In January 1930 Bret Harte Junior High School began as part of the Oakland Unified School District in the Dimond/Laurel District of Oakland, California.  As with As with all of Oakland's former junior high schools that served 7th, 8th and 9th grade students, in 1998 Bret Harte was reconfigured into Bret Harte Middle School, serving 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. 1

Named after Bret Harte, who was a California writer, the school was built as Oakland's expanding development into East Oakland necessitated new schools.

Tom Hanks graduated from Bret Harte Junior High in 1971.

The school's auditorium gymnasium building was constructed in 1950, and an additional building was built on the campus in 1959, a a major expansion taking place in 1979.  The 1930 time capsule in a copper box found during the 1979 construction was never opened and was since lost.

Once a primarily 'white' school, changing demographics now make Bret Harte "one of the most ethnically and economically diverse middle schools in Oakland." According to the 2008/2009 California Department of Education statistics, Bret Harte Middle School has the following ethnic demographics:

  Ethnicity This School State Average
  African American 39% 7%
  Hispanic or Latino 28% 49%
  Asian 18% 8%
  White 8% 28%
  Multiple or No Response 3% 3%
  Pacific Islander 2% 1%
  American Indian or Alaska Native 1% 1%
  Filipino 1% 3%

API Results

The API reflects year-over-year schools performance based on STAR test score results from spring 2012.

This school's API score: 670; Change from 2011 to 2012: +8; API Statewide Rank (2011): 1 / 10; API Similar Schools Rank (2011) 3 / 10

What do these numbers mean? »

API Growth scores over time

Bret Harte Middle School API Growth Scores, Oakland, California 2

Did this school meet the API goal this year?

The state goal for API is 800. All schools that are below 800 are assigned an API improvement target each year.

  • This school met its schoolwide API target for 2012.
  • This school has not yet met the state goal of 800.

The Great rating for Bret Harte Middle School is only a '2' out of a possible '10.'


3700 Coolidge Avenue, Oakland, California 94602



Links and References

  1. Bret Harte Middle School official website
  2. Bret Harte Middle School Great Schools