I am aware that OSA has had some trouble in the past, but as a new family this year, those days seem far behind. We couldn't be happier in this school. The teachers and administrators are amazingly dedicated and the diverse student body creates such a rich climate. Our high-achieving kids are being challenged and offered special activities to enrich their education. We really couldn t ask for more in a school, and are happy to have found it before the relocation to the new Fox since I m sure it will be much harder to gain acceptance in the future!
This school an average because I have already experienced (please don't take offense to what I say, it's how I feel) a mediocre attitude (as most in Northern Cal) towards an artist career. What I mean is, that if your kid is an artist, I'm sure most of them would love to persue it out of school too. I know mine does. Especially since OSA has no cheerleading, sports. Mine is an actor & being one, you have to audition & work (to keep training) and that means on school days too. But the Dir of Student Affairs doesn't seem to realize that. It seems that the fear is that an absence there is a loss of money. If that is so, why do professional sets have studio teachers. Studio teachers are in place to ensure a child is keeping up w/ school & credit the students. Just a thought.
I have a sixth grader at this school. Yes, it's the first year. And so for so good. My child loves this school ever since she knew of it. As a child who dreams and at the sametime strives to be a performer, feels really benefited and grateful to even have been accepted at this school. My child has come to me on many occassions to tell me how great and accepting every student seems to be. Which is something my child did not have at the previous public school my child attended. As a parent, so far it's been okay for me. I have noticed that there is a small lack of organization. But I suspect that will be all worked out when the school moves.
I have had two sons attending OSA for the past 4 years. It has been quite rocky in the past with bad Leadership qualities, but I'm SO happy with our new head of school. Plus, it obviously trickles down to the teachers as there is no turnover this year. The kids are happy at this school as they get to practice the things they love on a daily basis. This is a school where as a parent you don't have to worry about the safety of your children. We are so lucky to have a school like this in Oakland. If you have an artistic child,BRING THEM HERE!
I am a 11th grade student who would've been attending her 3rd year at OSA, but sadly I was obligated to pull out. And when I say sadly I mean extremely sadly. I met my family there, all of the students are extremely accepting and I love all of whom I am happy to call my friends. Sure there is a history of high teacher turn-over, but ALL of the academic teachers from lat year are still loyally teaching there. Honors and AP classes are beginning to make an appearance, and they are going to be moving into the FOX THEATRE! I really can't see how this school can go anywhere but up and I will bed doing my bet to return.
sure this school isn't for everyone but after 9 years of a so-called racially diverse 'Inner city' private school.. we were so ready for this experience. My daughter has loved this place since she first laid eyes on it. it's real.. and real can be really scary for some. Don't be scared your kid will love it. performances whether my kid is dancing or not I am moved to tears
I have been going to osa since i was in sixth grade im now in eighth grade. I feel that yes the administration is rocky but it is going to be with all the changes that keep happening. Like the languege classes i have had 7 different teachers in the past three years. 3 Differnt visual arts emphasis and 2 different directors. But i feel that the school is at rock bottom as organization goes but it has the best star test results in all of oakland and i feel if you are afraid of alittle instability then dont go there. You could just go some were else and have your kid be a below average student or go to osa and have your kid learn in a fun invironment were you will find so much spirit in the teachers your student will want to and will learn.
Incredibly dedicated teahers. Wonderful exposure through the school to Jazz and R&B superstars; a very safe campus; Dynamic kids. A celebration of diversity.
I am freshman at OSA and i have been going there since 7th grade. I have seen so many teachers and admin changed! We have recently changed to our 4th director. I feel lucky to go this school whenever I go to performance because they rock but otherwise I am embarrassed and dissappointed. The seniors and alumni are not comforting and I have gotten mixed messeges. Overall, OSA is a good school if you are passionate about what you do but many kids arent and it definately shows. I think the faculty could be a lot more organized or at least make it so the chaos is not so obvious.
