OIHS in the news!




Images: by Alexa Heung

Cynics in America can look to resettled refugees for inspiration
Growing up in Afghanistan, Manizgha Nassimi dreamed of being a dentist, a fantasy she knew was impossible to achieve in her native country. Read More...
Innovative Oakland High School for New Immigrant Students a Model in California 
For 11 years, students from all over the world have gathered at Oakland International High to learn English and math  Read More...
Far from home and alone: Unaccompanied immigrant youth find refuge in Oakland Unified 
Alameda County has second-highest number of unaccompanied minors in California  Read More...
UC Berkeley senior raises $2K for immigrant high school student scholarships
UC Berkeley senior Miles Aiello’s company, The One Eighty Brand, recently raised $2,000 for four $500 scholarships  Read More...
Betsy DeVos may not recognize it, but these public schools work
Community-based learning also provides learning opportunities beyond the traditional school day. Read More...
Immigrant ‘Faraway Brothers’ find help in an Oakland high school
In 2014, Lauren Markham was in her office at Oakland International High School when Ernesto and Raúl Flores walked in, desperate for help. Read More...
Far from home and alone: Unaccompanied immigrant youth find refuge in Oakland Unified
One night three years ago, Milton kissed his mother gently on the head, careful not to wake her, and slipped out of their home in rural Guatemala where he had lived his whole life.  Read More...
Al Jazeera: Teens Rebuild Lives in the U.S. 
These teens are rebuilding their lives in the U.S. Read More...
NPR: A Year Later, The School System That Welcomed Unaccompanied Minors
It's been a year since thousands of unaccompanied minors surged into the U.S., overwhelming some school districts. Read More...
KALW: Getting to know your students through a neighborhood tour

It’s a bright spring afternoon in Oakland’s Northgate district, and a half dozen Yemeni-American students from Oakland International High School, or OIHS, are leading a group of their teachers and counselors on a tour of places they go when they’re not in school. Read More...

PBS: Schools provide educational and mental health support to influx of undocumented teens

Ever since a surge of unaccompanied minors crossed the U.S. border last year, many California schools have seen a flood of undocumented teens. Read More...



PBS: “We should be deporting felons, and not families”

How would you feel if you had the right to stay in the United States, but your parents didn’t? Read More...


Hechinger Report: Unaccompanied minors bring hope, past trauma to American schools 

Brandon, 18 and a recent immigrant from Guatemala, jumped eagerly into a recent conversation exercise in his English language class. He was supposed to ask a classmate, “What color are your eyes?” Read More...

PBS: How to support students on the brink of deportation

“I didn’t want to come here, but I had no other choice,” Ricardo told me earlier this fall. Read More...


The New York Times: Honduran Youth Finds Welcome Mat at Oakland School Designed for Immigrants

OAKLAND, Calif. — Above the bunk bed Lester Valladaras sleeps on each night, a collection of photos of his three younger sisters and his mother, Maribel Irias, is tacked to the wall. Ms. Irias made the collage during an English class a couple of years ago, before Lester came to America, writing this explanation next to the images: “I have three daughters here with me and two sons still in Honduras. I miss them very much. I hope they come here one day.” Read More...


LA Times: Soccer field skirmish a lesson in democracy for immigrant students

At a recent soccer practice at Oakland International High School, the boys welcomed Paulos Gurmu, a newcomer from Ethiopia. After hours of running on asphalt under a blazing sun, they sat in a circle to dole out "positivity points."

Mashable:United by Soccer, Kids From 32 Countries Fight for a Field

OAKLAND, Calif. — The soccer players at Oakland International High School speak 33 languages and come from 32 different countries and, though the beautiful game unites them, they can't play it the way other kids do because their school lacks a key facility: a pitch.

Learning by Heart: Soccer as Unifier at Oakland International HS

OAKLAND, CA — If you are a new student at Oakland International High School, there comes a point—

May Day at Oakland International High School

It is nearing 8:30 am in the central courtyard at Oakland International High School and already there is a palpable excitement in the heady spring air. Today is May Day. International Workers Day.

Chinese Educators Visit Oakland International High School

On Tuesday, November 5th, a delegation of educators from China visited Oakland International High School to learn more about the school's approach to environmental service-learning.

At Oakland International High School, an Edible Forest Begins to Bloom

Oakland North Brittany Schell

Banana and apples trees, pomegranate, pear, and plum. Blackberries and strawberries, lemons and persimmons. Thyme, sage, and a host of other herbs. This isn’t a supermarket produce section or a busy Saturday farmer’s market—it’s an edible forest, two of them in fact, planted by students in the courtyard of Oakland International High School.


Back to School at Oakland's International High

PRI's The World Monica Campbell

It’s back-to-school season, always a bit tricky, especially at high school. Now add to that a new language and country and things just got more intimidating. That’s what many new immigrants and refugees face as they start school in the U.S. But in California, one public high school tries to offer these students a softer landing.


