About Urban Promise Academy (UPA)

Urban Promise Academy is a small Oakland Unified School District middle school serving roughly 300 students in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, CA. We are a small school by design, serving families within the Fruitvale community as well as students from throughout Oakland. The student body is 87 percent Latino, 4 percent African American, 7 percent Asian, 1 percent multi-ethnic, and 1 percent White. 56 percent of our students are English Learners while another 41 percent have been re-designated as Fluent English Proficient students. 90 percent of students qualify for free and reduced lunch and seven percent of our students are identified as needing special education services.

Our Mission

The mission of Urban Promise Academy is to prepare a diverse, 6th-8th grade student population for success in college by equipping them with the skills, knowledge, and habits of mind to become self-motivated, competent, responsible community members and lifelong learners.

Our Vision: UPA has...


  • Engaging standards-based curriculum that is rigorous and relevant; An emphasis on critical thinking, investigation, and inquiry
  • A culture of high academic expectations
  • Collaborative and reflective teaching staff
  • Supportive student culture

Our educational program

  • All students take daily blocks of English, Math, Science and History, and Physical Movement.
  • UPA emphasizes inquiry based learning and arts integration, actively involving students in the process of learning through long-term projects, fieldwork experiences, and expositions of their work.
  • All students are supported as individuals through a Crew system that maintains a 1-16 teacher-student ratio.
  • All students have the opportunity to participate in an after-school sports and enrichment program.
  • All struggling students receive intervention classes, either before school (AM Boost), during the day, or in our afterschool tutoring program.

Urban Promise is a school that can demonstrate to our school community and other schools that all students can achieve at high levels, and we have the “will” and the “skills” to make that happen. Our standardized test scores have risen steadily since we opened in 2001. Click here to see a graph of our academic growth in Math and English.

NOTE: As a school with students who may go on to attend Fremont or Castlemont High School, UPA has been encouraged to post this "Notice of Class Action Settlement."