Message from the Superintendent

February 15, 2023

In this Message

  • Important Announcement from Interim Superintendent Velasquez

  • 100 Days of School
  • CTE Month
  • Lunar New Year
  • OUSD EDGE Community Partnership Recognition
  • El Modena High School Showcase: Our Greatest Masterpiece is YOU!
  • National School Counselor Week
  • Congratulations to our School Counselor of the Year and School Counseling Advocate of the Year
  • Crescents Elementary Robotics Teams
  • Schools to Watch
  • What is Community Schooling?
  • Athletics Update
  • Change In Matriculation Patterns (California and Yorba)
  • California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA)
  • Now Enrolling for 2023-2024

Upcoming Events

  • February 15: Orange High School Community Open House & PreK-12 School Showcase
  • February 17: Lincoln Day Observed - All Sites Closed
  • February 20: Washington Day - All Sites Closed
  • February 22: Canyon High School Community Open House & PreK-12 School Showcase

Dear OUSD Community,

It is with sadness that I announce that my last day as Interim Superintendent will be Thursday, February 16. It has been an honor to serve the OUSD community and our students.

The District will continue the work of providing high-quality educational programs for our students with the leadership of Executive Cabinet while the Board of Education begins the process of hiring a permanent superintendent.

I would like to thank the Board of Education for their confidence and support. I also would like to thank OUEA, CSEA, and Orange Unified’s administrators and staff for their hard work and commitment to our students and their academic success.


Edward Velasquez

Interim Superintendent
Orange Unified School District

Communications Feedback Survey

Last call! Please help inform our communications efforts by filling out this survey. We appreciate your time and feedback! This survey closes on March 1.

100 Days of School

Can you believe we’re already over 100 days into the school year?! Check out how some of our schools celebrated this milestone in the gallery below.

CTE Month

Orange Unified’s incredibly robust CTE program includes over 25 pathways across our high schools. Our CTE courses align with industry credentials, certification opportunities, postsecondary training, employment, and/or A-G requirements to apply for a CSU or UC. Our students graduate with the EDGE and are prepared for high-skill, high-demand careers and/or college.

We invite you to learn about our CTE program as we highlight the various opportunities available to our students!

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Lunar New Year

Fletcher Mandarin Language & GATE Academy celebrated its 10th Annual Lunar New Year Performance at Chapman University's Memorial Hall.

The Mandarin Immersion Program aims to maximize students’ second language proficiency, provide a rich academic environment in both first and second languages, develop students’ abilities to work successfully in multiple cultural settings, offers a rich, culturally diverse experience for the entire community and prepares students to be global citizens with a background in international business and marketing with a focus on practical applications of Mandarin.

Thank you to our teachers, staff, parents, community, and students for making our program a success! Check out the performances at

OUSD EDGE Community Partnership Recognition

Orange Unified School District celebrates the valuable partnerships that exist between community organizations and the District.

We are pleased to announce that the Friendly Center received our Community Partner Recognition Award for the month of January.

The Friendly Center has provided a myriad of resources to the Orange Unified School District that have enhanced and enriched the learning opportunities of our students, parents, and staff. We are grateful for their dedication and contributions that exemplify our District’s Core Values of Integrity, Equity, Respect, and Excellence.

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El Modena High School Showcase: Our Greatest Masterpiece is YOU!

Last week, we extended a warm welcome to our community at the El Modena High School Showcase! Current students, as well as potential students of all ages and their families, joined us for an evening of food, fun, music, and celebration of the incredible academic, athletic, artistic, and extracurricular programs that El Modena has to offer.

Our Elementary and Middle Schools in the El Modena family of schools, including Santiago, Jordan, Prospect, McPherson, Chapman Hills, and Linda Vista, also hosted presentations and performances for our guests. Thank you to all who attended this wonderful event!

Next up is Orange High School's Community Open House and PreK-12 Showcase on February 15!

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National School Counselor Week

National School Counseling Week highlights the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems and the tremendous impact they have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. In Orange Unified, we have 58 school counselors to support our students.

