Enrollment Process

Please follow the procedures described on the following pages carefully. All steps and deadlines in the application process are required for enrollment. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS CANNOT BE CONSIDERED.
Students are entered into OSA's enrollment lottery based on an audition. The audition is designed to identify students with demonstrated interest, aptitude and potential in one of ten art forms. The audition evaluates artistic skill & potential; academic grades are not a factor.

The entire process includes the following:

The application window for the 2020-21 school year is now closed. No further applications will be accepted.
Our application window is open October 1, 2019 - December 13, 2019 for the 2020-2021 school year. There is no fee to submit an application. All information on the application must be complete, current, and accurate. The parent or guardian must sign the application in order for the student to audition. Please carefully review your application prior to submitting it, especially for incoming student grade, desired audition date, and art area(s) for which you plan to audition. Be sure you receive an emailed auto-response confirming that your application has been submitted. We accept applicants from all over California but give priority to Oakland residents. Please see Oakland Residency guidelines for more information on verifying your Oakland residency status at the time of your application.

All verified and complete applications for the 2020-21 school year, submitted by the deadline of December 13, 2019, will receive an opportunity to audition. Applicants will be able to select their desired audition date on the application - please select a date on which you have no previous commitments. OSA will notify applicant of an audition time two weeks before the audition date via postal mail. Please be sure your contact information on the application is correct, as that is the only way we are able to reach you.
NOTE: Applicants may audition for a maximum of TWO artistic areas.
All auditions require preparation, whether it be memorizing a monologue, a piece of music, or selecting art from your sketchbooks. Audition preparation guidelines are listed under Audition Requirements and should be carefully followed. Each student's audition is scored on a rubric developed by the Arts Program. Applicants are not individually ranked against each other. The applicant either Exceeds, Meets, or Does Not Meet the artistic standards. After the completion of all scheduled audition rounds, students who Do Not Meet the artistic standards will be notified that they are not candidates for the lottery. Applicants who Exceed or Meet the artistic standards are entered into the lottery where they are assigned a random lottery number.

Process On Audition Day:
  • Check-in - applicants will arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled audition start time for check-in at their specific arts table.
  • Students will be called by name and led to a holding and warm up room. Parents & guardians stay in the check-in area and do not accompany their children.
  • Students will be called, one at a time, into the audition room. They will be auditioning for a small panel (2-3) of judges. Specific audition requirements for each arts discipline are described in the Audition Requirements. Students must come prepared for their auditions.
  • Upon completion of the audition(s), students are free to depart; there are no call-backs or further steps on that day.
If a student becomes ill and is unable to audition, please contact the school immediately. Written verification documenting the illness from a doctor must be presented to the school within three (3) business days of the student's originally scheduled audition date. A new audition date and time will be scheduled for the student by the school if there are additional audition dates and times available.

If a technical issue or extraordinary event negatively affected the student's audition, a parent/guardian may request an appeal by submitting a written request to the Artistic Director no more than ten (10) business days after the date on the decision letter. An appeal of the panel's judgment of artistic merit will not be heard.

Students who pass their auditions are entered into the OSA lottery, where they are assigned a random number. Students are then placed into their appropriate grade level and artistic emphasis based on their lottery number. If all openings are at grade level and arts programs are full, students are placed on a waitlist in order by lottery number.
Siblings and the children of Employees of OSA receive preferential treatment.  See Sibling Preference Guidelines for details.
OSA's chartering authority, the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) requires that OSA maintain a level of service to Oakland residents. Therefore, Oakland residents are granted preference in the lottery. Proof of residency is required to qualify, and we follow OUSD Proof of Residency Guidelines. See Oakland Residence guidelines for more information. 
Oakland School for the Arts gives a preference in admissions to pupils who are currently enrolled in the local elementary school that OSA is relying on to meet the Charter School Facility Grant Program Free and Reduced Priced Meal requirement, and to pupils who reside in the elementary school attendance area where the charter school site is located.  
OSA will notify families of the audition/lottery results by postal mail, in early March, after all auditions have been held.  https://www.oakarts.org/ENROLLMENT/index.html 
Accepted students confirm their space in the class by returning the Student-Parent-School contract and the letter of intent. OSA asks that accepted students confirm their enrollment within one week so that applicants on the waitlist can be given spots as they become available.

Students will be scheduled for a group enrollment meeting and placement test to discuss the school's goals and expectations and to allow families to ask specific questions. The family will need to complete additional registration forms at this time. At the beginning of school, student will be assigned a class schedule.