This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted September 27, 2014
- a parent
I agree with the previous parent - OCSA is an amazing school and the counselors are VERY GOOD, and really care about their students. This is our 3rd year and we have never waited more than 4 hours for an email from our counselor in response to our question. Again, OCSA is not an easy school, especially if your child is an Honors student or AP class student - those classes take a lot of time so plan your child's life according to that heavy homework schedule. Rehearsals, tech weeks, and shows can take up a lot of hours in a week so parents need to watch the burn-out factor big time. Don't overbook your student or don't let him/her overbook their social life - academics must come first or they will not do well at this school, in my opinion. OCSA students are there because they want to be there, and they know it - there is a long waiting list to get into the school, for a good reason. Hope this helps. Good luck.
My daughter is a senior and I can say that school counselors are THE BEST. They shine students and OCSA, especially Mrs. Shiroma. I can feel that she loves students and the school. Students and parents can reach her anytime, even nights and weekends. She responses immediately always, even weekend-nights. Mrs. Shiroma is really AMAZING counselor!!!
Not a good place unless you can deal with disappointments. Arts teachers really play favorites - they don't care unless you adore them and give them compliments. Hard to stay motivated because a lot of the kids don't care anymore about improving their talents. They are just there to get through the academics. Some of the conservatories are a joke. Seriously, no one wants to hear suggestions - good place if you never complain. No one is ever supposed to say anything critical about ocsa. Seems like too many secrets are kept - everyone supposed to be happy all the time. We can't even complain about really bad teachers. Admin shut down or ignore any suggestions or comments from the students.
Not a good school for kids who know the difference between right and wrong. Administration not interested in what is best for the students - they care far more about protecting the image/brand of the school and keeping the money flowing in. Really not interested in helping children with learning issues. Very secretive administration -- what are they hiding? Why have there been so many kids unhappy with their conservatory classes and end up leaving? Does anyone know where to find the data on this? Seems like a significant number of freshmen leave every year.
My daughter is a junior and she has been at OCSA since 7th grade. I am very pleased with the school academically with the exception of math. The academic load is very challenging and students have to learn how to balance their academic and arts program. The only problem I have with the program is the lack of diversity in the staff and opportunities for ethnic students. They recently hosted a Motown show and there were about three black students in the show. I think they can do better.
My daughter attending OCSA for 3 years already, I have to say OCSA is one of the best school there is in town. Everyone in this faculty is very good, The teachers teach in the way that all students are excited to study, academic and music. They teach in the fun way that students wants to learn. When my daughter is not doing so well. They have counselor to work with her, me, and the teachers to get her up to good grade again. Thanks to everyone in OCSA...
OCSA is not for everyone but if your kid likes to be in an artistic environment, thinks out of the box and has a passion for his/her art, then this is the school you want. Many of the conservatory teachers are highly educated. That must be the reason for high tuition. As for academics it's like most other schools and it all depends on who you have as your teacher. My son studies more and has better academic grades since he got in. Being among other kids who have the same passion has made him work harder on his art. In his old school he was the only kid in his circle of friends who spent long hours every week on his art. Here, everyone is serious about their artistic field. I have heard that getting into some conservatories are extremely hard like Dance or Piano as they only accept a very limited number of students vs. larger conservatories like Musical Theater or Acting. My son thinks the main difference between OCSA and other schools is that kids here are nice to each other and there isn't much bullying. I think that might be the result of being able to express themselves. Appearance/dress code is not strict here. Overall it's a great school.
Ocsa is a wonderful school and I highly recommend it to prospective students. The school gives a great chance to be exposed to possible jobs and hobbies. Many great students have come out of OCSA, both academically and culturally. I am grateful that they opened it up to middle schoolers, or else my daughter would have had to go to a nearby public school that just wasn't an option. Thank you OCSA for providing a safe, encouraging place for my daughter to learn and grow!
My son has is a current sophomore in the Music & Theater conservatory. OCSA is themost AMAZING place. My son commutes up to 2 hrs EACH way to have the private to go here. The talent that the kids at this school possess is unbelievable. This school is no joke, the academics are intense (they are a school first)! The school makes no consessions for academics when it comes to any performances or any conservatory production or event, so you better be prepared. School days are long and if you are in a production those long days are even longer! My son is surrounded by his "people". He doesn't like school but he comes home and says "I love my school!" This makes all the sacrifices worth every minute! He has had the pleasure to be in incredible productions; an original play, and 2 Performing w/ the Pros working side by side with professional broadyway stars and Tony award winners! No other school has what OCSA has and we feel so grateful for this special school! Yes It's hard academically, yes it's competitive,Yes they need donations (if you have ever seen a show you'll understand) and YES, IT'S AMAZING!
Mixed feelings, unfortunately the bad outweigh the good. We will start with the bad and end on the good note. Leadership - there is none, with just as much accountability, they see what they want to see Teachers - good ones, a few (sadly my D had seen more of her substitute teachers than her supposed staffed teachers, and most of the time the substitutes had no lesson plans Campus - (We won't even go there) Bullying - Don't be naive, bullying is everywhere even at OCHSA. Conservatory - Joke - Hasn't taught my D anything. Sure glad we paid thousands of dollars in tuition (ahem, donation) for her to get a top notch education in her art. (insert sarcasm). What I meant to say, sure glad we kept her in her private lessons! Bottom line.... this place is a business, administration is disconnected as they are focused on their "BRAND" more than what education they provide our kids with academically and creatively. I promised I'd end on a good note... I've met some really great parents, and kids (as well as some that I could have lived without meeting). All in all, enter at your own risk - there is no refund! Hope they change, as I'm sure there were good intentions originally.