Meeting Time: November 06, 2019 at 6:00pm PST
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Agenda Item

C.-6 19-2227 8:30 PM - Public Hearing by the Board of Education of Oakland School for the Arts - Petition and Proposed Charter - Grades 6-12 - July 1, 2020-June 30, 2025 (Renewal).

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    M D about 1 month ago

    We love this school! I’m a parent of a 7th grader in Digital Media. The students are very talented. What they put out is always so moving and impactive!
    The school feels so much like a community with very productive little people molded by a GREAT, passionate, very hardworking and dedicated STAFF!
    WE ARE VERY LUCKY !
    It’s such a positive and promising environment!
    They all give way too much of themselves to the school and the children.
    My son’s academics had improved a lot as well . Don’t know how they do it. I was very happy with his progress which was a big leap especially in ELA.
    I’m indeed very happy and thankful for this school and community!

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    Tami Driver about 1 month ago

    I have 11 years of being a parent at this amazing educational institution. It has grown and flourished among much adversity. It has continued to educate creative, bright young Bay Area students who have gone on to do amazing things. My older son just graduated from UC Davis in Chemical Engineering. He is very academically inclined and OSA kept him interested and helped him achieve 4 and 5 out of 5s in his AP exams. He often talks about the value in his life of his beloved OSA - a charter school. My younger son, who struggled in academics, is thriving (currently a 4.0) while learning creative production trades. Being able to use his hands and his mind in a creative manner, are what allow him to succeed now in academics. The creative environment of OSA helps with academic understanding. I really hope to see OSA continue as a charter school for the many creative young upcoming middle and high school students from Oakland and the Bay Area. Thank you for your time.

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    Jonathan Benitez about 1 month ago

    OSA has been a life changing experience for my daughter, she is not only feeling more included with school environment students and teachers but also she feel a strong support on her activities and art, before art for her was something to keep for her self, now is something of its bringing her more comfort and trust I her own skills and a plan for her future, OSA have a great environment of the teachers and staff work so hard to keep it up with inclusive support and dedicated presence and with the students and communications with the parents, in my old daughters school her joy and commitment was to different, she is not shy to try new things or afraid because of bullying, the teachers also keep a strong constancy keeping parents involve and communicated with everything, the school is building a strong a supported community in was of never saw before in other school, we feel blessed by been part of this amazing experiences of OSA is.

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    David Tozer about 1 month ago

    OSA is a vibrant and transformative institution....I speak as the father of a 7th grader, for whom OSA is everything. Everything!! The Charter renewal is absolutely central to its continued success and impact, as I see it. My 7th grader and her cohort of friends have built a loyal community of learner and doers, and I wish we could replicate the model. I'm a tremendous supporter of public education, I work at a public university and I wholeheartedly support the OSA faculty and staff, who are creative genii with hearts of gold. Let's put these committed people (faculty, students, staff, parents) and their wishes front and center and do the right thing!!

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    Suzanne Popkin about 1 month ago

    I strongly encourage you to renew the charter for OSA. Simply put, the school provides an invaluable experience for kids that they could never get in a traditional setting. By providing long blocks of time in their specialties, students are able to learn an artistic discipline at a much deeper level. My son, who is now a senior, has truly thrived at the school–and I believe he would not have thrived elsewhere. The school has not only helped him develop his skills in his speciality, but it has also helped him become a kind, thoughtful, critical thinker.

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    Martin Edwards about 1 month ago

    OSA is an all too rare jewel. We not only support the renewal of its charter, but support it as a model for arts education in Oakland and beyond. For all the innovation that our region provides to the world, innovation in our schools is sorely lacking. OSA should not only be supported by OUSD, but celebrated.

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    Jordan Shapiro about 1 month ago

    I 100% support the charter renewal for OSA! My daughter has absolutely thrived in the school. The incredible arts program has been essential for my daughter's love for music to grow. The arts immersion allows the students long blocks to express themselves in incredibly creative ways. It provides my daughter with an outlet she had not had before attending OSA. She loves the community at the school and has made lasting relationships with both teachers and students. She feels safe, creative and listened to. It's an amazing school and we're glad to be a part of it.

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    Simon Herrmann about 1 month ago

    OSA is a unique school on the West Coast and my daughter is honored to go there. Each time I mention to people that she is attending the school they all comment that they have heard how impressive the school is and how special it is that Oakland supports OSA. These kids work incredibly hard at something they are passionate about and OSA gives them the platform to grow as students and dream as artists. Please keep this unique Oakland treasure going for future kids!

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    Lana Hurteau about 1 month ago

    We have been OUSD parents for 14 years and have had wonderful experiences in public schools. We have also been fortunate to experience the incredible power of deep arts immersion at OSA, an educational experience expressly dedicated to children with a burning need to create. As a parent of two artists (one pursuing Jazz Studies in NYC) OSA has provided the creative support my kids have needed to thrive. In public middle school, my son was high achieving and also incredibly bored, often depressed and reluctant to attend school every day. Once we moved to OSA, complaints stopped and the mood swings evened out -- spending half his day playing music with equally serious musicians and professional musician teachers brought him so much joy and success. My daughter, a current freshman, is incredibly fulfilled -- excelling academically and artistically -- in the school's unique Production Design Program. OSA is a jewel and deserves renewal and support from OUSD. Please renew our charter.

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    Gillia Gillette about 1 month ago

    Please consider renewing the charter for Oakland School for the Arts. There is nothing else like it for low income families, providing a quality education in the arts and a comprehensive academic experience that is tied to the students’ artistic work. My daughter is in her fifth year and my son has just begun his 6th grade year. I love the work that they do, how they see themselves and their peers as artists and our community is a caring one, bound together by the common cause of what arts can do to help the individual and the world. Art is a transformative experience for students!

