Message from the Superintendent
Reimagining OUSD Schools as We Reopen for Students
May 22, 2020
With less than three weeks before summer break and plans for graduations and promotions set, multi-department teams have been focusing on plans to return to site-based instruction when the new school year begins. We have been working with State and local experts to create a reopening plan that will keep teachers, students, and staff safe, while still making learning productive.
It is our goal to implement a plan to reopen campus instruction on August 19, as scheduled, barring any changes to current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA). As a public government agency, we are required to follow federal and state health care guidelines. The Orange USD school reopening plan is dynamic in nature and based on the current guidelines and will be updated as needed given any new local, state, or federal criteria identified for schools opening during the COVID19 pandemic. Many of the health and safety changes needed to open schools will also be dependent on the budget support from State and federal sources.
The Reimagining Schools Task Force includes teachers, administrators, mental health professionals, and other certificated and classified staff who are researching possible instructional models for elementary and secondary classrooms. These models will be grounded in culturally relevant research that focuses on teaching and learning, equity for all students, intervention and support plans, and the development of robust online options for students who want to continue their learning in a virtual format. We are working on classroom configuration options and plans to restructure teaching and learning to maximize the health and safety of our students and staff.
The Facilities/Business/Transportation Logistics Team is creating disinfecting protocols, social distancing signage/methods, and additional collaborative spaces for minimizing student/staff contacts all based on CDC guidelines and health advisories.
The Health/Safety Team consists of nurses, human resources staff, and the Business Services Department collaboratively ordering essential protective supplies, including masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, office shields, temperature check tools, and more.
Child Care options are being researched for a July start at four school sites. A consortium with neighboring districts has been established to identify, discuss, and collaborate on a community of practice that focuses on the safety of students.
Social/emotional support teams are working to ensure mental health counselors are prepared and have tools to deal with student trauma caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, the District has facilitated a parent and student survey to elicit feedback on our distance learning best practices and expectations. We have also created a staff, principal, and family survey to gather input on the reopening of schools.
I appreciate everyone's diligence and hard work as we navigate this dynamic situation together and look forward to welcoming students and staff back onto our campuses in a mindful, responsible way.
Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
children who are eligible for free or reduced-price
meals can get up to $365 in food benefits
in addition to their pick up meals from school.
These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT