Roses in Concrete Community School

Program Type: 
School Cafeterias, Academic Classrooms, Support Organization
Grade Level/Age Group: 
Kindergarten, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School
Number of Individuals Program Serves: 
Year Founded: 
About the Program: 

The Roses in Concrete Community School is currently a K-6 school in East Oakland with plans to expand to a K-8 school. The school is founded on the belief that schools should emphasize knowledge of self, character, and intellectual growth to prepare students to fundamentally impact the global society while learning to live, learn, work and thrive in their own communities. Our principal goal is to develop youth committed to lives characterized by self-discipline, integrity, love, and hope in the pursuit of justice and equity for all communities.  We encourage our students, who are broadly invested in academic, artistic, athletic, and extracurricular pursuits, to demonstrate the spirit of the Warrior-Scholar. As Warrior-Scholars, our students will cultivate the courage to stand as warriors on the side of justice while having the scholarly faculties to decipher where justice resides in a complex society.

The founding team collaborated with the Alameda County Public Health Department to identify the boundaries of Oakland’s highest need neighborhoods and to determine specific demographic data. The results indicated a need to focus on the East Oakland neighborhoods bounded by High Street, Highway 880, 106th Avenue and Highway 580 where a compounding of negative socioeconomic health factors plagued the community. Reflecting the communities in which they come from, our students are 99% young people of color, 68% qualify for free and reduced lunch, and the majority of families residing in the surrounding East Oakland neighborhoods. 

Drawing from our founder’s two decades of research and practice in teaching OUSD’s highest need students, we know that his pathway to engagement and achievement is highly effective.  From his research and practice, he knows that learning best occurs by connecting Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” with our five thematic elements of effective practice (5R’s): Resources, Relationships, Relevancy, Rigor, and Responsibility. Level 1 is the foundational level, the entry point--the concrete.  Students will rise, level by level, until they reach Level 5 and blossom.  This approach cultivates students that become Warrior-Scholars; a new generation of community members who understand their individual and collective responsibility to be warriors for the cause of equity and justice in our community and the broader global society.