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    JeanFrancois Racine about 1 month ago

    This is our son's third year at the Oakland School for the Arts and he hopes to continue there for high school. OSA is a great fit for him and he has not regretted his decision to attend this school. The quality of the academic curriculum is high. It also fosters reflecting on social issues. The art curriculum is simply outstanding. Also, meeting classmates on a daily basis that are invested in various arts has opened his eyes to the wealth and diversity of artistic expressions. The Oakland School for the Arts

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    Stephen Miller about 1 month ago

    My family and I encourage the OUSD Board to approve the renewal of OSA charter. Both my son and daughter attended OSA from 6th grade through 12th grade. My daughter is now in college, and my son will be graduate high school this year. It's been a great experience for us all. A fabulous culture and community has developed where student, faculty and parents are deeply involved and committed to the kids - largely necessitate by the nature of it being a charter arts school. It's become a special institution to Oakland and the East Bay. My question and challenge to the OUSD Board is this. How would OUSD rejecting OSA's charter renewal benefit the kids? I have not heard a single reason from the board. I can't how it would. Please do the right thing for the kids and approve the charter renewal.

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    Paulina Gonzalez about 1 month ago

    My son is in 10th gr. He is in the instrumental music department. I am one of the co-presidents of the APT. He has been at OSA since 6th grade. He loves the school because he can focus on his love of music, he has quirky friends just like him, and the school is small and he doesn’t feel overwhelmed. He is on the autism spectrum, diagnosed w/ auditory processing disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and depression. In short he has complex disabilities. The new leadership at OSA gives me hope. The APT worked to institute an equity platform in the new charter. It was supported by the new leadership at OSA. I strongly support this equity platform and am committed to working with the school to implement it to ensure that OSA meets the needs of all students, with an emphasis on meeting the needs of those kids like mine: brown, disabled, and talented. I believe in the new leadership, and I believe in parent and student power, and in equity work led by the most impacted and marginalized.

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    Timothy Golden about 1 month ago

    I strongly urge the Board of Education to approve OSA's proposed charter. This school thoughtfully and diligently fills a gap in Oakland's public education framework. Art is proliferating everywhere across society. The appetite for enthusiastic, creative young people is limitless. In such a diverse city with such a rich, vibrant cultural history, to not have a place of education that emphasizes cultivating the artistic expression and creativity of our young people would simply be a step backwards. OSA is at its heart a living, moving celebration of our community. Let's continue to push this concept forward and work together to make sure that any child that wants to enter its fold has a fair and equitable opportunity to do so.

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    WeiLing Huber about 1 month ago

    As one of this year’s co-Presidents of the Alliance of Parents and Teachers, I enjoy a spot in OSA’s special community of inclusion, volunteerism and collaboration that allows us to be in a constant process of self-assessment and improvement. Over the course of the past few weeks, the APT, OSA Board of Directors and school administrators worked together to facilitate a meaningful and collaborative process to incorporate the ideas of all school stakeholders into our charter renewal. Some of the structures of parent and student engagement were incorporated into the charter and will remain permanent. It was through this collaborative process that the school community made the decision to change its admission criteria from primarily audition-based to lottery-based. Both the improvements to the parent and student engagement structures as well as the change to enrollment were specifically designed to promote greater diversity, equity and inclusion.

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    Laura DeLeon about 1 month ago

    I am grateful for Oakland School of the Arts. My child has attended for the last 6 years through middle school and would like to see her finish out her final year with the Production Design emphasis as I know that this program will continue to provide a wealth of opportunity for her while she transitions to higher education. I believe that this school, as a charter, has provided my child the opportunity to prove her dedication and passion for her art in a way that no other school could. The unique structure of the school provides a roadmap for aspiring artists but also helps them to learn how to pace and discipline themselves for the rigours of life after education. There is a community formed within OSA that reaches beyond the walls of the school, we are celebrating the career paths of former students because we know that OSA was integral to providing them with every opportunity to find success. It's special place that should remain for future generations of young aspiring artists.

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    Lauren Lee about 1 month ago

    OUSD Board,
    My husband and I 100% support the charter renewal for OSA. Our daughter has attended OSA since the 6th grade and is now a senior and OSA has provided an environment uniquely crafted to a student of the Arts. She has thrived in this community of students who have a similar early focus and passion. Our daughter is in the Dance Dept and the rigorous training provided at OSA could not be provided in any other school. She has thrived both artistically and academically over the past 7 years and we know she is extremely fortunate to have found OSA. This is a special place that offers certain students the platform to excel and this is something we need to continue to provide for students today and in the future. OSA has provided our daughter with the tools she will need to continue her artistic pursuits in college and beyond. Please renew OSA's charter so our children can continue to have this wonderful opportunity to explore their passions. Thank you.

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    Margaret Huang about 1 month ago

    The Oakland School for the Arts has been a very important part of the revitalization of downtown Oakland. The energy, diversity and culture that this school has brought to my neighborhood has been profound. They have elevated Oakland by winning 4 National Acappella championship, producing a youth poet laureate who slams her love of Oakland, and creates bridges across neighborhoods throughout the Bay Area. The school is an asset to be supported and nurtured by our community. They are creating CTE pathways with unions that are normally very closed off and the youth have intentionally cultivated a social justice position with their many voices and talents. They thrive by being together. OSA represents the best of what a charter school can be and should be renewed.

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    Elena Brignole about 1 month ago

    I strongly support the renewal of this unique and valuable school. My son transferred this year, as an 8th grader, into the Instrumental Music Program at OSA. I have seen him change so much, in such a short period of time. He is actually excited to go to school every day! He is so engaged in all of his classes, and I can see his confidence growing as an individual and as a musician. Please renew the charter, and allow our kids to continue to thrive at this wonderful school!

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    H Thornsley about 1 month ago

    OUSD Board, please support the charter renewal of OSA. The children are being woven into the culture of our city. To see the streets of downtown Oakland be alive with young, creative, driven, kind people who are being educated in a caring environment is amazing! My daughter is challenged by the teachers every day to step up, be heard and be seen. She is exposed to art, dance, music and theatre at every turn and her grades and her spirit are being nurtured. She knows the teachers care, and she loves telling people she gets to attend the Oakland School for the Arts. We are sowing seeds with this school which are taking hold, and we have seen the Alumni give back. Thank you for listening to all of us!

