School Details

The Oxbow School

530 3rd Street, Napa, CA 94559
(707) 255-6000

(out of 10)

Private Grades 11-12 42 students 5 students/teacher (CA avg is 21)

Test Scores by grade

About this school

The Oxbow School is a private high school in Napa. The principal of The Oxbow School is Stephen Thomas, whose e-mail is 42 children attend The Oxbow School and identify primarily as White, non-Hispanic; Asian; and Multiracial. The student to teacher ratio at The Oxbow School is 5:1. New Technology High School is one of the nearest high schools.

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 75% %
Asian 3% %
Multiracial 11% %
Hispanic 10% %
Black, non-Hispanic 1% %
Asian/Pacific Islander 1% %
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 1% %
Native American or Native Alaskan 0% %

Community ratings & reviews

  • (5 months ago)

    The Oxbow changed everything about my life. Before coming to the Oxbow school I really didn't fit the typical High School Curriculum I needed something more. Oxbow changed my perspective on not only the world but on myself for the better. I found the true value of personal connection and I learned to love learning. I have met some of the most amazing people from Oxbow that I will never forget. Oxbow turned me into a more confident kind and well rounded individual and all I have to say is I can't be more thankful for The Oxbow School and it's amazing program and staff. -Shannon Aguiar OS29

  • (5 months ago)

    Before arriving at Oxbow I was caught up in all the things that my high school peers were who exactly was invited to what party getting stressed about what I wore to school etc. I was bored and unfulfilled looking to transfer to a different school entirely. The head of my upper school handed me an Oxbow brochure instead. I read it on the bus ride home from school and by the time I was home I was hooked. I came into Oxbow as a frustrated artsy kid with few outlets at my hyper-academic private school. Almost immediately on arriving I learned just how much bigger the world really is how much more diverse and how narrow my view of everything was. I tell people that Oxbow is what made me a person. I emerged the other side (reluctantly I never wanted to leave) a fully-formed human. That's the reason out of all of the other academic institutions I've attended I support Oxbow with nearly 100% of my donation dollars. It's an incredibly special place and it holds a special place in my heart. I credit the school with guiding me into where I am today five years into an extremely rewarding (and successful) career working with creative people every day fulfilled and happy.

  • (5 months ago)

    Oxbow was a very important time in my life and i am very grateful that this program exists! I feel that if i had never gone i wouldn't have to same view of art or the world as i do now.

  • (5 months ago)

    I can't say enough good things about this school it's faculty staff and resources. Being at Oxbow was one of the most formative and positive experiences of my life. It is a truly amazing school!

  • (5 months ago)

    The Oxbow School - I cannot imagine the sad circumstances surrounding the expulsion but it is ludicrous to believe that the Oxbow response to those circumstances are what Oxbow and Stephen strive to achieve. My own experience with my daughter's attendance this past fall semester has been life-changing. She returned with more maturity self assurance and confidence. She RAVED about every single teacher but for different reasons for each one. In addition to the personal growth she became more aware of global concerns; she returned a vegetarian unless she knows where the animal was raised and was humanely killed; she wants to learn to cook for herself; she insists we join a local CSA; she insists we start composting; she cleaned out her room and has become a minimalist etc. etc. etc. The return to her local school was and still is a transition but realized that one of the reasons why she loved her experience at Oxbow was simply that each and every student WANTED to be there. I suspect the friends she made will be life-long as she spends hours on the phone keeping in touch. How tragic for that lone student who maybe did not want to be there.

  • (5 months ago)

    I attended Oxbow several years ago and I can say that it is still an important part of my life and the person I have become. It is such a great experience for students to find out what a college atmosphere feels like while their still in high school - this helps them become more responsible for their education which is very empowering. The friendships I made at Oxbow were genuine and supportive as were the relationships with the teachers. I strongly recommend this school any high school student as it will help them find their true selves.

  • (5 months ago)

    I can say with all my heart that Oxbow has truly changed my life. In just one semester I saw a development in myself that I never thought could be possible. The creative and supportive atmosphere that they have created here is something that I know I will never find again because it is so unique. The school aspect of it was so much more enjoyable and exciting then traditional schooling is. Oxbow bridges the subjects and makes connections between all aspects of life. I made connections and built relationships that will last a lifetime. If you have this opportunity take it! I have no doubt that this experience has pushed me above me peers and has shown me what a life of art will be like.

  • (5 months ago)

    The Oxbow School offered an amazing opportunity for my daughter to learn more about herself and to continue her growth as an artist and human being. It was the experience of a lifetime for her which taught her so much about the direction she wants to go with her aspirations and ambitions. The staff was incredibly caring and responsive to her needs as a student and to my needs as a parent. I would recommend this school with absolute conviction to anyone whose child has the emotional fortitude and maturity to give their all to the program.

