The OSA Newsletter:
Focus On Community
Dear OSA Community,

As always, there is so much happening at OSA! Keep reading for an Alumni Spotlight, a TV special for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day starring one of our OSA Leadership team members, updates from our many parent and student groups, and so much more.

The first thing most people remark upon, when asked about OSA, is the sense of community we have as an organization. We are all here because we share common values; a belief in the transformative power of the arts, a commitment to social justice and equity, and the desire to see our youth thrive and create positive change in the world. These common values unite us, and can help our students stay centered when so many other things in the world may feel out of control. Thank you for being part of the OSA family.

We invite you to deepen your connection to OSA by signing up for a parent committee, supporting our fundraising efforts, or attending an upcoming Board meeting.

Wishing you all continued health,

Your OSA Leadership Team
A Holiday Reminder:
There is no school on Monday, January 18 in honor of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is the only federal holiday which has been designated as a national day of service, in recognition of all the work yet to be done in order to bring Dr. King's vision of a just and equitable future into reality.

There are many virtual events, starting this weekend, for community observance. Check out the King Center, or find resources for acts of service here.

This also means we will be running a special four-day school week with this schedule for the week of January 19-22nd.
Thank You To Our Donors!
Happy New Year! Thank you to the many members of our community who made gifts at the end of 2020. We are 87% towards our goal of raising $500,000 for the OSA Annual Fund. We are so close to reaching our goal!

Still waiting to make your gift? Please consider becoming an OSA Encore Society member! This group of monthly recurring donors are a critical part of bridging the gap between state funding and what it actually costs to deliver an OSA student's artistic and academic programs. A small monthly donation of $25 goes a long way. You can make your one-time donation, or join OSA's Encore Society here.

Your gift to OSA’s Annual Fund will prove that we all believe in the power of an Oakland School for the Arts education. Every gift of any amount makes a difference!
Artist Speaker Series Continues!
Join OSA for the 4th edition of our Artist Speaker Series on January 20th to hear from special guest speaker Tammi Mac! Ms. Mac is a three-time NAACP award-winning writer, producer, actress, and radio and television personality.

Tammi Mac earned a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre before moving on to train with The Groundlings Theatre & School in Los Angeles. She was hand-picked by Stevie Wonder to host an afternoon radio show (The Tammi Mac Show), on his Los Angeles-based station 102.3 KJLH, which has been ranked among the top 20 radio shows in the nation by RadioFacts.

She also currently hosts Fox Soul’s The Tammi Mac Late Show—a show that focuses on “the business of being Black” and tackles everything within Black culture.
Date: Wednesday, January 20th
Time: 11:00 - 12:00

Also - don't miss it! Just added to our line up on March 31st is Hip Hop Graffiti Legend Fab 5 Freddy!

As a Linked Learning School, this series of events was created as a part of our commitment to transforming education into a highly relevant and engaging experience. We will be providing our students with the opportunity to connect directly with these, and other, influential working artists.
Calendar Updates
To keep up with all events, please follow the OSA school calendar!
Internal Auditions- Deadline Feb.1
If a current OSA student would like to audition for a different one of OSA's arts sub-pathways (also called 'departments' or 'emphases') the deadline to fill out the Change of Arts Sub-Pathway Form is Monday, February 1st.

Auditions to transfer into a different arts sub-pathway will take place on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021. All students interested in transferring to a different sub-pathway must audition (see Audition Requirements here).

Please note that if a student is accepted into a new arts sub-pathway, they will begin in that sub-pathway in August 2021. If the student is not accepted into the new sub-pathway, they do not lose their place at OSA in their original sub-pathway.

