Students enrolled 228
School leader Mrs. Sonya Simril
Transportation options None
Before school Yes
After school Yes

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4238 Howe Street
Oakland, CA 94611

(510) 654-7828
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Map of St. Leo the Great School address.

4 stars
Based on 19 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

November 19, 2013
I'm very happy with my choice to send my children to this school. The principal leadership is beyond excellent, there is a strong sense of being a part of an inclusive community, the curriculum promotes academic rigor, the staff is diverse, it's in a safe and clean neighborhood, and children are taught self-respect and community service. I could say lots more that I love about this school but wanted to keep this review brief!

- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2013
I am honored to recommend the School of St. Leo the Great to any parent who is looking for a caring environment that fosters academic excellence, respect for one another and values the importance of a well balanced curriculum inclusive of the arts and sports. Both of my children attended this school and it was an extremely valuable and rich learning experience for both of them. St. Leo's fully prepared them for the high school of their choice and both children went on to attend their first choice colleges. The strength of any great institution is rooted in its leadership and this school's principal is one of the finest and most committed and dynamic principals I have ever known. Her interest in the whole child, her mantra of inclusion, encouragement and anti-bullying at the school make this school one of the best in Oakland. I have returned to the school as a former parent to conduct in-service sessions with the students and faculty and it has been a pleasure to engage with students who are so well behaved and respectful of adults. Looking for a great school, check it out!

- submitted by a community member
October 27, 2013
St. Leo is one fo the best elementary schools I have known . The students are energized, innovative learrning is the norm and achieving excellence seems to be the mantra. The teachers, the staff, and head of school are 100 % engaged and commited to the students' success. I would recommned this school for any young family looking to give their child a remarkable learning experience.

- submitted by a community member
August 15, 2013
I agree with the December 13, 2012 rating exactly. Many people at the school have a clique mentaility, which can create a problem for a new child attending the school. The school doesn't foster parents and teachers working together for the good of their child as well, which is very important to me. Many of St. Leo's rules don't have a real purpose, ie if your child is late to school 3 times a trimester, the parent has to pay a fine, and the child has to come to Saturday detention. The children don't drive, so I can't see why it makes sense to punish them. The parents fine, makes sense, not the detention.

- submitted by a parent
April 30, 2013
This school has some positive qualities and some major problems. St. Leo's is a small school with only one classroom per grade. This allows many of the students and families to get to know one another, which can be wonderful. It is beautiful to see all the well-groomed children at an assembly with their neat uniforms on. The problems at this school are very serious, however. Teachers at St. Leo's are allowed to have their own children in their classrooms. This policy causes a host of problems which could be prevented by following the kind of policy that most schools have: no students in their own parent's classroom. Another grave concern for parents considering enrolling their children at this school is that there is absolutely no effort to reduce the amount of candy and other junk food and many school activities are candy-centered. Although there are team sports beginning in the third grade, the smaller children are not allowed to participate in them. The children and the young teachers are sedentary and looking at screens quite a bit of the time and many are overweight. The local public schools are doing much better in promoting a healthy lifestyle than is St. Leo's.

- submitted by a parent
December 13, 2012
I heard that Saint Leo was a great school many years ago, so when I had my daughter, I knew she was going there. After being there for 1 year, I had enough. The principal is the best thing going for the school. I was looking for a sound, welcoming environment for my daughter, but I witnessed the parents and teachers being very judgemental. There was a strong "clique" mentality which made it difficult to bond with parents because there isn't a real parent association. The parents only meet when an event is coming up. I moved my daughter to another catholic school in Oakland and we are very happy.

- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2012
Mrs. Simiral and Saint Leo's have been very heavy on my heart and I wanted to reach out personally to thank you for everything you have done for my daughter over the past 10 years. You aided her into the young lady that she is today and for that I will always be grateful. I couldn't have done all of this without St. Leo's backing me giving me the strength to continue with my daughter, you guys are Family! My daughter has had some adjustments to her new high school socially and academically, but she has prevailed on all counts and I believe that this is from the strong foundation she received at St. Leo's. You have a way of making every child feel special and my daughter in particular as a Leader. Academically, my daughter is doing very well at her new high school a 3.6 GPA and is working very hard to get a 4.0. In her Geometry class as a freshman, she is already over half way through the program for the year and will be placed in Algebra II Honors by her sophomore year. I feel so blessed by what you and St. Leo's have given my daughter. Not just an education, but the tools to never doubt herself and to always be a confident leader no matter what environment she is put in.

