I have been going to OSA for two years now in the dance department. At this school not only am I getting a good education in academics, but also a good education in the arts. The fact that I have arts with my academics has also kept my grades above water because I have dance to encourage me. I have my supportive friends, teachers and community to help as well, all on them teaching me lessons I will need for the future. These are just some of the reasons OSA should stay open, not only for the students who go here, but for the whole community of the East Bay, and all the students and teachers who walked through these halls in passed years.
My niece is her first year at OSA. I had never seen her so excited about her school. She always struggled with fitting in with other kids when she was at OUSD. She has not only become very confident singer but also for the first time feels competent and ready to take tests. She knows she will go to college because she is in a good school at tells everyone she goes to OSA with pride. Please renew charter
My daughter hopes to attend this school.
Please renew the charter for OSA. My son goes to OSA and it is an incredible place for a young person to grow and learn.
I am in 7th grade at OSA I really love the school and the opportunities it creates for students in the Bay Area. I would be forced to go to my district school in my area if OSA closed and I would hate to have that happen because of all the friendships and bonds I have made there, I think this goes for all students. I also believe it unreasonable to close the school since there are no other arts schools for middle school in Oakland. Please reconsider.
I go to OSA and have for two years. This school has helped me get out of my shell and build community in so many different ways. Please do not close OSA.
Please renew the charter for OSA. My son is in his second year there and truly loves it. He has grown so much through OSA's arts and academic programs. OSA has worked hard to meet the district's requirements and to make the school's program's accessible to all.
I have been at OSA for just two years, but I love it. Please keep our school open.
Please renew the charter for OSA . This school is a place we’re kids can learn to express themselves through art and academics. OSA is setting the kids that go there is for a life and a career. If you take this away from us the future for the kids and for you will be different. You can’t get this education and art programs anywhere else.
I support the charter renewal for OSA. This school provides solid academics, an inclusive and diverse environment that represents Oakland, and an extraordinary opportunity to develop one's passion for the arts.
My twin children are in their first year at OSA middle school and couldn't be happier. The school is incredibly supportive of their academic, social, and artistic development. The staff and teachers in particular go out of their way to be helpful and accessible. I would recommend OSA to any and all interested parents. I am simply impressed again and again by the hard work and dedication this school demonstrates, as well as their commitment to the kids. It's an incredible program that deserves to be supported by the school board and the city of Oakland. OSA is a gem. There should be more schools like it.
I go to OSA and I love it! It is a safe place for me to be myself and not get judged by anyone. The academics and arts are great!
OSA has proved to be a supportive and nurturing environment for my daughter, both on an academic level and with respect to her *production design* (PD) emphasis. Her enthusiasm for PD (the syllabus, the teacher, the applied nature of the work and opportunity to bond with her peers during after-school drama projects such as set design for the Haunted House or a lighting project for The Importance of Being Earnest) has actually sparked a deeper appetite for learning in general...even math. I thoroughly recommend and congratulate the faculty and staff at OSA.
There are so many comments regarding the amazing program and community of OSA, so other than concurring and fully supporting the renewal of our charter, I want address something more pertinent: The OSA administration, board and APT board and greater community has made many changes to become more inclusive and to serve and welcome a diverse, Oakland based learner. We have all agreed to cease auditions to that end. We have devised ways to continue to deliver a high quality, intensive education and training environment for the budding artist that seeks a professional career while also providing a rigorous academic education. I quite impressed by the dedication, flexibility and openness this community showed while
committing to these changes.
Please consider to keep OSA open. This is a great school and great opportunities for the children who attend this school. It would be so heart breaking yo take OSA away from the students. Oakland needs to have more schools like OSA, that supports our young children.
Please renew the charter for OSA. This is one of the best things that has come to Oakland Schools. We need more schools like this and the Oakland Board of Education should make a plan to make more arts schools while supporting the one it has. Thanks!
Oakland School for the Arts, is a unique and precious resource for Oakland families and the city as a whole. In a time when public schools have been pressured to teach to the test and cut enrichment programs, Oakland School for the Arts provides free arts education regardless of socioeconomic background. For my own daughter and her peers, OSA has provided a nurturing, inclusive environment provided an environment where they can grow and thrive.
