Vol: 18 No: 9 October 14, 2019

Alliance of Parents & Teachers

APT is committed to OSA as a diverse, equitable  and inclusive school community. A place where students thrive, and where parents, teachers, and students— together with the school leadership and board, partner to ensure the success of the school.

Please join us for the Monthly APT General Meetings!  Download: 2019-20 APT Welcomes You!! – Info Slides

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OSA’s Annual Fund Kick-Off Concert!

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Thursday, October 17th

Please join us on Thursday, October 17th for OSA’s Annual Fund Kick-Off Concert! We invite you to please come support our students and School for this important fundraiser and community event. The show is FREE and starts at 7pm at Sweet’s Ballroom.

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Join us before at the Uptown at 6pm for lite bites and a cash bar – this portion of the evening is also FREE, is for adults only, and space is limited!

Please RSVP to Kathryn Keslosky at kkeslosky@oakarts.org to reserve your spot.

We look forward to seeing you on October 17th!!! 

Save the Date!

General APT Meeting (alternate date due to Yom Kippur)

Time: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 (Alternate date due to Yom Kippur)
5:30-6:00pm Community Building
6:00-7:00pm General APT Meeting
7:00-8:00pm Arts Emphasis Meetings

Join other OSA parents & participating OSA staff in community building prior to the APT General Meeting.

Location: OSA Student Center

OSA Executive Director Letter

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Hello OSA Families!

It is time to celebrate the OSA community collective efforts so far this year!  We need you to join us on October 17th for our Annual Fund Kick-off Concert!  We will be sharing important details about the budget and our fundraising needs.  This is will be a great opportunity for you to give toward the Annual Fund. There is a Pre-Concert Soiree at the Uptown at 6:00 pm followed by a student Concert at Sweet’s Ballroom at 7:00 pm.  

Thank you all so much for the work that has been done on the Charter Renewal to date.  Our charter visit committee raved over how amazing students, parents, and teachers were in classes and in the focus groups.  Students were on their best behavior and clearly showed they understood the significance of the visit.  

As you have heard, we went to OUSD’s Board meeting to submit our charter application on Thursday 10/10.  I would like to extend a huge thank you to the OSA families and students who came to represent our school at the meeting.

While the experience was a bit challenging, I am pleased to share that even though we were not able to officially present our charter renewal application due to protests that resulted in the cancellation of public comment, we have a commitment from OUSD to provide us with a decision on the same date, (11/20), we would have had we submitted yesterday.  The OUSD Director of Charter Schools was very supportive of us throughout the entire process.

We will now submit our Charter Petition application with a phased-in lottery, on Wednesday, 10/23.

It contains the following proposal regarding auditions: 

  • Starting in ’21-’22, 6th-grade students would be enrolled through a preference-based lottery.  All 7th – 12th-grade students would be enrolled via auditions into specific selected arts pathways.
  • In ’22-’23 and ’23-’24, respectively, grades 7 and 8 would be enrolled by a preference-based lottery.  There would be auditions into specific selected arts pathways for all other incoming upper-grade students.
  • The first year of a school-wide preference-based lottery for students would be in ’24-’25 and include foundational arts training in grades 6 and 7 during the school day. 
    • Students entering grades 8 through 12 will have an opportunity to build arts proficiency and select a specific arts pathway. 

Jerry Brown is aware of our proposed plan and supports our effort to maintain the OSA artistic excellence and serve the students of Oakland and the Bay Area.

There are LOTS of details to be fleshed out with Arts faculty and curriculum experts.  We are committed to supporting students and faculty to ensure OSA’s excellence in arts education, which includes assuring the school is accessible to as many students who are engaged in art as possible.

