Posted in Buildings, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 15

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 didn’t have a whole lot of luck with this group of schools. I figured I better share it now, as I was spending too much time on it.

Laurel Elementary School

The Laurel School opened in February of 1910. The school was a part of the Allendale School district.

Laurel School
Photo By Cheney Photo Advertising
 
Laurel School – 1915
Photo By Cheney Photo Advertising
Laurel School – 1937

Unique School

 
Oakland Tribune 1928 

 

The Unique School building today- google maps

New School Building

In 1959 the wooden three-story school building was demolished to make room for a new school building.

 
Oakland Tribune Oct 31, 1957
 
Oakland Tribune Oct 30, 1958
The new school was the building on the bottom right side.
Google Maps

School Bell

For almost 50 years, the ringing of the bell in the wooden three-story building played an essential part in the neighborhood around the school.

Residents were determined to save the bell as a local shrine. It was the last public school bell used in the city.

The bell is mounted and on display in the hallway by school offices.

 
Oakland Tribune Jun 12, 1960
 
The Bell Today – Laurel School Website

Laurel School Now

3750 BROWN AVE, OAKLAND, CA, 94619,

Laurel Elementary School website – OUSD

More Info:

James Madison Junior High School

Sobrante Park Junior High as it was first called opened February 1, 1960. The school was the 27th project to be completed paid for money from the 1958 bond issue.

The $1,425,525 school would eventually house 900 students. The school s campus 14 acres and has the following. The school was designed by Mitchel Van Bourg & Associates.

  • 8 General classrooms
  • 2 Science Rooms
  • 2 homemaking rooms
  • 2 arts & crafts rooms
  • 2 music rooms
  • 3 shops
  • 2 special ed rooms
  • a library
  • gymnasium
  • multipurpose room
  • offices

In May of 1960, the Board of Education approved James Madison Junior high school as the permanent name of the new Sobrante Park Junior High.

 
Oakland Tribune Jun 1960
The plaque on the school
 
Oakland Tribune Jun 1960

For fun

Oakland, CA December 11, 1977 – Madison Junior High School performs a “Sleighs and Toboggans” dance in the Christmas Pageant at the Oakland Auditorium. (By Prentice Brooks / Oakland Tribune) Published December 12, 1977 (Photo by MediaNews Group/Oakland Tribune via Getty Images)

Madison Today

 
Madison Today OUSD

400 Capistrano Drive, Oakland, CA 94603

Today it is called Madison Park Academy of Engineering and Graphic Design. It has approximately 800 students in grades 6-12.

Madison Park Business & Art Academy Campus Expansion

 
400 Capistrano Dr.,
Architect Byrnes Kim Design Works
2017

The new 30,464-square-foot classroom building will feature:

  • 14 classrooms equipped with modern classroom furniture
  • 2 science laboratories
  • 4 student restrooms will feature low water flow fixtures
  • 6 administrative offices and increased staff workspace, including a break room, conference room, workroom, and staff restrooms
  • Exterior assembly area for student activities
  • Renovation of kitchen shared by MPA and James Madison Middle School
  • Restoration of the parking lot
  • Madison Park Expansion – OUSD
  • Madison Park Academy Website – OUSD

Sobrante Park Elementary School

In 1956 a new school was proposed for the site on El Paseo drive that was occupied by a group of portable buildings.

Oakland Tribune Jul 05, 1956

The new school was designed by Ralph N. Kerr and Robert E. Riggs.

  • 13 general classrooms
  • Special Ed classroom
  • A kindergarten
  • A library
  • A multi-purpose room
  • Offices

Sobrante Park Today

The school is located at 470 El Paseo Drive

Today the school is called Madison Park Academy (MPA Primary). MPA Primary serves students in grades TK-5. Our vision at MPA Primary is to educate, challenge, and nurture our students to succeed in secondary school and beyond.

Madison Park Academy – website

More Info:

Stonehurst Elementary School

This school has a very complicated history.

Stonehurst School opened 1915 as one portable school.

The citizens of both the Elmhurst and Stonehurst districts attended a school board meeting in August of 1915. They demanded that each area get a portable school, one north and the other south of the Southern Pacific and Western Pacific tracks.

“We have working men down in South Elmhurst, workmen have children! said J.A. Halpruner

August 1915

August 1915

The Stonehurst people based their claim on growth and the Elmhurst people their claims on the more significant number of children.

The rich people in Stonehurst don’t have any.”

August 1915

August 1915

Small or Not!

“The logical site is south of the tracks,” said M.D. Sherwood.

August 1915

August 1915

“Stonehurst is a small insignificant burg, but we have a big district and many children,” continued Sherwood.

At the time, there were 78 students and 89 not yet in school in South Elmhurst and only 41 Stonehurst.
The meeting was adjourned!

