Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) is a performing arts charter school in Oakland, California. OSA is located on the Fox Oakland Theatre at 530 18th Street across from Telegraph. On April 1, 2009 OSA was selected to be a California Distinguished School. This was Zendaya's school before she became famous.
Oakland School for the Arts is a college preparatory, arts middle and high school. It was founded in 2000 via charter from the Oakland Unified School District. It received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in October 2001. In September 2002 OSA opened its doors to its first freshman class, the class of 2006. The school was the dreamchild of Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown and its first director was Loni Berry. The school started at the Alice Arts Center building in downtown Oakland. It was moved to portables near the Fox Oakland Theatre during the 2004-05 school year, and moved to the Fox Oakland Theater building in January 2009. Mr. Loni Berry was director of the school for the first four years. Mr. Saul Drevitch replaced him in fall 2006. San Francisco School of the Arts principal Donn Harris replaced Drevitch in December 2007. Drevitch resigned because of "differences" between him and Jerry Brown and the School Board. As of the 2008-9 school year, Donn Harris holds the role of Executive Director on a full-time basis. The first graduating senior class, the class of 2006, graduated with 100 percent of the class accepted to four year colleges.
Currently, there are nine emphases at Oakland School for the Arts: Dance, Digital Media, Instrumental Music, Literary Arts, Theatre, Vocal Music, Visual Arts, Circus Arts, and Production Design. For the first three years of OSA's existence, there were eight emphases: Acting, Arts Management, Dance, Literary Arts, Instrumental Music, Theatre Design and Production, Visual Arts and Vocal Music. During the 2005-06 school year, Theatre Design and Production was merged into Visual Arts. OSA was faced with budget cuts during summer 2006 and chose to merge Acting, Arts Management, Literary Arts and Visual Arts and Design into one emphasis called Theatre. This arrangement, for Visual Arts, only lasted a year and administration separated Literary Arts into its own emphasis.