For Our Neighbors

Dear Neighbors:

This page is to keep you updated with information about events and happenings at Redwood Day. You will find a list of school-sponsored events that could potentially impact traffic and parking in the neighborhood. We remain dedicated to managing traffic, parking, and other disruptions in ways that honor our shared spaces. Please also refer to the Major Events Calendar below for details on upcoming events and key dates on our campus. We also hope that you will find this page to be a valuable resource for learning about our program, our students, and the ways in which our School contributes to the larger Oakland community.

We feel privileged and grateful to be located in this beautiful neighborhood. Thank you to our wonderful neighbors and community, we greatly value the support of our school!

For any questions or concerns regarding traffic and/or parking, please contact:

Sung Jin Cho, Facilities Manager, 510.534.0804 x231
Deann Hays, CFOO, 510.534.0804 x232
Jill Nesbitt, Front Office Coordinator/Registrar, 510.534.0800

FAQ

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: What is Redwood Day School?

    Since 1963, Redwood Day, located at 3245 Sheffield Avenue, has been committed to shaping the lives of young people in Oakland and its surrounding communities. Redwood Day is a mission-driven school. Our school’s mission focuses on three central pillars: strong academics, social and emotional well being, and a diverse, inclusive community. We inspire students to reach for their next challenge, embrace differences and develop the intellectual and emotional courage to be ready for anything. Students who graduate from Redwood Day are confident, courageous, and compassionate and go off to a wide range of high schools in Oakland, the East Bay, and throughout the Bay Area. Our students are both well-prepared academically and have voice and agency to make a difference in their community. These outcomes are central to a Redwood Day education.

    Our curriculum and community have a strong focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We view diversity broadly, and our curriculum and programming reflect this in developmentally appropriate ways, focusing on topics such as physical ability, adoptive families, citizenship status, ethnicity, family structure, gender expression and identity, learning styles, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomics. Redwood Day’s DEI philosophy also informs our admissions and hiring practices.
  • Q: In 2001 when the school expanded, an agreement was reached with neighbors to respond to concerns over parking and traffic. What has transpired since that time?

    The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with some neighbors in 2001 limited the number of students allowed on campus to 387 students. The School has been subject to and working within that enrollment cap since that time. The enrollment cap is part of our Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the City of Oakland which establishes the long-range plan for the school campus including number, location, height and features of buildings on site. Before the Great Recession, we were able to construct a series of new Middle School buildings consistent with our CUP. During the Great Recession, however, our enrollment was low, hovering around 330-340 students, a figure that significantly impacted the School’s ability to deliver on our promise to students and families. We simply did not have the financial resources or revenue to provide all aspects of our desired program, including optimal levels of financial aid and tuition assistance.

    Since the Great Recession, the School has experienced a continual increase in demand that allowed us to construct a new state of the art building, consistent with our CUP, that includes eight classrooms and a design and innovation lab. We also have been able to replace and upgrade numerous smaller buildings and make improvements to the school grounds. These improvements only increase the interest in the school and over the past few years, we have been forced to turn away a significant number of applicants because of our enrollment cap. As the School has recovered from the Great Recession, made improvements to the campus and grown the enrollment to the limits of the MOU and the CUP it has also worked diligently to address the issues and concerns raised by the neighbors, especially in relation to traffic management – one of our top priorities. Our efforts have included:
    • Staggering our drop-off and pick-up times by grade level
    • Increasing enforcement of parking only on the school-side of Sheffield Ave.
    • Posting signage for drivers to know where to park.
    • Continually encouraging families to rideshare.
    • Periodically engaging traffic consultants to monitor traffic flow and provide recommendations for improvement.
  • Q: The 2001 MOU limited RDS’ maximum enrollment over concerns about parking and traffic. What are your plans for the future?

    Redwood Day is in high demand. This is due to many factors including concern regarding the ongoing economic struggles of the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and parents seeking other options for their kids. Our plan for the future is to increase enrollment within the physical envelope of the 2001 CUP. We want to increase enrollment because it allows the School to continue to enhance its mission and purpose and allows Redwood Day to make its programs available to as many kids as possible in Oakland.

    The School can increase accessibility to its programs by providing more financial assistance to students. This has been a high priority of the Board of Trustees and in 2018-19, approximately 30% of our student population received tuition assistance. Our tuition assistance budget represents approximately 18.5% of our overall revenue, or $2MM. These funds are distributed equitably across the grades to families in need creating opportunities for families who otherwise would not be able to attend Redwood Day for financial reasons.

    Increasing enrollment allows the School to increase the amount of tuition assistance it can provide. It also allows the School to retain our dedicated teachers and staff by paying them competitive salaries and wages. It also allows the school to implement additional traffic reducing strategies such as buses and pick-up/drop-off changes on site.

    We understand that any increase in enrollment would trigger a new CUP with the City and a new understanding with our neighbors. An increase can only be achieved with a commitment by the School to address traffic and parking through implementation of additional measures to ensure any increase in enrollment does not negatively impact our neighbors.

