Message from the Superintendent

January 19, 2022

In this Message

  • Updated Guidance from OCHCA
  • Isolation and Quarantine Protocols
  • Free On-Campus Testing for Students and Staff
  • Masks Required While On Campus

Upcoming Events

  • January 26: Villa Park High School Showcase
  • February 2: Canyon High School Showcase

  • February 3: Board of Education Meeting
  • February 7: National School Counseling Week
  • February 9: Orange High School Showcase
  • February 16: El Modena High School Showcase
  • February 17: Board of Education Placeholder Meeting
  • February 18: Holiday - Lincoln Day - Observed
  • February 21: Holiday - Washington Day - Observed
  • February 23: Richland Open House

Dear OUSD Community:

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Orange Unified has been ahead of the curve when it comes to providing a safe and healthy environment for our community of learners and educators.

As we all know, the Omicron variant is highly contagious. Nevertheless, health agencies like the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics continue to state that school is one of the safest places for children, largely because of the rigorous mitigation measures in place. Orange Unified’s 2021-2022 Safety and Health-Driven Plan contains detailed information about the safety measures currently in place districtwide.

In light of the recent quarantine and isolation guidelines announced/issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has issued updated orders and strong recommendations. At this time, we will no longer send close contact communications when there is a positive COVID-19 case in a classroom with consistent mask-wearing among all students within that classroom. Instead, all families in that classroom will be notified of a positive case via email. All students in that classroom will be asked to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and stay home if symptoms develop or if they test positive for COVID-19.

For the health and safety of our community, any student exhibiting possible COVID symptoms will be sent home. A note from a healthcare provider or proof of a negative COVID test will be required before the student may return to campus.


Just as COVID remains fluid, so does the guidance surrounding quarantine and isolation. The most current OC Health Care Agency Orders are summarized here. You can also refer to the latest release of the Student COVID Decision Tree from OCHCA (which all of our sites are currently implementing).

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status:


  • Stay home for at least five days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving (including no fever for 24 hours), you can return to school with a negative FDA-approved/authorized test taken on or after day five (we will give out antigen testing as supplies last for bringing students back from isolation). Individuals would return to school on day six and must continue to wear a mask around others - both indoors and outdoors - for five additional days.
  • If you have symptoms or choose not to test, continue to isolate for the remainder of the ten days.


If you have received a booster OR completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine OR completed the primary series of J&J vaccine:

  • Wear a mask - both indoors and outdoors - around others for ten days.
  • You may return to school.

If you are unvaccinated:

  • Stay home for five days.
  • You may return to school with a negative FDA-approved/authorized test taken on or after day five (we will give out antigen testing as supplies last for bringing students back from isolation).
  • Wear a mask - both indoors and outdoors - around others for five additional days.

* If you develop symptoms, stay home.


Testing enables us to mitigate the spread of the virus. Given the value of testing, we will continue to offer testing for students and staff each Monday through Thursday 2:00-5:00 at Canyon High, El Modena High, Orange High, Villa Park High, and the Orange Unified District Office until further notice. This non-invasive (saliva) PCR testing is provided at no cost. Please be sure to register and/or schedule an appointment time at

Additionally, antigen testing will be provided to students in quarantine or isolation as supplies last. If students have symptoms or want to know their COVID status, they should attend one of our Living Fit Nation testing opportunities.


A high-quality mask continues to be an essential part of the arsenal to keep COVID at bay. Students and all staff are required to wear well-fitted masks while indoors. Please ensure your student comes to school wearing their mask and carries an extra mask in their backpack. CDC guidance on masking can be found here.

Thank you for your continued partnership to help keep our students, staff, and community healthy.

Warmest Regards,

Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Orange Unified School District

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