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    Levy Tom about 1 month ago

    My 10th grade son is an OSA student whose “emphasis” is production design. Not only is he excelling as a set designer, builder, painter, and lighting and sound designer and producer, he is also excitedly developing confidence in his academic and life skills. I’m sure his new-found sense of himself comes in large part from the diversity, inclusiveness and high standards OSA demands of its community. The independence, responsibility and skills he is learning will serve him well, no matter what he chooses to do in life. His OSA production design team builds tiny houses for homeless Oaklanders and he has interned at Fox Theater shows working behind the scenes in lighting, sound and set preparation. It’s a pleasure to see his enthusiasm for school and it's a joy to see him take on responsibility for helping others, at school and in the Oakland community. I respectfully ask you to renew OSA's charter; keep this wonderful school alive as one of the jewels of Oakland.

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    Matt Lipner about 1 month ago

    My daughter is currently a 10th grader in Vocal Music at OSA. As a career educator I support the charter renewal for numerous reasons:
    OSA successfully incorporates arts and academics in an educationally solid approach. The school balances these while striving to maintain an aware, conscious, and supportive approach to all students and styles of learning As a parent of a student with special needs I am extremely impressed with the support, cohesion, and dedication of all OSA staff This school is a uniquely wonderful positive environment that is dedicated to fostering the best in all its students. I wholeheartedly recommend approval of the charter. OSA has a superior academic, artistic, and support staff and it is a privilege to be included in the OSA community.

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    Keith Terry about 1 month ago

    Our son transferred, just this year, as a Junior, into to Instrumental Music Program at OSA.
    The opportunities for him, already, have been an enormous boost to his engagement with
    his educational pursuits, development of his musical skills, and the networking available with
    other greatly talented young people.

    OSA provides a unique and valuable opportunity in our community for these gifted students to excel and explore their talents and skills, unlike any other educational setting I am aware of in Oakland. The school successfully trains these gifted young artists and launches them into the world, as witnessed in the high number of graduates who’ve gone on to excel on the national and international level of arts making.

    OSA provides a great service for the City of Oakland. Please renew their charter so that more students can continue to benefit from this great community resource.

    Thank you for your consideration,
    Keith Terry

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    Y Owens about 1 month ago

    My daughter is currently a 8th grader at OSA Dance Department. I see the transformation in my daughter’s dance , her creativity , growth and her passion. I sit back and watch other students and see how much they enjoy coming to school just the light in their eyes. OSA is a wonderful school with so many wonderful opportunities for the creative student at heart. I support OSA and support the renewal of charter .

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    T Stone about 1 month ago

    I am writing today in support of the OSA charter renewal. My daughter is in the 6th grade and is thriving at OSA. She is in an environment where she feels as though she can be herself and is accepted for just that, being herself. She is provided a challenging academic and artistic environment in the same school. We have a 4th grade son who is practicing his art daily so he can also attend OSA - this is a huge leap for our son. Please renew the OSA Charter as we need all types of schools to accommodate all the different types of students across Oakland.

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    Holly Trejo about 1 month ago

    Oakland School for the Arts provides a unique opportunity to students in Oakland and the East Bay to express their talents and follow their passion. Our community needs this school to continue to thrive! It is such an honor to see the talented young people share their work with such pride and enthusiasm. Please support this charter renewal.

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    Sarah Baughn about 1 month ago

    I am writing to support the renewal of the OSA charter. My son joined this year in the high school and I cannot say enough on how his artistic talent has been nurtured and given adequate time in the day to be developed - something not available to him in any other program (we have attended public and private). I believe strongly in the mission and focus on the arts curriculum and the nurturing and development of talented kids who have been sidelined in other schools.

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    Robert Goh about 1 month ago

    I strongly support OSA’s renewal.

    My daughter is a 6th grader at OSA.
    She enjoys and loves her school.
    Please keep OSA for children.

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    Rebecca Rizzetta about 1 month ago

    My daughter is in the 6th grade Vocal Arts program at OSA.
    She is feeling challenged artistically and academically in all of the best ways.
    She made the choice to leave a school she loved to move to OSA and she expresses each week how happy she is to be in a supportive, inclusive and dynamic school.
    Please allow OSA to thrive for all of our children and larger community

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    Patricia Smith about 1 month ago

    My daughter is in 7th grade and in her second year in the vocal music department.  OSA is the fourth public school she has attended in the city of Oakland, and the school in which she feels the most genuinely supported and accepted, in her words.  She says everyone is nice there, which makes me smile.  What I think she's getting at is the strong culture of inclusion at OSA. It starts with the administration and teachers, and flows to the students and the community of families.  She admits she is the happiest she has ever been attending school.  She feels accepted, she has new friends, she is flourishing with all As and advancing with her art. OSA is a unique school with a unique vision which truly delivers on nurturing creative, socially sensitive, disciplined young people.  We are a family who does not have the means for extra curricular art classes. OSA is an invaluable resource, and can continue to provide opportunity for many more students like my daughter with your approval.

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    Robert Goh about 1 month ago

    I strongly support OSA’s renewal.

    My daughter is a 6th grader at OSA.
    She enjoys and loves her school.
    Please keep OSA for children.

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    Jill Hartman about 1 month ago

    I urge the OUSD Board of Directors to renew Oakland School for the Arts' charter. My son is a 7th grader in his second year at the school in the Literary Arts department. The school administration, teachers and overall community have fostered not only his academic progress and his love of writing but his appreciation for the arts as a whole. Additionally, I have been impressed at the support of the social and emotional development of the students. Recently, my son became concerned about a peer's emotional well being and he felt comfortable and supported enough to reach out to a trusted adult in the administration and share his concerns. The adult took his concerns seriously, while also protecting the privacy of the other student. I'd venture to say this is not the experience kids have at all middle schools. The well-roundedness of the experience the kids are receiving at OSA cannot be stressed enough. Please keep this important school for the children of Oakland!

