O'Dea High School Programs
O'Dea High School offers a rigorous academic program in the tradition of Edmund Rice and the Christian Brothers that prepares students of all academic levels for entrance into the most competitive colleges and universities; many of our graduates proudly serve our country in the military.
In order to better prepare our students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), during the summer of 2012 all of our science labs were completely rebuilt.
Growing from boys into Catholic manhood requires that O'Dea High School students have social and athletic opportunities that are second to none. The Campus Ministry Team works diligently to fulfill the Christian Brother education mandate to evangelize youth within the mission of the Church. Each school mass and prayer service celebrates this faith life throughout the academic year. Freshmen and sophomores participate in one-day retreats and many seniors assist as team members. During junior and senior year, students are encouraged to take part in an Encounter Retreat, a weekend experience that many graduates recall as a highlight of their high school years. The Campus Ministry program reaches out to the larger community through special projects throughout the year, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Students experience the joy of giving and learn the importance of being sensitive to those in need.
Our Christian Service Learning program requires all students to complete between 15 and 30 service hours each year by serving in hospitals, nursing homes, childcare centers, etc. As part of his final grade for each semester, each student must write a report each semester on his volunteer experiences.
The Link Leader Program is our freshman high school transition program. Juniors and seniors apply to become Link Leaders and are trained in team building, cooperative skills, and mentoring. Each Link Leader is responsible for a group of six to eight incoming freshmen for whom he will serve as a motivator, role model, and advisor throughout the school year. Link Leaders welcome freshmen at the beginning of the year on orientation day and meet periodically during the year with their freshmen at school-sponsored social and academic events and activities. All freshmen are involved with O'Dea High School's Link Leader program.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
O'Dea High School has been named a Gurian Institute Model School -- one of only eight such schools. The Gurian Institute is a brain research based method of teaching to the uniqueness of male students. This model has helped define what we do at O'Dea High School. The young men of O'Dea strive for excellence in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in their lives, but they go about it in a unique way. Their brains are different from girls; they have distinct ways of learning and they need to be challenged in different ways. We believe that all teachers need to educate themselves in how boys' brains develop and function so we fully activate their minds' potential.
We are experiencing an increased need for tuition assistance to deserving students as many families are struggling with finances during these difficult economic times. Although we provided $557,000 in financial assistance to 108 students for the current school year, we had many more requests than we were able to accommodate.