Classen School of Advanced Studies

Classen School of Advanced Studies
Classen School of Advanced Studies
1901 North Ellison Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73106
United States
Coordinates 35°29′17″N 97°31′58″W / 35.4881150°N 97.5328171°W / 35.4881150; -97.5328171Coordinates: 35°29′17″N 97°31′58″W / 35.4881150°N 97.5328171°W / 35.4881150; -97.5328171[1]
Type Public magnet school
Motto Qui non proficit deficit (Latin: 'He who does not advance, retreats')
Established 1994
School district Oklahoma City Public Schools
CEEB Code 372651
Principal Valerie Harris
Grades 6-12
Average class size 28
Campus size 1060
School Colour(s) Blue and Gold
Athletics Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball, Swimming
Mascot Comet
Nickname Classen Comets
Team name Comets
Yearbook 'Orbit'

Classen School of Advanced Studies (sometimes referred to simply as Classen SAS or CSAS) is a public magnet school serving students in grades 6-12 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma City Public Schools program participates in the IB Diploma Programme[2] and offers fine arts courses.

Classen SAS has been ranked among the top 100 public high schools in America by the Challenge Index, as measured by the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and/or Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school in 2007 divided by the number of graduating seniors. The index is published annually in the Washington Post and Newsweek. Its current ranking is 14[3].



Classen Junior High School opened in 1919. It was converted to a high school in 1925, becoming the third high school opened in Oklahoma City, following Central High School and Capitol Hill High School. Classen High School served students for the next sixty years, closing in 1985 due to declining enrollment in the district.

In 1994, the Classen School of Advanced Studies opened with students in grades 6-12. Its first graduating class was graduated in 1997.


Students joining the school must choose a "major": Students wishing to earn an IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma become IB majors, while students studying fine arts must choose a specific field of study for their major; the latter are frequently simply referred to as VPA (visual and performing arts) majors. Students may choose to switch their majors at a later date, although at times this is not feasible due to the IB Program's stringent course requirements. Students may choose classes regardless of their major; for example an IB major student might attend a music class, or a VPA major might attend an honors math class. However, certain classes are required. In order to graduate, students must all meet the standard curriculum set down by the Oklahoma City Public School board, and satisfy the requirements for their particular major. In addition, even though a VPA major might take IB courses they cannot test for the IB Diploma in high school.

As the IB Program only covers grades 11-12, IB majors in grades 6-10 are considered "pre-IB" and attend honors classes to prepare them for the IB Program. All of the Classen VPA Programs have won many awards, including the Theatre Department, which has won the Oklahoma State One-Act Play Contest for five years in a row. The Classen SAS Concert and Jazz band have both won OSSAA superior honors as well. The Debate program (a part of the drama department)has won many state and regional tournaments, sweeping 1st, second, and 3rd in most of them.

Available majors

  • Dance
  • Dramatic Arts/Technical Theater
  • Guitar
  • IB Program
  • Instrumental Music
  • Piano
  • Strings
  • Visual Arts
  • Vocal Music
  • Band

Extracurricular activities

Classen SAS fields teams in Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association-sanctioned competition in basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis and volleyball. Football and track are offered cooperatively with U. S. Grant High School; baseball, with Northeast Academy for Health Sciences and Engineering.

Clubs and organizations at the school include Ambassador Corp, Asian Club, Builders Club, Cheerleaders, Christian Club, Earth Club, French Club, German American Partnership Program (GAPP), German Club, Key Club, Latino Club, Mediterranean Club, Mu Alpha Theta, National Art Honor Society, National Honor Society, Native American Club, Orchestra, POM, Drumline, Math Counts, Science Club, Spanish Club, Student Council, Theatre, Visual Arts Club, Young Astronauts, UFO, Young Democrats, Latin club, and Young Libertarians.

Notable alumni

Classen High School

  • Admiral William J. Crowe, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1985–1989.
  • Claude Weaver III, World War II ace[4]
  • David Hall-former Gov. of Oklahoma
  • Dale Robertson-movie and television actor
  • Henry Iba- prolific former basketball coach, and player at Classen High School (before it was called Classen SAS) and later at Oklahoma State University,
  • Van Heflin-Actor
  • Wayne Coyne, guitarist, lead singer and songwriter of rock band The Flaming Lips

Classen School of Advanced Studies

  • Thaddeus Johnson, Hollywood Hopeful on the 9th season of American Idol


  1. ^ "Geographic Names Information System Feature Detail Report". Geographic Names Information System. U.S. Geological Survey. 1979-12-18. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  2. ^ "Classen School of Advanced Studies". International Baccalaureate Organization. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  3. ^ "The Top of the Class". Newsweek. 
  4. ^ Walsh, Tom (July 2006). "The Youngest Ace". Air Classics. Retrieved 2007-11-20. "Claude Weaver III was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on 18 August 1923. He dropped out of Classen High School midway through his twelfth grade studies so that he could join the RCAF." [dead link]

External links

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