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 17th year, OSA serves over 750 students in grades 6-12 tuition-free. OSA is housed in Downtown Oakland’s historic Fox Theater, Sweet’s Ballroom and Newberry building. 

OSA is in development to become 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 nine artistic fields: Dance, Digital Media, Fashion Design, Instrumental Music, Literary Arts, Production Design, Theatre, Visual Arts and Vocal Music

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

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 99% 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, New School University Department of Dance, California College of Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 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, Flight Deck, 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. 

37% Caucasian; 13% Multi-Ethnic; 18% African American; 5% Asian; 15% Hispanic/Latino; 4% American Indian; 1% Pacific Islander; 9% Unknown/Decline to State

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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 grade-blind, through an audition process before a panel of faculty/staff and community artists who assess artistic talent and potential.


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