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    Liz Gazzano about 1 month ago

    I fully support the renewal of the Charter status for OSA. Thank you! -Liz

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    Leora BarzellWeber about 1 month ago

    Oakland School for the Arts has an important place in our community. It offers youth a safe environment to explore and master their interest in arts in a unique and special way. Not only is it a school about arts, it is about celebration of Oakland and development of social conscious, it is important to the greater community of Oakland, solidifying us as an Arts Hub. An entire neighborhood and community has blossomed around a highschool and now a couple of generations of Oakland born and raised young people have blossomed as Oakland Role Models and in some cases national and international ambassadors of Oakland. All of who return there energy and investment in Oakland.

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    Leora BarzellWeber about 1 month ago

    Oakland School for the Arts has an important place in our community. It offers youth a safe environment to explore and master their interest in arts in a unique and special way. Not only is it a school about arts, it is about celebration of Oakland and development of social conscious, it is important to the greater community of Oakland, solidifying us as an Arts Hub. An entire neighborhood and community has blossomed around a highschool and now a couple of generations of Oakland born and raised young people have blossomed as Oakland Role Models and in some cases national and international ambassadors of Oakland. All of who return there energy and investment in Oakland.

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    Eli Olson about 1 month ago

    My daughter is a Junior in Production Design. She is diagnosed with being twice-exceptional, which means gifted with learning differences. OSA has been extremely supportive in meeting her needs as a unique student including access to teacher meetings and an extensive 504 plan. The fact that she can be her quirky, creative self is a gift that we would not find at another high school. Please allow OSA to continue being the school that it is now; a place where like-minded kids come together and grow into the creative adults they aspire to be. Thank you for supporting OSA's charter renewal.

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    Ken McCall about 1 month ago

    I strongly support the charter renewal for Oakland School for the Arts (OSA). My two children commute from Pleasant Hill to attend OSA.

    OSA is a phenomenal asset not only for Oakland, but also California and beyond. OSA has gained national attention throughout the art industry, as well as the most prestigious colleges and universities for producing top notch talent. In fact, OSA is so well known that some of the greatest artists in the world come to visit and volunteer their time (e.g. Winton Marsalis, YoYo Ma).

    OSA was started as an innovative vision by Governor Jerry Brown and HAS ACHIEVED that vision BY VIRTUE OF IT BEING A CHARTER SCHOOL. OSA has a graduation rate of 99% and the 99% that apply to post-secondary education receive acceptance letters
    .
    For Oakland to maintain this asset, please renew the charter without modifications to this educational “recipe” that obviously works.

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    Jennifer Russ about 1 month ago

    My son would not be the student artist that he is without Oakland School for the Arts.

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    Igor Gasowski about 1 month ago

    I am a strong supporter of OSA's charter renewal!

    My son is a Senior in Production Design. We looked at a lot of schools to try to find a place where a talented child, with a strong propensity for learning through building and creating can thrive. And we found that place in OSA. It is difficult to express how helpful the style of acquiring the knowledge at OSA helped to motivate and inspire our child. Our family feels grateful for the place like OSA to exist!!! Please make it possible for other children to experience the style of learning, the dedication and talent of the staff, the passion for creativity and knowledge. I see how well OSA prepared our offspring for the next stage in his life. Thank you!

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    Lola Hanacek about 1 month ago

    My son is 7th grade Visual Arts student and OSA has been the perfect school for him. He is a creative, sensitive artist and being around other creative students and faculty has given him an opportunity to express himself and thrive. Both me and my husband are artist as well and we wish we had a special school like OSA when we were growing up. The teachers and administration at OSA are amazingly dedicated to support all students and encourage individual expression and diversity. WE LOVE OSA!

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    Tomoko Goh about 1 month ago

    I strongly support OSA's charter renewal.

    Our daughter is currently a 6th grade Instrumental Music student at OSA.

    She has finally found a place where surrounded by talented young artists. OSA provides both art and academic programs, which have been a tremendous positive influence on her. Now we see her blossom artistically and academically.
    Please let our children continue to thrive at this school as it is. Children need OSA as their nest.
    OSA is a one of kind school, representing the city of Oakland.

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    Moriah Ulinskas about 1 month ago

    My son is an 8th grader at Oakland School for the Arts. Before he entered the school, as a 6th grader, I struggled to find a way and a place for him to learn the visual arts - his passion- and he lacked a community of young artists. He spent his time alone, trying to learn to draw from Youtube videos. He was often ostracized by other boys for wanting to stay in the library at recess to draw. At OSA, he has found a community of young artists, he has flourished under the mentorship of the dedicated arts teachers, and I am very happy with the amount of support he gets in his academics. There is no other school like OSA that he, or many of the children enrolled there, could attend. I implore the board to renew OSA's charter for the sake of all the students, current and future, who this school serves.

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    Juan M about 1 month ago

    Mi hija es alumna de sexto grado y su arte es Vocal-Music. OSA es una escuela llena de energia, arte, y maestros que realmente se enfocan en bienestar completo de sus alumnos. Esta escuela es lo mas increible que ha pasado a nuestra familia. Apoyo completamente su renovación, y espero tener el orgullo de continuar viendo como mi hija crece y se gradua de esta gran escuela.

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    Tim Sullivan about 1 month ago

    Oakland School for the Arts enables children to elect to engage richly and deeply with the arts education in a public education setting.This is a powerfully equitable force and enriches the community. Keeping OSA open says to the world that Oakland believes deep arts education should be accessible to everyone, not just those privileged enough to be able to pay for it.

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    Brian Leonard about 1 month ago

    We're incredibly fortunate to have a school whose focus is to nurture and encourage the arts to our young people. The arts challenge us with different points of view, compel us to empathize with “others,” and allow us to reflect on the human condition.
    Our current educational system offers many different models, and we need to ensure that arts education is not only cherished and preserved but further developed.
    When our young artists become their best selves, we all benefit. Their creative lenses, solutions, beauty, and impact on the world are unmistakable.OSA is a space that offers the arts as a core component and not a nice-to-have. It’s where kids feel understood without having to say a word. It’s an environment that gives students a sense of self. It’s not just what they do; it’s who they are.
    Allowing OSA to water down or lessen its focus on the arts would be a tragic decision, not only for the students the school serves but also to the community at large.