    We are working with a traffic consultant, Fehr & Peers, to analyze traffic in and around the School to understand what additional measures we can implement to address traffic and parking concerns with an enrollment of 480 students, phased over time with checks and balances, to ensure the increase does not negatively impact traffic or parking in the neighborhood.
  • Q: Would added enrollment increase the campus footprint?

    No. Today our campus includes 11 structures across approximately four acres of land. An enrollment increase would allow the School to fully utilize its existing facilities while continuing to maintain a small and intimate school feeling.

    We are not asking to change anything about our existing CUP with the City of Oakland that was approved in 2001 except for the enrollment cap. The building structures, setbacks, and height limits that were approved as part of the CUP process in 2001 remain part of the school’s overall master plan.
  • Q: What is the School’s current parking and traffic management plan?

    Today, School drop-off and pick-up primarily occurs on Sheffield Avenue in front of the school on the active loading curb. The active loading curb along the front of the school has the capacity to hold about ten to twelve waiting vehicles. While waiting for the next available space along the active loading curb, drivers form a westbound queue on Sheffield Avenue starting from the school’s parking lot driveway and extending east across the I-580 overcrossing. Waiting vehicles pull to the right side of the street to allow through traffic to pass. In the afternoons, drivers waiting to pick-up students park longer at the active curb resulting in queues of longer duration. The school parking lot sometimes serves as a secondary drop-off/pick-up area when the queue on Sheffield Avenue spills back across the I-580 overcrossing and onto MacArthur Boulevard.

    Redwood Day School has implemented the following staggered start and end times:
    • Kindergartners: school begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 2:45 p.m.
    • 1st – 5th Graders: school begins at 8:30 a.m. and end times are staggered from 2:55 – 3:10 p.m.
    • 6th – 8th Graders: school begins at 8:10 a.m. and ends at 3:20 p.m.
    The drop-off/pick-up operation relies on school staff continuously monitoring and controlling the traffic flow along the active loading curb and directing drivers when a space becomes available to move-up in the queue. Redwood Day School uses at least three to four staff members to control traffic during the entire duration of the drop-off and pick-up times.

    We currently have 77 parking spaces on school property, primarily used by staff and parents visiting the School. Overflow parking occurs along the West side of Sheffield and occasionally on MacArthur Blvd. The School heavily encourages carpooling and has seen an increase in family participation in recent years.

    The school enforces a policy that parents do not turn around mid-block on Sheffield Avenue and must instead proceed west to perform a U-turn at the Sheffield Avenue/Morrison Avenue intersection. This intersection is large enough to accommodate vehicles making U-turns in a single movement.
  • Q: How does Redwood Day propose to mitigate future parking and traffic impacts to the surrounding neighborhood?

    In the spring of 2019, Redwood Day engaged Fehr & Peers transportation consultants to conduct a new parking and traffic study. The study resulted in recommended strategies for reducing traffic on Sheffield Avenue and estimated their effectiveness. The strategies identified include:
    • providing incentives for the use of new rideshare applications designed specifically for students;
    • bussing from certain areas that are heavily populated with students; and
    • reconfiguring our parking area to allow for a change in the current traffic flow.
    These strategies minimize the impact of any enrollment increase as well as address existing concerns or requests by the neighbors.
  • Q: What is the school’s timeline to increase enrollment?

    Redwood Day School is in the very early stages of discussing a potential enrollment increase. The School has assembled a team of experienced professionals to lead this process. Minimizing campus and neighborhood impacts is our highest priority. Before we formally embark on any process to increase enrollment we will meet with our neighbors to listen to their concerns, present findings from our recent traffic study, explore additional solutions, and answer questions. Based on the input from our neighbors, we will then engage with the City on a process to amend the CUP.
  • Q: What are the next steps?

    Over the summer of 2019, our Head of School and CFOO reached out to some neighbors that signed the MOU to hear their concerns and share ideas. We also initiated contact with residents in the extended neighborhood with offers to visit and discuss plans for the school. Early in 2020, we will host a larger community meeting at the School where we will include a presentation and discussion with our transportation consultants, to discuss goals and solutions, working together with our neighbors to create a plan for the School that works for the whole neighborhood.

    In addition, we established a neighborhood section of our webpage to provide updates and information as it becomes available. We always welcome your questions and feedback via email at  communityrelations@rdschool.org

School News

List of 2 news stories.

  • Celebrating Diwali

    Parents and guardians organized a Diwali share for the 2nd-grade classes. There were 4 stations where students could do activities or hear stories about Diwali.
    Read More
  • Students Strike for Climate Action

    by John Loeser, Head of School
    On Friday afternoon, our Middle School students participated in the Global Climate Strike. Partnering with Loula (8th), Blaise (8th), Taran (8th), Ella (7th), and Aidan (7th), our Science teachers, Simon Alejandrino and Alex Pollard, and our Middle School faculty, led our students to Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland to make their voices heard!
    Read More
Archive

Redwood Day Major Events Calendar