Graphic Novels Help Immigrants Transcend Language Barriers

KQED's The California Report Lillian Mongeau

Graphic novels have been growing in popularity and respect. Some teachers are using them in the classroom as a teaching tool. Now, students at an Oakland school for recent immigrants have just published a collection of stories that describe their arrival to this country.


Students at Oakland International High School Describe Their Immigration Experiences with Graphic Art

Oakland North Mariel Waloff

Each fall, art teacher Thi Bui asks her ninth and tenth graders to tell their immigration stories in comic book form. Her students published their first collection of comics three years ago, and called it Immigration Stories.


A Teenage Refugee with Silicon Valley Dreams

Oakland Tribune Katy Murphy

Oakland International High School senior, Indra Bahadur Karki didn't know how to turn on a computer when he arrived in the United States in 2008, but the 17-year-old refugee isn't easily discouraged -- especially by what he doesn't yet know.

Oakland International High School: Opening Doors to the American Dream

KDOL TV & Media Enterprise Alliance. Oakland International students with Pam Uzzell and Chris Guevarra

Students from Oakland International High School produced this documentary about our school's unique role in helping immigrant and refugee students from throughout Oakland get prepared for success in college and beyond. Take a look at their work and learn about their experience at OIHS.


Former Chile President Michelle Bachelet visits Bay Area

ABC News. Lyanne Melendez.

"All of us may be different, but we are all important, we can all be part of a nation, part of society and for me this is very deep," Bachelet said.

Chile's ex-president visits Oakland high school

SF Gate. Jill Tucker.

Oakland International students meet with former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet.

Former president of Chile gives guidance to Oakland students

Oakland Tribune. Katy Murphy.

Michelle Bachelet visited Oakland International High School and gave advice to our senior class.


Immigrant, refugee teens in Oakland tell their stories

Oakland Tribune. Katy Murphy.

Students at Oakland International High School published a graphic novel with stories about their home countries and life in Oakland.

Back-to-School for Grownups: Oakland's Principal for a Day Program

Oakland North. Lillian R. Mongeau.

As part of Oakland’s Principal for a Day program, Port official Diann Castleberry learns how to write tardy slips, subs for the secretary, and grapples with the Odyssey.

A Chance to Learn.

The Los Angeles Times. Photography and audio by Francine Orr. Produced by Marc Martin.

Oakland International High School takes in refugee and immigrant children from around the world.

OUSD Case Study: Oakland International High School The School

Redesign Network at Stanford University. Julie Kessler.

This case study is one of six conducted for the report, Oakland Unified School District: New Small Schools Initiative Evaluation. The report and case studies can be downloaded from



Integrating Immigrant Teens

KQED. Kelly Wilkinson.

Oakland International High School is part of an educational network that has been awarded $50,000 from the Migration Policy Institute for its work integrating immigrant teens into U.S. society. What are the challenges of giving immigrant students the tools they need to thrive in the U.S.?

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Refugee, asylee students find a common language at Oakland soccer camp

Oakland Tribune. Katy Murphy.

Refugee and asylee students play soccer at Oakland International High School as a part of the Soccer Without Borders program.


Colorado students visit Oakland to learn more about immigration

Oakland Tribune. Momo Chang.

A group of middle school students from Silverton, CO visit Oakland International High School as part of a trip to learn more about immigration.


Oakland A Unique High School for Immigrants Brings Hope to Oakland

New America Media. Carolyn Goossen & Min Lee.

"In Oakland, a unique high school is taking on the daunting task of educating immigrant and refugee student populations from all over the world. In a time of national questioning about offering services to immigrants, this school gives students a chance to grow and participate meaningfully in their new society."


Project SOAR at International High School

Project SOAR. Jessica Jarin.

A look inside Oakland International High School by Academic Counseling Advisor, Jessica Jarin.

Oakland Joins Movement to Educate Recent Immigrants

KCBS Radio. George Harris.

A story about the students served at Oakland International High School and the official opening ceremony.

Students Experience U.S. at New International High

Inside Bay Area. Howard Hsu.

An article about students at Oakland International High School, their perceptions of the U.S. before arriving, and the realities of their new lives in the Bay Area.

New International High School Opening Doors for Students

KTVU/Fox. Patti Lee.

This segment highlights the groundbreaking launch of Oakland International High School as an extremely positive measure that aids immigrant students in their adjustment to the United States. The piece also documents the challenges that English learners face and the success that programs similar to Oakland International have experienced in other cities. Principal Carmelita Reyes speaks to the need for additional language instruction to help English learners pass the state exit exam.

Oakland International High School

World Journal. Monica Xu.

This Chinese-language article covers the opening of Oakland International High School, a school that assists recent immigrants in the acquisition of English-language and college preparation skills.

Better Odds: A New High School for Oakland's Newest Immigrants

Novo Metro. Alex Gronke.

This article focuses on Oakland International High School's freshman class of newly arrived immigrant students and the challenges they traditionally face in public schools.

West Coast School District Uses East Coast Model

Education Week. Mary Ann Zehr.

This blog post covers the opening of Oakland International High School and the support received from the Internationals Network of Public Schools in New York.