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    jim greer about 1 month ago

    Can't say enough good things about OSA. Our tenth grader is extremely happy there and we love being involved in whatever way we can. The school is a gift to the community and is creating hundreds of compassionate, creative minds who are badly needed in today's world. OSA should not only continue at full power but it should be supported, expanded and considered a treasure of the Oakland school system.

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    SerrMark s about 1 month ago

    Supporting the arts and those who are brave enough to pursue their passions should held in the highest regard and protected at all costs.

    Mark Serr OSA parent

    On education :

    “I believe arts education in music, theater, dance, and the visual arts is one of the most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface. They (children) have an enthusiasm for life a spark of creativity, and vivid imaginations that need training – training that prepares them to become confident young men and women.”

    – Richard W. Riley, Former US Secretary of Education

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    Aaron Hichman about 1 month ago

    My son is in 8th grade and loves OSA.

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    Tracey Ortega about 1 month ago

    My name is Tracey Ortega, and I currently have a daughter in the 11th grade, dance program, at Oakland School for the Arts (OSA). She has attended OSA since the 6th grade.
    OSA is a special school in the Bay, which enriches the lives of young artists. Both academic teachers and art teachers are dedicated, providing the technical training and resources required to equip our children for their future endeavors.
    I can’t imagine what our community would do without OSA. I hope that our renewal will be approved.

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    Lisa Monda about 1 month ago

    I’m writing in full support of OSA renewal, I have a daughter in 10th in the Jazz department. She started in 8th and has been an extremely positive experience, she’s not only doing excellent in her academics but has really advanced in music! We are so grateful for this school and all the positive things it offerers to students like my daughter who really have a passion the arts! This a special school with a very supportive, hard working and caring staff behind it, with the support of so many parents and the community!

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    Steve Chabon about 1 month ago

    I am writing to offer my FULL support for OSA's charter renewal. My son is a new 9th grader at OSA and is in absolute heaven. As a graduate of a performing arts high school myself, I know the great and extensive benefits of a strong and focused arts/academic education. OSA may not be the right school for every student, but for those who are lucky enough to attend this school, they feel inspired, hopeful, and safe in a very complicated world. The arts teachers are passionate and deeply committed to their craft and the academic teachers really and truly dedicated to giving our students a fantastic academic education. The special sauce at OSA, beyond the excellent arts and academics, is the tight-knit and supportive community. We all know how hard these teen years can be and OSA provides a magical and creative educational experience while wrapping their collective arms around our kids and saying "everything is going to be okay, you be you, you are safe and loved." I support OSA!

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    sally emeson about 1 month ago

    As a retired teacher in the bay area for nearly 40 years, I observed many many public school settings and curriculum.
    Having a child who came into the world as a designer, inspired at a very young age, I wondered where she could receive the support and programming that would best fit her needs. The answer, quite obviously, was OSA.
    Thankful beyond words that such an amazingly creative program existed right here in Oakland has been a blessing beyond words.
    Our daughter is in her second year there in what is the first and only school, internationally, that allows young Fashion designers to create for both themselves and their community, Bravo to Linda Ricardi, the instructor, as well as to OSA/OUSD for enabling this truly amazing programming to thrive here in the Bay Area.

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    Christine Nygaard about 1 month ago

    I urge the school board to renew the charter for OSA, which provides a truly special program unlike anything else available in the city. We chose OSA because of my daughter's interest in art, but what we didn't realize was how vital a creative arts education truly is. Spending two hours in school (plus homework every day) focussed on creating something is a skill that translates to all other aspects of academic and social life. OSA allows my child to exercise the muscle of just trying something and making something new every day, focussing on the process and growth and not just the outcome. This creativity and confidence is an asset to her in developing her academic abilities and leadership qualities. Being part of a community of students engaged in these creative pursuits is also a tremendous benefit. OSA represents the best of what a charter school can be, and should be allowed to continue as a vital school in our community.

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    Evie Ladin about 1 month ago

    Since enrolling at OSA our child has thrived and grown tremendously. This Arts Charter serves an incredibly important purpose in our community and should 100% continue.

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    Amy Poitras about 1 month ago

    I strongly support the renewal of OSA as an OUSD charter school. My 6th grader has finally found a place where he is supported artistically and challenged academically. He is so happy and thriving with A’s in all of his classes. He tells me how happy he is and that gives me so much joy. Please let our children continue to thrive at this school as it is. I believe we are a staple in the Oakland community and we make a difference in our city.

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    Alexsandra Walton about 1 month ago

    Sending my children to this school has been the best decision we have ever made. The administration, faculty, and staff truly show a love for the students and their academics. They live their mission of educating the whole child and teach the children about respect and social justice for others. Not renewing their charter would cause hundreds of children to be without the very thing that saved my son and has helped him deal with anxiety and that is his art. This school allows students to grow in their art and go on to be amazing and well educated young people.

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    Eli Rotenberg about 1 month ago

    I strongly support the charter renewal of OSA, and I wish that its unique emphasis on excellence in the arts, available to all, take highest priority in consideration of the charter. Sadly, arts emphasis in public education is not strong enough and OSA has been a shining example of what can be accomplished. This is my daughter's 4th year in attending, and I want to say that school has been a tremendous positive influence on her. I have been involved in 4 schools in the east bay and by far OSA has strived by far the most to establish a diverse, tolerant and equitable environment. Where it fails in diversity can be attributed not due to its selectivity in admissions but by the insufficient encouragement of youth in the arts at earlier stages in the OUSD. We need more schools in the city with the philosophy of OSA, that can capture not only excellence in the arts but also with themes in the humanities, STEM, etc.

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    Anastasia Chavez about 1 month ago

    We support Oakland School for the Arts! Since beginning this year, our daughter has THRIVED at school. She is fully engaged in all her courses, is inspired and energized by her core art classes (theater emphasis), and is EXCITED to go to school every day. This speaks an immeasurable amount to the quality of educational and emotional support OSA provides. The community of parents, teachers, families, and students is vibrant, loving, welcoming, and progressive. Please help the city of Oakland, and it’s neighboring communities, to continue to benefit from this unique and innovative school - keep OSA open and keep OSA!