An integral part of the total education system, school counselors help students form healthy goals, mindsets, and behaviors. With the aid of a school counselor, students learn to develop effective collaboration and cooperation skills, practice perseverance, develop time management and study skills, and learn self-motivation. School counselors are highly educated, professionally certified individuals who help students succeed in school and plan their careers.

Thank you to our school counselors for their support in getting our students ready to succeed in their future endeavors!

Congratulations to Angie Badillo for being named OCDE’s School Counselor of the Year and Katie Treat for being named the School Counseling Advocate of the Year!

School counselors are essential members of the site and district leadership team and thus play an enormous part in the growth of the educational community.

On February 8, the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) and the OCDE Board members formally recognized and congratulated Canyon High School counselor Angie Badillo as a School Counselor of the Year. This award was presented to Mrs. Badillo in front of her colleagues and other education partners at the 2023 Orange County Counselor Symposium. According to OCDE, the primary goal of this award is to spotlight and celebrate our amazing counselors who are working tirelessly to support the needs of our students in all three counseling domains: Academic, Social-Emotional, and College and Career development.

At the same event, Katie Treat, OUSD Coordinator of Career Counseling, was recognized as the School Counseling Advocate of the Year. Katie Treat supports the secondary school counseling program in OUSD, as well as the Career Technical Education (CTE) program. OCDE explained that Mrs. Treat’s support and advocacy for the counseling profession are appreciated and essential to the growth of the school counseling field as a whole.

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Crescent Elementary Robotics Teams… Off to an Amazing Start!

Crescent Elementary School's robotics teams have been showing much success, with a month left in competitions. Our student-led teams, ranging from 4th-grade to 6th-grade students, are showcasing their game strategy, design, and teamwork skills in local competitions.

This year crescent has three teams consisting of eight members each. In May 2022, students at Crescent had an opportunity to join the robotics team. Twenty-four students were selected to represent the school in the VEX robotics competitions. Crescent’s teams have been competing in local tournaments since November and are qualified to compete in the State Championships in March. The team has won several awards this year:

  • One Teamwork Champion award
  • One Robot Skills award
  • Two team robots won design awards
  • All three teams received the overall Excellence award (the highest award given at the event)

We are very proud of our students and wish them the best at the State Championship!

Schools to Watch

Of only 36 new schools named “Schools to Watch” in California for 2023, Portola Middle School, Yorba Middle School, and El Rancho Charter Middle School were identified to join Cerro Villa Middle School and Santiago Charter Middle School on this prestigious list, making all middle schools in Orange Unified California Department of Education “Schools to Watch.”

The California Schools to Watch program is sponsored by the California Department of Education, the California League of Educators, and the California Middle Grades Alliance in association with The National Forum. To earn this designation, schools must complete an extensive application and host a site visit by middle grades experts. In order to retain the designation, each school is reevaluated every three years. Altogether, there is now a total of 186 Schools to Watch in California.

The 2023 schools will be recognized at the California Schools to Watch Celebration in Monterey on March 9. For more information about the program, please visit the California League of Educators California Schools to Watch web page.

What is Community Schooling?

In 2022, The Orange Unified School District received a grant for over $15 million from the California Department of Education to create Community Schools at 11 of our elementary sites. A community school is any school serving Pre-Kindergarten through high school students using a “whole child” approach, with “an integrated focus on academics, health, and social services, youth and community development, and community engagement.”

