October 27, 2023


Attention parents/guardians: Staff members have noticed a recent increase in unsafe practices during drop-off and pick-up. As a reminder, for the safety of our students and other drivers, DO NOT stop your car in a traffic lane while your student exits or enters your vehicle. Please refer to the following maps to ensure that you are using the designated locations for morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. 

Drop-off and pick-up are the most chaotic times on campus, and we need everyone’s help to keep the streets around OCSA safe. We appreciate your continued commitment to student safety.


Please be aware that there will be no conservatory this Tuesday, October 31, in order for our students to fully celebrate Halloween! Additionally, Tuesday will be a Gold Day with an Extended Lunch. Please see the complete schedule below.

Tuesday, October 31

Block 4: 9-10:25 a.m.

Passing: 10:25-10:35 a.m.

Block 5: 10:35 a.m.-12 p.m.

Extended Lunch: 12-1:05 p.m.

Block 6: 1:05-2:30 p.m.


The grand re-opening of the Pates Motel, OCSA’s Halloween Maze co-produced by the Arts & Enterprise and Production & Design Conservatories, is now underway at the Scott & Charlotte Egan Studio Theatre! Come experience this thrilling event today, Friday, October 27, from 3-5 p.m. or on Monday, October 30 from 5-7 p.m. Students, families, and staff will want to reserve a room at this enchanting motel and tour its infamous doll collection. Please fill out this permission waiver to reserve your spot. Room rates and tours are $5 per person, which will be collected when you check in at the motel. We can’t wait to welcome you!


On Halloween, this coming Tuesday, October 31, students are welcome to compete in the Costume Contest hosted by the Leadership class, which will be held during the Extended Lunch. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Scariest, Funniest, Most Creative, and Best Group. Students must sign up in person in front of Michael F. Harrah Symphony Hall by 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31. Late entries will not be accepted. The winning costumes will be selected by our fantastic panel of teacher judges. Winners of the individual categories will receive a $20 gift card, and the Best Group winners will receive a $50 gift card to share.

The Leadership class would also like to share the following do's and don’ts, which can help you plan your costume:


  • Make sure your costume doesn’t hinder your ability to learn. 
  • Respect people’s decision to participate or not participate in Halloween festivities.


  • Bring toy guns or weapons to school. If your costume includes a replica or foam sword or staff, that is acceptable; however, please be aware that staff or administration may ask to see it and may stow it in their office if it is determined to be potentially dangerous.
  • Engage in cultural appropriation or wear a costume that makes fun of a specific religion, race, ethnicity, cultural group, or gender. True appreciation comes in the form of learning about other cultures, befriending different people, going to museums, researching, and listening to others’ stories. Dressing up for one day of the year is not an appropriate demonstration of appreciation. If you would like to learn more about cultural appropriation, you can find a video resource from Teen Vogue here.


As a reminder, the priority deadline for purchasing Advanced Placement (AP) exams is this Sunday, October 29 at 11:59 p.m. Students currently in an AP class at OCSA are eligible to take the corresponding AP exam, which can be purchased through their MySchoolBucks account. Late registration will be available with a $40 late charge per exam starting Friday, December 1 through Sunday, March 3. Students are encouraged to register only for the exams they are committed to taking. Detailed AP exam information can be found on our website at www.ocsarts.net/APHonors.

Please note: Students must purchase the exam on MySchoolBucks AND join the College Board’s AP Classroom in order to have an exam ordered for them.


As you heard earlier this week from OCSA President & CEO Teren Shaffer, as well as your conservatory director, the arts conservatories need your help to reach their funding goals for the 2023-2024 school year. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help bridge the gap for your conservatory. Your contribution will allow your director to continue to offer the excellent arts instructional opportunities they had planned for this school year. The deadline to give is Sunday, December 31. Thank you for your continued support of OCSA!


There are only a few days left to participate in this year’s annual wreath fundraiser hosted by The El-Erian Family Acting Conservatory! Halloween, Tuesday, October 31, is the last day orders will be accepted, so don’t wait to make your purchases. This year, the Ballet Folklórico Dance, Creative Writing, Film & Television, Integrated Arts, Musical Theatre, and Popular Music Conservatories, as well as The Garn Family Jazz Studies Program, are also participating in this fundraiser. Click here to view all of the available evergreens, and click here to view Chanukah options. 

