Bishop O'Dowd High School

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"Bishop o'dowd" redirects here. For the Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco, see James Thomas O'Dowd.
Bishop O'Dowd High School
O'Dowd Logo.jpg
"Finding God in all things"
9500 Stearns Avenue
Oakland, California, (Alameda County) 94605
United States
Coordinates 37°45′12.94″N 122°9′18.33″W / 37.7535944°N 122.1550917°W / 37.7535944; -122.1550917Coordinates: 37°45′12.94″N 122°9′18.33″W / 37.7535944°N 122.1550917°W / 37.7535944; -122.1550917
Type Private, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1951
President Stephen Phelps, Ed.D.
Principal Pamela Shay, M.S.A.
Chaplain Fr. James Sullivan
Faculty 125
Grades 912
Enrollment 1175 (2016–2017)
Average class size 24
Student to teacher ratio 15:1
Campus Urban
Campus size 20 acres
Color(s) Black and Gold          
Athletics 15 interscholastic sports, with 57 teams, including rugby, water polo, and lacrosse as well as the traditional sports such as soccer, volleyball, basketball, and football. All students are encouraged to participate in the athletics program.
Athletics conference West Alameda County Conference, Foothill League
Mascot Dragon
Team name Dragons
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges[1]
Average SAT scores 567 critical reading; 567 math; 565 writing (total 1699)
Average ACT scores 24.8 English; 23.7 Math; 25.4 Reading; 24 Science; 24.6 Composite
Newspaper The Crozier
Yearbook Mitre
School fees $1,100 registration deposit
Tuition $16,790 (2016–2017)
Alumni More than 13,000
Assistant principal Brian Judd, M.S.
Jase Turner
Admissions Director Kerryn Pincus
Athletic Director Mike Bowler
Assistant Athletic Director Carlos Arriaga

Bishop O'Dowd High School is a Catholic, co-educational, college preparatory school in Oakland, California, administered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland and named for the late auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, James T. O'Dowd (1907–1950). The school requires all students to attend school liturgies (Catholic Mass and prayer services), to enroll in religious studies courses each semester, and to complete its 4-year service learning program. O’Dowd is a Catholic high school community of 1,186 students. The school has 125 faculty and staff members and more than 80 part-time coaches, teachers and moderators.


Bishop O’Dowd High School is named in memory of the former Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Bishop James T. O’Dowd, who died at the age of 43 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Having just helped to establish Marin Catholic and Riordan high schools, Bishop O'Dowd was in the process of drawing up plans for a new Catholic high school in the East Bay at the time of his sudden death.

Bishop O'Dowd's first senior class graduated in 1955, and since then O'Dowd has had over 12,000 graduates.[2]

In June 2010, O’Dowd successfully completed a three-year, $9 million comprehensive fundraising campaign and funds raised were split about evenly between capital development and program enhancement. Funds contributed to renovation of many elements of the classroom buildings — from floors to ceilings, interior and exterior, every classroom, lab and locker, from ventilation to technology infrastructure.


In 2015 the men's basketball team won the CIF Open Division Championship and the women's team won the Division 3 CIF State Championship. The men's team was led by Ivan Rabb the no. 8 player in the country, and the woman's team was led by Asia Robertson.[3] As of 2015, O'Dowd's basketball team is ranked 13th nationally.[4]


In 2015, over 99% of the graduating class enrolled in colleges and universities. 94% of the graduates enrolled in four-year colleges with 5% enrolling in two-year colleges. Each year graduates disperse to universities throughout the nation, from East Coast Ivy League schools to the outstanding universities in California. Typically about 33% choose a UC school, 40% attend Catholic, private, or other religious university, 22% enroll in the California State University system and 5% go to a Junior college.

Programs and extracurricular activities[edit]

  • 17 AP courses
  • Athletics: 61 teams, 16 sports
  • 4 musical groups
  • 45 student clubs: 45+
  • Students spend a minimum of 100 hours in community service by graduation
  • Center for Environment Studies
  • The Living Lab – a 4 1/2 acre student-built vegetable and botanical garden


Bishop O'Dowd High School was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School in 1990–1991.[5]


External links[edit]