Message from the Superintendent

September 2, 2022

In this Message

  • Community Safety Forums and Task Force
  • Orange International Street Fair
  • Heat Advisory
  • In Our Schools
  • El Modena High School Alumnus Freddie Freeman Pledges $500,000 to El Modena High School
  • 2022-23 Health and Safety Plan
  • Visitor and Volunteer Information
  • Universal Meals
  • 2022-2023 Online Bus Pass Applications
  • Employment Opportunities

Upcoming Events

  • September 5: Labor Day Holiday
  • September 6: Back to School Nights - Prospect, Taft
  • September 8: Back to School Nights - Portola, El Rancho, Cerro Villa; Board of Education Meeting
  • September 13: Back to School Night - Olive
  • September 14: Back to School Nights - Richland, Canyon, El Modena
  • September 15: Back to School Night - Yorba
  • September 20: Back to School Nights - CDS, EDGE Academy, Independent Study, Home School K-8
  • September 21: Back to School Night - Orange High School
  • September 29: Board of Education Meeting
First Day Photo Gallery

Check out our gallery of first day smiles!

Dear OUSD Community,

I hope everyone has had a great start to the school year!

In support of Focus Area 3.0 Genuine Wellness & Safety of the Orange Unified EDGE Strategic Plan, we recently hosted four community forums to discuss safety on our campuses. Numerous district and site leaders, local law enforcement agency representatives, and parents attended each of our four Community Safety Forums, where District office staff provided participants with an update on our district’s current efforts and gathered input in the areas of safety and security, professional development, and mental health.

The common themes gathered from community feedback included:

Safety & Security:

  • Require visible District identification badges for all OUSD employees
  • Implement consistent front office procedures
  • Install alert systems and surveillance cameras
  • Have more security at the school sites
  • Have perimeter fencing at all school sites
  • Have consistent emergency drills and notify families

Professional Development:

  • Ways to address bullying
  • Engage parents in Drills/Talking Points to Kids
  • Positive Behavior Support Systems
  • Communication systems for emergencies or emergency drills
  • Suicide prevention – Signs & Symptoms
  • Protocols on Active Shooter Training
  • How to mitigate student behaviors
  • Provide resources for Families
  • Social-Emotional Learning Training
  • Being more inclusive of all students
  • Increase the counselor-to-student ratio
  • Promote building solid and positive relationships between teachers and students

Mental Health:

  • Identifying Red Flags in students who may have suicide ideations
  • Online Support for Students & Parents who may be experiencing a crisis
  • Safe Space Tools- i.e., more wellness centers
  • Prevention Programs
  • Building Resilient Adults and Students
  • Preventative Interaction with Counselors
  • Community help lines or text apps

Additionally, the Office of Student & Community Services is working closely with the Offices of Risk Management & Safety, Maintenance & Operations, and Information Technology on developing a plan of action for the safety recommendations that came out of the school site facility walkthroughs that were conducted during the summer. These recommendations include:

  • Identifying Rooms- All classroom doors to be numbered, interior and exterior
  • Identifying Buildings- All buildings must be clearly identified on all sides with large, bold, capitalized letters
  • Perimeter Signage & Gates- Develop districtwide standards for required signs
  • Exterior Fencing- All perimeter fencing to be a minimum of 6 feet, create a single point of entry into facilities for visitors, and green screen or slats at all primary playground fencing
  • Security Cameras- Install surveillance cameras at all facilities

If you were unable to attend and would like to provide feedback, please fill out the online input form at

Following up on the success of the Community Safety Forums within our Canyon High School, El Modena High School, Orange High School, and Villa Park High School Slices, we are now developing a District Safety Task Force. This task force will evaluate the input gathered at the community safety forums and create a report containing recommendations for our OUSD Board of Education. Members of the District Safety Task Force must commit to monthly meetings, and participation is strictly voluntary.

We thank you for your unwavering support as we work together to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and community.

I wish you a wonderful long weekend. We will see you back on campus Tuesday, September 6!