To support a particular student, be sure to select that student from the drop-down list when checking out. To support a specific conservatory, please note the conservatory at checkout. If you have questions, please email [email protected].


Kick off the holiday season with cheer at the annual South Coast Plaza Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, November 16, featuring many of OCSA’s talented student artists. Sit back and enjoy as our singers, dancers, and musicians whisk you away on a magical musical tour to the North Pole!

6:30 p.m. | Pre-Show Entertainment by Unplugged Holiday Carolers

7 p.m. | Main-Stage Show by MONTAGE! Performance Ambassadors

General and lawn seating will be available to the public at no cost on a limited first-come, first-served basis. We hope to see you there!


The OCSA Administrative Team is trying to finalize mentorship pairings for as many students as possible for this year’s Professional Mentorship Program. There are students interested in the following fields who are still in need of a mentor:

  • Animal Medicine/Veterinarian
  • Aviation/Commercial Pilot
  • Biotechnology/Biomedical Research
  • Crime Scene Analysis/Investigation/Forensic Science
  • Engineering/Environmental Engineering
  • Fashion Business
  • Film and Television Scoring
  • Laboratory Chemist/Materials Chemist
  • Medicine
  • Medicine: Epidemiologist
  • Medicine: Family Medicine Physician
  • Medicine: Nursing
  • Medicine: Speech Pathology
  • Music Business
  • Music Production
  • Neuroscientist/Cognitive Behavioral Therapist
  • Neurosurgery
  • Published Writer
  • Real Estate
  • Recording/Touring Artist
  • Writing: Film
  • Writing: Fiction

If you or someone you know might be willing to support one of our OCSA students this school year, please complete this Professional Mentor Interest Form. Professional mentors will be paired with interested juniors to help them explore career options and receive guidance about post-secondary opportunities. If you have any questions, please contact Karen Rymar, Director of Arts Enrichment, at [email protected].


For OCSA students wishing to transfer conservatories for fall 2024, applications are now available here. Interested students must complete the conservatory transfer application and participate in a Conservatory Placement Activity for their desired conservatory (with the exception of Arts & Enterprise). While the deadline to apply for a conservatory transfer for the 2024-2025 school year is Wednesday, January 17, students are encouraged to submit their transfer applications as soon as possible. If the conservatory you are applying to has an in-person placement activity, it will take place on either Saturday, January 20 or Saturday, January 27. The results for these applications will be released on Monday, February 12. If you have questions, please contact our Admissions Office at [email protected].


We want to celebrate your off-campus successes! Publications, castings, certifications, awards, scholarships, jobs, performances, and more – send them our way to be featured in State of the Art, OCSA’s special webpage that highlights the large and small successes of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff. State of the Art is updated biannually at the end of the fall and spring semesters; however, you can submit your accomplishments and successes year-round at www.ocsarts.net/StateoftheArt

All accomplishments will be posted at the conclusion of the semester in which they were submitted. An email will also be sent out once accomplishments for the semester are available for viewing. We can’t wait to see all the exciting things you have been up to! Past State of the Art accomplishments are always available to view at www.ocsarts.net/Accomplishments.


Urgent Fall Senior Deadlines:

  • Diploma Name/Address Verification: Friday, October 27, click here to submit.
  • Recommendation Letter/Transcript Requests: Monday, October 30 for December 1 college application deadlines and Thursday, November 9 for January 1 college application deadlines.

Refer to the Class of 2024 Senior Bulletin for all the latest updates regarding senior year, and please visit www.ocsarts.net/12thGrade to review other informational documents and details relevant to the senior class. If you have questions after reading the above information, please email [email protected].


Halloween (No Conservatory): Tuesday, October 31

Veterans Day (School Closed): Friday, November 10

Thanksgiving Break (School Closed): Monday, November 20 – Friday, November 24

Last Day of Conservatory, First Semester: Thursday, December 14

No Conservatory: Monday, December 18 – Wednesday, December 20

View Complete List of 2023-2024 Important Dates 


For more information, please visit www.ocsarts.net/BoxOffice.

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