Message from the Superintendent
March 5, 2021
In this Message:
Principal for a Day
- Voluntary Staff Vaccinations
- A Look Inside Our Schools
- Job Opportunities
- March 9 & 10: Virtual College & Career Fair
- March 11: Board of Education Meeting
- March 18: Open House – Cerro Villa Middle School
Dear OUSD Community,
This past week, Read Across America was celebrated at elementary schools districtwide.
Each year, National Read Across America Day is commemorated as a motivational and awareness day that encourages youth in every community across the United States to celebrate reading. This nationwide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss, also known as Theodor Seuss Geisel, an author best known for writing more than 60 children’s books.
Reading is a fun and engaging past-time and something that impacts students’ educational performance. Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day perform better in reading tests than those who do not and develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge, and a better understanding of other cultures. Reading empowers students to learn the vocabulary they need to effectively communicate their thoughts, ideas, hopes, and dreams to others and actively engage in their community, and become civic leaders. The amount a child reads has been found to have a more significant impact on how well a child does at school than their social or economic background.
In addition to the heartwarming celebrations at our elementary schools, we were excited to have welcomed State Superintendent Tony Thurmond back to Jordan Academy of Language and Computer Science, though virtually, to share his love of reading and passion for education with the Jaguars for the third consecutive year. In case you missed it, the recording of the event at Jordan Academy is available on the OUSD YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/c7tCBVwFfaU. An album of images is available on the OUSD Facebook page.
At the secondary level, we continue to work on measures to allow spectators to attend athletic events and competitions. Current CDPH guidance states that observation of youth sports (age 18 years and under) is limited to immediate household members, and for the strict purpose of age appropriate supervision. This includes observation of practice and competition. Additionally, the number of observers must be limited to ensure physical distance can be maintained.
Staff is currently working with athletic directors at each school site to determine the maximum number of individuals who can safely be accommodated at each athletic facility, taking into account social distancing and other public health guidance. This is a huge undertaking, and we appreciate your patience as we work to get proper signage and planning in place to maximize the health and safety of our students, staff, and community.
We look forward to moving to a less restrictive tier on the Orange County COVID-19 Dashboard, which will allow us to move closer to traditional activities and events. Thank you for wearing a mask, engaging in social distancing, and avoiding members from other households to help us move to the less restrictive red tier.
Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Orange Unified School District
As of January 2021, any student-athlete who is positive for COVID-19 and is on campus during their infectious period is included on the OUSD Dashboard, even if they are in 100% distance learning.
Principal for a Day
Thank you to everyone who participated in our virtual Principal for a Day event yesterday! This event partnered a business leader or community member with a school principal and allowed the participant an opportunity to observe a glimpse of a principal’s daily responsibilities, as well as the current teaching and learning environment in our schools. The purpose of the program is to foster relationships within the community and to share the outstanding work of OUSD teachers, students, and staff. For more information, please visit the link under News, or click here.
Voluntary Staff Vaccinations
Earlier this week, we partnered with CARE Ambulance to host a voluntary employee vaccination event, providing over 250 vaccines to staff. We are excited to share that this Sunday, March 7, OUSD will once again conduct a vaccine clinic for current OUSD employees only. This one-time, large-scale vaccination event at the Orange High School Gymnasium is open to employees from all sites and facilities. Appointments will be offered throughout the day with a total of 1,000 vaccines available. An OUSD ID badge will be required at check in. Non-employees and employees without appointments will be turned away. For more information, please fill out the Google form.
Staff members, please fill out this form to help us to plan to accommodate all those interested in obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine.
A Look Inside Our Schools
At Cambridge Elementary School, Mrs. Robinson’s fourth-grade students participated in a collaborative research project on California missions using the Social Studies pilot curriculum: TCI Social Studies Alive! Each collaborative group consisted of four students, both virtual and in-person. Each student was assigned an important role. The role of the Historian was to make sure all information was historically accurate. The Director oversaw the creation of Google slides and the oral presentation. The Writer made sure all members participated in the design of the slides and managed the editing process. The Creative Director made all final decisions regarding the images and videos that would be used for the project and the overall graphic design. The groups were given an online article that highlighted information about their mission. They read the article, took notes, and then selected the information they were going to include in their project. Students worked on their mission for 5 days and then presented to the class through Google Meets. Students engaged in meaningful conversations during the presentations and were also given an opportunity to reflect on the entire process. The students enjoyed the collaborative learning process and the newly gained knowledge of California missions.
At Olive Elementary School, supporting learners’ academic success is important, but their social and emotional needs need to be addressed first. To do this, Olive staff members focus on providing a positive atmosphere for students and have added more ways to offer extra support this year. Olive students and staff participated in The Great Kindness Challenge during the month of February and celebrated kindness through Kindness Spirit Days. Themes included “Never Too Old to Be Kind,” “Shine Bright with Kindness,” and “Kindness Rocks!” With the guidance of their Mental Health Counselor, Olive Elementary has also established a Social Emotional Learning Committee, which led to a Student-Staff Mentorship Program. This past year has presented difficulties, and adjusting to the new school environment and protocols has been challenging. The Ocelots are happy to bring positivity to their school in so many new ways this year!
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 www.orangeusd.org/jobs 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.
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