Mood of Racial Harmony Prevails". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 March 2018. 
  8. ^ a b Mader, Jackie. "Once racially troubled, a district shrinks the achievement gap". The Hechinger Report. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  9. ^ Ossining High School - General Information. Retrieved 4-13-2010
  10. ^ Stone Lombardi, Kate (6 April 2006). "IN THE SCHOOLS; The Open Campus: How Open Should It Be?". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  11. ^ "Ossining High School Staff". Ossining Union Free School District. Retrieved 19 March 2018. 
  12. ^ "Ossining High School - Report Card Data - Post-Graduation Plans of Completers". New York State Education Department. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  13. ^ "Ossining High School - Startclass". Startclass. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  14. ^ "Ossining High School Graduation Rate Data". New York State Education Department. Retrieved 19 March 2018. 
  15. ^ "New York School Wins Top Honors at Intel School of Distinction Awards". Intel Newsroom. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  16. ^ Lane, Ellen. "Ossining High School Robotics Team Wins Spot at International Competition". Ossining Patch. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  17. ^ Wilson, Colleen (13 September 2016). "Ossining HS given 'school of opportunity' award". USA Today Network. LoHud. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  18. ^ a b "Ossining High School". Schools of Opportunity. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  19. ^ Hanson, Alesha (14 December 2014). "Middle States Association Recognizes Ossining HS For Its Programs". Ossining Daily Voice. Retrieved 22 March 2018. 
  20. ^ a b c "Ossining High School Program of Studies - 2018-2019". Ossining Union Free School District. Retrieved 22 March 2018. 
  21. ^ Goldstein, Dana. "Left Behind?". The American Prospect. Retrieved 22 March 2018. 
  22. ^ "Ossining High School - Test Scores - Student Proficiency Testing". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 22 March 2018. 
  23. ^ Peter Applebome (January 26, 2011). "A School Far From No. 1, but a Leader in Science". Our Towns. New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  24. ^ a b "Ossining High School - Sports". Ossining Union Free School District. Retrieved 20 March 2018. 
  25. ^ "A Fake Bird Dispatched, and ‘O’ Fills the Void". New York Times. January 7, 2007. Retrieved 4-13-2010.
  26. ^ Ossining High School - Clubs and Activities. Retrieved 4-13-2010
  27. ^ "Dan Coudreaut Vice President, Culinary Innovation/Executive Chef at McDonald's Corporation" Check |url= value (help). LinkedIn. Retrieved 13 February 2015.