Cypress 90630 Boasts Orange County’s #1 Rated Public High School, Oxford Academy, And #2 In Nation According To U.S. News And World Report

2008 API = 983 (Out of 1000)
  • U.S. News and World Report’s 2008 High School Rankings, Oxford Academy has been ranked the second-best high school in the nation. The ranking is based on “college-readiness,” percentage of students taking advanced exams, and average pass rate on AP tests.

Oxford was ranked 4th in the same “Gold Medal” index for 2007.

Oxford Academy (Cypress, CA 90630) is a seventh through twelfth grade college preparatory public school, which opened in September of 1998. Recognized as a California Distinguished School and as one of the top ten high schools in the U.S. by Newsweek and US News and World Report, Oxford Academy draws students from the entire attendance area of the Anaheim Union High School District. Oxford, a magnet school for Anaheim Union, tops the Register’s “Orange County’s Best High Schools,” a first-ever ranking of the county’s comprehensive public high schools.

Recognized as a California Distinguished School in 2004 – 2005 and as a special interest school. OA’s current enrollment is 1126 students, and in 2003, it graduated its first class of 120 seniors. The campus is ethnically and socio-economically diverse with a student body consisting of 59% Asian, 15% white, 14% Latino, 11% Filipino/Pacific Islander, and 1% black students. Almost 20% of OA students participate in the Free/Reduced Lunch program. “It’s a wonderful compliment to our students, staff and families to be considered No. 1,” Scott said. “It puts a lot of responsibility on us not to get complacent and continue to strive for greater things. We are proud, but we are not a perfect school.” When leaders of the Anaheim Union High School District came up with the concept for the college-preparatory school in 1998, they envisioned a campus where top students would be challenged and groomed for the country’s top universities.

A decade later, Oxford Academy – which teaches students in grades seven through 12 – is surpassing nearly all expectations.

Last year, 99 percent of eligible students took the state’s primary college-entrance exam – the SAT – and an equal number qualified to enter a California State University or a University of California level school. The school was recognized this year by Newsweek magazine as the fourth best school in the nation.

Located on a 20-acre campus in Cypress, Oxford has no attendance boundaries. Instead, it is open to the top 25 students from each of the district’s eight junior high schools – candidates who must still pass an admissions test and, once in, maintain a minimum grade-point average.

The school is also about more than academics. In recent years, Oxford has gained attention for its music, choral and theater programs. The school now competes in nearly ever major sport, except football.

Still, the focus is academics. Oxford this year boasted the highest API score in the county.

So with so many high achieving students, teachers here must be spoiled?

“Wrong,” said history teacher Fabiana Maench-Casanova.

“I’ve never worked so hard as I have here,” she said. “You’ve got to work hard to keep up with these students and continue to challenge them.

“We may be spoiled in the sense that we don’t have discipline problems like other schools, but we have other challenges so that we don’t lose their attention.”