The South Elmhurst school was located on Edes and Douglass Avenues.

 
Oakland Tribune 1915

New School

 
Oakland Tribune 1917

In 1916 it was reported in the “School Building Report” that they intended to purchase another site to be used for a new Stonehurst school building to replace the portable one. The district was leasing the land the school was on.

Demand

After demanding a new school as promised in 1916, the residents were guaranteed by the school board that the first money received from the sale of school bonds

 “shall be used in the construction of the Stonehurst school.” Oakland Tribune 1921

Stonehurst School in 1926 –
showing the 1922 school building with a proposed addition
Oakland Tribune Nov 07, 1926

Work began on the new school in late May of 1921. The new school consisted of 8 classrooms and an assembly hall at the cost of about $50,000. An addition was added to the school in 1927, costing $60,000.

Grocery Store.

 
Oakland Tribune 1926

“The scene in the Stonehurst School grocery, where second- grade pupils are learning how to make play dollars go far.”

Unsafe School

In 1972 a $1.2 million project to replace the 50-year-old Stonehurst school building because it is an earthquake hazard was approved by the Board of Education.

Built before 1933, when California’s Field Act established new construction standards for earthquake safety, the building is surrounded by a cluster of 29 portables -10 of which were built before 1933. The school was built to house 380 students who had 973 enrolled in 1972.

The firm of Ratcliff, Slama, and Cadwalader architects designed the new $1.2 million school.

No Name Change

Both Madison Junior High and Stonehurst (at different times) requested to their school be renamed for Dr. Marcus A. Foster. Both were turned down.

Stonehurst Today

10315 E Street, Oakland, CA, 94603

Fred T. Korematsu Discovery Academy, a public community K-5 elementary school in East Oakland with an integrated focus on academics, youth development, family support, health, and social services. KDA website – OUSD

 
Stonehurst Today – OUSD

Esperanza Elementary is a dual language school that prepares students to be college and career ready. Esperanza website – OUSD

 
Stonehurst Today – OUSD

More Info:

Whittier Elementary School

Whittier School opened in 1928. The school was named after John Greenleaf Whittier, an American Quaker poet, and advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States.

 
Oakland Tribune November 1928
 
Whittier Auditorium – OUSD
 
Oakland Tribune Apr 04, 1957

In 1953 Whittier was closed after being declared an earthquake hazard.

The school reopened in 1956 after a $376,722 reconstruction project. 11,000 square feet of added space in the basement was converted to a cafeteria and a special education classroom.

 
Oakland Tribune Jul 06, 1956

Whittier School Today

Whittier school closed in 2012. It reopened as Greenleaf Elementary school in

 
Whittier School – OUSD
 
Whittier School – OUSD

More Info:

6328 E 17th St, Oakland, CA 94621

The End

Posted in Buildings, Schools, Then and Now, Uncategorized

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 14

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

Burbank School

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.

Oakland Tribune Dec 8, 1928

Oakland Tribune Dec 28, 1928

New School

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.

Oakland Tribune Nov 16, 1950

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.

Oakland Tribune Nov 16, 1950

School Song

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 Today

Burbank Today – OUSD

Burbank Today – OUSD

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

Burbank Today – OUSD

More Info:

It is located at 3550 64th Ave.

Burbank School – Oakland Local Wiki

Burckhalter Elementary School

Oakland Tribune Aug 30, 1925

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.

Oakland Tribune Aug 18, 1925

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.

New School

In September of 1948, they broke ground for the new Burckhalter School.

Oakland Tribune Sep 16, 1948

Burckhalter Today

Burckhalter Today – OUSD photo

Burckhalter Today – OUSD photo

Burckhalter Today – OUSD photo

More Info:

The school is located at 3994 Burckhalter Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94605

Burckhalter School Website – OUSD

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.

Oakland Tribune Nov 18, 1959
  • 12 Classrooms
  • Administration Offices
  • Library
  • 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.

Oakland Tribune Apr 1962

On a rare snow day in 1962, icicles formed on the shrubs at the after a sprinkler was left on.

Oakland Tribune Jan 22, 1962

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.

Oakland Tribune Mar 27, 1962

Bus Service

In 1965 students were able to ride the bus to school. The bus made six to seven trips daily.

Oakland Tribune Sep 14, 1966

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 1966

Mrs. Niall Quinn – Sep 1966

Munck Today

Munck Today OUSD

Munck Today OUSD

Munck Today OUSD

More Info:

The school is located at 11900 Campus Drive.

Howard Elementary School

Oakland Tribune Dec 10, 1958

The new Howard school was dedicated on December 13, 1960. It was named after Charles P. Howard, a civic leader.

