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About Our School

Mission Statement

John O’Connell High School prepares students to make meaningful contributions to an ever-changing world.  As an equity-focused community, we aspire to prepare students for higher education or the professional working world.  We strive to create rigorous classrooms that promote literacy, the use of technology, a sense of independence and commitment to community and self.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of their four years, each student at John O'Connell High School will have developed the following skills.


  • We demonstrate mastery of academic and career technical content through oral and written language and technology.
  • We utilize and adapt communication tools and strategies for various audiences, contexts, and purposes.


  • We demonstrate willingness and ability to work with and learn from diverse peers, experts, and others.
  • We take collective responsibility for meeting high standards, taking on different roles, and fulfilling individual responsibilities.


  • We engage in cycles of inquiry where we ask significant questions, analyze root causes, consider multiple perspectives, and use evidence to back up arguments and justify possible solutions.
  • We analyze real world challenges and develop well-informed solutions.


  • We monitor the quality of our work and reflect on progress toward academic, career, and personal goals.
  • We consciously pursue our own passions, build our skills, and strive for mastery.


  • We recognize mental, emotional, and physical risk factors and respond to them in ways that promote personal wellness and positive relationships.
  • We analyze social, environmental, and other factors that impact our community and respond in a way that helps address community needs.

O'Connell History

John A. O'Connell was born June 7, 1873 of Irish Parents, at their home at First and Howard Streets in San Francisco, CA. His Father was a State Legislator.

John O'Connell started off as a plumber's assistant but was dissatisfied with the work and later shipped out on a windjammer, sailing three times around Cape Horn. Upon returning to San Francisco, he entered St. Ignatius College (now the University of San Francisco). He quit school and started driving a team for a local drayage firm. Enduring 16-hour work days led O'Connell to, with others, organize a union, which would later be known as the Teamsters' Union. In 1913, John A. O'Connell became Secretary of the San Francisco Labor Council.

O'Connell described himself as a self-educated man. From his travels, he spoke some of several languages. He was also known for his oratory and debating skills.

John O'Connell died on May 14, 1948. Because of the efforts of Central Labor Council, this school was dedicated to him on September 21, 1951.