Bishop O'Dowd High School is a Catholic, co-educational, college preparatory school in Oakland, California, administered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland and named for the late auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, James T. O'Dowd (1907–1950). The school requires all students to attend school liturgies (Catholic Mass and prayer services), to enroll in religious studies courses each semester, and to complete its 4-year service learning program. O’Dowd is a Catholic high school community of 1,186 students. The school has 125 faculty and staff members and more than 80 part-time coaches, teachers and moderators.
Bishop O’Dowd High School is named in memory of the former Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Bishop James T. O’Dowd, who died at the age of 42 from injuries sustained in a train accident. Having just helped to establish Marin Catholic and Riordan high schools, O'Dowd was in the process of drawing up plans for a new Catholic high school in the East Bay at the time of his sudden death.
Bishop O'Dowd's first senior class graduated in 1955, and since then O'Dowd has had over 12,000 graduates.
In June 2010, O’Dowd successfully completed a three-year, $9 million comprehensive fundraising campaign and funds raised were split about evenly between capital development and program enhancement. Funds contributed to renovation of many elements of the classroom buildings — from floors to ceilings, interior and exterior, every classroom, lab and locker, from ventilation to technology infrastructure.
In 2015 the men's basketball team won the CIF Open Division Championship and the women's team won the Division 3 CIF State Championship. The men's team was led by Ivan Rabb the no. 8 player in the country. As of 2015, O'Dowd's basketball team was ranked 13th nationally.
Bishop O'Dowd High School was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School in 1990–1991.
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