As a parent of a special needs, artistic teen, there was no other choice but Oakland School for the Arts. Our daughter can be her artistic self and is the happiest she's been in her entire life. Now a Junior in High School, she is thriving. She is able to manage her academic and artistic goals and look forward to college in a way that she never thought possible. The fact she has a strong portfolio at 16 is astounding and it's all due to this unique, amazing school called OSA. Please keep OSA for all the upcoming generations of special artistic kids. They too need a place they can go where they can thrive and call home.
As a parent of a middle school student at Oakland School for the Arts, I see and hear the importance of the school to its families and community. It's an excellent place for students to explore and be nurtured in creating art, and Oakland is the richer for it. Not only does it provide an arts-centered curriculum, the school is also a safe space for many students who often don't adhere to the conventional and usual interests and appearance of their peer. Please renew the charter for the Oakland School for the Arts so that all of us can benefit. Thank you.
There is no other school in the OUSD district like this. Unique in academic achievement, social diversity and the Arts. A diamond is the rough and your most accompanied asset.
I'm a parent of an OSA sophomore. The sense of community that OSA creates and the spirit of creation that emanates from it is an invaluable resource to Oakland ; the cultural impact on that part of Oakland is really extraordinary. The school fosters an arts community that no other local schools do - generations of earnest, creative world changers are coming from there every year. My son's class in production design has an ongoing project of designing and building tiny houses for the homeless and that's just one part of the self aware, critical thinking that i am noticing they are teaching him. I am very happy with the academic side of the school and the arts portion is this incredible way for them to express themselves..even just attending the passionate meetings held by students about the future of the school impressed me with how much the students love it and care about it. The charter must absolutely be renewed and this school should become a permanent fixture.
Please renew OSA's charter.
In a recent episode of KQED's Rightnowish [https://www.kqed.org/arts/13870187/room-302-home-of-oaklands-own-tiny-desk] , Pendarvish Harshaw visited an OSA classroom and commented, "There's something special about this classroom. It speaks to a need being filled." His comment is true for teacher Cava Mezies's "Off the Table" classroom, but it also applies to the whole school.
I strongly support OSA's charter renewal. The program integrates arts and academics and for kids for whom art is integral to their identity. Other than Crowden for music, I believe there is no alternative academic institution in the Oakland-Berkeley area that can meet the needs of these middle and high school kids. OSA's unique program reaches kids who would struggle or get lost in other, more "standard" schools. Please look at the comments from so many parents here, of which I am one, incredulous and grateful for the growth of our children in the OSA program.
As a reply to an opposing commenter, the charter renewal application has a clear plan to adjust its enrollment process that addresses the concerns outlined in that comment.
Please vote to renew the OSA charter.
Please please renew!! This is a wonderful school for students to focus on their art form as well as the academics. This school needs to remain open!
Great school! Great dance department! One of a kind!
In researching middle and high schools that offer a rigorous academic program and top-flight professional arts education, I have found nothing comparable to OSA. The school is a veritable beacon for young creatives, whether they land in the arts, business, law, social justice, tech, the sciences or beyond. With notable alumni including Kehlani, Ari'el Stachel, Zendaya, Tati Gabrielle and Kriesha Chu, among others, it's a point of pride for Oakland. Please renew our charter.
Please renew OSA. I have daughter who is in 6th grade, whose dream was to attend OSA and it became true with hard work and dedication.
I read an opposers comment and I must say that I disagree with the comments. My family is by no means “rich”. I consider ourselves poor. If OSA makes its fundraising goal, I would have to say that it’s because of the parents participation and interest in their kids passion.
My daughter has attended Title 1 schools before OSA and let me tell you that parent participation was always the same 4-5 moms that would take interest. Oh and the art that was available at her previous school was once a week and it was painting. Instruments were only offered to 5th and 6th graders once a week for 25 minutes.
Why would anyone not want to renew OSA? A place where kids can pursue their art?
To the opposer I have to say “Don’t hate”
Why would anyone want to take away a place where kids are learning and feel they have found their place?
I strongly support OSA's charter renewal. As a parent of a 7th grader in his second year at OSA, I have seen him grow, open up and flourish in ways that truly surprised me. The faculty truly cares about the students and, in addition to stellar arts instruction, the kids receive great academic instruction as well, and, perhaps most importantly, their sense of agency is being fostered. Though I don't agree that the audition process is discriminatory (Oakland residents get priority, and the Step it Up program addresses socioeconomic and racial disparity) I commend the OSA administration for working on a feasible solution to OUSD's request to eliminate auditions. Please renew our charter and keep this special school going!
