In this series of posts, I hope to show Then and Now images Oakland Schools. Along with a bit of history of each school, I highlight. Some of the photos are in the form of drawings or postcards, or from the pages of history books.
Note: Piecing together the history of some of the older schools is sometimes tricky. I do this all at home and online — a work in progress for some. I have been updating my posts when I find something new. Let me know of any mistakes or additions.
I wasn’t able to locate pictures of Sheffield School. I am hoping someone might have some. The same goes for Burbank, although I think the school looks pretty much the same now as it did when it was built in 1950.
Update Jan 17, 2020
In 1928 plans for the new Burbank School on 64th Avenue in East Oakland were approved. The new six-room brick structure was to cost $60,000 and house 270 students.
The school is named after Luther Burbank, a botanist, and horticulturist who made his home in Northern California.
In 1948 plans for a new school and the reconstruction of the old school, the building was approved. They added an auditorium and a couple more classrooms. Hudspeth and Cerruti were the architects.
The new $297,777 Luther Burbank Elementary School was dedicated on November 15, 1950. The building is one-story and had a capacity of 315 students.
High Upon a hill near home, there’s a school my very very own
Its name is Burbank Elementary, and of all the schools in Oakland It’s the only one for me
Burbank School where we study hard each day
Burbank School where we have some fun and play
Burbank school, you’re the best in every way
So we give 3 cheers for Burbank School
Hurray, Hurray, Hurray!
Burbank was closed by the Oakland Unified School District in 2004.
In September 2010, Burbank Preschool Center was opened.
Burbank is a special place in OUSD that supports infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with special needs through exemplary, special education programming as well as related services
It is located at 3550 64th Ave.
Burbank School – Oakland Local Wiki
- Class Place Mementos – Oakland Tribune Dec 1928
- Notice to Bid – Oakland Tribune Aug 12, 1949
- Work to Begin – Oakland Tribune Sep 14,1949
- Burbank Dedication – Oakland Tribune Nov 15, 1950
Burckhalter Elementary School
In 1923 a new one-room school was built on Sunkist Drive, the school was called Columbia Park (Columbian Park). Susie Thompson was the custodian of the school for 3 years. She lived next door to the school at 6868 Sunkist.
In the obituary of Susie Thompson, it is reported that a wind storm destroyed the first school, and it was replaced by a new building in 1925.
In September of 1948, they broke ground for the new Burckhalter School.
The school is located at 3994 Burckhalter Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94605
Burckhalter School Website – OUSD
- Excellent Schools – Oakland Tribune Aug 30, 1925
- Burckhalter Dedicated – Oakland Tribune Nov 29, 1925
- Funeral for Susie Thompson – Oakland Tribune May 1969
Carl B Munck Elementary
Plans were approved for the new Redwood Road Elementary School at 5000 Redwood Road. E. Geoffrey Bangs was the architect. The site included a field for the Oakland Recreation Department.
- 12 Classrooms
- Administration Offices
- Multipurpose Room
The new school opened in 1960. The name was changed to honor Carl B Munck, who was the president of the school board (five times), was president of California School Board and was the president of the National School Boards Association in 1958.
On a rare snow day in 1962, icicles formed on the shrubs at the after a sprinkler was left on.
In 1962 five local Girl Scout troops donated a Colorado blue spruce tree to the school in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Girl Scouts.
In 1965 students were able to ride the bus to school. The bus made six to seven trips daily.
In 1966 without warning, the service was ended at the beginning of the school year as part of the Oakland School Board’s effort to make ends meet. Parents were concerned with the safety of children who couldn’t get a ride to school.
The young fourth-grader walks about a mile to school every day, up a steep and winding Redwood Road.
Mrs. Niall Quinn – Sep 1966Mrs. Niall Quinn – Sep 1966
The school is located at 11900 Campus Drive.
- Carl B. Munck website – OUSD
- New School to be Built – Oakland Tribune Nov 18, 1959
- A Child’s Climb to School – Oakland Tribune Sep 14, 1966
- Free Buses Demanded – Oakland Tribune Feb 25, 1967
- Dean of School – Oakland Tribune May 30, 1971
Howard Elementary School
Before being named Howard Elementary School it was called King Elementary School. The ground was broken for the school in March of 1959.
The school was designed by Alvin Fingalo and George Kern with David Horn.
The new Howard school was dedicated on December 13, 1960. It was named after Charles P. Howard, a civic leader.
Today it is the Sojourner Truth Independent Study (K-12), an alternative public school.
Sojourner Truth website – OUSD
The school is located at 8755 Fontaine Street
- See Then and Now – Oakland Schools – Part 16
Kaiser Elementary School
The school was named in honor of Henry J. Kaiser Jr., an industrialist, and civic leader.
Integration Bus Program
The school is located at 25 South Hill Court
- Kaiser Elementary website – OUSD
- Who is Henry J. Kaiser Jr. – OUSD
- Kaiser Dedicated – Oakland Tribune Feb 05, 1964
- Integration Bus Plan Under Way – Oakland Tribune Sep 12, 1966
Markham Elementary School
The Krause Avenue School (Webster Annex) was formally dedicated in November of 1928.
The “Krause Avenue School” before being demolished to make room for the new school in 1956.
In March of 1929, the Oakland Board of Education changed the name of the Webster Annex school to Edwin Markham school in honor of the widely known California poet and educator. Edwin Markin was principal of the Tompkins School from 1891-1899
In 1949 a new $450,000 school building with 10 classrooms, an auditorium, and a kindergarten was dedicated. The building has a capacity of 385 students and was designed by Edward T. Foulkes.
Located 7220 Krause Avenue.
- Markham Elementary School – Oakland Local Wiki
- Markham Elementary School – OUSD
- Krause School Dedicated – Oakland Tribune Nov 09, 1928
- School Renamed for Markham – Oakland Tribune Mar 12, 1929
- Markham School Dedicated – Oakland Tribune Oct 23, 1949
- Arson Suspected – Oakland Tribune Jan 06, 1971
Sheffield Village School
Note: I have not been able to locate any pictures of the school
The Sheffield Village school open in March of 1950. The four-classroom building was designed by C.A. Whitten, Dir. of Architecture for the Oakland Public Schools. The school cost $40 300.
The school closed in 1964, and the students were transferred to the San Leandro School District. The site is now used as a park and the Sheffield Recreation Center.
The school was located at 241(251) Marlow Drive.
- Sheffield School Contracts – Oakland Tribune Feb 24, 1950
- Groundbreaking – Oakland Tribune Mar 01, 1950
- Dedication – Oakland Tribune Sep 13, 1940
- Sheffield School Rites – Oakland Tribune Sept 11, 1940
- Sheffield to Close – Oakland Tribune June 19, 1963
- Tiny School to Quit District – Oakland Tribune May 06, 1963