Oakland tribune Dec 13, 1960

Oakland tribune Dec 13, 1960

Howard Today

Howard Today – OUSD

Howard Today – OUSD

Today it is the Sojourner Truth Independent Study (K-12), an alternative public school.

Sojourner Truth website – OUSD

More Info:

The school is located at 8755 Fontaine Street

Kaiser Elementary School

Oakland Tribune Feb 1962

The school was named in honor of Henry J. Kaiser Jr., an industrialist, and civic leader.

Oakland Tribune Feb 05, 1964

Integration Bus Program

Oakland Tribune Sept 12, 1966

Oakland Tribune Sept 12, 1966

Kaiser Today

The school is located at 25 South Hill Court

Kaiser Today – OUSD

More Info:

Markham Elementary School

The Krause Avenue School (Webster Annex) was formally dedicated in November of 1928.

Oakland Tribune Jul 31, 1928

The “Krause Avenue School” before being demolished to make room for the new school in 1956.

Oakland Tribune Feb 04, 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

New School

Oakland Tribune Oct 14, 1949

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.

Oakland Tribune Oct 14, 1949

Oakland Tribune Oct 23, 1949

Oakland Tribune Apr 1958

Markham Today

More Info:

Located 7220 Krause Avenue.

Sheffield Village School

Note: I have not been able to locate any pictures of the school

Oakland Tribune March 1950

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 site today

More Info:

The school was located at 241(251) Marlow Drive.

The End

Posted in Buildings, East Oakland, Schools, Then and Now, West Oakland

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 13

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.

John Swett Elementary School

John Swett Elementary School was constructed in 1926 and opened in January 1927 and closed in 2004.

Oakland Tribune 1926

The school was named after John Swett (1830–1913), who is considered to be the “Father of the California public school” system. He served as the 4th California State Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1863-1867.

Boys Build Amphitheater

Oakland Tribune May 09,1928

John Swett Today

School Sign – OUSD

John Sweet Today

The school is now a K-8 community school called Roses in Concrete.

Our mission is to develop youth committed to lives characterized by self-discipline, integrity, love, and hope in the pursuit of justice and equity for all communities.

Roses in Concrete – Website

More Info:

Located at 4551 Steele St, Oakland, CA, 94619

Parker Elementary School

Bids for a new two-story school at the corner of Ney Avenue and Ritchie Street in April of 1948. Parker School was to be the first permanent building to be constructed from the 1945 school bond.

Dedication ceremonies were held in November of 1949

Oakland Tribune Nov 7, 1949

Parker Today

Parker School 7929 Ney – today

Roosevelt High School

Groundbreaking for a new school at 19th Avenue and E. 19th Street took place on November 11, 1922. The cornerstone was placed on March 24, 1923. The school cost $917,452.43 to build. The school was named after Theodore Roosevelt.

Roosevelt in 1923

The school was built to accommodate 1500 students. The dedication took place in September 1924.

From 1923

In 1934 the main school building was closed (I assume due to it being unsafe).

Roosevelt Today

Roosevelt is now a middle school.

More Info

1926 19th Avenue

 

Tompkins School

Oakland Tribune 1877

Tompkins School opened on January 07, 1878, at 5th and Linden Streets in West Oakland, named after State Senator Edward Tompkins. There were 231 students enrolled.

Sanborn Map

C.H Clement was the first Principal from 1877 to 1881.

Edwin Markham was the principal from 1891-1900.

Observation School

Oakland Tribune October 1894

In October of 1894, Tompkins became an observation school under the supervision of the University of California Department of Pedagogy.

Many Firsts

Tompkins school was known for its many “firsts.”

  • First Kindergarten – in Oakland
  • First American Flag to fly – in Oakland
  • First Scientific Child Study Club
  • First Health Study Club
  • First Observation School
  • First Parents and Mothers Club
  • First of the Experimental playgrounds

The first American Flag to fly over an Oakland School was raised over Tompkins in 1890.

Experimental Playground

In 1909 the first two experimental playgrounds were set up at Tompkins and Prescott Schools.

Fire Destroys Tompkins

In August of 1914, the school was destroyed by a fire. Arson was suspected. There were seven school fires in four weeks during July and August.

Plans for a new school were put in place at once. The new school opened on October 11, 1915. There was a $96,000 six-room addition added in 1924. In 1954 another addition costing $148,000 was added.

No More Schooldays

In 1965 the school was razed to make room for the Acorn Projects.

Oakland Tribune Sep 1965

More Info:

Woodland Elementary School

Woodland Elementary School started out being called the Lockwood-Highland School. It was built to relieve the overcrowding in Lockwood and the Highland Schools.

On January 4, 1960, the school opened with 540 students. The one-story school with 14 classrooms, a kindergarten, a library, an administration office, and a teacher’s lunchroom. It was the 29th of 51 school projects proposed in the 1956 school bond election. The school costs $432, 296 to build.