The Change of Arts Sub-Pathway Form is linked here and may also be found on the Advisory google classroom and on the OSA website, under the Enrollment tab.
Dr. Delores Thompson in TV Documentary
In addition to all she does for OSA and as an on-air radio personality at KBLX, Dr. Delores Thompson has also been involved in the filming of an important documentary. TV One celebrates the galvanizing power of Black music in their new documentary special 'Unsung Presents: Music & the Movement The Story of Black Music and Social Justice in America' premiering on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 18th at 8PM.
Please tune in and honor the legacy of so many Black musicians who have paved the way for our young artists and students today.
Follow OSA on Social Media!
Be sure to follow OSA (@osaschool) on Facebook and Instagram for your daily dose of what's good at OSA!
A Message from Academic Counseling
Report Cards were sent out on Friday, January 8th, via email. If you did not receive your student's report, please reach out to Grades are closed for semester one. 
For High School Students:
  • Remember that the add/drop date window for classes without penalty on transcripts closes on Friday, January 22nd. Students should reach out to Ms. Schultz at to discuss possible schedule changes asap. 
  • Concurrent Enrollment: The semester is starting soon for the Peralta and Saddleback Community College systems. If you want to sign up for a course, please visit our Academic Counseling Website for forms and instructions.
Student Activities:
T shirt Update
OSA's Middle and High School Student Councils have joined forces for an exciting grade level merch project! Students can vote for their favorite peer-created t-shirt designs on their grade level Google Classroom until this Friday, January 15. The winning designer from each grade level will receive a prize, and shirts will be available to order later this month!
Garden Club Update
In OSA's Garden Club, students have been learning about native plants as well as sharing their plants and gardening tips. Pictured is a Tillandsia Xerographica, an air plant native to Central America from Emily Shea’s home garden. It grows completely without soil! 
Theatre Company Created by Alumni
Youth Uproar Theatre Company is a new teen-run theatre company led by alum Leon Jones (class of 2020; Theatre). YUTC is comprised of OSA alum and current students. They have just recorded their first project, written by current Theatre student Leela Kiyawat ('21), co-starring Jaeleigh Burnett ('21), Leila Khan ('22), and Simon Bhuller-Riordan ('22).
Check out a preview of their show's poster below, and stay tuned for ticket announcements to see this fantastic show!
Alumni Jazz Performance Tomorrow
Alumn Luis Manuel Peralta (class of 2019; Instrumental Music) will be performing in an exciting jazz show this Saturday January 16th, which you can watch on YouTube or Facebook. Luis Manuel plays piano in the Genius Wesley Trio, comprised of 18- and 19- year old jazz musicians. This is their first time playing independently as a trio at the Sound Room aside from accompanying big names in Bay Area jazz.
If you have a chance, tune in on Saturday and support The Genius Wesley Trio - and check out a preview here!
Did you know that there are many more student clubs at OSA? Check out the list and schedule of meetings here!
Alumni Spotlight: Hyidea' Burgess
In this edition of our Community Spotlight, alumna (class of 2011 - Production Design) Hyidea' Burgess shares her thoughts on the tent, her connection to OSA, and being an actual queen. Ms. Burgess graduated from Alabama A&M with a degree in Chemistry and a dual minor in Computer Science and Biology.

What was your emphasis, and what do you remember about your audition?
I auditioned for Vocal Music and honestly it was so long ago I don't remember, but I do remember there was a time when everyone had to re - audition when we got in the Fox (I started in the tent with Ms. Nicholes) and I was scared I was not going to get in because at the time I was still battling vocal insecurities. I remember walking into a room with Ms. Cava, Ms. McKenzie, Mr. Tate, and another teacher. I was sweating, trying to sing the scales on the sheet music then there was ear training; some rhythm theory and freestyle. I couldn't wait to get to that part. They were hardcore, so you had to come with your A game and I'm talking full on performance (hold the applause)! I later changed my emphasis to Production Design, I honestly don't remember how I got in, but I was pretty good.

What memory of OSA stands out most to you?
The tent days. I'm a firm believer that some of OSA's rawest talent came from when we were in the tent. Everyday was like a movie. Folks would start beating on the trash, next thing you know Ranzel would start playing his sax, OSA Combo would burst out in song and we'd all start dancing. We were real life living Glee and High School Musical. But in the tent everyone knew everyone and we were one big family.

What were things that OSA did that were different from your other schools?
Even OSA today is different. We were the best performing arts school in Oakland. Ironically enough we had a lot of freedom but we were still sheltered. Academically I was challenged more at my other schools but our discipline and respect for art couldn't be found at any other school. We treated every art/performance like it was our own and were transparent if we felt like someone was holding back, even if we had never danced in our life. OSA had a level of honesty that hurt your feelings but made you want to get your stuff together, even with healthy emphasis competitions we were still the elite compared to other schools. 

Tell us about what you do now, and how OSA helped you achieve your goals?
I am a proud high school science teacher in Maryland, after resigning from an engineering job, to have more of an impact on youth. I also have a non-profit for minority teenage girls, God's House for Queens Ministry Inc. with three programs that cater to teenage girls in the foster care system, general population teenage girls, and teenage girls interested in the medical industry. My entire life experience has shaped where I am today, but my take away from OSA is discipline, culture, and change. OSA taught me to be different in the best kind of way. 

Tell us about the crown you are wearing?
 I was Miss Alabama A&M University 2018 - 2019, which means I was the Queen (lead ambassador and face of the school) for my institution. This is considered a high leadership position at many institutions.

Are you open to mentoring or working with our students if they are interested in following in your footsteps?
Yes, I can definitely help them find identity in the path they are currently walking and throw out occasional flags when they have veered off.  

