Lincoln History

Lincoln Elementary School is one of the oldest schools in Oakland Unified School District. The school had several incarnations before becoming Lincoln Elementary School in its current location at 225 11th St. in Oakland. 
  • August 1865 : The Board of Education purchased land at Alice and 6th Street and built Alice Street School for 60 students – this is the school’s origin. Soon after, the school was moved to Harrison Street and renamed the Harrison Primary School. 
  • 1872 : Moved into a new building at 10th and Alice Streets and the student body grew to 400 students. 
  • 1874 : Renamed Lincoln School. 
  • 1906 : The Board of Education began constructing a new building (completion was delayed due to the 1906 Earthquake).
  • 1961 :  The 1906 building was torn down due to seismic safety concerns.
  •  1962 : A new building was erected. The school grew in size and  began to use portable classrooms to accommodate the new students. 
  • 2004 : Caroline (Chin) Yee, a graduate of Lincoln Elementary, became principal of the school. Caroline Yee pushed forward a vision to replace the 11 portable classrooms with a permanent building that allowed for student body growth. Ms. Yee passed away shortly before the new Education Annex building was completed, and it’s now dedicated to her memory and vision. 
  • 2006: Lincoln Elementary wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award
  • 2007: Lincoln Elementary wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award
  • 2008: Lincoln Elementary is named a California Distinguished School and wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award
  • 2009: Lincoln Elementary wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award
  • 2010: Lincoln Elementary wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award and named a National Blue Ribbon School
  • 2011: Lincoln Elementary wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award
  • 2012: Lincoln Elementary wins a Title 1 Academic Achievement Award
  • 2019: Today, Lincoln Elementary serves over 700 TK-5 students. 

Lincoln’s alumni include famous Oaklanders: Raymond Eng (first Chinese-American elected to Oakland’s city council), James Yimm Lee (author and student of Bruce Lee) Benjamin Fong-Torres (famous rock journalist and author), and Jean Quan (first woman and Asian-American mayor of Oakland).

The school has a long history of serving families in the Oakland Chinatown neighborhood as well as children from other parts of Oakland. Today, the majority of the children at Lincoln come from immigrant families from across the globe. To learn more about the history of Lincoln Elementary, please visit Oakland Chinatown Oral History Project.