  • (5 months ago)

    The Oxbow School changed my life... No but seriously. I can't even begin to explain how much I've learned from my experience there. I met 31 wonderful students who have now become life-long friends along with many staff/faculty members who truly cared about our well-being. Besides the expansive academics and rigorous art practice you learn about yourself. Who you are what is the self and what it is to interact with different people from across the globe. I'm beyond grateful to have gone here and Oxbow was even more compliant in helping me paper work/financial aid. They are graciously generous and are run by a team of truly incredible people. So yes I recommend this school highly everyone will experience it differently of course but that's what it's all about your journey.

  • (5 months ago)

    Attended a couple of semesters ago by far the best four months of my life!! I love oxbow and Napa/San Fran! If your interested in art and having an amazing transforming experience apply!

  • (5 months ago)

    The Oxbow School was an extraordinary experience for our daughter. She attended in the Spring Semester as a Junior and gained more maturity in this time than we ever imagined. In addition to the growth in her artistic work we saw a growth in her as s person. She was encouraged by Oxbow to take responsibility for her school work and with that came responsibility for her life. We could not be happier with the experience she had at Oxbow and would recommend it to anyone who is considering a program for their HS student.

  • (5 months ago)

    An absolutely wonderful and transformative experience the Oxbow School provided our daughter with the tools to become not only a better artist but to explore all kinds of possibilities within herself. She attended the Spring '14 semester leaving our home a talented but somewhat shy young girl and coming back a shining self-confident adult all in the span of 4 short months. As for the other reviewer's opinion that " The director spends his time hunting for reasons to expel students" I respectfully disagree. Every school has its policies for what constitutes ground for expulsion and they were made very clear to both parents and students at the beginning of the semester. And when some students broke those rules and were expelled we heard how painful the experience was for the entire school body especially the teachers who in such a small environment form very close relationships with each and every student. Yes no adolescent is perfect but when the behavior of some endanger and compromise the experience of others I absolutely agree with the director's decision to expel especially considering how much there is to learn in the short span of one semester.

  • (5 months ago)

    This school was an amazing opportunity and really helped me grow personally and artistically. I spent 3 summers and my first semester of junior year at oxbow. It was one of the best life experiences. I have made great friends who i still stay in touch with and am now pursuing a career in the arts. My now current roommate also attended oxbow in a later semester and we still find ourselves remarking and sharing our great experiences that have come out of this time in our lives.

  • (5 months ago)

    Oxbow challenges its students with a new beginning and a supportive and incredibly close community that encourages and pushes you to become your best self. Oxbow gives you the opportunity to self-reflect and self-discover and approach your art writing and studies with intention and deliberation. Oxbow was an amazing experience for me which challenged me to ask myself who I was going to be. My personal morals became solidified my passions clearer and as the semester progressed I found myself more confident in my own skin and comfortable knowing better my strengths and weaknesses. In the classroom Oxbow pushed me further in each assignment delving deeper and becoming more comfortable with reflection and introspection. Each deep engagement prepared me for the next and by final show I was able to engage a topic was that I was passionate about and apply the skills I had learned over the semester to create a piece that was complex personal and exciting for me.

  • (7 months ago)

    This is not a school for any child who is not perfect. And let's be honest here what adolescent is? The director spends his time hunting for reasons to expel students. And each semester students are sent home when Stephen Thomas decides. Goodbye tuition and goodbye semester grades. This is an education in coercion paranoia and bullying. Otherwise a beautiful campus and facilities. Too bad it isn't the creative art school it was designed to be.

  • (8 months ago)

    My semester at Oxbow was transformative and amazing. I learned so much about myself and left the school as a more thoughtful individual. The teachers encourage their students think critically and deeply and to value their own opinions. Almost every writing assignment was written in first person and asked students for their input. The curriculum is intensive creative and fosters thinking and personal growth. Students are encouraged to value be conscious of their creative processes and lines of inquiry. Many of the topics discussed lead my peers and I on very thoughtful paths of inquiry that we still focus on months later. I still create work and continue to analyze and think about the topic that I chose for my final project at the end of the semester for example. The campus is beautiful the food is amazing and the teachers truly care about the students- I made very close and meaningful teacher-student friendships. I learned so much about myself others and the world in general during my four months at the Oxbow School. I highly recommend this experience to anyone willing to put in the hard work and enter the school with an open thoughtful mind.

  • (1 year ago)

    My semester at this school was a complete disappointment and a waste of the outrageously expensive tuition. The staff and faculty are uncooperative stifling stringent and generally possess a bad attitude toward learning and the students all around. The artistic talent in the school is lacking seeing as the school seems to accept any student willing to pay the tuition. Artistic ability doesn't seem to be a pre-requisite for this "Art School". The instruction was poor and grading unfair. Overall I'd seriously reconsider attending this poor excuse for a school.

  • (4 years ago)

    I completed a term at the Oxbow School about 5 months ago and I can honestly say it has been one of the most important experiences of my life. While the focus here is art (and there are exceptional studios and instruction in painting photography printmaking and sculpture) the academics are also very strong encouraging deep analytical thinking and making connections between various subjects. Overall the experience allowed me to truly explore my identity personal philosophy and creative drive in a way that no other school (including the progressive private high school that I currently attend) can do.

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Overall score

(based on 18 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
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