Please renew the charter for this amazing school.
Please renew our charter and let us continue transform lives as we are currently doing. We have proven to have a consistent record of accountability to artistic development and high academic success. This school is a safe place for our LGBTQ+ community. Community that is facing one of the biggest discrimination and bullying issues in other schools. They finally see a place where they can be themselves and grow to become successful scholars.
Vote for OSA's enrollment discrimination?
OSA has set a goal of fund raising and donations that totals over a million dollars and met that goal year after year. No other school in Oakland can match OSA in raising money. No other Oakland School public or charter has 2 Port billboards advertising revenue funding them or behested payments from want-a-be friends of Jerry Brown. Behested payment is when a politician asks his want-a-be friends to donate to his charter school. Since 2011 to the Present over $6 million was donated to Jerry's OSA in behested dollars.
OSA and Hillcrest have richest student enrollment in Oakland. Hillcrest poverty is 13.8%. OSA 9.5%. District poverty is 73.8% But, Hillcrest kills OSA in testing: above standard English 80.8 points to 36.9; Math 70 points to 3.6%.
OSA by using its audition preference keeps neighbor from dragging its scores down. District scores are on average below standard: English 47.2 points below; Math 70.9 points below.
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.
I strongly support the renewal proposal for OSA's charter.
Please renew OSA’s charter. My son is receiving an excellent academic and music education.
Please renew OSA's charter! OSA is such a gem in the community!
Strongly support a critical school!
I strongly support the renewal proposal for OSA's charter. OSA has been my child's home now for 6 years and they have thrived in this progressive and creative environment. They have found their tribe. The teachers are talented and caring and there is a strong parent community that is ready to work together with the board and OUSD for the continued positive growth of the school.
Ive been an Art Educator for 30 and I support OSA. The teachers care a lot about the students and we have a thriving program.
As a parent of a thriving 6th grader, I urge you to approve OSA's charter renewal proposal. My son is passionate about academics and theater and so far OSA has surpassed my expectation and provided us with a strong community and dedicated teachers. Just the fact that he lives going to school is amazing to me. Thank you for your consideration.
I am writing in support of Oakland School for the Arts petition for charter renewal. As a parent of one current and two graduated students, as well as a pediatrician in the community, I can strongly state that this school is an important resource providing educational opportunities and avenues for growth in all areas. Students at OSA thrive with the educational and artistic support provided by this school and I believe it is a treasure which should be supported in any way possible.
As parents of a middle schooler and members of the community at large, we strongly support renewal of OSA’s charter petition. OSA students and teachers share their art with Oakland, OUSD students, and beyond. It is a renowned school that provides equity for Oakland children and young adults who see the world through art. OSA prepares its students for success in the real world. And it meets challenges with thoughtful, practical solutions. In other words, OSA reflects Oakland.
OSA has been an amazing school for my 2 daughters. I cannot imagine where we would be without OSA. They both go to school with such passion and interest and love that they get to practice their art passion for hours everyday with amazing guidance. We hope you chose to renew. This is a very important school for so many talented kids. Thank you
OSA is a school for gifted youth. It has become a one of the most recognized schools for the arts.
This is a wonderful school that deserves to have their charter renewed. Great place for academics and arts for a special group of students.
Please renew the Charter for the Oakland School of the Arts. We support this school for our child and others. Having a chance to learn in this environment has been a game changer for so many children and young adults. Diversity and Inclusion are forefront in the administrations agenda, which is imperative in todays environment. Please let Oakland families have this option for their kids.
Our daughter has loved making art for as long as I can remember. She's spent countless hours learning and loving to paint and draw. We're so grateful that OSA exists and has given her the unique opportunity to pursue her passion through school and engage with peers who have similar interests.
This is an excellent school that offers a unique program. OSA is one of Oakland's jewels. It's time to approve this charter.
As a senior in OSA’s visual art program, I want to see the school stick around. So many places lack appreciation and education in the arts but with OSA it’s what makes the school an amazing and accepting place. We need this renewal in order to preserve love for art and continue to help amazing young artists grow and realize their talent.