How have you stayed connected to OSA?
My mother is Ms. Jones so, even if I tried to run away I would have to run away from my mom, because at this point it's in her blood. They really should call her Miss OSA.
We agree with you Hyidea'! Thank you so much for staying connected to OSA and for all you do for today's youth.
Updates from Parent Volunteer Groups:
Dear OSA parents and guardians,

I would like to thank you for your generous donations towards the Holiday gifts for the OSA staff. Because of your heartwarming generosity, we exceeded our goal and were able to get a $50 gift card for each staff member. These were mailed with a handwritten note on the beautiful card designed by 8th grade VA student Edain Baus. Special thanks to Melanie Marcus, Loraine Dillon and Romy Douglass for writing and mailing over 100 cards.
Happy, healthy and prosperous 2021!

Lola Hanacek
Hospitality Committee Chair
The OSA Anti-Racist Education & Activism Group has started meeting regularly on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays. We have decided to dedicate our 2nd Wednesday meetings to self-education, to further our anti-racist work by addressing it in ourselves and digging deeper. On 4th Wednesdays, we are having our activist meetings. At the moment, we are still gathering information, hoping to support the great work that others at OSA are already doing to improve equity and access. We invite all parents to join us!
The Advocacy Committee hopes everyone will follow news on the Oakland School Board, which has four new members with terms that began on January 4, 2021. The Board oversees OSA's charter renewal and can have a big impact on our longterm plans. Find more information and the OUSD Board's meeting schedule here.
On December 16th, Parents of Students with Disabilities (PODS) and APT joined forces to bring two renowned advocates and pioneers in the special ed community. Emily Nusbaum Phd and Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF). In this meeting, parents received training and resources to become better advocates for their children, administration received updates related to COVID19 restrictions and responsibilities at both state and federal level, and families shared possible changes and ideas to bring differently-abled people in the arts industry to bring awareness and representation to OSA. Connect with APT-PODS in Konstella!  
Please note that the Special Education team at OSA will soon be sending home a SpEd newsletter directly to families.
The Alliance of Parents & Teachers (APT) is committed to strengthening communication & fostering collaboration within the OSA community. We invite all OSA families - especially new families - to follow this link and join our private, online network. This information-sharing space serves OSA families as the only platform where members can have interactive discussions online. 
The APT meetings traditionally take place on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30pm. In lieu of our standard January meeting, we're asking the community to instead attend the January 28th OSA Board Meeting. Attending the OSA Board Meetings and engaging in understanding the charter initiatives demonstrates the strength of our parent community and our common goal. Hope to see you there.
The Parents of the Class of 2021 continue to plan ways to support and celebrate this year's graduating class. Together with Ms. Snyder and Ms. Douglass, the senior parents are organizing class treats and surprises, senior portraits, caps & gowns, making plans for an outdoor graduation ceremony (May 28) and an outdoor prom (tentatively, May 22), that will allow students and their families to safely celebrate this special and challenging year, while observing public health guidelines. As conditions evolve, so will our plans. Class of 2021 parents who would like to get involved in planning some fun for this year's graduates or are interested in attending an upcoming Class of 2021 Parents meeting, sign up here!
Thank you Audition Helpers!
On Saturday January 9th, we had 38 volunteer parents and students come together to support our first-ever round of virtual auditions. These friendly folks attended a morning training on zoom nuances, practiced putting each other in breakout rooms, and were calm and welcoming faces all day to our applicants auditioning for grades 7-12 for the 2021-22 school year. We could NOT have done this without you!
The second audition date is February 13th and we will put out a call for more volunteers as the event approaches. Thank you!
Volunteer for Spring Fundraiser!
Another upcoming event is our Spring Fundraiser, which has been scheduled for March 25th. With all the various funding cuts to public education, and loss of revenue from performances due to COVID, there is nothing more important for OSA's continued survival than raising funds for our school. If you have fundraising or marketing experience, have great connections which may be able to help us, or have a passion for supporting OSA, please sign up to join our Advancement Committee. Sincere thanks to all those who made year-end contributions last month and have helped us come even closer to meeting our fundraising goals!
Want to get involved at OSA?

There are over twenty different parent volunteer groups at OSA, each with a different focus on supporting our students and teachers. More than 250 sign-ups have come through OSA Connects - check it out to find your way to connect!
Attention OSA Families!
If you move, change your email or phone number - let us know! It is important for us to be able to reach you, especially in these socially distant times. Please update your information by emailing
City of Oakland Now Providing Free WiFi!
What is OAK-WiFi?
OAK WiFi is a free city service that provides internet access to residents of Oakland.
When will OAK-WiFi be available?
The service will provide free wifi to all residents, 24 hours a day beginning in Zones 1, 18, & 2 starting mid November 2020 and in the remaining Zones (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, & 13) in late December 2020. Check out this map for more details or look up your area!

How can I access OAK-WiFi?
Easily! Just go into the wifi settings on your mobile phone, laptop, or desktop computer, select OAK-WIFI and get connected!
Thank you for your support of OSA!
If you'd like to ensure our continued success, make a donation to our Annual Fund today!
Oakland School for the Arts