Here’s what I’ve been doing beyond working on the Charter Renewal documents:

  • Elise Darwish, OSA Board chair, and I are working to extend the agreement for the Billboard contribution to offset part of our monthly rent expense for the Fox Theatre.  The proposal is for those funds to continue through 2026
  • The City of Oakland has offered an extension of the rental agreement for the Fox lease at no increase through 2026, depending on our OSA getting it’s Charter renewed and securing the Billboard funding. 
  • Making connections with the City of Oakland and local arts organizations to expand OSA’s relationships for future recruiting throughout the city
  • Supporting Fundraising by providing working with the OSA Board Advancement Committee to ensure that the OSA message is created that is appropriate for various types of donors and fundraising relationships as well as establishing an Advancement Plan to reach our future needs for additional fundraising
  • Meeting with OUSD Board Directors one-on-one.  I have confirmation to meet with one more Director and the Superintendent.
  • Participating on a WASC visiting team for a 3-day visit

I have been so encouraged by the number of families that have been involved with the school and look forward to hearing from others who have yet to be able to join in.  We will be forming a School Site Council to get teacher, student and parent input on the LCAP so please consider participating in making schoolwide plans.

I will be creating opportunities to talk to families to have a chance to have an open dialogue with me regularly.  Please email me your ideas for times for me to offer an open forum similar to the “Directors Coffee” and is accessible to a wide range of students and families. 

We do not take lightly the efforts of the OSA community.  We know we cannot do this without your continued support. These are exciting times in the history of OSA.

In gratitude,

Staci A. Smith


Interim Executive Director

Oakland School for the Arts

OSA Principal Friday Letter

Please read OSA Friday Principal Letter 10.11.19, from Mike Oz

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Heart of Oakland T-Shirt Ordering

If we act quickly, we can place an order for more Heart of Oakland t-shirts for those who wish to purchase them in time for our charter renewal hearing on November 6th. We will need to hit a minimum threshold to place the order. If you are interested, please email Romy Douglass with your preferred size and indicate whether you’d like the men’s or women’s style. This will be considered a commitment to purchase, as we will likely need to place the order before collecting all funds, once the minimum order level is hit.
Please place your orders by Friday October 18 at 10:00 AM. Thank you!

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Free & Reduced Lunch Applications May Still Be Submitted!

The extended deadline to apply for free or reduced lunch is October 31st. 

We strongly encourage everyone to fill out the application on our website, whether your child plans to eat a hot lunch at school or not! Besides receiving lunch daily, students who qualify will get lower fees for AP exams, SAT and PSAT exams, and free college applications. Additionally, each child who qualifies for free or reduced lunch triggers a higher level of funding to OSA from the state so that we can provide more intensive services for those who may need it. Please go to https://mealapps.ousd.org/ and fill out your application today!

Haunted House: by OSA Production Design

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Don’t Miss the 2019 Haunted House 
Note the slight change in the times. Bring all your friends to the Black Box during Halloween week to experience CABIN FEVER, the Production Design department’s freakiest creation ever! Tickets sold at the door.
($8 students; $12 adults)
Wed. Oct. 30,  1 pm to 6 pm
Thurs. Oct. 31, 4 pm to 8 pm
Fri. Nov. 1, 1 pm to 7 pm
Sat Nov 2, 2 pm to 7 pm

Other Important Dates

OSA 2019-20 Academic Calendar

RESCHEDULED: NOW – October 17, 2019
Sweets Ballroom – Free Concert
Event: Kick-Off Annual Fund (See Above for More Info)

Weekly Announcements

Special Education Announcement

Please READ the following SPED Letter regarding 2019-20 Special Education Programming at OSA.

After School Program

Please READ and SUBMIT the following ASP Letter and Form regarding 2019-20 After School Programming at OSA.

OSA Student and Family Handbook

Please Download OSA Student and Family Handbook.  Please contact Katy Zaugg for questions: kzaugg@oakarts.org

OSA Bell Schedule

Download OSA 2019-20 Bell Schedule. Be Sure To Be On-Time Everyday!  Tardy Bell Rings at 8:15am for Middle School & High School.

Parent to Parent


Events, activities, and classes shared by parents for parents.

Upcoming Events to be Posted Here.  More to Come…

Useful Links

News item submissions (deadline-end of school-day Wednesdays) osanews@aptosa.org
Submission Guidelines

To View In Your Browser, Click Here: OSA News!


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