Dedication

Oakland Tribune Apr 26, 1960

A new multi-purpose building was dedicated in November of 1961. Then Municipal Judge Lionel Wilson spoke on “The Role of the Parent in the Eyes of the Judge.”

Oakland Tribune Nov 22, 1961

Woodland Today

Today the school is called Acorn Woodland Elementary (AWE)- At ACORN Woodland Elementary (AWE), we employ a variety of strategies to ensure that a solid base of grade-level skills is mastered, while fostering creative and critical thinking among our students.

Woodland Today – OUSD
Woodland Today – OUSD

Acorn Woodland Website – OUSD

More Info:

1025-81st Avenue Oakland

The End

Posted in Buildings, Schools, Then and Now, Uncategorized

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 12

In this series of posts, I hope to show Then and Now images Oakland Schoolsand 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.

Edison Elementary School

In 1927 the Old Grant school at 29th and Broadway was closed, and two new schools were built to replace it, one on each side of Broadway.

Grant School No. 1 was at Kempton Ave and Fairmount Avenue and, Grant School No. 2 was at Summit and 29th Street.

Oakland Tribune Dec 11, 1927
Edison School 3239 Kempton Ave circa 1940

Edison Now

The school was closed in 1975 because it was not up to earthquake standards. The school was later sold to developers, and the classrooms were converted into expensive condos.

The playground turned into a city park called  Oak Park.

Edison Today –CC SA-BY Our Oakland

More Info:

The school was located at 3239 Kempton Avenue, Oakland

Highland School

I haven’t been able to find any photos of the school from 1908. I will update it. I find some.

Oakland Tribune Dec 28, 1907

Highland School was established as part of the Highland School District in 1908 and was annexed into the Oakland School district in 1909.

New School

The school was dedicated on November 14, 1908. There were 250 pupils had enrolled in the new Highland Grammar School. The Mission-style building was built at the cost of $23,000. There were 8 classrooms with the possibility of adding more.

Oakland Tribune 1908

1923 a one-story 8 classroom addition was built, and in 1924, they added an auditorium for $44,200.

New School

In 1957 the old school building was demolished. Plans were approved for a new school to house 644 pupils. The new school was designed by Andrew P. Anderson and Irwin M. Johnson.

Oakland Tribune Jan 29, 1958

In 1958 a new school was built to replace the one from 1908. The new building has 9 classrooms, a special classroom, administrative offices, a library, and a multi-purpose room. The total cost was $411,999. The 1923 addition was retained.

 8521 A Street, Oakland, CA
Highland School Today – google maps

More Info:

The school is located at 8521 – A Street Oakland, CA

Today the school is called the New Highland Academy. The vision for New Highland is that our students become creative thinkers, effective communicators, and compassionate members of their community.

Grant School

Oakland Tribune Jul 28, 1885

Grant School was built in 1885 and was located on Broadway at the corner of 29th Street, then called Prospect Avenue. The Grocery Outlet is now where the school was originally.

Grant School in 1891
Gift of Miss Marietta Edwards
http://collections.museumca.org/?q=collection-item/h68104
Oakland Tribune 1892

New School

Oakland Tribune 1905

A new school was approved in 1904. The plans were drawn up by San Francisco Architects Stone & Smith.

Another New School

The last day of school in the “old Grant School” building was January 9th, 1928. The 500 grammar school children would march in a parade to the new school buildings that were built. The two new buildings were constructed to replace Grant School. At that time they were called

  • Grant School No. 1 – Edison Elementary School (see above)
  • Grant School No. 2 – Grant School at 29th and Summit
Oakland Tribune May 30, 1928
The Front entrance in 1928

Building Abandoned

The old school building was abandoned and demolished. The land was sold for $350,000, and the money was used to pay for the new schools and property.

Oakland Tribune Jan 1928

Continuation School

In 1966 Grant became a continuation school.

Grant School Today

It is now the site of the Oakland Emiliano Zapata Street Academy.

The vision of Oakland Emiliano Zapata Street Academy (OEZSA/Street Academy) is to provide students a small, safe, high school with a social justice-focused college-preparatory education.

More Info:

Toler Heights School

In December of 1925, Toler Heights School was just one portable classroom, where 40 students attended school. There were six grades in one room under the guidance of two teachers.

New School

In 1927 a new school was built. The school had four classrooms and was Spanish in design. The new school’s capacity was 180 students and cost about $36,000.

Dedication 

Oakland Tribune May 1928

The new school building was dedicated on May 24, 1928.

Oakland Tribune May 1928
Shared in the Oakland History Group on Facebook

Toler Today

The school is located at 9736 Lawlor St.