Where else in Oakland are you going to get an extensive arts program. Especially MUSIC! DANCE! THEATRE! VISUAL ARTS! If you are truly interested in these courses and cannot afford private school, then this IS the school. If your child is not self-motivated, this may not be the school for you. All schools have complaints about administration and teachers. Have you been to any Oakland Unified School District Meetings lately? My daughter is a 7th grader and she loves it? In part because the arts emphasis makes school fun. It makes going to school fun. It makes going to math, english and history fun. What great memories you can create for your child. School was FUN! Learning is FUN! Academics improve when a child wants to come to school. With the new director, things are looking up.
Since Jerry Brown has left the school has been in a downward spiral. The behavior of the students is uncontrolled. The dress code is unenforced. The parent are not kept informed and even though the administration asks for help there is a feeling of 'stay out' that exists.
My 7th grade daughter has completed one year at the school. Having read every other review posted at this point, I agree with comments about the administration not being open or communicative with parents and students. I am actually a fairly involved parent--go to meetings, on committees,etc.-- and still feel 'on the fringe' at times. However, I believe positive change is on the horizon. Because the student community is very supportive, and the academics are decent, my child is continuing. With more administrative communication, and more students being given the chance to perform (I will say the same kids tend to get the lead roles and vocals) the school will end up being first class. So, if you want to get in at the ground level and help develop it--this is the school for your family.
I am a sophmore in the Visual Arts emphsis, and I have, for the most part, been enjoying my time here! I have met some wonderul people and have been getting a good education. Students who are self-motivated will go well here, because there is not always enough communication between the admin. and the students. Teacher turnover rate is high, especially in the Romance Languages department. Discipline is good; not very many fights at all! This is a great school for teens who don't feel safe in a 'normal' high school, especially teens who are LGBT. There is a wonderful accepting atmosphere for diversity. OSA is still a new school, and is going through 'growing pains', so students must be flexible and be willing to change (I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; this is a little difficult for me). Commute is fairly convenient, very close to 19th st. BART.
I am a student at OSA, and even though I am some what unhappy with the way the school is being run, and many students have left because of the academics and the administration, I like being an OSA student. I know that I would never get an art education like this at a regular high school, and I feel I can be myself with out having to worry about not being accepted. The student body is a family and we help each other out, the teachers are right there with us, and many of us have found a way to work with the problems we face, and isn't that what life is? Making the problems work? We aren't just being schooled so we can go to college, we are learning how to live in this world.
I graduated from Oakland School for the Arts in the spring of 2006 and I am now attending Columbia University in New York City. While it is true that OSA has gone through some growing pains over the last five years, I would never have gone anywhere else. That being said, OSA is not a school for everyone. Students that thrive there are self-motivated, curious, and flexible. Because OSA is not quite settled it is important that students are willing to work as part of a team, rather than taking a self-centered outlook on their education. While this is hard for some people to understand,the benefits of being a productive and positive participant in the success of the school as a whole give students skills that prepare them for their future and give them a strong sense of community and family within the school.
Horrible administration. They are probably only worried about filling the quota and retaining them to look good.
Pulled my son out after one year in eighth grade. Horrible administrators! Would not recommend school unless entire overhaul of administration is done.
The academics are terrible, there is no communication between anyone and the administration is ridiculous. It is sad to see comments from children whose parents listened and removed their children from this school.
My daughter graduated in the first class of 2006 from Oakland School For the Arts. We will be eternally grateful for the opportunities she was given, the education she received and the care she got from the administration and staff. No high school is perfect, and a new one has a straight uphill challenge to establish itself. This school was exceptional for our family. Our seniors were accepted to the full range of colleges from east coast Ivy League to arts academies to universities and community colleges, many receiving scholarships. Our students were seen as interesting, accomplished in their art, capable of interacting with adults effectively, and with goals and aspirations. Believe me when I tell you that this is not the typical case in college admissions! This special school and its students deserve as much support as parents can give. It is not a typical school and it produces greatness.
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