2. Brian Kohn, New OSA Director
- Musician, education in conducting
- unexpected go involved in education. It was hard at first because while he know music, he didn’t yet know teaching. Grew to love it — teaching was something much more important than how well kids played the notes on the page, but how they developed.
- started an arts magnet HS in San Diego
- worked at San Francisco School of the Arts for 3 years
- excited by the model and location of OSA. Fell in love with the school through the interview process because of our passionate teachers, dedicated governance board, and dedicated, focused parents. Excited to be a part of a group wanting want is best for the kids.
- From his experience, schools that work well have parens who are engaged in the process.
Q: What do you see as the key challenges for OSA?
A: OSA has a strategic plan, and each of the 4 pillars has some degree of challenge that will be the starting place for my work:
- Role in community? Outreach? Access?
- Academically competitive? Where are holes in the curriculum?
- Arts Education? Are students getting what they need to be competitive in the arts?
- Sustainability, which includes money, staffing, etc.? How can OSA be thriving and vibrant in 5-10 years? Long range planning along side an annual balanced budget.
Q: How will you maintain financial equity among parents through student support?
A: Will look at what support services are available for students who need extra support, so that all students can be supported. It is a matter of giving all students what they need when they need it.
Q: How will you balance the levels of academic talent?
A: We won’t. It isn’t part of our charter, and our auditions are academically blind. We will work to be flexible to address the needs of the students we get.
Q: What do you see as the key difference between SFSoA and OSA? What do you find most inspiring about OSA?
A: The fact that OSA is a charter school makes a big difference, and give vision and purpose. Many of OSA’s challenges are similar to art schools across the country. Everyone is struggling with issues of diversity and access. Most inspiring is the united community with the “Let’s Go!” attitude.
Q: Where can you add the most to the strategic plan?
A: Items 1, 2, & 3 are familiar areas of strength. Most excited about working with 4 as it new and exciting career challenge.
Q: As a musician, do you still play?
A: Yes, I play piano for myself. Publicly, I will at times conduct.
3. Cat Brooks
(theater parent, actress, playwright. radio host, freedom fighter, organizer, and more)
- Race relations are an important conversation. She operates off the principal of “do no harm” — a longer conversation is needed than can be had tonight
- One of her areas of activism is with police terrorism. We only hear about 1 out of 3 police murders. There is one killing of a black person by police about every 28 hours. This doesn’t even acknowledge the racial profiling and other discriminatory practices that are occurring.
- Oscar Grant’s murder was her “enough button” and started her work around police terror and with the Anti Police-Terror Project, working to eradicate police violence.
- Millions of dollars of tax payer money is spent defending Oakland’s police.
- We are also fighting stage 3.5 gentrification in Oakland. There has been a dramatic shift in Oakland’s demographics
- Race problem in this country, this city
- With incoming government, inequity seems to be coming. But there is also opportunity to get more people involved and coming together.
- APTP is working to reclaim Martin Luther King Jr’s radicalism, which can be seen starting with his speech at Riverside Church.
- 1/16 – March for MLK Day
- Kicks off 120 hours of direct action leading up to “hellauguration” on 1/20.
- Expect delays on 1/20. Activists are calling of a general strike starting at noon. Hoping to interrupt business as usual.
- All are welcome at APTP meetings at East Side Arts Alliance.
4. 1/27 Field Trip to see Fun Home at the Curran
- 550 seats reserved. OSA will be 1/3 of the audience.
- All students needing financial assistance and all teachers can be covered through donations.
- There will be no need for parent chaperones as enough teachers volunteered to attend.
- Middle school students will be chaperoned back to school.
5. Challenge Day Volunteers Needed
- Challenge Day includes workshops and facilitated conversations around difference and similarities. 7th grade will be on 3/15 and 10th grade on 3/16. Volunteers needed for day that is not your child’s.
- Goal to create teacher stipends for academic teachers
- Advertise on OSA News
- Other fundraising efforts coming in 2nd semester
7. Still open positions with APT if you have time to volunteer