In 2007 the school became known as the Alternative Learning Community, a middle school.

In March of 2009, it became notable as the first, middle school in the United States to be officially named or renamed after US President Barack Obama.

It is now the Francophone Charter School. It opened in 2015 as Transitional Kindergarten through third grade, which offers a French language immersion program.

More Info:

The End

Posted in Buildings, Schools

Oakland Schools – Tech High

In researching the schools in Oakland, I found out that there are a lot of them and a few schools more than their fair share of photos or history.

Technical High and Oakland High are two of those schools.

Tech High School also has a great website celebrating its Centennial in 2012.

Oakland High School has a great history with photos on their Oakland High School Memorial site.

So, with that in mind, I wasn’t going to spend much time on either of these schools, but I found these of Technical High, and I couldn’t resist sharing.

The following are from the book by one of the architects of Tech.

School Architecture Principles and Practices By John Joseph Donovan 1921

The End

Posted in Buildings, Rockridge, Schools, Then and Now, West Oakland

Then & Now – Oakland School Part 11

  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. 

Not all schools will be included in this series, and sometimes I might post a picture of the school.’

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.

Chabot Elementary School

Bungalow Annex

The Board of Education in May of 1926 approved the plans for a new school to relieve the overcrowding at  Claremont School.  

The new school was on Chabot Road at Patton Street. The was to have seven rooms and coat $50,000 and was called The Annex. 

The “Claremont” Annex was dedicated was on April 21, 1927. The school cost approx. $89,000.  

The article below is about the dedication of The Annex or Chabot School .

New Addition

In 1937 an addition was added funded by the Living New Deal.

Chabot School – New Living Deal

Chabot Today

Chabot is located at 6686 Chabot Road

Google Maps
Google Maps
Google Maps

More Info:

School Dedicated – Oakland Tribune April 21, 1927

Claremont Middle School

The new school at the corner of College Avenue and Birch Street was to be named Claremont School, and it opened in August of 1913 as an elementary school. The school was designed by John J. Donovan and Walter D Reed.

By 1916 the school was so crowded that they were using the teacher’s lunchroom and the auditorium as classrooms. Portables were added.

List of Graduates 1921

Oakland Tribune 1921
Oakland Tribune Dec 08 1922

In 1925 7th and 8th grades were added. The elementary grades were transferred to The Annex (Chabot School) when it opened in 1927. Claremont soon after 1927 became Claremont Junior High.

Oakland Tribune August 18, 1933

In the 1950s 28 classrooms were added to the Claremont campus, plus a cafeteria and gymnasium.

SF Examiner May 13, 1951

50th Anniversary

Oakland Tribune 1963

Claremont Today

The Photo By Dorothy Londagin

The historic gates are all that remain of the original school building that was demolished in 1976. The gates were moved to the corner of Birch and College Avenue.

OUSD Photo
5750 College Avenue 
5750 College Avenue 
Google Maps

More Info:

Members of the Vernon-Rockridge Improvement Club had hoped that the school would be named Vernon-Rockridge.

Centennial Celebration 2013

Letters to the Editor

  1. Claremont Middle the need historical accuracy – Apr 04, 2013
  2. Claremont Middle Centennial will be Accurate- Apr 112013  

Crocker Highlands School

In 1922 the board of education authorized the purchase of land for a new school named Crocker Highlands School.

Oakland Tribune 1925

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in April 1925.

The six-room structure costing $40,000 was built as part of the 1924 bond issue.  The school was designed by Wythe,Blaine & Olson.

Oakland Tribune 1925

The school was dedicated in September of 1925.

Miss Bernice Baxter was the first principal of the school. There were 61 students enrolled that first year and by 1929 there were 485 students enrolled.

In 1929 plans were approved a new $95,000 addition of 11 classrooms and an auditorium. Blaine & Olson were the architects.

Oakland Tribune 1929

In 1937 another addition was added.

In 1971 the original building from 1924 was declared unsafe in an earthquake and was to be replaced.

Oakland Tribune Apr 22, 1971

In 1976 when the school was upgraded for earthquake safety. They added a two-story with a basement, 10 classrooms, 2 special education rooms, a multipurpose room, a library/resource center, music room, teachers’ lounge, computer lab, kitchen, storage, and custodial rooms. 

Crocker Highlands Today

The is at

Crocker Highlands Today
Crocker Highlands Today

More Info:

Grass Valley School

Oakland Tribune Nov 04, 1953

In 1953 Oakland’s newest school was officially known as Grass Valley School. The name was chosen by parents of the children attending the school after it temporarily known as the Toler Heights Annex. Meadow View and Rancho Benito came in 2nd and 3rd.

On December 11, 1952 the school was dedicated. For the first 3 or 4 years the school consisted of three portables and 100 students.

New School Building

Oakland Tribune Oct 1957

In October of 1957 plans were submitted to build a new school with eight classrooms. a kindergarten, a special education room, a library, multipurpose room and admin. offices. The new school was to house 362 students, cost about $350,000 and was expected to be completed by August of 1958.

First Day of School 1958

Oakland Tribune Sept 08 1958
Oakland Tribune Sept 08 1958

Grass Valley Today

The is located at 4720 Dunkirk Avenue

Google Maps
Google Maps

More Info:

Grass Valley Website – OUSD

Hillcrest School

Note: I wasn’t able to find any earlier photos of the school. Will update if I do.

Construction on the new Rockridge Highlands school began in 1950.

Oakland Tribune Jan 12 1950

The new school housed 210 children in six classrooms, a kindergarten and a library.

It was designed by Anderson and Simonds and cost $218,697.

The school was dedicated on January 19, 1951, and was the 27th school building to be built as the result of the $15 million bond issue voted in 1945.

Oakland Jan 19, 1951

Name Changed to Hillcrest

In May of 1951 Rockridge Highlands School name was changed to Hillcrest School.

Oakland Tribune May 31, 1951

1991 Fire

Hillcrest was spared during the 1991 Oakland Hills fire.

SF Examiner Oct 26, 1991

Forty-six Hillcrest families , including 59 of the school’s 236 students, lost their homes in the fire.

The playground in 1993
SF Examiner
SF Examiner Nov 1991

Hillcrest Today

The school is located at 30 Marguerite Drive

APPLE MAPS
Hillcrest Today – Google Maps

More Info:

Rockridge School

Note: I could not locate any pictures of the first school. I will update if I find some.

Oakland Tribune Dec 08, 1922

The school opened in February 1922. It cost $75,000.

They built a Spanish colonial renaissance style two-story structure with cement stucco and a tile roof. The exterior was painted coral with windows green-blue and tiles bright red.

They built it on a triangle piece of property on Broadway Terrace adjoining the Claremont Country club facing Broadway. The school was strictly elementary, teaching only the first six grades.

Triangle piece of land – Apple maps

Large Play Space

“The kindergarten is one of the best in the west.”  

Oakland Tribune

The kindergarten contained ample play space, a fireplace and various nooks with a glass porch.

The rooms of all the grades opened upon a terrace which sloped down to a garden.
Ventilation in the new building was by windows and not by a fan, and there was a warm bench for drying wet shoes.

New addition planned in 1927.

Plans were approved for a new addition consisting of an assembly hall and 3 classrooms .

Oakland Tribune March 1927

From Aunt Elsie’s Column in 1938

Condemned Building 1953 and 1971

In 1953 the auditorium was condemned and closed. Preliminary plans for a new one were drawn up in 1957.

Oakland Tribune 1953
Oakland Tribune Apr 29, 1959
Oakland Tribune Apr 29, 1959

The old building from 1922 was deemed unsafe in an earthquake in 1971.

Oakland Tribune April 15, 1971

In 1978-1979, the school building was torn down and portable classrooms were placed on the grounds.

SF Examiner 1978

 The school closed after the 1988-89 school year, and later became Far West High School, which closed in 2011. 

Rockridge Today

Apple Maps

The school is located at 5263 Broadway Terrace.

More Info:

The End

Posted in Buildings, Schools, Then and Now

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 1 – B

This is a continuation of Part 1 – University High School

I hope to show Then and Now images of most of the schools, along with a bit of history of each school I show. Some of the photos are in the form of drawings, postcards, or from the pages in 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.

University High School

University High School, which was built in 1922 and opened in 1923 and was designed by Charles W. Dickey.  The school is located at 5714 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, (the original street name was Grove Street, but became MLK, Jr. Way in 1984)

The school originally opened in 1923 at what was 5714 Grove Street. Due to the proximity of the campus to the City of Berkeley, “UNI” gained the reputation of the “feeder” high school of Oakland of students directly to the University of California. The high school was closed following World War II in 1948.

University High School Circa 1922

In 1954, the campus was converted into first location of Oakland City College, which later became Merritt College. Merritt College moved to its new campus in 1967. In the early 1970s the location temporarily became a high school again, as Oakland Technical High School moved its students into the campus while its normal location was retrofitted for earthquake safety. At the time, many called this site “Old Tech,” although Oakland Tech was actually opened at its current location in 1914, before University High School.

National Register of Historic Places

This site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

The following photos are from the 1992 National Historic Places Registration Form .

National Register of Historic Places
University High School
The National Historic Places Register Reference Number is 92001300.
National Register of Historic Places
University High School
The National Historic Places Register Reference Number is 92001300.
National Register of Historic Places
University High School
The National Historic Places Register Reference Number is 92001300.
National Register of Historic Places
University High School
The National Historic Places Register Reference Number is 92001300.
National Register of Historic Places
University High School
The National Historic Places Register Reference Number is 92001300.
National Register of Historic Places
University High School
The National Historic Places Register Reference Number is 92001300.
National Register of Historic Places
University High School
The National Historic Places Register Reference Number is 92001300.
National Register of Historic Places
University High School
The National Historic Places Register Reference Number is 92001300.
National Register of Historic Places
University High School
The National Historic Places Register Reference Number is 92001300.

University High School Today

University High Today

The school is now used by the North Oakland Senior Center. Annual events at the Center include holiday dances, birthday parties, and flea markets. There are weekly salsa, swing and line dancing classes, along with activities such as Tai Chi and blood pressure screening.

More Info:

The End

Posted in History, Oakland, Schools

School War Work in 1918

Oakland Tribune Oct 15, 1918

War work in the Oakland Public Schools during 1918 was considered one of the most important items in the curriculum by both the school administration and the teachers.

They felt the first duty of the schools was to aid the national government in winning the war to the best of their ability.

Service became the keynote of all work. Oakland’s boys and girls realized that they had a particular part to play in making the world a safe place to live in.

Sewing and Knitting Classes

Oakland Tribune Jul 07, 1918

During the summer vacation, thousands of garments for refugees were made by the children as part of their regular classwork.

Sewing Classes
Board of Education 1919

Boys and girls of all ages learned to knit, and tireless little hands were busy every spare moment making garments for sailors, soldiers, and people of stricken countries.

Berkeley Schools also helped
Oakland Tribune Aug 25, 1918
Oakland Tribune August 25, 1918

School and Home Garden Army

The urgent need for higher food production led to the organization of the School and Home Garden Army in Oakland. Fifteen thousand children enlisted, and 6,00 brought their gardens to successful harvests.

Oakland Tribune Apr 18, 1918
Gardens
Board of Education 1919

Jackson Furniture Company offered two silver loving cups as prizes, one for the school having the best school garden, and one for the best home garden.

Oakland Tribune Apr 18, 1918

Luther Burbank visited Oakland and personally inspected many of the war gardens.

Oakland Tribune May 15, 1918

Jefferson School won the School Garden Cup, and Lakeview School won the Home Garden School Cup.

Oakland Tribune Oct 4, 1918

The Art Department devoted its time propaganda of publicity of the was needs through posters. 

The Manual Training shops worked closely with the Red Cross. They created items needed for hospitals.

Liberty Loans

The schools helped raised money through the various Liberty Bond/Loan Campaigns.

Board of Education 1919

More Info

Looking back at a 1918 parade that helped spread a deadly flu, leaving nearly 13,000 dead – SF Gate – September 22, 2019

1918 Flu Pandemic – Oakland Local Wiki

The End

Posted in Buildings, History, Oakland, Schools

The Oakland’s First School House

Oakland Tribune Feb 08, 1970

When Oakland became a city in 1852, there was no free public school. There was a private school at the corner of 2nd and Broadway run by Mrs. Monroe.

Old Fandango House
Oakland Tribune May 01, 1952
Sketch of Oakland’s first school building
African American Museum & Library at Oakland Photograph Collection

The town trustees saw the need for a school, so they rented a room at the rear of a dance hall called a Fandango House at 2nd and Washington. The room furnished with half a dozen wooden benches, a table for the teacher, a blackboard, a map of the world, and a rawhide whip. 12 to 15 children attended this school.

Oakland’s FIrst School House – Oakland Tribune Jun 12, 1921

For control of the area around the harbor, Horace W. Carpentier donated a school building to the city. Oxen teams from the hills brought redwood lumber, and a small structure was erected at 4th and Clay Streets. It was 30 x 20 feet with a 12-foot ceiling and a shingled roof. A belfry with a little bell. Carpentier called the building, “substantial, elegant, and commodious.”

from A Steeple Among the Oaks 

In June of 1853, when the school opened, the citizens held a parade, and 16 students carried a banner that read, “Our Duty to Our Country, First, Last, and Always.”

Oakland History Room at Oakland Public Library

The first teacher of the school was Miss Hannah Jayne.  She taught until 1856 when she resigned to marry Edson Adams, one of Oakland’s pioneers.

Oakland Tribune 1936
Oakland History Group

In 1853, the First Presbyterian Church used the building for services. The current sanctuary of the church (built-in 1914) memorializes the schoolhouse in one of its stained glass windows showing church history.

Stained Glass showing Church History
CC SA-BY Our Oakland

By 1855 there were 155 children of school age in Oakland. The little schoolhouse could not house them all.

