Oakcliff’s High Performance High School

Oakcliff is happy to announce that we have partnered with US Performance Academy (USPA) to allow Oakcliff trainees to take accredited high school classes while training full time on the Oakcliff campus. Oakcliff’s programing is an option for athletes with Olympic and professional dreams to take advantage of training opportunities and make the most of their time with a flexible school schedule and professional training on olympic class boats.

Trainees 15 and up take accredited, online high school classes through USPA – generally in the morning, though schedules change depending on wind and weather conditions – and get time on the water in Oakcliff’s 49ers, Nacras and Waszps after completing their day’s work. Students in the program live in the Oakcliff Bunkhouse, which has gender-separated bunk rooms holding up to 5 students in each, a communal kitchen and living space, and shared, gender-separated bathrooms. Student’s progress in school is monitored by an on-site learning coach, while their activities on the water and in the bunkhouse are overseen by oakcliff staff and residence assistants. Take a virtual tour.

The Oakcliff schedule is, much like the weather, variable and flexible. With USPA’s online system, we are able to plan for schoolwork-intensive weeks (when there is little sailing), and sailing-intensive weeks (when weather is good or there is a training opportunity). Students also have opportunities to travel for sailing – like winter trainign in Alabama, racing at Charleston Race Week, and more. Students that are self-driven, motivated and organized thrive in Oakcliff’s training environment. This is not a typical boarding school with teachers looking over student’s backs 24/7. We need all-in commitment from our trainees.

For the semester, the cost for students is $20,500 per high school student and $14,500 per college student. Our conventional winter sapling programs can be customized to fit your schedule, with pricing at $3,000 a week for fall semester winter saplings and $3,400 a week for Spring semester winter saplings. Tuition includes everything, from room and board, boat and sail usage and coaching, to Triple Crown entry fees. Compared to prices from other sports performance academies like IMG, Oakcliff and USPA’s price is a fraction of the cost. Students can choose from a number of courses and electives from USPA, listed on their website. In many states, families can receive tax credit towards tuition. Check with the rules in your individual state. Scholarship and financial aid programs are also available. 

Applicants interested in the High Performance High School through USPA should apply on our partner’s website. US Performance Academy https://gouspa.org/oakcliff-sailing-chooses-uspa-for-online-education/. Fill out Oakcliff’s application here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates for the program?

Since the schooling is online, arrival dates are flexible. The fall semester runs from September 9 to December 18. The spring semester runs from January 18 to May 26, though many students choose to stay through the summer and participate in one of our summer programs.

What are the facilities at Oakcliff like?

Students live in dorm-style rooms, with up to four bunk beds in each room. There are four rooms – two for girls, two for boys. Students are grouped by age, so students under 18 are never rooming with students over 18. There is a shared women’s bathroom and men’s bathroom with stalls. For showers, there are six individual, separated shower stalls. Students and staff share a fully-stocked communal kitchen and large living room with a study area. There are cleaning and cooking rotations for staff and students, with Oakcliff providing the food. Students should have basic cooking and cleaning skills and be able to pick up after themselves. There is one male and one female RA who are tasked with watching the students in their off-hours, as well as taking questions and helping the students with whatever they may need.

What is the USPA schedule like?

Like many things in sailing, the schedule is weather dependent. With USPA’s online system, we can bend the schooling schedule to the sailing schedule. If there is wind in the morning, we sail in the morning and do schoolwork in the afternoon. – and vice versa. More often than not, though, days begin at 9am with a morning meeting, continue with schoolwork from 9:30-3, and end with sailing from 3 to 7. Students then participate in a cooking rotation to prepare dinner for the group. We are also able to front- or backload coursework for training events like spring training down south or Charleston Race Week, when students will have less time dedicated to schoolwork.

Can any level of sailor sign up for this program?

Yes! While we are mostly looking for students with sailing and racing experience, we have also accepted students who are less experienced but equally dedicated to the sport of sailing. All that students need is a drive to succeed, a want to learn and get better at sailing, and the self discipline to do it. We can teach to any level of sailing experience.

What boats do students sail? Does it matter if my student has any experience in Olympic class boats?

We have 9 49er FXs, 9 49ers, 2 foiling Nacra 17s, a carbon Nacra 20, 7 Waszps, and 6 Lasers. Students will primarily focus on the 49ers and Nacras, but can explore any of the other boats if they desire. Students do not need experience in Olympic class boats – we’ll teach them all they need to know to get started.