Prescott School has been a City of Oakland public elementary school (Oakland Unified School District) in West Oakland since 1866.


The school started as a two-room school in 1866. Mrs. William Bradshaw was principal. 10

According to the 1869 directory:

The new school building at the Point has not been occupied. A one-story two room building has for a considerable period been in use. Miss Annie E. Lewis is Principal, and Susie A. Mowry, Assistant. The attendance has fluctuated greatly, the average being about one hundred. The new building is to be occupied from the beginning of the present year, and a Grammar School Class is to be started. 8

A.W. Brodt was appointed principal ("master") of the new school in 1869, along with teachers ("assistants") Mrs. Wheelock and Miss Mary Alexander. 7 The following year, the school was named for historian William H. Prescott Prescott, AZ, was also named for him. It was also sometimes called "the Point School." 5,6

In 1874, the teachers included A. F. Craven, 1st grade; Miss Mary L. Kimball, 4th grade; Miss Julia E. Sherman, 5th grade; Miss Louisa Graffleman, 6th grade; E. A. Stevens, 7th grade; Miss Winchester, 8th grade. 3 In June 1874, the following teachers were elected: Mr. Brier, 1st and 2nd grade, principal; Mrs. Standeford, 3rd grade and first assistant; Mrs. Craven, 4th grade; Miss Sherman, 5th grade; Miss Stevens, 6th grade; Mrs. M. V. Kingman, 7th grade; Miss Clow and Mrs. Winchester, 8th grade. 4

In 1887 the Principal of Prescott School was Douglas Fowler, and there were quite a few teachers, 19 in total, Miss Mary C. Heaton, Miss C. T. Fellows, Miss E. A. Stevens, Miss M. Rainey, Miss M. McLean, Miss Eugenie M. Burgin, Miss Lizzie Storey, Miss Mertie Burrows, Miss Annie M. Johnson, Miss Cynthia P. Seet, Miss Lizzie A. Parker, Miss Nellie R. Lynch, Miss E. Clarissa Morris, Miss Amanda M. Youngman, Mrs. Ida A. Cody, Mrs. Mary E. Hawkins, Miss Mary E. Meek, Miss Alice M. Wells, and Mrs. Narcissa J. Ashton. Mrs. Margaret Allen was the janitor.

During the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Prescott School suffered major damage to the new building that was then under construction.

Prescott School damaged in the 1906 Earthquake 9

The school was enlarged in 1924. 10

Oakland's first Black public school teacher, Ida Louise Jackson, began teaching at Prescott in 1925.

Ida Louise Jackson and class in 1944. 1

A junior high was added in 1926. In the 1950s, it returned to being an elementary school. Following a 1956 bond issue, a new addition with 12 classrooms, a library, and a multi-purpose room was built. A 1973 bond measure to reconstruct unsafe schools in Oakland led to buildings being replaced, with construction completed in 1979. 10


The school has been operating under the name PLACE @ Prescott (Preparatory Literary Academy of Cultural Excellence @ Prescott) since 2006, serving Kindergarten through 5th grade children.


920 Campbell Street, Oakland, California



Links and References

  1. Ida Jackson (MS189_0250A) by E.F. Joseph, African American Museum and Library at Oakland

  2. Prescott School Oakland Tribune June 13, 1887

  3. Our Schools - Prescott Grammar School Oakland Tribune June 9, 1874

  4. Our Schools - Prescott Grammar School Oakland Tribune June 17, 1874

  5. 150 Years of Prescott

  6. Prescott School by The Knave Oakland Tribune February 15, 1953

  7. Oakland Items San Francisco Chronicle June 17, 1869

  8. 1869 Directory

  9. Prescott School, 9th & Campbell Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley

  10. 1979 Dedication program at Oakland History Center