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    Patti Crane about 1 month ago

    I support the renewal of OSA's charter. OSA gives many kids the opportunity to pursue an art at an art school. The arts are fantastic and the kids are immersed in their art in a full way. The program is rich and the performances are incredible. Plus, the school enables the students to get an exceptional education in addition to the arts. Our daughter has had a great experience at OSA and it would be great for others to have that opportunity as well. OSA is Oaklandish -- it is a great resource for kids in the arts to get an amazing education in a vibrant urban setting.

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    Yolanda B about 1 month ago

    OSA has given many students amazing opportunities and the ability to thrive at school. My child has greatly benefited from the combination of both arts and academics provided by OSA. All of the students at OSA are exposed to worlds of possibilities by being there, possibilities and opportunities that they may not have even known existed, and possibilities that, if they knew of, they may not have known could be available to them personally. Please renew the charter, thank you!

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    Anne McSilver about 1 month ago

    Oakland School for the Arts is an incredible asset for the City of Oakland that allows "hidden geniuses" from all neighborhoods to cultivate their abilities in the arts. We live in an era when artists and cultural groups are in danger of displacement due to our disruptive economy. OSA counters this trend by nurturing artists while also delivering college-prep academics. Please approve the charter for this innovative school that help our city shine!

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    Mindy Rousseau about 1 month ago

    OSA is such a gift to our community. It has changed the life of so many kids. They provide an opportunity for children to grow and excel as artists. Many would never have this opportunity without OSA. The step it up program has been very successful. Our very dedicated teachers give up their own time to mentor and recruit underserved communities in Oakland. This will be my seventh year at OSA. It’s been incredible to watch so many young people grow into exceptional artists. It would be devastating to lose this school that so many have worked so hard to make a true success.

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    Elizabeth Lyons about 1 month ago

    I don’t what I would do without OSA for my children. My daughter was disciplined several times in elementary school for over directing her friends in plays she wrote herself. She got up hours before dawn to write and act out her characters at just 9 years old. OSA isn’t for every child, but there is no other school for children like this. The academic curriculum is dynamic and the arts, well we hope you come to our shows and see for yourselves! These children have names you will know for generations like Zendaya, Kehlani and Ari’el Statchel and many others. All who still reflect on their training at OSA and are proud Oaklanders. OSA is a diverse school that reflects the population of Oakland and as community, we are excited to implement the changes in our enrollment practices and are overwhelmingly committed to continuing our equitable learning and training environment. Please support us in continuing to provide a first rate arts eduaction.

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    Baby Djojonegoro about 1 month ago

    I am writing in support of the charter renewal for the Oakland School of the Arts. Our son entered 7th grade at the school this year because he wanted to be in the Literary Arts program. We appreciate the fact that there is a school that offers an arts-centered program in Oakland and know that the city is richer for it. Please vote to renew the charter for this distinctive school.

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    Aaron Shores about 1 month ago

    Please consider renewing the OSA charter. As a parent of a new freshman student in the Production Design emphasis, I have seen my daughter thrive and blossom at OSA. I believe that OSA provides a unique opportunity for children to actively pursue a passion and develop talents through hands-on intensive practice of their craft. The quality of instruction in both artistic and academic pursuits is top-notch and inspiring.

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    efrat rafaeli about 1 month ago

    My son entered 6th grade in visual arts this year.

    He had a great grade school experience and we wanted to find a small school for him, and our neighborhood schools scores so low we knew it wouldn’t be a fit because he is academically advanced.

    He loves OSA, the art class especially, has made so many friends already from very diverse backgrounds which is great.

    I know no school is perfect and OSA has things to work on, but the school is a great fit for our son who is sensitive, academically mature, and needs to be challenged as well.

    The truth is, the OUSD middle schools are so low performing and the ones that do okay are highly impacted and impossible to enter, we are fortunate to have alternatives like OSA which actually is bend the plain field and isn’t only catered to an affluent district.

    I hope the school continues to thrive and evolve.

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    Joie Toscano about 1 month ago

    Dear board members,

    I have two kids currently enrolled in OSA (6th and 7th grade) and I wholeheartedly support OSA’s charter renewal. My kids have thrived there and I’m amazed of how far they’ve already come both in their arts and academically. The staff at OSA is so caring and nurturing. We signed up for OSA’s Step it Up program which was wonderful for making my kids feel confident ahead of the audition process. What OSA offers to the community is special and unique, and I urge you to renew their charter.

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    KAREN MORFIN about 1 month ago

    My daughter has been an OSA student since the beginning of the school year and is currently in OSA's vocal music emphasis. I have submitted a signed letter to OUSD board detailing our experience and support to renew charter. I wanted to reiterate the following:

    OSA has been a place where she feels a sense of belonging and understanding. As a latinx family with a kid with special needs we have felt supported by teachers, parents, students and leadership. My daughter feels happiness and excitement as she gets ready to go to school.
    OSA has provided an outlet for an artistic child to express herself while improving her academic achievement in a short period of time.

    As a parent, I have found a community where parents support each other regardless of origin, sex orientation, or color of their skin. I am proud of our leadership and their efforts to bring high academic achievement while letting our children express their artistic talents.

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    Dinah Mattick about 1 month ago

    I support the renewal of OSA’s charter. My daughter, currently a 10th grade dance student at OSA, has attended since the 6th grade. The environment, teachers and curriculum at OSA have allowed her to blossom into a confident, self-actualized artist who now feels ready to pursue art in college at the highest level. She has been truly mentored by her immensely talented and dedicated art teachers, Mr Savage and Ms Hurley, has grown tremendously as an artist and a person, and loves coming to school each day. She is thriving at OSA both artistically and academically in a way that would not be possible at any other school in the Bay Area. Please renew OSA’s charter.

