OCSA is well known as an "arts school" but it is also one of the top academic schools in Orange County, CA. My daughter enjoys going to school everyday even though they have long days that starts at 8:05am to 2:10pm for the academic portion then from 2:15 to 4:50pm for the conservatory arts. She is thriving not only in the academics but also improving her skills in leadership and the arts.
My daughter is 14 and just started OCSA this past August. She absolutely loves the school, all her teachers, and her music directors are incredible. She could not be happier, and a happy kid makes for a happy household. I would highly recommend it. Get your audition material ready, fill out all their paperwork very carefully, include a friendly, fun headshot, and good luck to you. It's a great experience for your child.
I'm currently a senior at the Orange County School of the Arts, I've been a student there for five years now and I'm afraid to give it only two stars, by virtue of the fact that the only positive points with which I would reward the school are its rigorous academics, in-depth teaching and the vivacious nature of the student body. I feel as though the overall leadership that OCSA has received has significantly declined over the past three years. OCSA has, sadly, become highly corporate, draining money out of its students on a regular basis and shrouding their voices with the bureaucratic reign currently implicated. It's progressive facade is misleading and false. OCSA is just like every other private institution; taking advantage of talent for the sake of a buck at the expense of its students. The reason why all reviews on this website are positive is due to the fact that nearly all reviewers are new to the institution, or parents who don't see the inner-workings of the school. OCSA has done a lot of great things for me, but I have recently realized that digging deeper results in disappointment. The California education system is seriously messed up. OCSA is no exception.
This is my second year at OCHSA and I absolutely love it! I am in the Creative Writing program and I love the CW classes and teachers. Their arts programs are wonderful as well as the academics. The teachers are amazing and really care about each student and want them to succeed. Everyone is very accepting of one another and there is very little bullying. I would recommend OCHSA to anyone with an interest in the arts!
I currently attend OCHSA (I'm an eighth grader and I began this school year) although I've attended for less than a year, I absolutely love it here. I am in the Visual Arts conservatory and although I have no wish to continue in the VA field as I progress into adulthood, the art programs at this school are exceptional and in my opinion--the best! Although I've been a straight A student in all accelerated classes since I began middle school, the academics are still rigorous for me and my teachers teach at the perfect pace. The teachers here are all great (hilarious too), our principal is constantly bettering the school by purchasing new theaters and buildings for our school to thrive, and the parents are all involved considering that their child has the chance at becoming a successful artist in their field. Some conservatories complain about staying late or going to school over the weekends for rehearsals but it just depends on what conservatory you are in and if you are committed (which you should be because this school is a fantastic opportunity) you shouldn't mind. The people you meet here are amazing and talented. If you have a passion for the arts, you won't be disappointed!
Choosing to attend this school was by far one of the best decisions of my short existence. I love this school and while it does has its flaws, the program that OCHSA offer is unique and superb. I know you are thinking that I am very biased, but keep in mind that OCHSA is my second home. Literally, I stay till 7pm for most of the nights, so I know the ins and outs. The academic program is strong and challenging. Lots of AP classes and IMP classes available. Diverse Course selection. Administration and Counselors are wonderful in nature and know what they're doing. The teachers are awesome. I don't know much about each conservatory runs though. Yes, as some below might point out, I have heard that some conservatories(MT) are lack luster, but that's because the MT department is hugeee and are more competitive. The smaller conservatories give more individual attention. On the more Student Life aspect, OCHSA is unique, as it promotes individuality and is a great fit for mis-fits and regulars. Oh, and there's the stairs we have to deal with. A total of 7 flights. But by now OCHSA kids are used to it..Eh! At least its a great exercise!
I am going to be a graduating senior at OCHSA 2012 - and the people I'm surrounded with are incredible. My friends Are not only passionate, ambitious, interesting, but are genuinely wonderful people. I have so much hope when I regard my senior class - we are so open that we throw a spontaneous Pride event, we are so talented that I am constantly amazed, and so academically strong- ( My friend just got accepted into Stanford). There is no where else I'd rather be with such lovely teachers who have inspired me - and an unique atmosphere that I haven't fouind anywhere else. It isn't for anyone though, be prepared to go the extra mile to be successful here, and if you do - these really can be the best years of your life.
OCHSA isn't for everyone, I must admit, but for those who don't normally fit in at a regular school, OCHSA is great! I have gone there for almost three years now, and I can't imagine myself anywhere else. The academics are pretty good (they get better year by year, I think) and the conservatories are great. I am in Creative Writing, and it is so great to have all those hours after school of practice. The conservatory teachers are great and they all have experience in the real world. My friends in other conservatories would agree. I think OCHSA is a miracle, and I recommend it to anyone who wishes to further their studies of the arts.
I've mixed feelings. While I believe OCHSA offers features that traditional public schooling doesn't, several things are troublesome. First the good: overall there's a sense of inclusion, but beware there are still cliques & competitiveness within the conservatories is high. The difference is that overt bullying is NOT tolerated. The academics are of high quality, but sometimes the teaching ideologies are suspect. I've had to re-teach my child EVERY math lesson. So you may need to hire a tutor. As for the musical theater conservatory, this has been the biggest disappointment. The classes are fundamental in nature & performance opportunities limited. What isn't shared- there are performance fees for many of the programs (I'm not sure about all). It also appears that high school politics are alive & well in M&T. I.E., my child auditioned for a show, was called back, but didn't get cast- nothing unusual about that. Next show, auditioned, called back, but again nothing. However, my child auditioned for the exact same show at a professional regional theatre &was called back for a lead , was cast & will be paid. Cost, trng and perf opps in M &T are definitively sub-par.
