skip to main content

Oakland School for the Arts

Oakland School for the Arts


Colored Pencils GIF with swirling colored lights
Oakland School for the Arts is a free, public school chartered by Oakland Unified School District. OSA does not discriminate in admissions 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 is no longer accepting applications for grades 6-9 for the 2024-25 school year. At this time, our waitlist exceeds capacity. 

If you are interested in grades 10, 11 or 12, there is waitlist space available for various arts pathways. To inquire about enrollment in grades 10, 11 and 12 only, email

Our lottery based enrollment managed by Oakland Enrolls does not allow pathway changes to currently waitlisted  students. We will reach out to families currently on the waitlist if a spot opens up for the 24-25 school year. 

Applications for the 25-26 school year will open in November 2024.

OSA has phased out auditions. All incoming middle and high school students are entered through a lottery system without auditions.

Enrollment Notes:

● We accept applicants from all over California but give priority to Oakland residents. Please see the Oakland Residence guidelines for more information on verifying your Oakland residency status at the time of your application.

● Oakland School for the Arts gives a preference in admissions to students who are currently enrolled in title one school, students who reside in the school attendance area where the charter school site is located and students who have completed the Step It Up program.

● Siblings: A sibling with the same home address as an OSA student who will be attending the same year is given priority consideration.

● OSA enrolls approximately 120 6th graders each year.

● Enrollment spots for grade 7 and 8 are limited due to our returning students each year.

● Waitlists vary by art pathway size and grade level. Smaller departments like fashion, media arts, literary arts, audio production & engineering have fewer “spots” than dance, theatre, vocal, visual arts and instrumental music.



2024-2025 School Year Enrollment and Lottery Process


● Students may apply for one or two arts programs.

● Select the art pathway(s) that your student is interested in pursuing at OSA.

● The selected pathway (s) cannot be changed once your application is complete.

● Students cannot change pathways mid year and must audition for an internal transfer for the following year.
Application Steps:

● Oakland School for the Arts is proud to partner with Oakland Enrolls to help you choose the best Oakland public charter school for your child. Oakland School for the Arts is a public school, free and open to all students. English language learners and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Get started now at

The application deadline for Oakland School for the Arts for the 2024-2025 school year is February 16, 2024.

● Applications received by this deadline will be included in our public lottery. On Thursday, March 7, 2024 you will see your charter school lottery results (offer or waitlist) in your online (Oakland Enrolls Schoolmint) student dashboard and at that time you can ACCEPT or DECLINE an offer.

The deadline to ACCEPT/DECLINE a charter school offer is March 21, 2024. If you do not accept by this date, your charter school lottery offer(s) will expire. Once you accept an offer, offers from other Oakland charter schools will be automatically declined. You can remain on waitlists but may only accept an offer at one school.

● If you miss the February 16, 2024 application deadline, you will still be able to submit an online application for the 2024-2025 school year. Charter school applications submitted after the February 16, 2024 deadline will be considered a Late Application - you will be placed on a waiting list at each of your selected schools, and/or offered.

For more information about enrollment at Oakland School for the Arts, please contact KatyZaugg at

Lottery Notes:

OSA often has more applicants than available seats. When the number of applicants in a particular program exceeds the available seats at grade level, the students are selected based on OSA's enrollment lottery. Selection of students who are invited to enroll is determined by the lottery; no other factors are considered. All lotteries are held in early March. You will be notified of your results by text and/or e-mail. There are two possible outcomes:

● You could receive an offer, or
● You could be placed on the school’s waitlist.
Application Support:

Oakland Enrolls has created a variety of useful resource videos for families in both English and Spanish. The "Oakland Enrolls School Finder explainer" videos are brief and help families navigate the School Finder website. The "How to Apply" videos walk through the application process and answer frequently asked questions. The videos come in the form of YouTube links that can be accessed by anyone. Please feel free to share with families as the application launch date is quickly approaching! You can find the videos below: