The History Of Dewey

Dewey began as an Oakland elementary school at 38th avenue and East 12th Street in 1899. It was named after Admiral George Dewey who was a hero in the Spanish-American War that was being fought at that time. In 1963 Dewey ended its history as an elementary school and became the first continuation high school in Oakland. This change offered students with problems at their regular high schools a second chance to earn credit and graduate on time. In the fall of 2001 Dewey moved from the East 12th Street site to its present site on Second Avenue near Lake Merritt. We continue to serve 16 to 18 year olds who need an alternative way of reaching their goals.

Departments at Dewey




Dewey Art Department

The Dewey Art program is a two–trimester experience focusing on the elements and principles of art that is required for graduation and aligned with the state standards. Students develop a foundation of the basic skills and concepts to be proficient at the college level. Exposure to as many mediums and styles is a priority with the main focus being on process not the object. Students are graded on a four- point rubric:

  • Multiple techniques- Use of three or more elements of art. (Line, shape, color)
  • Taking the project beyond the basic examples. (Must be original)
  • Maximum use of space. (Fill up the page)
  • Respect of materials and environment at all times. (Stay on task and clean up)

Students will develop an appreciation for art and art history along with self- assessment skills that will create the desire to seek out other art related activities in their adult lives.



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Mathematics Department

Because education is a process that involves the whole community, the success of the instructional program within each classroom depends not only on the teacher, but to a large extent upon the level of community support provided. Consequently, the disconnection with the community or the lack of community support often leads to instructional programs that are isolated from the day to day functioning of the community. In our Mathematics program we will strive to:

  1. Maintain an environment that is conducive to learning by:
    • moving pupils from reliance on external control towards self-discipline and self-direction.
    • ensuring that student activities contribute to the learning environment.
    • directing students to use socially acceptable means of resolving problems.
    • working cooperatively with site personnel.
    • working cooperatively with parents to improve student learning.
    • using instructional devices, room arrangements, and materials to promote student interest.
  2. Adhere to safety and health standards.
  3. Closely monitor pupil attendance and tardiness and make consistent ongoing attempts to reduce absences and tardiness.
  4. Effectively expose students to an individualize instructional program.
One hundred percent of the students who attend class seventy percent or more of the time will demonstrate a minimum of seventy percent mastery of the California Mathematics Standards presented to them on an individualized level.

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Social Sciences Department

Dewey’s Social Science department is exactly like any other comprehensive high school except for one difference. We do not require Multicultural Studies in the 9th grade. This saves Dewey students a semester of work. The rest is the same. In 10th grade ten credits are required in World Cultures. In 11th grade ten credits are required in United States History. In 12th grade five credits of American Government and five credits in Economics are required.

As you can see, even without the 9th grade Multicultural Studies course there are still 30 credits in Social Science required for graduation from Dewey. It is, therefore, very important to succeed in Social Science. Dewey’s Social Science department will work with students both in class and after school to help them fulfill their requirements. Credits in Social Science can also be earned in our Cyber High classes.