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    Morey Riordan about 1 month ago

    As a parent of a thriving 10th grade theatre student at OSA, I urge the Board to support OSA's charter renewal. OSA is a safe place for students who are often ostracized in other school settings, particularly LGBTQ students in the arts. OSA has worked hard to revise the charter to address issues of equity and inclusion for all students, particulary kids from Oakland who want to attend a school with an arts emphasis. This school is a success for so many of our kids, and will now have even greater access for the kids of Oakland. Please vote for the OSA charter renewal.

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    Yasmin Anwar about 1 month ago

    Dear OUSD board of directors,
    I am a parent with a son in 10th grade whose emphasis is in production design. This is the first time I have seen him feel truly confident in his academic and life skills. His enthusiasm and confidence is due in large part to the diversity, inclusiveness and high standards that OSA demands of its community. Just as importantly, my son is learning independence, responsibility and skills that will serve him in all walks of life. In production design, he has learned to build tiny houses that may one day be used as a model to house more of the city's burgeoning homeless. He has worked behind the scenes at shows at the Fox Theater in lighting, sound and set preparation. It is a joy to see him look forward to school each morning. I respectfully ask you to renew OSA's charter and keep this wonderful school as a jewel of Oakland.

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    Carolyn Watson about 1 month ago

    I support the request for Charter Renewal covering the Oakland School for the Arts, where my children have attended for the past 6 years. Please review my email for more details. I support without reservations the request for renewal of the OSA Charter because there is no other outstanding arts/immersed program in Oakland that provides the high quality education for such a wide range of students with special talents and interest. My email provides my personal story but it should be known that OSA is the jewel in the crown of OUSD and the City of Oakland and there is no better administrative and faculty team capable of providing the type of immersed, high quality curriculum that is offered to all children in Oakland and beyond. My children thrived at OSA for 6 years and my son who has 504 Plan Accommodations with special physical and learning abilities requiring special access on an inclusive basis is thriving as an honor student AND a high achieving vocal artist. Renew the charter.

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    Taoming Gan about 1 month ago

    I am grateful that my daughter has the opportunity to attend OSA which nurtures her pursuit of music. I am all support of the renewal of OSA as a charter school.

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    Mary Gomes about 1 month ago

    My daughter is in the 9th grade in the Instrumental Music program at OSA, and has been there a little over a year. I'm amazed at how much she's grown as a musician in the brief time she's been at the school. She had two hours a day of music instruction in 8th grade, and now, in high school, she has three hours a day. There's nowhere else in the greater Bay Area that could nurture her musical skill in a comparable way. Not only are the teachers incredibly skilled at their arts, they are providing invaluable mentoring. Beyond the arts education, the school has been a real gem in terms of inspiring academic classes and a supportive, vibrant culture. I feel incredibly fortunate to have found it, and I strongly support the charter renewal.

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    N Griffin about 1 month ago

    My son is currently a 7th grade Digital Media student at OSA. I have been extremely impressed with the school administration, my son's teachers, and the progress my son has made since starting at OSA last year. He has had some challenges in the past focusing in the school setting, and OSA has been an excellent environment for him - providing him with the academic stimulation he needs in an environment that's friendly and welcoming to a kid whose perspective on things is often outside the mainstream. He looks forward to school in a way that's brand new for him, and quite the opposite of what I remember from my own middle school years. As a parent who knows that middle school can be a make-or-break time for students, I'm grateful that OSA is there for my son and all of the students who have found a home there. There's nothing my son wants more than to graduate from high school at OSA with his friends at his side and a couple of CTE certificates under his belt. Please renew OSA's charter.

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    Susanna Gordon about 1 month ago

    I would like to communicate my support for renewal of OSA's charter. My daughter has received an amazing and unique arts education through the talented Visual Arts faculty, as well as high quality academic instruction. Having started in the 6th grade, she has happily continued into the high school program. Over and above the arts and academic instruction, I’ve been very impressed by OSA’s focus on helping students prepare for a career in the future. OSA is a treasure and I certainly hope it will be renewed by OUSD.

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    J Crane about 1 month ago

    I am the parent of a 10th grade music student and I strongly support the OSA charter renewal. OSA has been such a nurturing, inspiring and enriching environment for our daughter, both academically and artistically. Our daughter is fully engaged at OSA and it's wonderful to see her learning to think critically, creatively and independently in a safe, supportive environment. I'm so grateful that OSA is helping her develop a love of learning. The arts and academic faculty are first rate and provide a unique experience that will stick with the kids forever. I've seen so many kids blossom into confident young adults during at OSA - the artistic programs at OSA give the kids a unique opportunity to develop themselves as individuals and provide great leadership and teamwork experience. My wife and I feel so lucky that we have a school like OSA. Please support this fantastic institution that is doing such a great service for our kids/community.

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    Rachel Estrella about 1 month ago

    My son, now a 10th grader, has been at OSA studying theatre since the 6th grade. We are so grateful that Oakland has a school that can nurture a kid like mine, who is not only an actor but who plays the violin, piano, drums, is an accomplished singer, and makes short films in his, all while taking rigorous courses and maintaining a 4.0 GPA.. He loves this school and is thriving. OSA is one of this city's greatest treasures, fostering creativity, critical thought, and social activism. As a woman of color and an immigrant, I am so grateful that my son has educational opportunities that I never had, and that these opportunities are afforded to him through our city, through this amazing school. Please, please renew our charter so that more children can have the opportunity to have such a powerful educational experience--one that fosters a love of learning, encourages critical and civic engagement, and is a space where they can see and grow their brilliance, and feel valued and loved.

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    Natasha Haugnes about 1 month ago

    Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell and OUSD Board:

    I support Oakland School for the Arts charter renewal. OSA gives students in the arts a place to be taken seriously.

    OSA has provided both of my sons with a rigorous high school arts education. The instrumental music program keeps my 11th grade musician motivated not only at school, but beyond school hours as well. He dashes from OSA to rehearsals, recording sessions and performances every day. This is the best I could ever imagine for my teenage boy— he is confident, engaged, and pursuing his passion with a diverse group of peers.

    My older son graduated from OSA and is now thriving at UCSC.