Each month, OUSD will update you on the Community Schooling initiative occurring at our 11 community school sites. This month, we introduce each of the Community School Leads and give a brief overview of their work. Check out the newsletter at

Athletics Update

League Champions (Fall and Winter Seasons)

  • Canyon High School: Boys Cross-Country (Crestview League, Century Conference)
  • Canyon High School: Girls Golf (Crestview League, Century Conference)
  • El Modena High School: Football (North Hills League, Century Conference)
  • Orange High School: Football (Orange League)
  • Villa Park High School: Girls Volleyball (North Hills, Century Conference)
  • Canyon High School: Boys Basketball (Crestview League, Century
  • Conference)
  • Canyon High School: Boys Soccer (Crestview League, Century Conference)
  • El Modena High School: Boys Basketball (North Hills League, Century Conference)
  • El Modena High School: Boys Wrestling (Crestview League, Century Conference)
  • El Modena High School: Girls Wrestling (Crestview League, Century Conference)
  • Villa Park High School: Girls Soccer (Crestview League, Century Conference)
  • Villa Park High School: Wrestling (Crestview League, Century Conference)

CIF Champions

  • Villa Park High School: Traditional Competitive Cheer; CIF Champions, 2023 (3rd title in 4 seasons)

Student Section of the Year

  • El Modena High School: Rowdy Rooters—Southern California Student Section of the Year (Celebrated at the OC All-Star Football Game on February 4, 2023).

Final CIF Polls (Winter Sports)

Canyon High School:

  • Boys Basketball; #5 Division 1
  • Girls Water Polo; #7 Division 2
  • Boys Soccer; #4 Division 3

El Modena High School:
  • Boys Basketball; #5 Division 4A

Orange High School:
  • Girls Basketball; #8 Division 5A

Villa Park High School:
  • Traditional Competitive Cheer; CIF Champions 2023
  • Girls Soccer; #3 Division 1
  • Boys Wrestling; #5 Division 2
  • Boys Baseball; #6 Division 1; National High School Polls; #7-#16 in various polls

Change In Matriculation Patterns (California and Yorba)

The Orange Unified School District announces an update to the California iInspire Academy/Yorba Middle School matriculation pattern.

Last year, parents from California iInspire Academy formally requested to allow 6th-grade students to stay at California iInspire Academy instead of matriculating to Yorba Middle School. Currently, only California iInspire Academy 6th graders attend Yorba Middle School. We engaged the California iInspire Academy’s community through surveys and meetings and determined that 92.3% of families want their 6th grades to stay at California. A summary of the survey data can be viewed at the following link: (this was also shared at California iInspire Academy PTA meetings)

Families gave the following information for why they prefer staying at California iInspire Academy will benefit the 6th-grade students:

  • Extra year of dual immersion Spanish
  • Equity/alignment with other elementary schools in the Yorba boundary
  • Gives students an extra year of maturity (before being in middle school)

California iInspire Academy and District Leadership have met with the parent community and are approving the change of California iInspire Academy to include grades PK-6th starting in the 23/24 school year.

Yorba will continue to admit all 7th and 8th-grade students from their current boundary, including the following feeder schools: Handy, Palmyra, Cambridge, and California iInspire Academy (including the Spanish Dual Immersion program). Yorba Middle School will continue to create innovative programs and has recently been named a Schools to Watch school by the State of California and a Verizon Innovative Learning School (one of only two in the county). During the 23/24 school year, Yorba Middle School will also be opening a Verizon Innovation Lab, which will be the first in Orange County with this partnership between Verizon and Arizona State University.

California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA)

The California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA) of 2016 requires school districts to ensure that students receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education at least once in high school (grades 9-12) and once in middle school Grades 7-8).

State law allows parents/guardians the right to opt their students out of comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education. Comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education are not taught in OUSD elementary schools.

You can learn more about comprehensive sexual health education on our website at

Now Enrolling for 2023-2024

Give your child the Orange Unified EDGE!

  • Preschool - Child Care - TK-12 Learning
  • Full-Day TK & Kindergarten at Each Elementary Site
  • EDGE Academy K-12 Online Learning Option
  • Elementary & Diploma IB Programmes
  • Dual Immersion Programs: Mandarin Chinese & Spanish
  • 1:1 Take Home Devices
  • 100% WASC-Accredited Middle & High Schools
  • Extensive Advanced Placement Course Offerings
  • Early College Enrollment
  • CIF Championship Athletics Teams
  • 25 Career Technical Education Pathways

To learn more or book a school tour, please visit or call 714-628-4350.

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