To the board of the OUSD, please renew OSA's charter. Art gives young people an outlet and a sense of purpose; it creates sustainable economic growth; and it holds the power to heal. A new report from the World Health Organization talks about art's impact on mental and emotional well being. and "stresses the important role the arts could play in reaching remote or disadvantaged groups who often face the greatest health risks." Given Oakland's incredible cultural legacy, we should be doubling down on the arts, and using it to lift our entire city up.
I am a senior under the visual arts program at OSA. I have so much love and support for the program that I’ve had the privilege to be a part of for the past 6 years! I support the proposed changes in audition accessibility and want to see this program stick around!!
I support the charter of Oakland School for the Arts!
Please renew OSA as a charter school! Our son displayed a passion for theater early in life and has been looking forward to attending OSA since he was 7 years old. He just started 6th grade this year and is so thrilled to be among other students and faculty who truly support the arts as well as academics. We have attended many art shows & performances by OSA students and feel blessed to have this amazing school as part of our community. Thank you for considering!
We are so happy to find a school that engages our daughter in her interests and offers a supportive atmosphere. We are in support of renewing OSA’s charter!
Oakland School or the arts is an innovative school and offers quality arts and academic education for all students.
Please renew its charter. Thanks! Alana Herron
I am in full support of renewing Oakland School for the Arts' Charter! This is a unique school that offers an immersive Arts education that is not available via regular public schools. It is a safe school where students of varying and diverse backgrounds feel welcome and that they "belong". Students and Teachers have close relationships where teachers are truly invested and really care for the success of each individual student. The school has a great graduation rate and it is a true community with actively involved students, parents, teachers, and administration--everyone is truly invested! This is a type of school that does not exist anywhere else in this area! It would be a terrible loss for these students to not have this school! Please renew OSA's charter in order to keep these unique students from diverse backgrounds in a place where they receive a high quality education, in an inclusive environment where they feel safe and like they belong to a community of invested adults!
OSA holds an important place in Oakland and the education of our kids. At OSA kids are allowed to be who they are and flourish. Please keep OSA going strong and renew the charter!
I support approval of the OSA Charter. Oakland School for the Arts is a tremendous asset to the Oakland community, cultivating the creative leaders we need for a vibrant future. The school enhances our city's reputation on a national and world stage by producing distinguished artists in a wide range of pursuits. OSA is building a future in which Oakland, California, is synonymous with TALENT! Thank you, School Board Leaders, for your high standards and your support of OSA!
After organizing at five major high schools in OUSD, I’m proud to call OSA my son’s new school. He started seeing long-term substitutes starting at 3rd grade and by 5th, every recess was forfeited for individual behavioral issues, particularly with his Black & Latinx peers. He hated going to school until he got accepted to OSA. Now he plays in the jazz band, skateboards for P.E., and is excited to learn and and finally challenged by the lesson plans. Please don’t take this away. Our family’s primary reason for staying in a rapidly gentrifying community is making sure he follows through for the next 7
years and receive the kind of education his father and I always wanted. I strongly support the renewal of this chapter and would love to improve equity for students of color.
OSA is warm, supportive, and fosters a sense of belonging. Students learn from educators who deeply care about the subjects they teach; they are challenged academically, but are given opportunities to expand upon their talents and passions. Students who are fed intellectually and then given opportunities to express their truths artistically become self-driven and motivated to succeed. Fueled by a commitment to the arts, inclusivity, and academic rigor, OSA fills a void in our Oakland community. Please renew our charter so that our kids can continue to thrive. As parents we know our daughter is in good hands because the OSA faculty loves and respects the children of Oakland. They have proven themselves with a 99% graduation rate, and have many grads continuing their education at two and four-year universities. By eliminating the audition process, more students will have access to this dynamic learning environment. Please keep our vibrant community doors open to Oakland students.
Oakland School for the Arts not only provides an important service unequaled anywhere in the OUSD for focused students to excel in their arts, but is also an invaluable networking and growth opportunity for the international arts community, and Oakland's place on that map. OSA teachers remark that the students are unusually focused, which you might say is because they've often found their callings, but I also think would be true if ALL students had 2-3 hours of Arts Education daily, which OSA provides. Currently they are the only local school outlet that fosters the kind of creativity necessary for all communities to thrive.
