Oakridge is, currently and for the foreseeable future, a school for the well-heeled.
International Schools have long held an allure for the upwardly mobile Hyderabadi. International prices have long provided a compelling deterrent. Oakridge International has made some strides towards addressing the latter, but hasn't yet gone very far in drawing in the local lads and lasses. Part of the problem may stem from the efficiency of its marketing (or "communications", as the school prefers to call it) machine. Expectations are set high, perhaps higher than reasonable.
The fees have seen market-driven downward-revisions over the last couple of years (as we write this in late 2005), but the school has yet to throw off its current image: a halfway house for returning adolescent NRIs. Asked about his choice, one parent said, "Oakridge seemed like a good balance between academics, cultural activities, and sports/physical education, (and) the kids would not suffer such a shock coming from American public schools."
Probably realizing that not all kids in the twin cities are returning from American Schools, Oakridge seems to be reworking the message. Set in a large, well-laid-out campus in the Cyberabad area, and supported by a remarkably complete website (quick and no cheating: how many schools can you name that list the daily menu on their website, right down to fruit "triffle" and "jalebi"?) and cooperative staff, it's taken several right initial steps.
Inquiring parents are treated well, which is a welcome change in Indian schooling. Procedures for admission are documented comprehensively on the school's website, though transcripts for the previous three years are a little more demanding than the average Hyderabadi is used to.
Oakridge is affiliated to the CBSE, and students take the Board exam at the end of their 10th class. This is an "IB" school, which means your kids can prepare for the International Baccalaureate program, but you'll have to judge the relevance of that for yourself. Budding engineers and doctors can pick the science stream (with the standard Maths-Physics-Chemistry or Biology-Physics-Chemistry combinations) though this is no entrance-exam-boot-camp. Commerce and humanities are an alternative option.
Si, polyglots, hablo espanol. And oui, je parlais Francais. Hindi, of course, is compulsory, courtesy the CBSE.
Tuition fees run to about Rs. 40,000 per year for the Nursery, and range from about Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 80,000 for the Grade School. Busing, textbooks, lunch etc. are charged for separately.
Student grading is not the average garden variety. Kids are given space to grow, and parents are encouraged to discuss evaluations. The real world is a little less accommodating, of course, and the cosseting the kids receive invites Holden Caulfield comparisons. These are probably unjustified. Bringing up a kid is at least as much about parenting as it is about schooling.
Like we said, currently and for the foreseeable future, a school for the well-heeled. If you think your kids deserve or require air-conditioned classrooms and air-conditioned busing, this is one of the places you should look at.
Moinabad Mandal, Aziznagar
Hyderabad-Pargi Road, Rangareddy District (8.0km)
Street Number 3, Kakatiya Nagar, Hubsiguda (8.0km)
Road Number 82, Jubilee Hills (8.7km)
Plot No. 962, Road No.48, Near Hi-tech City, Madhapur (14.0km)
Opposite Jubilee Bus Station, Picket (6.9km)
D Number 729, Road Number 36, Jubilee Hills (6.4km)
Old Lancers Lane, S D Road (6.1km)
5-8-78 to 82, Chapel Road, Abids (0.5km)
Plot Number 22B, Road Number 2, Jubilee Hills (7.4km)
Adjacent Vijaya Bank, Kalyan Nagar III, Rajiv Nagar X Roads, Opp JNTU, Moti Nagar (7.6km)
15-8-238, Fish Market, Feelkhana (1.7km)
Besidess Durre - Shehwar Hospital, Purani Haveli Road, Yakutpura (3.6km)
BN Reddy Colony, Vanasthalipuram (13.5km)
Plot Number 10, Public Sector, Venkatadri Nagar, New Bowenpally (7.4km)
Plot Number 117, Kalyan Nagar III, Moti Nagar (7.8km)
Ist Floor, 103, Sai Mansion, Nizampet Road, Hydernagar (14.8km)
12-13-418/12, Street Number 1, Tarnaka (7.9km)
3-4-843, Barkatpura (3.2km)