St. Martin de Porres School serves families of the West Oakland neighborhoods and beyond by providing a multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural K through 8 educational experience. As a faith-based community grounded in the Roman Catholic tradition, the school welcomes and includes all, regardless of means or religious affiliation, who are committed to bettering our children, our families, our community, and our world. We provide a safe, caring environment in which students develop learning skills to move upward through the educational system and contribute positively as adults in our global society.
Philosophy of Catholic School Education, Diocese of Oakland
The Catholic elementary and secondary schools within the Diocese of Oakland are the expression of the educational ministry of the parishes, religious congregations and of the Diocese itself. Under the authority of the Bishop, the schools share a common Christian vision, resources and responsibilities as they strive to serve the youth that are reflective of the diverse cultural, ethnic and economic population of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The Diocese and individual schools are committed to include the poor in Catholic school education.
The tenets and the tradition of the Catholic faith are an integral component of the philosophy and goals of each school. All facets of Catholic education contribute to the faith development of the students and reflect the commitment to teach and model Catholic principles founded in the liberating love of Jesus Christ and the Good News as proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church in contemporary society.
The schools prepare youth to respect the sacred dignity of the person as an individual and as a responsible member of the community and also enable students to translate the Good News into action within a challenging and disciplined environment provided by caring and capable teachers.
Finally, schools acknowledge that parents, who have the primary responsibility for the moral and religious development of their children, are partners with the parishes and the entire Christian community in the continuing educative process. Together, they participate in the development of school policies, curricula and the budgetary process based on Christian values within the constraints of local school resources.
Consequently, Catholic schools are committed to provide:
It is this sense of common purpose, which inspires each school community to strive to meet the challenge of the goals set by the Catholic Bishops of the United States:
"To be communities of faith in which the Christian message, the experience of community, worship and social concern are integrated in the total experience of students, their parents and members of the faculty." Sharing the Light of Faith.
St. Martin de Porres Catholic School is a kindergarten through 8th grade regional Catholic school within the Diocese of Oakland, which serves the families of North and West Oakland. The school was formed in 1996 as a consolidation of three inner city Catholic schools in the Diocese of Oakland and is comprised of two campuses: a K-5 campus at Sacred Heart Parish in North Oakland, and a middle school campus at St. Patrick Parish in West Oakland. St. Martin de Porres remains the only Catholic school serving the neighborhoods and families of North and West Oakland.
In terms of demographic characteristics, 63% of our students are African American, 32% are Latino, 5% are mixed race, and 90% qualify for the federally funded free or reduced lunch program. Additionally, approximately 50% of our students are Catholic, 45-50% of our students are members of other faith communities and actively participate in their church communities.
A twelve member Board of Trustees, President, Dr. Hollis PIerce-Jenkins and Principal, Ms. Dara Northcroft, govern the school. In June 2012, WCEA (Western Catholic Education Association) announced that St. Martin de Porres School was given a clear six-year term of accreditation, which is the highest possible score. Reviewers noted positive trends in retention of students; academic achievement; retention of teachers; support of the larger community; numbers of community partners; new revenue sources; and improved programming. Results from parent surveys rank the school with more than a 90% satisfaction mark. The review board noted the work that the school's leadership and staff have done to transform the school since 2003, recognizing it as "one of the most successful urban Catholic schools in the Oakland Diocese.