- submitted by a parent
November 03, 2012
This school is a perfect example of how private schools have seriously declined. All that glitters isn't gold...my daughter attended this school and I took her out because the school is too focused on events, fundraisers and sports. I began noticing that most of my friends kids were learning and experiencing much more compared to what my daughter was learning and they attended public schools. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that just because you pay for it, doesn't mean that it is better. There has been a huge teacher turn over in the past 2 years and the remaining teachers are young and inexperienced.

- submitted by a parent
June 19, 2012
I attended Saint Leo for six years before graduating and it has been a life changing experience for me. I was a member of most of the activities that the school has to offer while maintaining at least a 3.6 grade point average. I am currently attending one of the most outstanding high schools in the bay area and that is because I attended such an outstanding elementary school. The teachers are supportive and encouraging in all aspects of their students lives and I can honestly say that without the education that i recieved at Saint Leo, I would not be the person that I am today. Saint Leo has and always will be like a second home to me and I strongly encourage parents to send their children to this amazing school.

- submitted by a community member
June 14, 2012
My husband and I have been parents at St. Leo the Great school (SLG) for the past 14 years. We have three children Two graduated and one still attends. We have been extremely happy with the education our children have received. My oldest daughter now attends an Ivy League University. When asked about her academic success she is quick to say that her preparation began as a Pre-K student at SLG. The school continues to improve the curriculum. This year they incorporated Smart Boards in EVERY classroom, renovated computer lab with 25 new IMacs, IPads and laptops for students, teachers.They offer excellent extra-curricular classes and activities. Examples are Music, Spanish, Technology, Gospel Choir, Shakespeare Festival in Ashland,OR, Washington, DC, 5th grade overnight retreat, Counselor, Special Needs Teacher, Journalism Club, Yearbook Club, Newspaper, etc. The teachers are EXCELLENT. I love how they care about the students and spend extra time when needed. The Principal is caring, visible and hands on. One of the things you notice when you walk in the building is how clean it is and how respectful the students are. I recommend that you visit to see for yourself!!

- submitted by a parent
June 14, 2012
My daughter graduated from this amazing school last year. She attended St. Leo's from Pk-8th grade and I watched her grow up in a strong academic and faith filled environment. The community is truly a family and I am thankful everyday that we made the choice to send her there. My daughter currently attends a private high school and continues to be an honors student. I am grateful to the teachers, faculty and staff who allowed my daughter to succeed and grow.

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2011
My son is currently attending St. Leo. I am very disappointed in the academics at this school. They do not encourgage children who are great in academics. Please do not be fool by what the teachers tell you. My son will be going to another school at the end of the school year. If your child is smart and you want good academics do not send your child here. The teachers are very rude and do not like you asking them questions and the academics. The best thing about this school is the sports program. If you are looking for a stellar education and a challenge for your child, this school may not fit what you are looking for.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2009
Great, solid academics. Wonderful sports program. Talented and amazing music teacher that also leads the school band and choir. Wonderful, caring staff that build a wonderful sense of community. Great safe, supportive environment for kids.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2009
As a former student of st. Leo, i am extremely dissatisfied with the education i received there. I went there for four years, from 5th to 8th grade. After reading some of the other reviews here, I am laughing at how some parents think their kids are getting a good education there. Someone said something about a 'complete' music, sports, and art program. That is a lie. The only sport st. Leo offers is basketball, there's no drama program, and the band and choir are okay for students. Music and drama classes are a joke, the teacher only comes in 1 to 2 times a week and most of the time talks about issues totally unrelated to music. Sex education is not introduced until 8th grade, way too late if you ask me ( public schools introduce it at 4th or 5th grade). Overall, don't send your kids here.

- submitted by a student
December 01, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2006
My children enjoy the atmosphere at St. Leo's. St. Leo sets a high level of expectation from their students and provides them with to tools to achieve their goals. Also provided to the students are extra curricular opportunities to develop in areas of music, sports, art,etc.

- submitted by a parent
March 10, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2005
St. Leo provides a high quality academic program for K-8. They have a complete music, art and sports programs for all grades. There is a high level of parental involement required to make all the programs function for the kids.

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
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St. Leo the Great School
4238 Howe Street, Oakland, CA  94611
(510) 654-7828
Last modified St. Leo the Great School is a Private school that serves grades K-8
St. Leo the Great School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 19 reviews. Top