About the Alliance of Parents and Teachers

Our mission is to support the artistic and academic programs for the students of OSA through volunteerism, fundraising support, communication and enhancement of school culture.

The Leadership Team

Contact any committee member on Konstella!
Morey Riordan Co-President
Melinda Luisa De Jesus Co-President
Danielle Morse Vice President of Communications
Matt Lipner Secretary
Vacant Secretary
Donna De Souza Treasurer
Karen Morfin Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chair
Vacant Parent Education Chair
Brad Erickson Board and Administration Engagement Chair
Wei-Ling Huber Fundraising Chair
David Montes de Oca Newsletter Chair

History and Achievements

APT was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to promote open communication among parents, teachers and administrators at the Oakland School for the Arts, Oakland, California (“OSA”), encourage parent involvement in school activities, support the art emphases, promote and develop school and community partnerships for academic and artistic excellence, and provide enrichment programs for students. OSA recently faced the threat of non-renewal of our charter simultaneously with a crisis of high teacher turnover that threatened the very existence of our beloved school. The APT leapt into action as parent advocates to insure transparency in OSA’s governance and to insure that OSA lives up to its mission to provide excellent academic and arts education to a student body that reflects all of Oakland’s communities. The APT serves our students, parents and the broader community with bold advocacy for equity and inclusion. Most recently, the APT has focused on the following issues.

Charter Renewal

Facing a threat from the OUSD that OSA’s Charter would not be renewed unless we discontinued auditions or merged with the OUSD, the APT researched the issues, organized parent forums and collaborated with the OSA board and staff to develop the successful plan to rework OSA’s charter to gain our charter renewal.

Advancing Equity

In response to OSA’s student body disproportionate lack of enrollment of English Language Learners (ELL), students with disabilities, and socio-economically disadvantaged students, the APT worked with the Parents of Color (POC) and Parents of Disabled Students (PODS), administration, and Board to develop new policies and procedures for the OSA charter that aimed to remove as many obstacles, and create as many opportunities as possible, to achieve equitable enrollment outcomes. This work was especially critical, given that the OUSD school board made it abundantly clear that they felt that OSA needed to show significant improvement on issues of equity for the children and families of Oakland during the next charter period.

Support for Teachers

The APT has historically organized teacher appreciation events including last year’s virtual potluck. In response to high levels of teacher turnover, in May, 2019, the APT supported OSA teachers by organizing nearly 200 parents to sign a letter, “The Broken Heart of Oakland” urging the OSA Board and Administration “to move heaven and earth to meet teacher demands for fairness and transparency, job security, built-in cost of living adjustments and a dramatic salary adjustment to deliver relief after years of falling behind their peers in other districts.”  Parents also expressed their support for the teachers’ successful efforts to form a union. 

Parent Education and Building Parent Power

The APT has held several parent education forums with guest speakers on topics including equity, charter renewal, blocked scheduling, advisory and the school budget.  And in response to parent frustration about the lack of transparency and lack of accountability of the OSA Board of Directors, the APT proposed and won new charter language requiring three parent seats on the OSA board to be democratically elected by OSA parents. 

Support for Students

In addition to winning three parent seats on the OSA Board, the APT proposed and won a student seat on the OSA Board, elected by the students. The APT also successfully advocated for inclusion of student leaders in the development of the equity platform in the new charter and invited student leaders to speak to the greater OSA community on issues important to them.

Download our IRS Tax Exemption Letter as proof of tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The APT’s EIN is 27-4530892.

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