We’re back. And next week, with the start of conservatory — what I refer to as “the art part” — we will be back in full swing. I even got my car washed yesterday and added my new sticker, replacing Integrated Arts with Guitar and bought my son a new hard case in anticipation of more wear and tear on his guitar with it going back and forth to school.
I have to admit, last week was rough. Getting everybody up and out by 7:30 again, making lunches, early pick ups. I was so ready for the weekend, which is almost over already. And now, I’m preparing to do it all again. Overall, it was a good week. The kids liked their classes and teachers for the most part and enjoyed seeing everybody again. It’s just that this whole “back to school” thing takes some getting used to.
On Friday, I attended the year’s first PSO (Parent Support Organization) Meeting. They are always interesting and it’s a great way to stay up to date with what’s going on. Dr. Opacic provides the overview and introduction, and then Dr. Wolf and other administrators cover their sections before the PSO “business” portion gets underway. Every parent is asked to join and it only cost about $20. They were really proud of the fact that this year, they already have 500 members. I was surprised by that actually. I would think every family would join, which would more than double that number. Huh, go figure.
Anyway, the meeting was long and there was a lot of information, all of which I won’t event attempt to cover here but will give you a breakdown of the highlights: Enrollment: 449 new students were accepted for the 2013-2014 school year; Campus Expansion: It’s underway and more details will be provided soon. Two additional buildings have been purchased and growth is eminent. It all sounds very exciting and cool. I hope we are around to see it realized in its entirety; Security: It’s been beefed up and automatic locks on all exterior doors have been installed. Key fobs are expected to arrive soon and will be checked out to students who need to leave the classroom so they can get back in without having to summon a live person to let them back in; Standardized Testing: it’s changing and in a nutshell STAR testing is going away and will be replaced by new Common Core State Standards testing, which is supposed to be a big improvement and allow more time for teaching and learning and eliminate time spent preparing and taking these required tests.
What they did not spend any time on was the Wait List, which I know many of you are very interested in at this point. So, after the meeting I inquired a bit and did not get good news. Basically, I was told that at this point, they were pretty much done pulling from the wait list and that enrollment seemed to be settled for the year. Of course, that’s not official and is not to say there may not be a little movement, but I get the feeling it won’t be as dramatic as last year at this time when they were actively seeking to fill about 40 spots. Bummer, I know. (Auditioning again? Preview Days start in October!)
Now it’s your turn. For all of you new families, how was your week? I hope it got off to a GREAT start. The fun begins tomorrow with conservatory. Enjoy!
It’s the time of year that lots of people find this site because they are looking for information about how to get into OCHSA. Preview Sessions are underway and applications are now being accepted. If you’ve been waiting to apply, or thinking about it, now is the time! You have to get off the fence. You’ve got to get organized. No more procrastination — it’s time for action!
You probably know that and I imagine there is a good chance that’s how you found me. Most likely, you are looking for insight or some useful tips that might help you gain an advantage or give you some direction. Good move! I have always been a big believer in the idea that knowledge is power so I am with you. I wish I could you give the intimate details about each conservatory and help you understand what each director is looking for, specifically. Unfortunately, even as an OCHSAmama and an ‘insider’, there is a lot going on and my experience is limited. My OCHSA kid has auditioned for, and been accepted into, just 2 of the 12 available conservatories; and my OCHSA hopeful has his eye on but one.
But let me steer you in the right direction and tell you how you can find out. Attend a Preview Day. This is the first step to getting accepted. It’s simple. Sign up and go to one. You will have a chance to get the scoop from someone who does know and you can ask any and every question that is buzzing around your OCHSA-minded brain. You may even get answers to some questions you didn’t even know you had since others are there asking questions too. It’s a good thing and you should go. It will really help clear some things up and will also hopefully get you focused so you can move onto the next step: Applying.
You want to be concise, relevant, and professional. Going to a Preview Day will give you the tools you need to accomplish this.
Here is the catch: The second Preview Day was held today (Nov. 19th). There will only be three in all. The third and final session will be held on Saturday, January 7th. So if you haven’t attended one yet, you still have one last chance. RSVP and go.
We went to the first one on October 15 and I heard that day that about 1,000 people had RSVP’d. That’s a lot of people and I image that today’s second Preview Day had that many or more. The third event in January is likely to be equally well attended. Make sure to review the audition requirements for the conservatory or conservatories for which you’d like to audition (you can audition for up to two) and plan to attend the appropriate session and ask appropriate question. From this point, you will have about 30 days to complete and turn in your application. Ideally it should be submitted a.s.a.p., as the on-line audition scheduling will be underway by that point. Those who don’t have their applications in by mid February will not be guaranteed an audition.
Okay, and sorry to do this to you. I don’t really want to end on a negative note. But there is something I feel as though I should tell you. OCHSA has said that the school is not planning on expanding much next year, so admission will be more competitive. This is important. This means you must be prepared and you must be ready, willing and able to impress!
To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping. ~ Chinese Proverb
That guy must have gone to OCHSA.