The College Preparatory School is an independent coeducational day school, grades 9-12, for intellectual risk-takers who want to pursue a serious, purposeful education with others who feel the same way.
Our school was founded in 1960 by Mary Harley Jenks. As the 2012-2013 school year begins, our
community includes 360 students and 84 staff members, of whom 55 are
faculty. Of the faculty, 82% hold advanced degrees. This year, 53% of the students are female and 47% male; 50% are
students of color. Our
four-year curriculum meets or exceeds the entrance requirements of all
major colleges and universities.
Our fifteen buildings are nestled
into a green urban valley on Broadway, near the Oakland-Berkeley
line. Every year, our reputation for high standards of scholarship and
character–and our culture of warm acceptance–attracts motivated students
from all over the Bay Area. Our student body reflects broad racial,
ethnic, and economic diversity, as well as diversity of interests and
The College Preparatory School draws students from communities throughout the region:
38% from Oakland/Piedmont
- 31% from Contra Costa County (Central)
- 22% from Berkeley and cities north of Berkeley
- 8% from Alameda and cities south of Oakland
- 1% from San Francisco/Peninsula/Marin
Our demanding, classically thorough curriculum
includes core academic disciplines balanced by options
in music, visual arts, dance, theater, health education, physical education, inter-scholastic athletics, forensics,
and community activities.
The curriculum is shaped
by these priorities:
- clear expression in writing and speaking—in English and in at
least one other language (Chinese, French, Japanese, Latin, Spanish)
- a broad historical and cultural perspective
- a strong foundation of mathematics and science
- art and aesthetic development as an integral part of the curriculum
- health and physical education for all students
- technology integrated throughout the programs of study
We encourage students who have satisfied our graduation
requirements to enroll in Advanced Placement classes or independent
English: English I, II, English Seminars (e.g., Falling from
Grace; Autobiographies; The Spirit: Dead or Alive; Native Sons &
Invisible Men; Arresting British Novels; The Russians are Coming!;
Literature of the English Renaissance; Telling Stories: The Art of
Fiction Writing; Creative Writing: Poetry; and Mad, Rad, & Bad)
History: World Civilizations, Western Civilization, U.S.
History, History Seminars (e.g., American Government; Europe in the
Twentieth Century; Introduction to Economics; Comparative Religions; and
Introduction to Linguistic Science)
Languages: Chinese, French, Japanese, Latin, Spanish,
Language Seminars (e.g., Literature and Film of the Francophone World;
Advanced Spanish Conversation, Literature, and Creative Writing; Culture
and Current Events in the Spanish-Speaking World)
Mathematics: Mathematics I, II, III, Math Analysis and Introductory Calculus, Applied Math, Calculus, Multivariable Calculus, Statistics
Science: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Advanced Physics,
Environmental Science, Science Electives (e.g., Animal Behavior,
Astronomy, and Issues in Science)
Other: Forensics, Freshman Foundations, Health Education, Independent Study, Philosophy, Psychology, Women’s Studies
Fine Art Courses and Performances
Visual Arts: Drawing and Design, Two and Three Dimensional Studios, Photography, Advanced Projects, and Studio Art
Drama: Acting, Digital Video and Performance, Drama, Stagecraft, and Theater Production
Music: Chorus, Advanced Vocal Ensemble, Beginning Instruments, Orchestra, Chamber Music, Jazz Band, and Music Theory
Dance: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Dance
Performing Arts: Drama Productions, music concerts, art exhibits, dance shows, musicals, Music Tour, Cabaret Night, and more!
College Prep faculty members engage in focused learning interactions with every student. They have earned outstanding reputations for mastery of their subjects and for gifted teaching in the classroom.
Of our 55 faculty members, 17 have earned doctorates and another 28 have master’s degrees; in total, 82% hold advanced degrees.
The average academic class size is 13.1, allowing teachers
and students to know each other as learners, and to work together
closely. Teachers can ask more of each student, because they can give more.
Test scores are only part of how we know our students succeed, but they tell an important story.
The mean SAT Reasoning Test scores (on a scale of 200-800) for the College Prep Class of 2012 were 704 critical reading, 709 math and 725 writing. The most recent national averages were 497 critical reading, 514 math and 489 writing.
In 2012, 124 students took 209 Advanced Placement exams in 17 different subjects with 97% of the scores 3 or higher.
The National Merit competition awards special recognition to approximately 5% of college-bound seniors nationwide.
45% of the students in the Class of 2012 were recognized as either Semi-finalists (15 students) or Commended (26 students).
NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATORY POLICY: The College Preparatory School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The College Preparatory School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin or sexual orientation in administration of their educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship, athletic and other school administered programs.