Support Your Child: A Quick Guide to Oakland Public Schools

There are close to 50,000 kids enrolled in over 120 public schools across Oakland. Understandably, navigating Oakland’s public education system can be a challenging process, but equipped with the right tools, the journey for families like yours can be much simpler.


In the Oakland Unified School District, families have a choice between 91 district-run schools or 32 charter public schools. OUSD and the charter schools each have their own application deadlines and processes for enrollment. In general, enrollment season runs from November through April.

The enrollment process includes:

  • School tours
  • An application window
  • First choice notification
  • Enrollment appeal
  • School selection

Visit OUSD’s student assignment center to learn more about OUSD and charter schools.  The office is located in Portable A at 746 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610.

Read this enrollment how-to for school tours and a timeline for Oakland’s enrollment process.

Choosing a School

OUSD is a choice district where families are allowed to attend schools outside of their neighborhood. OUSD’s current enrollment system prioritizes siblings of students at the school followed by neighborhood. Everyone else is placed in a computerized lottery. Charter schools have their own set of application processes, so please visit each charter school or charter management organization to find out how to apply.

One of the best ways to select a school is to schedule an in-person tour.

Here are a few tools to help you understand what each school has to offer:

School Performance Framework: A way for families to measure OUSD schools using academic and cultural inputs. A guide for all the public schools in Oakland.

SBAC Map: The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium replaced the Academic Performance Index, which indicated a school’s progress based on standardized tests. Find out how Oakland did.

School Board

Oakland’s school board matters because the seven elected board members are responsible for managing the district’s budget, making decisions about our students’ learning that affects schools throughout the city, and hiring a superintendent.

Check out School Board Watch to stay up-to-date on issues affecting our schools.

Issues That Will Affect Your Child and Family

Common Enrollment

OUSD is exploring a new enrollment system that would allow families throughout the city to fill out one application for all of Oakland’s public schools.

Equity Pledge

OUSD is working with a number of partners to create a more unified school system that includes district and charter schools and increases equity to students and families that need it most.

Quality Schools

OUSD’s goal is to work toward providing a quality school in every neighborhood using data tools to prioritize resources to some of our most vulnerable schools and highest needs students.

Other resources

California’s Education System: Now that you are familiar with Oakland’s schools, it’s time to get know to the bigger system.

Family Guides to Education: Innovate Public Schools has provided tools for families to help navigate your child’s education.

Resources for Families: Check out our library of resources for families.



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