Warmest Regards,

Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Orange International Street Fair

Join us this weekend at the Orange International Street Fair. Our Educational and After School Programs will be in booths 95 and 96, near Bagel Me! Please stop by and spin the wheel for a chance to win a prize or take a selfie with one of our high school flags. Additionally, we have the following student groups attending the International Street Fair, be sure to come and support them:

  • Orange High School Baseball & Boys Basketball – Fish & Chips
  • Orange High School Girls Volleyball/Boys Volleyball – Wristbands
  • Orange High School Girls Basketball and OHS Football – Parking Lots
  • McPherson Magnet – Swiss Booth, selling Bratwurst and Polish Sausages
  • McPherson Education Foundation – Wristbands
  • El Modena Boys Basketball – Tacos, burritos on Mexican St, south Glassell in front of Army-Navy store

  • El Modena Wrestling – Beverages
  • El Modena Football – Pulled Pork sandwiches

Heat Advisory

Due to the extreme heat this week, we are reminding our community to stay hydrated and use common sense when participating in outdoor activities.

Some children are more sensitive to heat than others. At our school sites, students are encouraged to play in the shade, drink fluids often, and/or go into a supervised, air-conditioned room as desired.

Should the heat index reach 100 degrees, limited athletic practice and frequent breaks are implemented for our students. All outside activities and play (all grade levels) must be canceled/postponed should the heat index exceed 105 degrees.

As a precaution, please be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion, which include:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting, diarrhea
  • Hot skin (wet or dry)

If someone exhibits these symptoms, move them into the shade, pour cool water over their skin, and call 911 immediately.

Heat Advisory Guidance can be found on our website at

In Our Schools

Palmyra and California Elementary students enjoy the Go Green Live Clean BMX Assembly, which provides motivational messages that encourage positive life choices.

El Modena High School Alumnus Freddie Freeman Pledges $500,000 to El Modena High School

The Board of Education voted at their last meeting to approve a $500,000 charitable donation pledge from El Modena High School alumnus and Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman. The donation will be used to purchase and install a new 1,440 square-foot modular baseball clubhouse, which includes a locker room, team meeting area, and coach’s office, in addition to new, extended batting cages, and required DSA and Building Code upgrades. The $1.1 million projected is expected to be completed in Summer 2023.

“Mr. Freeman’s pledge to donate $500,000 is the most generous contribution the district has received from a private donor. We appreciate his support of our students and his alma mater, El Modena High School,” said Deputy Superintendent/Chief Business Official David A. Rivera. “We are very proud of the wonderful example he is to our community and young people, and the kind of individual we hope to nurture in Orange Unified.”

Staff collaborated with Fred Freeman, Sr., and El Modena Varsity Baseball Head Coach Josh Kliner on the proposed scope of work.

Our thanks to Mr. Freeman!

KCAL News: Freddie Freeman Donates to His Alma Mater

2022-23 Safety and Health-Driven Plan

Please be sure to check out our 2022-23 Safety and Health-Driven Plan, which outlines what we have implemented to keep our students and staff healthy in the new school year.

Visitor and Volunteer Information

As we begin the 2022-23 school year, we are excited to have our parent volunteers back regularly. This year, we will no longer limit the number of volunteers on our campuses. As is customary, volunteers must continue to complete the OUSD volunteer process through the Informed K12 system. In addition, masking is also recommended for all our volunteers working within the school.

Visitors to OUSD sites for events such as PTA Meetings, Back to School Night, athletic competitions, awards assemblies, theater performances, etc., no longer need to turn in any COVID attestations (for vaccination or testing).

Universal Meals

The Orange Unified School district participates in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program by offering one free breakfast and one free lunch to students during each school day, regardless of income status.

Learn more at

Online Bus Pass Applications

Riding the bus to school? Online bus pass applications are open for the 2022-2023 school year. For more information and to submit your application, visit or call the Bus Pass Office at (714) 538-8295.

Employment Opportunities

Orange Unified School District is gearing up for its spring recruiting and hiring initiative. Are you interested in a profession that makes a positive impact in the community? If so, please visit our website at to view a vast array of employment opportunities that span from entry-level to upper management, classified and certificated. Join the Orange Unified family and Inspire our learners of today to be purposeful leaders of tomorrow.

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We invite you to take a moment to follow Orange Unified on social media to receive the District’s latest news and announcements. Social media may also be a critical line of communication during emergencies and will be an excellent place for you to get up to date information: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube