Oakland High School (Oakland, California)

Coordinates: 37°48′17.58″N 122°14′10.43″W / 37.8048833°N 122.2362306°W / 37.8048833; -122.2362306

Oakland High School
1023 MacArthur Boulevard
Oakland, California
United States
Type Public, magnet
Motto "In Virtue Summum Bonum Ponamus"
(In virtue we place the highest good.)
Established 1869
School district Oakland Unified School District
Principal Matin Abdel-Qawi
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1875
Color(s) Blue and white
Athletics conference CIF Oakland Section
Mascot Willy the Wildcat
Nickname Wildcats
Newspaper The Aegis
Yearbook The Oaken Bucket
Website ousdhs.ousd.k12.ca.us/oaklandhigh

Oakland Senior High School (also known as O-High and OHS) is a public high school in California. Established in 1869, it is the oldest high school in Oakland and the sixth oldest high school in the state.


Oakland High School, 1872-1895

Oakland High was first located at Twelfth and Market, then Twelfth and Jefferson. It has been in its current location at the corner of MacArthur Boulevard and Park Boulevard since 1928. The building that stood before its current manifestation was known as the "Pink Prison" or "Pink Palace." The stairway leading up from Park Blvd. is what remains of the exterior. The lamps in the commons are original fixtures. What is now the football field and basketball courts was once classrooms and a huge theater. The school colors are blue and white.

The building was torn down in 1980 to be rebuilt as a safer structure in the event of a major earthquake.

A new football/soccer/baseball field was inaugurated in the spring of 2006. The football field is officially known as Jackie Jensen Field, while the baseball/softball field is dedicated to Mike Marcoulis, Sr., longtime coach and teacher.

The current 2013-2014 principal is Matin Abdel-Qawi. Assistant principals are Anisa Rasheed, Michael Ray, and Shoshana Towers-Cabrera. Other official positions include Tiago Robinson (Coordinator of Safe & Supportive Schools), Kaprice Wilson (Truancy Reduction), Carlos Padilla (Head Counselor), Amy Dellefield (Student Activities Director), Susan Yee (Wellness Director) and Justin Booker (Athletic Director).[1]

In the summer of 2008, renovations and rebuilding to the main building (as well in the former shop buildings) began and were completed in August 2011.


With over 1,800 students, 39% are Asian, including students of Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Filipino, Mien, and Laotian descent. Another 38% of students are African American, 21% of students are Latino or Hispanic, 1% are white and 1% are of two or more ethnicities.

Class colors

Student life

Oakland High School boasts more than 40 student-run clubs and 24 sports. From the Hip Hop Club to the Math Club and soccer to badminton, OHS has something for everyone. Oakland High is proud to offer three intra-school academies: the Environmental Sciences Academy, Visual Arts Magnet Program, and the Public Health Academy. Two new pathways, AVID and Project Lead the Way (engineering) are also popular with students. There is a thriving World Language department open to all students regardless of their Academy or Pathway interests, which includes Cantonese, French and Spanish.



OHS offers many Advanced Placement (AP) courses, as well as two Honors (HP) courses, and a wide array of challenging academic electives. Many concurrent enrollment college courses are offered from the Peralta Colleges after school.

The AP Test Site Coordinator for the school is Carlos Padilla.

HP courses

AP courses

  • Biology AP
  • Calculus AB AP
  • Calculus BC AP
  • Chemistry AP
  • English Language and Composition AP
  • English Literature and Composition AP
  • Environmental Science AP
  • Statistics AP
  • US History AP

Test scores

For 2009, the school's API score was 629 out of a possible 1000 points.

California Standard Tests Scores, proficiency rate
English Mathematics Science History/Social
30% 17% 31% 15%


Visual Arts Academy Magnet Program (VAAMP)

VAAMP teaches student how to be creative and piques their interest in art. Led by Jackie "Ms. B" Marston and Keith "K-Dub" Williams, VAAMP is thriving with new young artists. An art-based academy, VAAMP encourages the artistic and personal growth of young people. VAAMP offers Ohigh students classes in art, fashion, drama, and graphic design.

VAAMP students painted the mural on Park Blvd., entitled "Beautiful Struggle." Featured in the middle is one of the greatest art teachers that ever set foot on OHS. Her name is Ms. Broussard, who has gone through personal issues and set a great example for each one of Ohigh's VAAMPers. Ms. Broussard has taught many students about what artists truly are.

Environmental Sciences Academy (ESA)

The Environmental Science Academy (ESA) at Oakland High was founded by science teachers Katharine Noonan and Kevin Jordan in 1997. They designed and led the rich environmental science program most people associate with ESA until 2015.

The Environmental Sciences Academy is currently run by Chris Johnston (English teacher), Lara Trale (English teacher), and David White (Social Studies teacher) under the guidance of the Linked Learning Office at OUSD. ESA is known for its high-achieving students and many field trips. In ESA, students are given various tools to prepare for themselves (sic) for the future, such as community service, college courses, and School-to-Careers (sic) . ESA students go on many excursions such as Catalina Island and a senior trip.

Sophomore ESA students usually have a core class consisting of Biology and Environmental Studies. This class goes to Lake Merritt once a week to test the water and learn more about the environment. During ESA students' senior year, they are taught AP Environmental Science.

Public Health Academy (PHA)

Established in 2011, the Public Health Academy is the newest academy at Oakland High School. Its goal is to teach students about public health and policy. Public health problems involve complex and interrelated social, behavioral, legal, medical and economic issues. Students are given many opportunities for internships in the health profession at Highland Hospital and Kaiser Permanente.


In the 2008-2009 season, the Oakland High football team managed a 9-2 record, winning a co-league championship.

In the spring of 1998, 2007 and 2009, the badminton team defeated Skyline High School (the seven-year defending champions) to become the OAL champions. They won the league with a record of six wins and no losses. Along with athletic talent, the badminton team also maintained a very high average GPA, and were named Oakland High's 2007 Outstanding Spring Sports Team.

The Oakland High Catfish Swim Team is another of the many strong teams at OHS. The Catfish have roughly 40 people on the Varsity and JV teams. At the 2008 OAL finals, the Catfish defeated Skyline in both men's Varsity and JV, becoming OAL champions.

In the fall of 2007, the bowling team became OAL champions without a single loss.

The Lady Wildcats Volleyball team finished third in the OAL for the 2014 season.


  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Notable alumni

See also


  1. http://ousdhs.ousd.k12.ca.us/domain/1689
  2. Math Club
  3. Kovner, Guy (2013-03-26). "Robert Nichols". The Press Democrat. Archived from the original on March 31, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
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