5.2 out of 10


37.7953811995742 -122.215520777548
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Cost of Living
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Medical Facilities
  • Parking
Not great for
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Safe & Sound
  • Childcare
  • Gym & Fitness
Who lives here?
  • Singles


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5

"Drop Out of School"

This tiny neighborhood (its barely an eighth of a square mile total) stretches from Brookdale to the MacArthur Freeway. School is a densely packed neighborhood however, squezzing in three times the average of Oakland residents per square mile. As you might expect, there are a lot of apartments in this neighborhood but although many are of the boxy, 1970’s variety, there are also an equal number that predate WWII and provide fair examples of what the neighborhoods in Oakland looked like in the first half of the 20th Century. There are also some cozy California bungalows tucked away on some of the leafy, sloping streets including some unusual ones along a gorgeous little section of School right around St. Jarlath’s Catholic church. Almost all the bungalows along this stretch have newer Mission Revival style facades with beautifully maintained lawns and attractive tree growth (often those squat decorative palm trees that are often used in So Cal). It’s hard to believe actually, that the average household income in this neighborhood is in the low 40K and that it only rises into the middle class range around St. Jarlath’s. A similar looking neighborhood in Glendale is home to those with salaries in the six digits. (Perhaps the drag of the nearby Fruitvale District is too much for this neighborhood.)

One of the more unusual structures in the neighborhood is this two story building on the corner of School and Champion. It features a castle-like tower topped with crenellated turrets—so, if you happen to need to fight off orcs or Huns, you know where to take your crossbow.

As you might expect given the neighborhood’s name, there are, in fact, schools in this neighborhood—Fruitvale Elementary and St. Jarlath’s School. Although the school is well-liked by the local community, Fruitvale Elementary receives below average marks when it comes to objective scores like standardized tests. Of course, the task for Fruitvale’s teachers is a difficult one with students from such varied backgrounds. St. Jarlath’s is, obviously, a Catholic school associated with St. Jarlath’s church. The school has received some mixed reviews. Its small class sizes and smaller campus however give it some natural advances. Here’s a piece of neighborhood trivia by the way. The baseball field at Fruitvale is named after Curt Flood, the famous Cardinal baseball player who grew up in Oakland.

There are also some businesses along Fruivale Ave, such as the perfectly named The Love Stop Flower Shop. Most of the other businesses, however, are of a very pedestrian nature—like gas stations and hair salons.

The neighborhood would have a lot more to offer if it were not for dangers in the surrounding area. Just in School itself, 4 murders occurred between 2007 and 2009. Given its tiny population of just a few thousand, this is not something to overlook. If you also take into account the dozen or so murders in the surrounding neighborhoods you can see why rents remain low and even the more attractive portions of this neighborhood cannot lure more affluent residents.
  • Attractive Architecture
  • Leafy Streets
  • Affordable Homes
  • Bad Schools
  • Crime
  • Older Apartment Problems
Recommended for
  • Singles

Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Best Cities to Live In

Tell everyone what you love about your neighborhood!

Leave a Review

Have a question?

How are schools? Is the area safe? What about public transit options?" Why not ask our community of locals!

Ask Now

Selling or Renting Your Home?

Maximize the selling price of your home by sharing what you love about your suburb to increase its appeal...

Leave a Review

Corporate Relocation Manager?

Enable your employees to share local knowledge in a private, trusted environment with those relocating... while building community.

Learn More