    Like any school, OSA has had its share of difficult discussions and “issues.” I am consistently impressed at the transparency, intelligence, compassion and vision that the school leaders bring to these situations. This is a well-functioning school with committed people running it. Please allow it to continue to do what it is already doing so well.

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    Nimi Tarango about 1 month ago

    Oakland School of the Arts is an amazing school that provides INCREDIBLE arts training in so many different specialties while still offering a strong academic curriculum with devoted talented incredible teachers. My two children have been so blessed to attend their in different specialties. We love OSA. Oakland is so lucky to have such an amazing institution
    Please renew the charter!!!
    Sincerely
    Nimi Tarango

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    Holly Jansen about 1 month ago

    I am strongly in support of OSA's charter renewal. My daughter is junior with a theater emphasis who transferred to OSA this August. In the 2.5 months we have been part of the school, we have seen tremendous growth in our daughter academically and artistically. She feels at home at OSA and has so many more opportunities to explore theater and acting where most high school have only a few courses. She remarks quite often at how excited she is to go to school! The dedication of faculty and staff to making OSA a place of creativity, collaboration and support is notable and has already impacted our daughter. Finally, as an owner of a business located only a few blocks from OSA, I see firsthand how OSA integrates into the Oakland community and how important the school and it's students are to the downtown area.

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    Becky Pizer about 1 month ago

    I support the charter renewal for OSA. My daughter has found a supportive community, passionate teachers, and a lively arts focus that she couldn't find elsewhere. I have been so impressed with the way OSA promotes self-expression, caring for one another, and engaging with social problems. The size of the school and the focus on arts allows for a level of support and dedication that makes all the difference in education, especially when there are so many obstacles, e.g. learning differences, lack of resources, etc.

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    Lauren WohlSanchez about 1 month ago

    As a parent of a Instrumental Music student who struggled in other schools, I firmly believe that OSA has been crucial to his success as a student both academically and artistically. OSA is a supportive environment that nurtures a student's interests and strengths, encourages curiosity, and inspires creativity. The teachers connect with the students, helping them not just to develop their skills, but also to build their self-confidence, compassion, and awareness. Our family wholeheartedly supports renewal of OSA's charter.

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    Karin Jensen about 1 month ago

    I support OSA's charter renewal. I am a parent of a Digital Media junior student who has been at OSA since freshman year. This sort of alternative education has really been a lifesaver for my older daughter who has been a dreamy artist type for as long as I can remember. At OSA, she is learning marketable skills that have already allowed her to score a paid digital media internship and small side jobs as an illustrator. I feel like her future is brighter thanks to OSA.

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    Brenton Cheng about 1 month ago

    As a place of academic rigor, heartful community process, and artistic discovery, OSA has brought an immersive world of music to our two children, who are now not only listeners but performers and creators, sharing this gift with those around them and inspiring other young and old artists around the world. OSA turned a pastime into a resource, all while supporting our children in their academic, social, political, and humanitarian development as young, informed adults. We are so grateful for the growing garden which is OSA and strongly support the renewal of its charter.

    Sincerely,
    Brenton Cheng & Terese Gjernes

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    Ruth Halpern about 1 month ago

    I am a parent of a theater student who has been at OSA throughout middle school and is now a freshman. We are so grateful to have found a school where she can be nurtured as an artist and a scholar, surrounded by passionate enthusiasts, close friends, and nurturing teachers who have helped her blossom artistically and academically. My daughter has gained self-discipline, curiosity, and a sense of adventure through her artistic journey at OSA. This school is a vital contribution to our community and I hope its charter will be renewed.

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    BZ Lewis about 1 month ago

    I strongly support OSA's charter renewal. My child has had many challenges throughout their educational career. Anxiety, confidence, and difficulty focusing have been issues since Elementary School. But at OSA, my child has excelled. We could not be more proud of our 4.0 earning child. That only happens when caring teachers and faculty, both academic and artistic, are allowed to work in a supportive environment. Through music, my teen has built both the talent and confidence needed to help them thrive. I can't imagine what would happen if this wonderful opportunity were to go away. Please keep OSA a place where art creates the leaders of the future.

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    G Lewis about 1 month ago

    I support Oakland School for the Arts in their efforts to renew their charter. OSA has voted to remove the audition requirements from its charter going forward, and I am an OSA parent who supports this. OSA has a uniquely equipped staff of professional artists who are also committed teachers, who can nurture young talent regardless of a student's previous levels of training. I've seen firsthand a teacher's ability to gently push my young musician beyond their comfort level, and my child is now performing at a level they had not realized they were capable of. I am grateful for OSA. My child has seen possibilities and realizes now that the sky's the limit.

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    Margaret Schultz about 1 month ago

    I am writing in support of renewing Oakland School for the Arts Charter. I am in full support of keeping the good schools in Oakland running and thriving. I am a parent of an OSA student who has blossomed over the last 3+ years here. For a long time, my student has struggled with being able to focus, struggled with anxiety and struggled with confidence. At OSA, my child has been supported by administration and by teachers in both academics and the arts. My teen has grown in confidence and maturity (there's still a way to go), they are making new friends and can't imagine going anywhere else. We need to focus on the needs of all students in both OUSD and charter schools. We need to focus on which schools are meeting the needs of our kids and which aren't. OSA is a success story. Let's not lose another good school.

    Thank you,

    Margaret Schultz

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    David Smith about 1 month ago

    To: Superintendent Dr. Kyla Trammell-Griffin & the OUSD Board of Directors

    I am writing to you in support of renewing Oakland School for the Arts charter. I have been working at OSA for 16.5 years (halfway through its first year) and been a parent of a student since 2017.

    In my many years at OSA I have seen people come and go but the focus has always been the same, to support the students in their academic, artistic, and social development. OSA has produced amazing results over the years and continues to do so. OSA strives to continually develop and improve its offer to the students, the Oakland community, and artistic enrichment of the Bay Area.

    During their time at OSA, students thrive and develop into amazing individuals. Please allow OSA to continue providing excellent academic, artistic, and social development to current and future generations of students.

    Sincerely,

    David Smith