Message from the Superintendent

April 15, 2022

Upcoming Events

  • April 20: Villa Park HS Open House & Athletic Night
  • April 21: Anaheim Hills ES Open House; Fairhaven ES Open House; Fletcher ES Open House; Jordan Academy ES Open House; Taft ES Open House
  • April 22: Earth Day
  • April 26: Lampson ES Open House
  • April 27: CDS, EDGE Academy & Independent Study Open House
  • April 28: California ES Open House; Cambridge ES Open House; Canyon Rim ES Open House; La Veta ES Open House; OUSD Pre-K ES Open House; Palmyra ES Open House; Serrano ES Open House

In this Message

  • CDPH COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • Graduation 2022
  • Thank you, Volunteers!
  • Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Student of the Year
  • Employee of the Month
  • Flags Around the World
  • KNX Radio’s Heroes of the Week
  • Community Partnership Recognition
  • CARES Fall Registration
  • Job Opportunities

Dear OUSD Community,

As you are likely aware, it was announced yesterday that student vaccine mandate legislation will not move forward at this time.

Senate Bill 871, which would have required all California students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting in 2023, has been withdrawn. As a result, California will not initiate the regulatory process for a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for the 2022-2023 school year.

The State of California announced last October that full approval by the FDA was a precondition to initiating the rulemaking process to add the COVID-19 vaccine to other vaccinations required for in-person school attendance—such as measles, mumps, and rubella—pursuant to California’s Health and Safety Code.

To date, federal officials have yet to fully authorize any COVID-19 vaccine for students under the age of 16. CDPH officials said they would consider the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians prior to implementing a requirement, following full vaccine approval for students younger than 16. COVID-19 vaccine requirements would not take effect until after full FDA approval and no sooner than July 1, 2023.

For the latest updates from the Orange County Department of Education, please visit

Graduation 2022

We are pleased to once again host our high school graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium this year. While each school site will provide tickets to our seniors based upon availability, we are no longer limited by social distancing and other measures required in 2021. Additional information will be shared as it becomes available.

In addition, we are once again celebrating our graduates throughout the cities that we serve. Banners featuring members of our Class of 2022 will be coming soon to light poles near you!

Thank you, Volunteers!

This week, Leadership Team Orange celebrated our school partners through a video slideshow highlighting many of our district’s volunteers. Please click on the video below to watch our 2022 Community Volunteer Celebration.

2022 Leadership Team Orange's Annual Community Volunteer Celebration

Things are in full swing as we approach the final stretch of the 2021-22 school year and prepare for 2022-23. Thank you for your continued support and partnership as we work to provide ongoing meaningful and engaging educational experiences for our students.

Warmest Regards,
Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Orange Unified School District

Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Student of the Year

Orange High School student Cesar Castro is recognized as ACSA Student of the Year.

The Every Student Succeeding Award is given to students who have overcome extreme obstacles in order to achieve academic success. Cesar was nominated by Orange High School staff for this award due to the positive, resilient, and optimistic character that he displayed while facing his challenge with Leukemia.

Since his diagnosis in August 2020, Cesar has never complained, felt sorry for himself, or made excuses in regard to his academics. Cesar has consistently kept a smile on his face and has always been willing to go the extra mile to succeed academically.

We are proud of Cesar’s perseverance, dedication, and continual positive attitude despite the challenges he has faced. We wish him much success and continued good health as he graduates with the Class of 2022 and embarks upon his new adventure in college!

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Employee of the Month

The April 2022 recipient of the “YOU’VE GOT THE EDGE” award is:

Mark Labastida

Instructional Assistant, Special Education
Parkside Adult Transition Program

Mr. Labastida goes above and beyond to serve the staff and students of Orange Unified School District in ways that reflect the core values of OUSD’s EDGE.

Parkside Administrative Staff had this to say:

Mark Labastida has always shown a great deal of care for our students and has always put their needs first. Mark is a wonderful employee exemplifying respect and excellence in all he does. Recently, Mark became aware of an Adult Transition student in his class choking on food and struggling to breathe. He ran to the student and administered the Heimlich maneuver until the food became dislodged, and the student was able to breathe again. This is just one example of Mark’s dedication to the care and support he regularly provides to our students. Our program at Parkside is incredibly lucky to have him.

Congratulations, Mr. Labastida! The Board of Education thanks you for your dedication and devotion to the Orange Unified School District.

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In Our Schools

Flags Around the World

Running Springs celebrated cultures in our community during “Flags Around the World.” Parents had the opportunity to teach others about their cultural heritage through food, clothing, dance, music, etc.

Running Springs has hosted this cultural celebration for many years, but they included the IB lens this year by crafting a central idea for the event, “Learning about culture connects us to self and others.” Students were encouraged to be reflective by adding a short contemplation to the back of the “passport” that they received upon arrival.

For images from the “Flags Around the World” event, please visit

KNX Radio’s Heroes of the Week

Christina Diep and the members of the NAMI Club at Villa Park High School have been selected as KNX radio’s Heroes of the Week! You can hear about them on-air through Sunday or find the audio/podcast at

Congratulations, Spartans!

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Community Partnership Recognition

Orange Unified School District honors the valuable partnerships between community organizations and the district. As described in the OUSD EDGE Strategic Plan, under focus area 2.0: Dedicated and Engaged Communication, the district seeks to “Build and maintain strong educational, university, business, and community partnerships to cultivate deep-rooted connections with stakeholders.” Four times a year, at least one community partner will be recognized by the Board of Education at a regularly scheduled meeting.

The community partner chosen for this recognition at the April 14 Board meeting is SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union.

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has provided a myriad of opportunities that have enhanced and enriched the academic success of our students. In addition, their generous ongoing support has enabled us to host a multitude of events for our classified, certificated, and leadership staff that include recognition ceremonies and robust professional development opportunities.

Senior Vice President of Community & Membership Development, Kristin Crellin, Specialist of School & Community Relations, Carol Chaney, and Specialist of Membership Development, Jacinda Lazarus, accepted the award on behalf of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union.

Our thanks to SchoolsFirst for their support of Orange Unified!

CARES Child Care Registration

CARES Child Care registration for the 2022-2023 school year is now open.
For information about the program and monthly fee schedules, visit their website at


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