In addition to its pathways, Tech houses a number of programs, including renown Paideia and award-winning Performing Arts. In most instances, students may participate in both a program and a pathway.
Paideia is a holistic approach to life-long learning with roots in ancient Greece. In contemporary schools across the United States and a few other countries, Paideia is a set of beliefs about education including active and rigorous teaching methods. Paideia educates the whole child by teaching thinking and communication skills, so all learners will develop the ability to synthesize, analyze, create, and relate one’s findings to others through sophisticated verbal and written communication. Paideia principles are used in many classrooms at Tech, but our Paideia program features combined History/English classes.
Our program offers yearlong integrated courses in grades 10 through 12 emphasizing the social sciences. Students study history, political theory, economics, and literature. In Paideia, students are also prepared to read and write for college matriculation purposes.
Paideia English and History classes are tightly intertwined and typically taught in a block.
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Paideia coursework is rigorous with intensive reading, writing and critical analysis. Students apply to — and are recommended into — Paideia in the spring of freshman year. Paideia begins in 10th grade.
The Performing Arts program at Oakland Tech offers UC A-G Arts Instruction in Music, Dance and Theatre Arts. Students may also take Dance for their P.E. credit if they successfully complete their first year P.E. and pass a fitness test. With a focus on process, rehearsal and performance, the Performing Arts program offers training in a broad spectrum of historical and contemporary performance work. Students study their specific creative discipline in depth, while given the opportunity for performance in school assemblies and evening concerts. Field trips, guest artists and after-school program enhancements are an integral part of our thriving and acclaimed program.
Dance: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced, African Dance
Drama: Beginning, Advanced; Creative Writing/Spoken Word; Technical Theatre, Stagecraft, Art & Communications for Social Change.
Music: Jazz Band; Orchestra; Piano; Guitar, Choir
Students should sign up with their counselor for Beginning/First Year Courses; Intermediate and advanced coursework is available to second-year Performing Arts students through audition with the instructor. Performances require commitment to rehearsal and performance schedules, including some after-school obligations.
The Performing Arts Department has a dedicated Web site for information about Music, Dance, and Drama programs at Oakland Tech. Go to the Performing Arts Web Site »
Oakland Tech offers foreign language classes in Spanish (1, 2 and 3; Medical Spanish 3; AP Spanish Language); French (1, 2 and 3); and Mandarin (1, 2, 3 and AP Chinese Language and Culture).
AAMA offers conferences, youth uprising meetings, emotional/mental support groups and a family centered around personal and academic success to African American male students. Graduating students often come back to serve as mentors and share their experiences. The course sponsored by this program is Manhood Development, which uses Khepra curriculum to teach about ancient and modern African culture and Black identity in America. It challenges pre-established notions about African American male identity and re-establishes true notions about identity around academic excellence. For instance, Manhood Development students completed a research lesson on course stratification and then observed AP courses and spoke with AP teachers. The goal of both the AP and AAMA teachers is to encourage African American males to matriculate into advanced courses.
BUILD is an entrepreneurship elective offered to freshmen instead of a Foreign Language, through an outside non-profit that collaborates with Oakland Tech. The Entrepreneurship 1 class offers students the opportunity to plan, design, and run their own business with up to $300 of seed funding. Students learn presentation, collaboration, and innovation skills and have the opportunity to compete against other student businesses from different schools. After the 9th grade year, BUILD becomes a once-a-week after school program where students continue to run their businesses through the 11th grade, get academic support, and eventually work on college applications with support form BUILD staff. BUILD pays for up to five college applications and free SAT/ACT tutoring for program participants.
Led by our Restorative Justice Coordinator, Civic Engagement is a course offered one period a day for approximately 35 students each year. This class trains students to facilitate community-building circles and eventually harm circles and the curriculum focuses on types of discipline, the school to prison pipeline and restorative culture. Students in this class facilitate 9th grade community building circles at the beginning of the 2nd marking period and as a check in at the beginning of 2nd semester to promote positive school culture amongst freshmen. Strong student facilitators are also called upon to run harm circles and conflict mediation during the 2nd semester of the year.
Leadership is a course offered one period a day for students interested in planning and implementing all school events, such as various food drives, the Junior Prom, the Winter Ball, the Club Fair and carnival.