The old Carpentier school was replaced by a slightly larger building between Jefferson and Grove ( now Martin Luther King) 11th and 12th Streets.

The city continued to grow and so did the need for schools. By 1873 there were 13 buildings with more than 2000 children receiving instruction. By 1875 there were 3,225 attending school an increase of 1000 in 2 years.

First A.M.E. Church

The First A.M.E. Church of Oakland began in 1858 by a small group of Oakland residents, and is the oldest African American church in Oakland. The church founders purchased the Carpenter School House in 1863, which became the first church building. 

Oakland Tribune 1883

According to the article below the building was still there in 1921

Oakland Tribune 1921
Oakland Tribune May 1952
Oakland Tribune Sep 12, 1943

In 1943 the school district celebrated their 90th Anniversary with nearly 2000 teachers, 75 schools with nearly 45,000 students.

More Info

Posted in Buildings, Montclair Tracts, Schools, Then and Now, Uncategorized

Then & Now – Oakland Schools Part 9

This is the ninth in a series of posts on Oakland Schools. I intend to show Then and Now pictures of the schools, along with a bit of history of each school. Some of the pictures are in the form of drawings, postcards or from pages in historical books.

Not all schools will be included in this series. Sometimes I might just post a picture of the school.

Updated Dec 17, 2019

Montclair Grammar School

Oakland Tribune Sep 20, 1925

The Montclair District held formal dedication ceremonies their first school on March 14, 1926. The ceremony under the direction of A.R. Romer the principal and Mrs. J.D. Bishop the teacher in charge of the 71 students already registered to attend the the school.

Oakland Tribune Mar 15, 1926

The four room school house was built with funds from the building program funded by a $9,000,000 bond issues voted by the people of Oakland in 1924.

In attendance were Mrs. Stanton Lore representing the Montclair Women’s Club and Mrs. E.T. Jepsen of the Piedmont Avenue PTA

Oakland Tribune 1926
Montclair School 1927
Montclair School 1927
Montclair School 1927

The original building of brick with tile roof was later considered an earthquake risk and razed in 1936. They used portables for many years.

Oakland Tribune Oct 1936

The new school building was dedicated in 1942, with nine classrooms, an administrative suite, an arts and crafts room, a PTA room and a Library, was created. In 1947, a Cafeteria and Assembly Hall were added.

Auditorium
Montclair in the 1950s

Montclair is located 1757 Mountain Blvd., Oakland.

Montclair Today

2013, a new building was added to the campus which houses a new Multipurpose Room, new classrooms, a faculty lounge, and a living roof. A new learning garden and play structure was also added to the campus.

  • Montclair Website – OUSD

Thornhill Elementary School

Plans for a new school in the Montclair District were drawn up by local Montclair residents Robert “Bob” Goetz and Jens Hansen in association with Confer and Willis.

Drawing of Thornhill 1956

The site on Thornhill Drive at Alhambra was acquired through condemnation proceedings. The court awarded $48,000 to the land owner, Alice Taylor

Oakland Tribune July 4, 1956
Oakland Tribune July 4 1956
Oakland Tribune Aug 28, 1957
Montclarion 1957

The school was to be ready in September 1958 and will have an administration office s, multipurpose room, library, 11 classrooms and a kindergarten room.

Montclarion Oct 23, 1957
Oakland Tribune june 22, 1958
Thornhill 1959-60

Dedication – November 12, 1958

The Montclarion Nov. 12 1958
November 12, 1958
November 12, 1958
The Montclarion Nov 1958

Bus Service

The school bus was approved by the district earlier in the year, stopping at both Thornhill and Montclair schools. The kids were picked up throughout the hills on the roads that were designated ‘safe’. The bus service continued until 1959 when the service was going to be pulled, but continued a little longer after the parents rallied to raise money to maintain the service.
Menu 1959
Jan 1959
Jan 1959
The Montclarion
Thornhill 1963-64

The school is located at  5880 Thornhill Dr, Oakland

Thornhill Today

Thornhill Elementary – website
  • Thornhill Website – OUSD
  • Thornhill 50th Anniversary –blog

Joaquin Miller Elementary School

Bid were taken in November 1949 for the New Joaquin Miller Elementary School on Ascot Drive in the Montclair.

Oakland Tribune November 1950
Oakland Tribune November 1950 Tribune

First Graduate

In January of 1950 Judith Lowe, 12 daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lowe had the honor of being the first graduate of the school – she was the only one. She was the lone pupil in high sixth grade.

Oakland Tribune Jan 25,1951
Oakland Tribune Jan 25,1951

The school is located at 5525 Ascot Drive.

Joaquin Miller Today

Joaquin Miller today
  • Joaquin Miller website – OUSD

The End

Updated Nov 28, 2019