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Monthly updates on our plans & activities supporting the OSA Strategic Plan.
Hello OSA Community!

Let me extend a warm welcome to all our new and returning families! We can’t wait to get to know your student and hope this year marks the beginning of an exciting journey filled with strong academics and immersive arts explorations. 

This monthly newsletter is designed to keep our community updated on the work of the OSA Leadership Team and Board of Directors. Each edition will include information aligned to the four pillars of our Strategic Plan. These pillars encompass the goals of the school - from increasing diversity and encouraging community engagement to promoting arts and academic excellence and financial stability. 

Please mark your calendars for our State of the School event on Tuesday, September 18 OR Thursday, September 20 at 6:00 pm in Sweets Ballroom. (We offer the event on two nights to accommodate different family schedules.)  This informative, adults-only event will update you on this year's funding priorities, academic and artistic programs and new partnerships. We will also have great food and wonderful student performances. You won't want to miss it!

See you soon,

Brian Köhn
Monthly Highlights
  • Attendance is ESSENTIAL to our bottom line. Please make sure your student is coming to class. We only receive state funds when students are in school. One percentage point of annual attendance equals a salary for a full-time teacher
  • OSA is working on a new website with increased functionality and improved navigation and design, including ease-of-use on smart phones and tablets.
  • Give to the OSA Annual Fund! The Annual Fund is our top fundraising priority. Your gift will go where it is needed most to help bridge a gap of $1.3 million in this year's budget. The Annual Fund, grants, and special donor events help us raise needed funds to cover arts salaries & programs, technology and facilities.
  • Are you on Konstella? The OSA Alliance of Parents and Teachers (APT) is now using Konstella as their official OSA community communications tool. If you need help with the tool, come to the "Konstella Meet-up" on August 30th at 7:00 pm in the Student Center.
OSA is entering the third year of implementing our 2016-19 Strategic Plan. All our activities are guided by the following four pillars:
Cava Menzies has taken on the role of Diversity and Equity Coordinator to help support a school culture that is rooted in the values of diversity, equity, and community representation. The role involves extending our reach into the Oakland community, identifying students who would benefit from the Step it Up program and working collaboratively with administrators, teachers, parents and students on issues surrounding cultural responsiveness, equity, and diversity. She will also serve as a liaison to OSA's Parents of Color and Board of Students of Color groups and will work with the Student Support staff to support and retain students of color.
We are thrilled to be entering next year with the strong Academic Leadership team of Chief Academic Officer Phillip Gedeon, Principal Staci Smith and Assistant Principal Mike Oz. 

The new role of Chief Academic Officer was created to support our academic faculty in their teaching practice, lesson planning, professional development opportunities and curriculum development.  Mr. Gedeon has over 13 years of experience at the district and state level in public and charter schools. His strengths and expertise include but are not limited to: implementing common core standards in all subjects, designing and facilitating highly effective professional development, instructional coaching of teachers, data-driven instruction, and increasing graduation rates. He most recently served on Synergy's leadership team as the Director/Principal of Synergy Quantum Academy in Los Angeles.

Our academic highlights include:
  • OSA students taking AP exams scored with a higher pass rate (74%) than the California average (63.7%) and the national average (61.3%).
  • On average, 25% of our students received a 5 (top score) on AP exams vs the 15% California average.

In other good news, Preliminary California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CASPP) testing results have shown a marked improvement in both our Math and English Language Arts scores over last year. We have higher scores in almost every category, with an average 9 point increase in those categories.

Lastly, we are thrilled to welcome several new middle and high school teachers:
  • Dawn Arens - French
  • Harold Clemetson - Biology/Physics
  • Kelsey Holtzinger - MS Math
  • Uma Joshi - World History
  • Ellie Oliver - Life Science/Health & Integrated Science
  • Cathy Petrick - Sr English/Honors Sr English
Theatre Chair Matthew Travisano is the new OSA 2018-19 Artistic Director in this milestone year for us as a learning community.  We are officially launching Oakland School for the Arts as a Linked Learning Pathway School and offering Career Technical Education, (CTE) courses through our emphases.  In addition to our existing college preparation, students will be gaining industry experience and feedback from targeted partnerships within their art focus. The arts will also unite around the OSA HOME Project. Over the course of the year, selected productions and exhibitions across the schools of art at OSA will feature work which focuses on the idea of 'home' and we create it in various ways. 

We want to extend a warm welcome to our new faculty members:
  • Anya Absten - MS Theatre
  • Mark Clifford - Middle School Instrumental Music
  • Michelle Jacques - MS Vocal
Walter Harris joined us this summer as the new Facilities Manager and has been working hard ever since to get OSA ready for the new year. We also have a new Housekeeping service and encourage community members to give us feedback or share concerns throughout the year.

The generous participation by our families in the OSA Annual Fund (68%) along with our continuing work on OSA's operations and budgetary needs allowed us to break even last year.  The OSA Board approved a FY2019 budget at the June 27 Board Meeting that requires raising $1.3 Million dollars in funds from grants, major donors, the Governor's Gala and other special events. This year's Annual Fund is our top fundraising priority and we are seeking 100% participation from our families. Your gift will go where it is needed most, whether it is bridging the gap in state and local funding or investing in new OSA initiatives. This year we are asking for $2,250 per student - but any amount makes a difference. You can make a gift online today.
Upcoming OSA Board Meetings
August 29 @ 6:15 pm

Newberry ~ School of Instrumental Music
Room 408
1920 Telegraph, Oakland, CA 94612
All Board meetings are open to the public.
Copyright © 2018 Oakland School for the Arts, All rights reserved.

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