My daughter is going to be a Senior next year and has been attending OCSA since 8th grade - she loves the school but works very hard to keep straight A's and is taking 2 AP classes and 2 Honrs classes this year and 4 AP's as a Senior - her choice completely. Let your child pick his or her classes and then they will be self-motivates. Parents, again - let your child either succeed or fail at OCSA - that is how they learn. Our conservatory is very demanding but my daughter has said NO to certain shows and late night rehearsals in order to keep her grades up but she does enjoy the after school conservatory classes during the regular M-Thurs 2:30 - 4:50 school week. Parents, weekend social life is mostly not possible if your OCSA student is taking Honors & AP classes starting in 9th & 10th grade. Great school but not for everyone bc of the long days M - Thurs, Fridsys get out at 1:30. Good luck
OCSA is run very efficiently and smoothly like a small liberal arts college so everyone has been wonderful, but honestly my family has had very little to complain about. Other kids have left bc of the long hours in the day and over 2 hours of commute time each day and the overly competitive nature of some - not all - of the kids but the administration, counselors, all the teachers and parent volunteers have been great - no complaints at all from us.
Teachers at OCSA have all been very good - my daughter has LOVED all her teachers except one tough cookie Algebra II/ Trig teacher last year that was very hard but my daughter's math score went up after she finished the class - no hand holding by the teachers. They expect your student takes their grades seriously and wants to succeed
If your student is taking upper level classes as in Honors Bio or Homors Chemistry as a freshman or sophomore expect much more homework and having to do homework at lunch and 7th block OR just let your student enjoy their school day and not start homework at lunch or 7th block but they will have around 2 - 3.5 hours of homework when they get home. Parents: Make sure they r just doing homework and not texting friends or goofing on their cell phones
I feel my daughter - who has been there from 8th grade and is a rising Senior - has more grit, tenacity, persistence and motivation than all of her non-OCSA friends that are getting into trouble at our local high school.
The conservatory auditions, rehearsals, shows, etc, are very demanding AND VERY competitive - as life often is - so I feel as a parent OCSA has shown my daughter how to compete and sometimes win but also sometimes lose roles. That to me is a great lesson for life ahead.
As a parent I do feel OCSA students are more respectful of their fellow students and very respectful of their teachers and the administration in general. The kids WANT to be there so there is a higher standard of conduct than at regular community high schools around SoCal where there are no audition requirements.
I am a parent of a rising Senior that has been there since 8th grade and I do feel OCSA has good values and morales and guidelines on campus behavior, dress code, zero tolerance as far as bullying, etc. If kids do not show kindness and respect towards others, they are called into their counselor's office for a meeting with them and their parents - OCSA runs a tight ship.
I am a parent of a Junior girl that has been at OCSA since 8th grade and I can say my daughter is very honest, has friends from OCSA that are also honest, hard-working, kind-hearted and respectful. Maybe there are kids there that are not honest but in 4 years as a parent I have never met one. Most of my daughter's friends are artistic, sensitive, kind, motivated and if kids take the Honors/AP route and put academics first, they are ready for college - thank you.
We found some students were given many opportunities in their conservatory and some students were not given any.
The school is described by some as a "Business" and a "Brand" that is based around corporate and parent donations. As a former OCSA parent - I can see the perspective of it being described in those terms.
My child went to this school for her Freshman and Sophomore years. She entered the school as a vivacious, energetic, happy and self-confident young girl. She was able to get into the acting conservatory, but auditioning for every single event or play never amounted to even a single callback in two years - while others were being called back and cast multiple times in different plays. Out of the house at 7 am, home at 6 pm with homework, never left time for a life or activities outside of OCSA or even community theater.
$8000 in Donations later - she left at the end of her Sophomore year depressed, exhausted, filled with anxiety and doubting her abilities as an actor. The conservatory or the academic classes did not give back much in exchange for the effort and time she put into the high school. A handful of kids she knows left OCSA for the same reasons - depressed and exhausted and not worth the cost of giving up your high school years for the thrill and excitement of having that OCSA bumper sticker displayed on your car.
She transferred to her local high school this year and I am slowly seeing the light go back into her personality. She joined her theater group in high school, is getting acting opportunities and we can FINALLY see her acting and performing on stage as a high school student.
To be fair - many students have wonderful and positive experiences at this school and in their conservatories - but my child was not one of them. Watch your child closely and see how the schedule and conservatory affects them and their academics. It is not a school that is cut out for every child.