Message from the Superintendent
June 3, 2020
Dear Orange Unified Community,
Our hearts are heavy because of the violence taking place across our nation. We are deeply saddened by the death of George Floyd, and troubled by the pain and suffering reverberating throughout our communities. OUSD is committed to doing our part to contribute to the solution. We do not tolerate racism or discrimination in any form, and our focus will continue to be on our core values of the Orange Unified EDGE Strategic Plan --- integrity, equity, respect, and excellence.
The troubling events of recent days demand our attention and thoughtful response as we work to teach future generations and ensure they have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to build a more equitable world. OUSD will continue to inspire our students to be empathetic, compassionate, respectful citizens who celebrate our diversity as a strength.
For the past 10 weeks, we have been confronted with changes and challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to online distance learning. Now, we are compelled to help our children cope and understand the heightened tensions and uncertainties that surround us. Below are a few resources to support parents in the conversations you may be having with your child(ren):
- OCDE Newsroom: How to Help Children Cope with Tragic Events
- United Nations: Let’s Fight Racism!
- OUSD’s Mental Health & Wellness Resources
- HealthyChildren.org: Talking to Children About Racial Bias
- CA.gov: Resources for Emotional Support and Well-Being
We realize that students may have feelings of grief, anger, and confusion regarding the civil unrest occurring in society, especially on top of the changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though we cannot meet our students face-to-face at this time, we look forward to welcoming them back onto our campuses in the fall. In the meantime, our school counselors, teachers, and administrators are still available via virtual platforms to discuss any student support needs families may be experiencing.
We find ourselves at crossroads as a nation, and as educators we will ensure the work around equity and compassion is at the forefront of all we do for students. OUSD will be working diligently to re-open our schools and bring back a sense of community and belonging to all our children.
Our students, more than ever, need to feel safe and be heard. Please continue to listen, reassure, and affirm them. They give us hope for a better future.
We are the Orange Unified School Unified School District Family, and we stand together. Let’s be mindful of the power of our actions to chart the path toward a better world for us all.
Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Orange Unified School District