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Overview of Oakland Military Institute

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Oakland Military Institute, formally the Oakland Military Institute College Preparatory Academy, is a charter school in Oakland, California, run by the California Military Department’s Youth and Community Programs Task Force in collaboration with the Oakland Unified School District. It is one of the notable Military Schools in California.

Its mission statement is “to provide a structured and rigorous academic program where cadets develop as leaders, scholars, critical thinkers, and citizens.” Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about Oakland Military Institute.

Overview Of The Oakland Military Institute

Oakland Military Institute College Preparatory Academy is a charter school in the large city of Oakland, California. Oakland Military Institute College Preparatory Academy has 627 students in grades 6 through 12. At Oakland Military Institute College Preparatory Academy, 10% of students achieved or exceeded the proficient level in math, and 27% achieved or exceeded the proficient level in reading.

Minority enrollment at the school is 97%. There are 20 students for every teacher. The student body is composed of 45% female students and 55% male students. The school has 77% economically disadvantaged students enrolled. There are 32 full-time equivalent teachers.

History Of The Oakland Military Institute

Oakland Military Institute was established in 2001 following a two-year campaign led by then-Mayor Jerry Brown. After local school boards rejected the proposals, Governor Gray Davis stepped in to help secure the charter. It is the State of California Military Department’s first charter school and the National Guard’s first public military school. 

At its inception, the school was located on the Oakland Army Base at 2405 West 14th Street. AC Transit provided a dedicated bus line to the base for student transportation. Hundreds of applications were received from all over East Bay, and each prospective student was required to appear in person with a parent or guardian.

In June and July of 2001, Camp San Luis Obispo hosted the first summer encampment. In August 2001, 157 7th graders completed the encampment and enrolled. Colonel Bradford M. Jones was the first Commandant on the campus, with Command Sergeant Major Alex Cabassa serving as the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer for the adult cadre. The sixth grade was added during the summer of 2004, and the 2006-2007 school year saw the Academy’s first enrollment of all grade levels 6-12.

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On Saturday, June 6, 2007, the first graduating class of 61 seniors held their commencement ceremony at the Lake Merritt Bandstand. Twenty-two of the graduating class had been enrolled since the seventh grade. The commencement speaker was California Attorney General Jerry Brown. 80% of the first graduating class was accepted into four-year colleges and universities.

From its inception until May 18, 2007, the school was housed at Lusk Street in Northwest Oakland, on the site of the Oakland Army Base. OMI opened a 15,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in August 2012 to serve 6th grade and house science classrooms, music and art classes, and a library, computer lab, and virtual learning center.

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Academics 

Oakland Military Institute offers a strong academic program to its students, with approximately 58 percent taking and qualifying for advanced placement, indicating an accelerated academic path.

This school’s graduates actively pursue higher education at nearly twice the national average. The school’s superintendent boasts that alumni can be found on the rolls of several prestigious universities in California and beyond, including many UC campuses, Yale, and West Point Military Academy.

Admissions Requirements for Oakland Military Institute

Because Oakland Military Institute is not a public school, admissions are privately screened. They should be submitted no later than five months before the start of the school year, mainly in September.

The student’s birth certificate, current and accurate shot records, the most recent report card or transcripts from previous schools, Individualized Education Program or 504 plan enrollment if applicable, and a signed request for school records should all be included in the application packet.

However, the enrollment process continues after the submission of the packet. Students who apply for admission must meet with an admissions staff member to ensure that academic, social, and possibly athletic standards are understood and accepted.

Acceptance into the institute required an in-person interview with a panel that included a military member, faculty member, administrator, and mayor’s office representative. Due to a large number of applicants for the first class, the staff held a lottery for acceptance at the Oakland Army Base Theater to determine which applicants would be allowed to attend a two-week summer camp at Camp San Luis Obispo.

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Once admitted, students and their parents or responsible adults must attend a one-hour orientation together.

The enrollment process is finished with one more step. Students must attend and complete a seven-day entrance camp several weeks after orientation. Those who qualify for camp attendance pass this test if they receive four or fewer demerits during the week-long trial.

Also read: The history and significance of military uniforms over time

Overview of Courses at Oakland Military Institute

The rigorous ACADEMIC program includes language arts, math, science, history, world languages, fine arts, leadership, and fitness training. OMI seeks and supports students who are ambitious and willing to take charge of their learning. Honors, AP, and college-level courses are also available at OMI. All students are expected to do whatever it takes to meet OMI’s rigorous academic standards and achieve proficiency on the Common Core State Standards through hard work, determination, and a positive attitude. 

The school’s military framework fosters LEADERSHIP and a sense of pride and community by requiring cadets to wear a proper complete uniform every school day and to begin each day with a formation that includes patriotic exercises. All cadets are members of the California Cadet Corps and are assigned to military units (squads, platoons, companies, and battalions within the Corps of OMI Cadets). During their time at OMI, cadets are given more responsibility through various leadership positions.

Cadets learn what is expected of them at the Summer Camp before enrolling at OMI, a camp that thoroughly introduces new students to the school’s CITIZENSHIP expectations. The disciplinary system is fair and predictable, modeled after the military model. It employs a meritocracy system with both positive and negative consequences. 

All cadets are expected to fulfill a common set of duties and a code of honor requiring absolute integrity. Cadets who fail to meet our expectations for conduct, integrity, and duty performance forfeit their opportunity to attend OMI.

Athletics 

Oakland Military Institute incorporates sports programs for all ages and genders, combining the idea that strong, healthy bodies promote healthy minds.

Student-athletes, known as the Grizzlies, compete in sports such as football, baseball, badminton, fencing, basketball, cross country, and crew.

What Happens After Oakland Military Institute?

Ideally, students advance to college. Aside from academics, the school fosters leadership in its students through an elective class that all students take each year. They are assigned to a large group of students, known as a Company, which they remain a part of throughout their school years. The military staff mentors students in these groups to help them grow into disciplined adults and character leaders.

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