skip to main content

Oakland School for the Arts

Oakland School for the Arts


Fox Oakland Theater

Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) is a nonprofit public charter school founded by Governor Jerry Brown – then Oakland’s Mayor – in 2002. Now in its 20th year, OSA serves over 800 students in grades 6-12 tuition-free. OSA is housed in Uptown Oakland’s historic Fox Theater and Newberry Building. 

OSA is a Linked Learning Pathway School offering an immersive arts program and a strong academic curriculum. We serve youth from across the Bay Area with a preference for Oakland-based students. OSA students complete a challenging academic curriculum with an emphasis in one of ten artistic fields: Audio Production and Engineering, Dance, Digital Media, Fashion Design, Instrumental Music, Literary Arts, Production Design, Theatre, Visual Arts and Vocal Music.


Mission Statement

Oakland School for the Arts is a diverse and inclusive public 6-12 charter school that blends immersive, robust arts with comprehensive academics, providing integrated opportunities for collaboration, expression and personal growth. 

Vision Statement

OSA students will be creative and critical thinkers who demonstrate a commitment to equity, community, collaboration, and self-reflection. Through meaningful engagement with pathway-integrated curriculum and work-based learning opportunities, graduates will be resilient and ready for college and career. Alumni will exemplify the essential value of the arts in all they do.

Non-Discrimination Statement

Oakland School for the Arts is a free, public school chartered by Oakland Unified School District. OSA does not discriminate in hiring or in admission on the basis of academic history, academic preparation, citizenship, color, creed, English proficiency, ethnicity, disability, gender expression, gender, home language, home living situation, immigration status, learning differences, national origin, parental/guardian marital status, political affiliation, race, religious or spiritual practice, or sexual orientation.

OSA's Land Acknowledgement Statement

OSA is situated on Huichin, the unceded territories of the Chochenyo-speaking Lisjan Ohlone peoples, who have lived upon this land since the beginning of time. Indigenous peoples-- in California, the Americas, and around the world--are still here. 
OSA recognizes the historic genocide and ethnic cleansing inflicted upon Indigenous peoples in California and the Americas, including their forced removal from ancestral lands, and the deliberate and systematic destruction of their communities and culture. These conditions are ongoing and Indigenous people have been fighting against cultural erasure and for their sovereignty since the beginning of colonization. 
To this end, we as a community strive to honor the Indigenous members of our community, uplift their voices and contributions to arts and culture, center Indigenous peoples’ worldviews in our classrooms, and support Indigenous sovereignty everywhere. This land acknowledgement is a small act in supporting Indigenous communities and centering the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work within the Oakland School for the Arts. Solidarity with Indigenous nations can include:
1) Donating time and money to Indigenous-led organizations;
2) Amplifying the voices of Indigenous people leading grassroots change movements; and
3) Returning land

Student to Teacher Ratio:
Grades 6-8:  20 to 1 academic faculty & 12 to 1 arts faculty
Grades 9-12: 25 to 1 academic faculty & 15 to 1 arts faculty


2023-24 School Year Demographics:
38% Caucasian; 22% Multi-Ethnic; 23% African American; 6% Asian; 11% Hispanic/Latino; 52% of 6th graders attended Title I elementary schools, 72% of our students reside in Oakland.


Faculty & Arts Chairs:
The faculty is comprised of state-credentialed academic teachers. Our arts teachers have, or are in the process of obtaining, the Career Technical Education (CTE) Preliminary Credential in the industry sectors of Arts, Media, and Entertainment and Fashion Design and Merchandising.


In 2017, OSA students taking AP exams scored with a higher pass rate (74%) than both 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 compared to the 15% California average.

OSA has a 98% graduation rate with students gaining admission to 2 and/or 4-year universities including: Carnegie Mellon University, Spelman College, Columbia University, Tufts University, Wesleyan College, Middlebury College, Amherst College, New York University, Scripps College, University of California at Berkeley, The Ailey School, Barnard College, DePaul University School of Theatre, Pratt Institute, Marymount Manhattan’s BFA Acting Program, Berklee College of Music, Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing, The New School (Parsons and Eugene Lang), Sarah Lawrence, California College of Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, UCLA, Rhode Island School of Design, California Institute of Arts and the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance.


Community Partnerships:
We strive to create extraordinary student opportunities, including internships, gallery and museum exhibitions, and high-visibility performances at notable venues like the Fox Theater, Freight and Salvage, and Yoshi’s. Existing community partners include: Oakland Leaf, Savage Jazz Dance Company, The Arts Schools Network, Camp Reel Stories, Left Coast Ensemble, Youth Speaks, Oaktown Jazz, Oakland Youth Orchestra, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland Public Libraries, Cal Performances, and African American Shakespeare Theater. 

OSA Facts & Figures

OSA Facts & Figures



Chartered May 2000 and opened September 2002


Public Charter School in the Oakland Unified School District for grades 6 - 12.


Immersive arts experiences in a college preparatory setting, providing students unique opportunities for learning, innovation, expression and personal growth.


OSA is housed in Oakland's historic Fox Theater, in the heart of downtown Oakland. This central location allows students access to the stimulation of a vibrant metropolitan hub, and is easily accessible by public transportation (including BART and AC Transit)

Enrollment Policy

Students are enrolled through a lottery-based system.  For more information visit OSA's Enrollment Page.


530 18th Street, Oakland, CA  94612


Western Association of Schools and Colleges


Arts Schools Networks

California Charter Schools Association

National Association for College Admission Counseling


Music National Service Initiative