School Linked Services Initiative


Elev8 Initiative

Elev8 brings together schools, families and the community in underserved neighborhoods to ensure that students succeed in school and in life.

We are building communities that value and support the success of youth from birth to young adulthood. Recognizing that strong schools are key to such communities, Elev8:


  • Extends learning opportunities for students beyond the classroom and traditional school year;
  • Provides high-quality school-based health services to children and their families;
  • Encourages parents to be actively involved in their children’s education; and
  • Offers family supports and resources on school campuses designed to promote economic stability, good health and continuing education.

In 2007, Oakland was invited to participate in an exciting national initiative of The Atlantic Philanthropies currently named Elev8 initiative. Oakland is wrapping up its second year of implementation of this four-year initiative. Elev8 (formerly The Atlantic Philanthropies’ Integrated Services in School Initiative – ISSI) is a national initiative that brings together schools, families and the community in underserved neighborhoods to ensure that students succeed in school and in life.

The Elev8 initiative is being implemented in New Mexico, Chicago, Baltimore, and Oakland, with schools, local nonprofits and community partners working to provide integrated service delivery in public middle schools.

These local initiatives were selected after considering 35 American cities in 22 states. They were chosen by The Atlantic Philanthropies and its national advisory board based on criteria that included socio-economic need and disparity, health profiles, academic performance and neighborhood crime data. Some participating schools represent zip codes with some of the lowest life expectancies and highest rates of asthma hospitalizations, STD diagnosis and teen births in the country. Atlantic also looked for locations with leaders and communities with a strong commitment to ensuring that middle school children get the support they deserve to succeed in life and school.

For more information about the national initiative and the New Mexico, Chicago, and Baltimore sites, please visit

Oakland Mission and Vision

Elev8 in Oakland envisions a community where all young people have the opportunity to realize their full potential. The Oakland Elev8 is based on the premises that access to educational opportunity, health services, and family support should not be dictated by race or socio-economic status, and that healthy and supported young people are better prepared to learn and succeed.

The project adheres to national youth development principles that build on young people’s strengths and innate abilities, and addresses their developmental needs. As the lead entity per the Elev8 Oakland Initiative, Safe Passages brings together four jurisdictional bodies including the State of California, Alameda County, City of Oakland and the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).

Sites Served

Five school campuses United for Success Middle School, West Oakland Middle School, Coliseum College Prep Middle School, Madison Middle School, and Roosevelt Middle School were selected by the Oakland partners to participate in the Oakland Elev8; the selection was based on criteria that included socio-economic need and disparity, health profiles, academic performance and neighborhood crime data. To date, over 10,000 students and families have participated in one or more of the Elev8 programs and services.

During the first four years of programming, Elev8 has delivered outstanding results including:

• 85% of students in the afterschool academic programs experienced academic success.
• Five new school based health centers (SBHC) were built, reaching 2,346 students plus their families, for a total of 13,000 during the 2010-11 school year.
• Students received school-based dental, mental, and medical care.
• The Coordination of Services Team model is now firmly embedded at all the school sites.
• Free tax clinics have netted families over $500,000 in tax credits and refunds.
• Legal services have enabled families to resolve issues ranging from housing to immigration.
• Services were particularly meaningful for undocumented families who do not qualify for other services.
• Elev8 staff advocacy has redirected several students who fell into the school to prison pipeline back to school.

Funding Sources and Distribution

Oakland’s Elev8 partnership was awarded a total of $15 million from Atlantic Philanthropies towards a 4-year Implementation Phase project budget. The local partner contribution to this initiative is an additional $25.7 million bringing the total project amount to $40.7 million.

Elev8 Oakland Community School Costs And Benefits: Making Dollars And Cents Of The Research
Bright Research Group Policy Brief. Issue 1, May 2013

This Policy Brief examines the costs and benefits of operating Elev8 Oakland’s community schools initiative. Beyond the direct impact on students and families served, there are two key ways that Safe Passages creates value. The first is by leveraging additional services and funds by providing the human resources and physical infrastructure to attract additional resources, and the second is by offering services that research shows are associated with long-term savings to society.
Click here to view the policy brief

Elev8 Oakland: An Outcome Evaluation of Safe Passages’ Extended Learning Programs 2009-2010

This evaluation examined the impact of Elev8 Extended Learning services on the students who participated in the academic support programming during the 2009-10 academic year through an analysis of service and school records related to academic achievement, attendance and behavior indicators. The findings of this outcome evaluation point to several areas of impact within the Elev8 initiative, providing stakeholders with valuable information about the areas in which Elev8 is experiencing the greatest success, as well as those areas that warrant greater attention
Click here to view the evaluation