Message from the Superintendent
January 29, 2023
In this Message
- Update Regarding the Sora App
- Parenting OC’s Top Teacher Finalists
- ESSER III Update
- Lunar New Year at Villa Park High School
- Orange High School Winter Sports Pep Rally
- Biomedical Pathway at Crescent Elementary School
- Measure S Phase II Bid for El Modena High School
- Community Open Houses & PreK-12 School Showcases
- Now Enrolling for 2023-2024
- 2023-2024 Age Requirements for Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten
- High School Senior Banners
- February 1: Villa Park High School Community Open House & PreK-12 School Showcase
- February 2: Board of Education Meeting
- February 7: Special Education Parent Workshop
- February 8: El Modena High School Community Open House & PreK-12 School Showcase
- 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,
I would like to start by thanking our families, staff, and community members who have shared their concerns and ideas with regard to providing our students with the best possible education. My primary focus areas as superintendent are the physical and mental safety of our students, the availability of high-quality instructional and academic programs at each school, student access to the arts across all grade levels, and a district culture that is both excellent and efficient. I have a lot of work to do while the Board of Education searches for a permanent superintendent, and I embrace the opportunity to serve the children of OUSD.
As one of my first actions, I would like to assure our families that the Sora digital library app will be suspended districtwide starting Monday, January 30, while we investigate concerns that have been brought to my attention regarding content that the app has available.
Virtual libraries are a critical resource for students to utilize, but they must have the proper safeguards in place to allow parents to choose what they feel is appropriate for their child and ensure students are protected from content that is not age-appropriate. I am working with staff to make certain that our students have access to a digital library that allows parents to have oversight as to what types of content their student(s) can access and does not allow access to material that is inappropriate for each child’s grade level. Moving forward, a committee will be formed to review app content before apps are approved for installation on student devices.
I believe in servant leadership and am always open to hearing from those who have questions, concerns, or feedback to share. Please feel free to reach out via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or schedule a time to chat at 714-628-4487.
Interim Superintendent of Schools
Orange Unified School District
Parenting OC’s Top Teacher Finalists
Congratulations to our four finalists in Parenting OC’s Top Teacher contest: Natalie Carias (Crescent Elementary), Ashley Felton (Taft Elementary), Bobbi Linderman (Imperial Elementary), and Andrea Powers (Taft Elementary)! They will be honored as finalists in the February edition of OC Parenting Magazine. The magazine’s Top Teacher, Top Employee, and Leadership Award winner of Orange County will be honored in Parenting OC’s Our School Heroes Issue in March.
ESSER III Update
As a part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III program, the District’s Maintenance & Operations Department is renovating Multi-Purpose Rooms (MPRs) and cafeterias at all four of Orange Unified’s comprehensive high schools. The first project that has been completed is at Orange High School. The renovation of their cafeteria involved new paint, flooring, lighting, branding, stage refinish, furniture, and a water bottle filler. Check out the finished product below. Go Panthers!
Lunar New Year at Villa Park High School
Villa Park High School’s Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) celebrated the Lunar New Year (LNY) with a lunchtime traditional Dragon Dance in the main quad. Students decorated the main breezeway and donned traditional garments in observance of LNY.
Orange High School Winter Sports Pep Rally
Orange High School held its Winter Sports Pep Rally during lunch. School spirit was on full display as Band and Cheer pumped up the crowd, and team captains participated in fun games. The Panther Pride was palpable as these sports continue on with their athletic success.
Biomedical Pathway at Crescent Elementary School
Sixth-grade students at Crescent Elementary completed a hands-on science experiment geared towards the bio-med emphasis at their school. Students are learning how to think like bioengineers while they learn about body systems and explore four different ways body systems work together to help our bodies function properly.
Measure S Phase II Bid for El Modena High School
Bid No. S2223-003, El Modena High School Modernization, is the construction bid for the second phase of the Measure S bond. The construction project will provide updates to existing general classrooms in Buildings 200, 300, 400, and 500 (including all restrooms located in those buildings); renovation of Building 800 to provide new career technical education classrooms for culinary arts, graphic design, art, photo, ceramics, drama, and dance; complete modernization of the main campus quad areas; replacement of the main breezeway cover; the addition of two new passenger elevators; and modernization/expansion of the administrative office and student services building.
The District held mandatory pre-bid job walks at El Modena High School for interested contractors to walk through, inspect, and ask questions. The District required that interested contractors meet stringent prequalification requirements to help ensure that a high-quality project would be completed within the required time. Of the contractors who attended the job walk and were prequalified, seven prime contractors obtained bid documents, and two of them submitted bids. Ultimately, Bernard Bros., Inc. won the bid with $24,394,000 as the sum of the total base bid amount, including allowance and alternates. Construction of this project will commence in early March.
Community Open Houses & pre K-12 School Showcases
Our community showcases will take place at our four comprehensive high schools and feature the elementary and middle schools within each Slice Family. Community members are also welcome to tour the new Science Center at each site. The dates and times are as follows:
- Villa Park High School—February 1 from 5:00-7:30 p.m., with early learning, elementary, and middle school presentations and performances from 5:00-6:00 p.m.
- El Modena High School— February 8 from 5:00-7:30 p.m., with early learning, elementary, and middle school presentations and performances from 5:00-6:00 p.m.
- Orange High School— February 15 from 5:00-7:30 p.m., with early learning, elementary, and middle school presentations and performances from 5:00-6:00 p.m.
- Canyon High School— February 22 from 5:00-7:30 p.m. with early learning, elementary, and middle school presentations and performances from 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Now Enrolling for 2023-2024
Give your child the Orange Unified EDGE! orangeusd.org/enroll
- 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 orangeusd.org/learnmore or call 714-628-4350.
2023-2024 Age Requirements for Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten
Kindergarten: Birthdate between December 3, 2017 - September 1, 2018
(Includes birthdates between September 2, 2018, to March 31, 2018)
Transitional Kindergarten: Birthdate between September 2, 2018 - April 2, 2019
High School Senior Banners
We are once again looking to promote the class of 2023’s accomplishments throughout our community. We are continuing the senior banner program in which a senior is featured on a banner that is displayed on light poles throughout our community.
Please complete the Senior Banner Application if you would like to apply for this prestigious recognition. Seniors chosen to be highlighted will be those who demonstrate how closely their experiences reflect the six domains of the OUSD Graduate Profile. We are so proud of our Class of 2023 and look forward to seeing the impact they will have in the future!
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