Oakland International High School

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Oakland International High School
4521 Webster Street
Oakland, California 94609-2140
Type Public
Established 2007
School district Oakland Unified School District
Principal Carmelita Reyes
Grades 9–12
Enrollment approximately 250 (as of October 2009)
Nickname OIHS
Information +1-510-879–2142

Oakland International High School opened in August 2007 with the support of The Internationals Network for Public Schools, Oakland Unified School District, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The school targets a population of students, newly arrived immigrants, who have historically been under-served nationally, in California, and in Oakland.


The mission of OIHS is to provide newly arrived immigrants a quality alternative education focused on English language acquisition in preparation for college.


100% of the student body is made up of English language learners, nearly all of whom immigrated to the US in the last four years. Collectively, students speak over 30 languages other than English. Students have come from over three dozen countries: Afghanistan, Brazil, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cuba, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Japan, Liberia, Macau, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen. 52% of students are Latino, 6% African, 36% Asian, and 6% Arab or White. Approximately 25% of students hold refugee immigration status, having escaped ethnic conflicts in Liberia, Nepal, Burma, and Central Asia. More than 90% of the student body qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch.

Internationals Approach[edit]

OIHS teachers are trained in the Internationals Approach to teach students to improve their speaking, writing, and reading skills in English. This approach is built on the belief that English-language acquisition is best fostered in an academic environment in which students participate in 1) heterogeneous groups, using 2) a project-based curriculum, and where 3) English development is integrated into all content areas. Working in small groups, students learn academic content, art, music and technology through exciting, rigorous, hands-on projects as they learn their new language.[1]


OIHS is a member of The Internationals Network for Public Schools, a non-profit organization that grew out of the work of a group of international high schools in New York City. It now supports 12 schools in New York and California. The first international high school, located on the campus of LaGuardia Community College, opened in 1985; two more followed in the 1990s. Since 2001, the network has opened and supported nine additional high schools with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The network of schools annually serves 4,000 students immigrating from 90 countries. The network's mission is to provide quality education to recently arrived immigrants by developing and networking small high schools based on the Internationals approach.


The school campus is the former Verdese Carter Middle School, built in the 1970s. The site formerly served as Woodrow Wilson Junior High School from 1926.


  1. ^ Kessler, J. (2009). Oakland Unified School District case study: OIHS. Stanford, CA: School Redesign Network at Stanford University.
  • Kessler, J. (2009). Oakland Unified School District case study: OIHS. Stanford, CA: School Redesign Network at Stanford University.

External links[edit]