Beyond the Classroom

Student Life

A cornerstone of the O’Neal School experience lies in student life programming. Whether through leadership development, student organizations, and clubs, or the campus-wide Red/Blue Challenge, O'Neal prides itself on creating connections across all aspects of student life in all three divisions.
 
One of O’Neal’s most cherished traditions is the Senior Buddy program. Started in 2011, each school year, all seniors are paired with ‘buddies’ in the first and second grades. On the first day of school, seniors greet their buddies at drop-off. Seniors and their buddies then have activities planned throughout the year culminating in the senior walk the day before Commencement.
 
While COVID-19 has impacted some of the cherished student life events like dances, our community has found ways to overcome these hurdles and has even started new traditions, including the upper school outdoor movie night in the fall.
 
Please note that each division's club offerings are subject to change yearly.

2019-2020 Lower School Clubs and Activities

List of 8 items.

  • 3rd Grade Math Club

    Third-grade students can bring in math questions, come for fun challenges, and gain more exposure to MATH!
  • Birds and Bugs Club

    Kindergarten - 4th Grade students will search O'Neal's campus for critters to observe, learn about, and document.
  • Elementary Battle of the Books

    Elementary Battle of the Books encourages reading and discussion of books in grades 3-5. Students are exposed to quality literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints by prominent authors in the area of young adult literature. The game format in both preparation and competition settings creates interest and excitement in reading. Through the fun ad excitement of competition, students improve reading skills, mature in their choices of reading materials, and acquire a broader knowledge base. An emphasis is placed on discussion of reading and FUN, even within a competitive environment.
  • Fun to Be a Kid Club

    First and Second Grade students will have fun listening to stories, acting out plays, creating arts and crafts, and playing games.
  • Handwriting Club

    3rd and 4th-grade students will learn lettering and modern calligraphy.
  • Hiking Club

    Hiking Club will be an exploration of state and local parks in North Carolina. Hikes are generally held on Saturdays. Often, we are accompanied by rangers for our one to two-mile adventures!
  • STEAM Club

    Students in 3rd - 5th grades will travel across continents and history to learn more about STEAM skills.
  • The O'Nealers - Choir

    Singing is such a wonderful expression of joy. The O’Nealers will enjoy learning many new songs of many different styles. They will also learn ways to make their voices sound their best, and how to read music. The O’Nealers performances include school concerts, community service shows, and the all-school musical! If your child enjoys expressing himself/herself through music, wants to have fun with a group, or loves performing on stage, then The O'Nealers is a great way to spend Monday afternoons.

2020-2021 Middle School Clubs and Activities

List of 3 items.

  • Middle School Battle of the Books

    Middle School Battle of the Books encourages reading and discussion of books in grades 6-8. Students are exposed to quality literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints by prominent authors in the area of young adult literature. The game format in both preparation and competition settings creates interest and excitement in reading. Through the fun ad excitement of competition, students improve reading skills, mature in their choices of reading materials, and acquire a broader knowledge base. An emphasis is placed on discussion of reading and FUN, even within a competitive environment.
  • Science Olympiad

    In Science Olympiad, students in grades 5th - 8th who are inquisitive and looking for a challenge compete as a team against other like-minded students in schools across the region and state. There are 23 events each year ranging across multiple STEM fields including engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, and earth science.
  • Student Forum

    The Student Forum provides middle school students the opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills by empowering student voice and ownership in impacting positive change across campus. In the Middle School, the student forum is based on grade level representatives. Each grade, 5th through 8th has one representative elected from each advisory. These elections will occur in the fall of each school year. Prior to elections, all middle school students  engage in lessons within their classes on speech writing, public speaking skills, and an overall discussion of leadership traits and characteristics. Ultimately, the student forum serves to develop strong, confident student leaders and empowers them to enhance our O’Neal student life experience.

2020-2021 Upper School Clubs and Activites

List of 14 items.

