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Greenleaf TK-8 School Celebrates Facility Opening and Success



 Students and staff stand outside the new building. Greenleaf TK-8 School recently cut the ribbon for a brand new two-story facility that houses six new classrooms, a library and administrative space. For the first time, middle schoolers at Greenleaf will have their own wing. This is the culmination of a design process that started back in 2006 with a dedicated group of teachers, parents, staff and students and the support of OUSD's New School Incubator.


In 2006, Whittier Elementary was struggling, and the group went through a rigorous design process to develop a shared vision for student success. The next year Greenleaf Elementary - named after Quaker abolitionist poet John Greenleaf Whittier - launched to honor both its past and to set a bold course for the future.


The new vision, along with incredible staff and community commitment yielded strong and accelerated results almost immediately. Over the first three years, Greenleaf Scholars increased their literacy proficiency from 14% to 51% as measured by the then California State Standards Test (CST) and even more in Math, from 25% to 80%.


Greenleaf soon became a model for teacher leadership, professional learning communities, values-based school culture and data-driven instruction across the district. The school's API, the former standard school ratings, rose from the mid 500's to 821. It became the second 85% or above Title 1 school in OUSD to achieve that level of success and the first in East Oakland.


In Fall, 2011, Greenleaf piloted OUSD’s first Transitional Kindergarten for children who turn five between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2. In 2012, Greenleaf opened its first 6th grade class and expanded over the next two years to include 7th and 8th grade.


Now, a decade after it was first incubated, Greenleaf TK-8 has inaugurated its new building - 10 years in the making - to house an extraordinary educational program.  The new facility stands as a testament to the enduring power of community collaboration, teamwork and focus on results for students.


Greenleaf TK-8  was also the first school to launch the Kindergarten to College (K2C) pilot initiative of The Oakland Promise. On Oct. 26, leaders from OUSD and the City of Oakland joined together with community members, parents, staff and students at a ceremony during which all 73 kindergarteners were presented with $100 certificates.


Principal Romy Trigg-Smith reflected on the event: “We feel incredibly fortunate that the mayor, the city of Oakland and OUSD have supported the Oakland Promise and this specific initiative which invests in our kindergarten students’ college funds!”


Greenleaf and Bridges Academy at Melrose were the first of eighteen planned K2C school launches that will take place by June 2017. For more information, visit