My daughter is finishing her first year at OCHSA and is thrilled to be there. It is a very hugh commitment both time wise and money wise but we were well aware of that from the many overviews and meetings we attended prior to the start of the school year. Your child will need to be highly motivated both academically and artistically and have good time management skills in order to deal with the time commitment. OCHSA definitely doesn't skimp on it's academics. The block scheduling helps and I love that the classes are innovative and allow the students to use their talents to complete assignments. But be prepared for your child to spend long hours rehearsing. I also like that for the most part my child is surrounded by students with the same goals and ambitions (college).. Sure there is drama bit it is high school. If I have any negative comments, it would be the lack of dress code. Some of the students dress inappropriately.. If you are sending your 7th grader here, they would need to be mature as there is not much separation between junior high and high school.
OCHSA is a great school, but it serves a very specific cross-section of students. That isn't a bad thing, but it seems a lot of negative posters don't grasp this concept. If a student just wants to "cruise" through high school this is not the place to be. It rewards students who are extremely well-organized. I have taught at OCHSA for the past eight years, and have seen a dramatic improvement not only in the academic rigor of the regular school day, but in the organization of the conservatory classes which continue to implement realistic, goal-based, standards of performance. Private lessons are absolutely necessary...it's always been that way in music, it's just at OCHSA the classes to support those lessons are many in number, and the opportunities for students to incorporate their training in the context of their chosen art form is the primary reason for attending the school.
Ok parents of OCHSA kids. YOU bet your suppose to get training for your conservatory on top of the training you get at the school. You have to have a private teacher. How else will you kid be the best at what they love? Both by kids have a private teacher every week to help them master the violin. They do not know any other way. And we had to get math tutors to keep up with the hard fast paced classes. so what. Your kids would not want to be at any other school. My son a JR. is exhausted.. But he is prepared for college. NO hand holding at OCHSA the strong stay the weak go.
I have a 7th grader here. The academics appear to be good so far. The conservatory classes are also good. However, buyer beware... Dr. Opacic claims the school is a good value because the conservatory tuition is low compared to private lessons. Our conservatory director announced at the parent meeting that students are strongly recommended to have additional private lessons. I know this is also recommended in several other conservatories. So you will be paying for conservatory tuition and private lessons.
I think if a parent gives a poor review of OCHSA, I think it's because they weren't getting the truth from their student. Hello?? Staying in school until 10pm every night??!! Pah-leeze. Your child's not at OCHSA, and that's probably best. This school is exceptional.
I am currently a student at OCHSA, & I absolutely encourage anybody that wants to go here. I completely love it here. I feel like OCHSA is my second family. Attending OCHSA, it makes me excited to go to school. I'm always having fun here. But don't get me wrong, the academics here are wonderful. My parents have been proud too because they also see that my grades have improved greatly. I am currently in the Music and Theater conservatory and taking Acting. This class really gives me a lot of chances and oppurtunities to perform. I honestly do learn a lot. The teachers and staff are really supportive and makes it easier to understand lessons. I feel really blessed and thankful that my parents sent me here. If I were you, I'd really consider going here! It's worth it!
OCHSA is a GREAT school academically, but I am extremely disappointed in the Music and Theater conservatory. On the academic side, OCHSA provides high quality, challenging and stimulating programs delivered by dedicated and caring teachers. My daughter has had an excellent experience during her academic day and loves her teachers and her classes. She feels valued and supported. Unfortunately, her experience in Music and Theater has been not only negative, but traumatic. I have been disappointed in the clear lack of a rigorous and structured curriculum based on standards and goals. Instead, my daughter has often received basic, and often, poorly managed classes with little opportunity to develop performance skills in those classes. What has been most disappointing, however, is what appears to me as an appalling disregard of my daughter's basic civil rights. My child deserves better; so does yours!
I am a graduate of OCHSA and attend Berkeley and i am completely satisfied with the education OCHSA has given me to succeed in college. The teachers at OCHSA not only give individual attention, but give us challenging academic programs. I have not only made friends but a new family here. OCHSA is an A+ for both academics and the arts
ochsa was a nightmare. This school does a great job selling something that does not exist. I took a talented student to ochsa to be trained, educated and grow in her art. But, had to find her training outside of ochsa to catch up. We feel we were taken by con artists. Parents beware!! The school has something to hide. Watch out!! Google info about how they tried to censor the school newspaper.
Ochsa is a wonderful school where kids can express their creativity to the fullest, and meet kids with similar interests and hobby. I cannot name one problem I has experienced, the kids are outgoing and friendly, and the teachers are enthusiastic about their job. They blend the arts in with the academics, and make the learning environment fun to be in. And I've learned so much with my writing, hopefully I can be up there with J.K. Rowling someday!
ochsa is a great school for talented kids that want to succeed in not only academics but the arts. they have a wonderful academic program with a blocking schedule which i think is fantastic. all the teachers do not teach like regular pubic school teachers, they teach in a very creative way. ochsa is a great school to keep up your grades and have fun with the arts at the same time. all the kids that i know that go to ochsa maintain at least a 3.5 gpa. this is also gives the children a wide variety of universities to choose from.
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