What grade level does my student need to be in order to participate in the program?

Fourth and fifth grade students at specific Title 1 Oakland schools can apply for the Step It Up program.

What if my student attends a Title 1 school that’s not on your your specific list, or is outside of Oakland?
The program is intended for Oakland-resident students only, however as SIU is targeting specific Title 1 Oakland schools, not all Oakland-resident students are eligible to apply. At times we will consider a student from another district outside of Oakland. This district must serve a similar demographic as SIU’s specific Title 1 school list. Please contact OSA’s Diversity and Equity Coordinator, Cava Menzies at cmenzies@oakarts.org for more information.

Do I need to provide proof that my child attends one of OSA’s specific Title 1 schools?
OSA’s Step It Up program asks for a copy of your child’s student ID from their current school. If unavailable, we also accept proof of mailing address (ie billing from PG&E, water, etc).

What if my child attends one of OSA’s Title 1 Oakland schools and is not in the specified grade levels?
We encourage your child to apply for OSA’s general audition, which is open to all grade levels. Additionally, your child can still apply for the SIU program, but is not guaranteed a place in the program, and cannot participate in the SIU-only audition.

Are current OSA students eligible for the program?
No, SIU is only available to prospective OSA students.

How does my child apply?
OSA accepts both digital applications and paper applications. To apply online, please go to oakarts.org/stepitup. To turn in a paper application, please mail completed application and copy of transcript or student ID to:

Attn: Cava Menzies, Diversity and Equity Coordinator
Oakland School for the Arts
530 18th St.
Oakland, CA 94612

Applications are available in English, Spanish, and Cantonese. If you would like a physical application to be dropped off at your school, please contact stepitup@oakarts.org.

Do students need prior experience in the art area for which they sign up? What if my student is a beginner?
We highly recommend that students have some prior experience in their desired art area, however, this prior experience can come in many different forms. We are looking for students who are dedicated and passionate about their art form, regardless of their current level.

Does the program cost money?
No. OSA is able to offer the program free of charge.

What are the program dates?
The Step It Up program meets on the following 15 Mondays, excluding holidays, from 5-7pm: Sept. 24th; Oct. 1st, 15th, 22nd, 29th; Nov. 5th, 26th; Dec. 10th, 17th; Jan. 7th, 14th, 28th; Feb. 4th, 11th, 25th.

When do I find out if my student is enrolled in Step It Up?
Accepted students will be notified by email by September 17th depending upon application submittal date.

What supplies does my student need?
Once registered, your instructor will contact you with detailed information on supplies needed. These supplies will be minimal as we are able to provide most of the materials for each art area. Instrumentalists, please note that you will be required to use your own instrument. Please contact us if there are any questions or concerns about your ability to procure supplies: jkarnes@oakarts.org.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
You can contact us at stepitup@oakarts.org

Does my student have to intend to audition to OSA to participate in the program?
Yes, all students within the program must have intent to audition to OSA.

Does participation in this program increase my student’s chance of getting into OSA?
No, however, both Oakland residents and SIU students are given a categorical bump on the OSA audition scoresheet. Participation in this program does not guarantee entrance into OSA as space is limited, and some grade levels are completely impacted. However, as part of the program, students will be prepared for auditions and will have the opportunity to formally audition in February with other program participants.