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Shadow Visits at Oakland Tech

Updated January 23, 2015

Information about Shadow Days at Oakland Tech

Shadow days are available to eighth grade students whose families have already visited Oakland Tech (at Information Night, on a school tour, through having another child or family member who attended Tech, etc.) and who have decided they’re interested in seeing more. High school students considering transferring to Oakland Tech may also request a shadow visit. During a shadow visit, the visiting student spends a day or part of a day with a Tech student, following the Tech student host’s schedule. Visitors may choose to shadow a friend or may request to be assigned to one of our volunteer shadow hosts. Either way, your first step is to fill out the online visitor request form.

If you request a volunteer host, the shadow visit coordinator will select a host and send you the host’s name, grade and contact information. Whether you’re shadowing a volunteer or a friend, the shadow visit coordinator will also send you a simple form to fill out. Your student must bring this form to Tech on the visit date.

We don’t schedule shadow visits; it’s up to the visiting student to contact the host and arrange a mutually convenient date for the visit. Shadow days are every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday that Tech is open, until a date in the spring that will be posted later in the year.

Important note: While some students feel that shadow visits are an important way to find out about Tech, not all students want to visit, and that’s fine. Please do not request a shadow visit unless you are absolutely sure your student wants one, and please do not make special requests on the online form without clearing them with your student first. Please do not request a shadow visit if your student has already had a shadow visit.

FAQ’s and important information

When can I request a shadow visit? You can request a shadow visit after you (and, preferably, your child also) have seen Oakland Tech: at Information Night, on a School Tour, through having another child or family member who attended Tech, etc. A shadow visit should not be your first contact with Tech, and barring extraordinary circumstances, shadow requests will not be granted unless you have had some prior contact with or introduction to Tech.

How can I request a shadow visit? Either a parent/guardian or the student may request a shadow visit by filling in the online form. Parents: please do not request a shadow day unless you have consulted your child and you are absolutely sure your child wants one. Also, please make sure that if you make special requests, these are your child’s requests. We have found through long experience that students who are reluctant to participate in a shadow day have a bad time and cannot help showing their unhappiness; this causes their hosts to feel bad and their teachers to be distracted. We have a limited amount of space for shadow visits – please don’t use it for a student who doesn’t want it.

How long does a shadow day last? You can choose a full or half day. Half days begin at the beginning of the host’s school day.

Can my child and a friend shadow together? Sorry, no. Shadow hosts may take only one visitor at a time. It’s too hard on the volunteer hosts and on the teachers otherwise. (Yes, we can sometimes make an exception for twins.)

Can my child see Tech’s Academies? You can make this request on the online form. You may only request one Academy, because your child will have one host, and Tech students can only be in one Academy. Please only request an Academy if your child wants to see the Academy – remember, it’s your child’s shadow day! Tech’s Academies begin in 10th grade, so if you request to see an Academy, the host will be in 10th grade or above and your child will not see any 9th grade classes. Also please be aware that some (not all!) Academy classes begin at 7:30 a.m. (Sorry, we can’t accept requests based on the host’s schedule.)

Can my child shadow a 9th grader and also see one of Tech’s Academies? No, sorry. Your child can choose either to shadow a 9th grader or a student who is in one of the Academies. We’re sorry, but we have far too many requests to assign more than one host per student.

Will my child be matched with a host of the same sex? There’s a place on the form for you to request a male host or a female host, or you can say you don’t care. We’ll do our best to meet all requests.

Can my child see a performing arts class? There’s space on the online form for you to let us know if this is something your child really wants to see. Some of the performing arts classes are after school, so please be prepared for this possibility if you make this request. If your child visits a performing arts class, he or she must be prepared to be a respectful, quiet audience member unless the teacher indicates otherwise.

Can my child see a language class? You can request this on the form.

What if my child has special needs? Please let us know that on the form.

My child plays sports. Can I let you know this? You can, but there isn’t much we can do about it in the shadow day context, since sports are extracurricular activities. You might want to check the Tech website and attend a game or meet featuring one of Tech’s teams.

I don’t want my child to have to go to P.E. We completely understand! However, many of our volunteers happen to have P.E. in their schedules, and sometimes if you want something else – an Academy, a language class, etc. – we can’t find you a host without putting P.E. in there. We promise, your student will be O.K.

Can I request a host from the middle school my child goes to? Sure! We’ll do our best.

What kind of other special requests can I make? You can tell us anything you think we need to know about your student, and we will do our best to accommodate. Please bear in mind, though, that we have a limited pool of volunteers, so we’ll be best able to match your child if you tell us the things that are the most important.

My child didn’t get to see everything she wanted to see on her shadow visit. Can she have another shadow visit? We’re sorry, but we have far too many requests to assign more than one host or one visit per student.

Can I visit classes too? Parents are welcome on school tours, but shadow days are just for students.

Shadow Day Request Form

Do not fill out this form without consulting your child. Please do not make assumptions: check to make sure that what you are requesting is what your child really wants. Once a shadow host is assigned, the assignment will not be changed. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to meet any specific requests, including the gender of your child’s host, but we’ll do our best.

After submitting your Shadow Day Request, you should hear back from us within two weeks.