OSA has provided my son with an outstanding middle school education, which he is motivated to excel at through his art emphasis. He is looking forward to attending high school at OSA in the fall of 2020 and I cannot imagine the devastation he would suffer if he were unable to attend due to OSA's charter not being renewed. This school is a feather in the cap of Oakland and a huge asset within our community. The school is a proven success, has high college placement in four year schools, and a near perfect percentage for high school graduation. Please renew the charter for this amazingly high performing school.
I strongly support the renewal of the charter for OSA. This magnificent school provides a wonderful arts and academic education to those “different” kids who cannot find a home for their artistic expression elsewhere in our community. We must not lose this precious resource. Please vote to renew.
This is an excellent school that enhances the students ability to perform their art to their highest potential and also the academics and I am so glad that my son is here. Please renew the charter so our students can help in creating a better tomorrow!!
This school is doing great things. They accept kids with all kinds of creative quirks and allow them to flourish in their arts- at a time when these super creative kids are at a disadvantage anywhere else because cuts have unfortunately decimated the arts in the majority of schools. My children attended OUSD for all of elementary. They worked very hard to dedicate themselves to an art to join this school. There was no formal training, no expensive classes, just their own determination and tenacity. It is possible for kids to become a student here from any walk of life. The middle/high schools in their own neighborhood in East Oakland were never an option. Closing this school will force a lot of us to leave Oakland to continue to provide our children with the support their need for their education and their creativity. The options program does not work at this grade level. This is home for all of them, and they will be unable to find that in any other school. Please renew our charter.
OSA provides a one-of-a-kind educational opportunity for young artists who want to pursue their discipline while receiving strong academic education, as well. My 9th grade daughter has attended since Middle School, and I have seen her blossom both as an artist and as a member of an open, accepting school community. Her teachers have given her extensive personalized assistance, which increases her passion for learning. This school is an irreplaceable asset for the Oakland community and beyond. We are confident that OSA will continue to attract the young artists who need the nurturing and structure that OSA provides. Please renew our charter!
I support a renewal of Oakland School for the Arts charter by OUSD. Our son was (and is) interested in playing music, listening to music, learning music. OSA was a clear choice for him. We toured two local public high schools and while they were both academically and geographically desirable, a BIG problem remained - OUSD high schools required students to pick an academy or emphasis of study. Oakland Tech did not offer ANY program of interest and Skyline had a music track but the music teacher left just before school started. Thank goodness there's a school like OSA where young artists can learn and work together across the disciplines.
My daughter has enjoyed open school for the arts since the six grade. We find it to be stimulating and necessary for our community. Please support OSA’s ongoing efforts. Thank you.
My son entered 6th grade this fall.
Before that he went to Joaquin Miller Elementary.
It was very stressful to find a school that was within the Oakland public/charter that
1. He could actually enter (since public schools like Edna brewer where he was #357 on the waitlist) are highly impacted
2. Has high academic standards
3. Provides diversity and accessibility to many kids.
Our neighberhood school is rated 3 on Great Schools, and the academic performance is very poor.
Since our son showed some interest in the visual arts we encouraged him to put together a body of work so he can apply to OSA.
Honesty our son's has many passions and the arts are one of them. He is not a protege, and for him to put together a body of work required very little: a few instruction books, art materials and encouragement.
I encourage OUSD to consider auditions as part of the vetting mechanism to accept kids into the program.
Please keep OSA oakarts.org as is! Thanks
I strongly encourage OUSD to renew OSA's charter. OSA has provided a very solid core academic foundation for my daughter in addition to the outstanding arts instruction unique to the school. At OSA my ADHD daughter has thrived and feels that the faculty and staff are partners with her to achieve her potential. Being at OSA she has benefited from the racial, socioeconomic and cultural diversity of the student population. She has also felt safe to be herself at OSA when speaks to the inclusive environment.
I am writing in tremendous support of OSA as an excellent institution for the entire Bay Area educational community, especially the East Bay and Oakland. I wish for it’s continued success and invite the entire board to join us at this years HEART OF OAKLAND later this spring.
I strongly encourage OUSD to renew OSA's charter. OSA has not only provided excellent artistic instruction but has proven to have high academic achievement like no other school in the district. At OSA my latinx child with special needs has thrived like she never thrived before. She feels a sense of community, she feels supported by all her teachers and peers. She no longer feel isolated and judged.
Please renew charter a let us prove once again that art and high academic achieve is possible regardless of socioeconomic status, skin color and zip code.