  • Cum Laude Society

    The Cum Laude Society exists to honor excellence in academics. The O’Neal chapter will elect to membership those students who have demonstrated good character, honor, and integrity in all aspects of their school life. Not more than 10% of the junior class and 20% of the senior class may be elected. Generally, those elected are students with the highest weighted GPAs.
  • National Honors Society

    The O’Neal School chapter of the National Honor Society was established in August of 2000. New members are inducted annually in the fall. Candidates are approved from the junior and senior classes based on a quorum of the faculty council's vote according to candidates' character, service, scholarship, and leadership. Members and candidates must possess a weighted 3.6 GPA through all of their upper school years at O’Neal. The criteria pertaining to selection remain the same by which active members are reviewed for retention; this includes not only the GPA requirement but continuing evaluation in character, service, and leadership. Selection, nonselection, and society management are in accord with the policies and procedures in the NHS National Constitution and local chapter bylaws. Active members are duly obligated to maintain the standards by which they were selected, attend NHS meetings, actively contribute to the NHS chapter service project, and contribute 10 hours per semester to an individual service project of their choosing.
  • Honor Council

    The Honor Council consists of seven upper school student members. They are elected by the students following a self-nomination and interview process. Self-nominations and interviews will take place in early fall. The honor council meets after receiving approval from the head of upper school, and in some cases the head of school. Recommendations are presented to the head of upper school, and in some cases, the head of school, for final approval. The purpose of the honor council is to instill a sense of honor, an atmosphere of trust, respect, and justice among all constituents of the O’Neal School.
  • Student Forum

    The Student Forum provides upper school students the opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills by empowering student voice and ownership in impacting positive change across campus. In the Upper School, the student forum is comprised of an executive board as well as grade-level leadership. Each spring the upper school student forum will first elect its executive board followed by class officers; meanwhile, the class representatives will be elected in the fall of the new school year. The student forum will oversee many aspects of upper school student life, including dances, clubs, community service, school store, and much more. Ultimately, the student forum serves to develop strong, confident student leaders and empowers them to enhance our O’Neal student life experience.
     
    Student Forum Mission: We the students of the O’Neal Upper School Student Forum seek to maintain a unified student body, promote relations between students and faculty and encourage school pride and loyalty.
  • Science Olympiad

    Science Olympiad is a team competition where students compete in science-themed events at regional, state, and national tournaments. Each tournament consists of 23 events, almost like an academic track meet. These team events cover a wide range of topics in earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. Each team is allowed to have up to 15 members and within that team, students work in small groups of 2-3 to prepare for their events. Medals are awarded to the winners of each event and trophies are awarded to the overall winning teams.
  • Model UN

    The Model United Nations club is a simulation of the real United Nations for high school students across the country. Students are encouraged to learn diplomacy by debating and collaborating with others to solve today's crises. The O’Neal Upper School club annually attends multiple college conferences, such as the University of Virginia and American University.
  • ONV/Key Club

    The upper school service organization, ONV-Key Club, is a combination of the high school level of Kiwanis, a community civic organization, and O’Neal Volunteers, a service organization established in 2001 by O’Neal alumnus Jamal Barnes. The ONV- Key Club sponsors such events as the Halloween Carnival, campus blood drives, Habitat for Humanity builds, trips to the food bank, and other events for special causes. 
  • Women's Empowerment Club

    This club's goal is to provide resources for women in need. Members engage regularly in thoughtful discussions on what the student body can do to improve the lives of girls and women in the school environment and local community.
  • Economy Club

    This is a 2020-2021 specific, student-led club where students gather together to discuss various aspects of the ever-changing economic systems throughout the world.
  • Kahoot Club

    This is a 2020-2021 specific, student-led club where students gather together to play Kahoot style games on various topics.
  • Math Club

    This is a 2020-2021 specific, student-led club where students gather together to play fun math games and attempt new math skills.
  • T-Shirt Making Club

    This is a 2020-2021 specific, student-led club where students gather together to create and design different t-shirt ideas.
  • 'The Office' Club

    This is a 2020-2021 specific, student-led club where students gather together to review and discuss episodes of NBC's "The Office."
  • Ultimate Frisbee Club

    This is a 2020-2021 specific, student-led club where students gather together to play Ultimate Frisbee.
The O'Neal School admits students of any race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by law to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by law in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.