Message from the Superintendent
January 29, 2021
In this Message:
- 4th District PTA Reflections Program
- Elks Drug Awareness Program (DAP) Winners
- How to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19
- LCAP Survey
- CARES (Childcare) Interest Survey
- February 3: Canyon High School Showcase
- February 5: LCAP Survey Closes
- February 11: Board of Education Meeting
- February 12 – 15: Presidents Day Holiday
- February 17: Villa Park High School Showcase
- February 24: Orange High School Showcase & Richland High School Showcase
- February 25: Placeholder Board of Education Meeting
Dear OUSD Community,
This has been an eventful week, as the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) ended the Regional Stay at Home Order, which will allow athletics identified as “low-risk” to resume competitions. Additionally, all counties statewide to return to the rules and framework of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and Orange County moved back into the Purple Tier, the state’s most restrictive tier based on our current adjusted daily case rate and test positivity rate (seven day average with seven-day lag). Services and activities, such as outdoor dining and personal services, may resume immediately with required modifications.
Due to high case rates across most of the state, California’s Hospital Surge Order remains in place to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. The Limited Stay at Home Order, which limited non-essential activities between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., expired when the Regional Stay At Home Order ended. The state’s press release may be found here.
This past Monday, we held the final of our four virtual Town Hall Meetings to discuss conceptual drawings that have been prepared for the Facilities Long-Range Master Plan. Over 200 community members participated in the discussion about the Villa Park High family of schools. Thank you to everyone who took the time to join in this important dialogue!
To learn more about the Facilities Master Plan process, watch the Town Hall presentations, or submit a question/comment form, please visit orangeusd.org/FMP. If you would like to learn more about a particular site’s conceptual plans, please reach out to the site principal.
Finally, at last week’s Board of Education meeting, the Trustees voted to adopt a resolution to enter into Power Purchase Agreement contract negotiations with Ameresco Inc. This agreement opens the door for Ameresco to complete a second phase of solar projects on District campuses, including Anaheim Hills Elementary, Canyon High School, Cerro Villa Middle School, Running Springs Elementary, Serrano Elementary, Sycamore Elementary, and Villa Park High School. The solar projects will be constructed over a two-year period, with the initial group of projects planned for this summer and the second taking place in 2022.
Ameresco will own and maintain the solar panels. The District will benefit from energy savings of roughly $216,000 per year over the next 25 years, totaling a $5.4 million contribution to the general fund directly benefitting students. Beyond the monetary benefit through cost savings, the solar panels will provide much-needed shade structures and enhanced safety and security, including LED lighting and the capability to support surveillance equipment.
The Board also voted to approve the Summer Deferred Maintenance project proposal for 2021, which focuses on restroom refurbishing, fire alarm upgrades, playground upgrades, roofing, shade structures, pool plastering, painting, paving, and other projects totaling $3.635 million. An additional amount of $320,000 out of Mello Roos Community Facilities District funding is being used to cover the projects at Running Springs and Anaheim Hills Elementary Schools.
Projects were selected based on a current condition assessment of school facilities and revamped building inventories and are in addition to ongoing projects related to the routine maintenance of school buildings.
Over the last five years, the District has completed 350 projects, utilizing:
- 9,000 Gallons of Paint
- 25 Miles of Asphalt
- 70,000 Square Yards of Carpet
- New Equipment on 20 Playgrounds
4th District PTA Reflections Program
We are proud to announce that we had six students awarded at the 4th District level of PTA’s 2021 Reflections Program.
1st place, Literature, Krish Odhrani from Crescent Elementary
2nd place, Photography, Matthew Giordano from Running Springs Elementary
2nd place, Literature, Chloe Mosqueira from Santiago Charter Middle
2nd place, Maya Chisick from Canyon High
2nd place, Visual Arts, Evan Ferraro from El Modena High
2nd place, Kai Fujimoto, El Modena High
These students were chosen from the “Award of Excellence” entries from the school site level. Approximately 250 students at schools throughout Orange County participated in the 4th District Reflections Program this year, with a total of more than 4,000 entries. Thank you to all who encouraged students to participate! More information about the Reflections program is online at https://orangeunifiedcouncilpta.org/programs/reflections/
Elks Drug Awareness Program (DAP) Winners
Congratulations are also in order for Orange Unified’s award-winning entries to the Elks DAP Video Contest! Each of the winners below won at the local Orange Lodge #1475 and Orange Coast District levels and are now entered into the State competition on the way to the National competition.
Middle School Entry: Cerro Villa Middle School 7th grader Keiana DeGrave
High School Entry: Canyon High School Juniors Shane Lockwood & Caden Schlechter
Post High School Entry: El Modena High School Instructor Vicki K. Mull, MFA
The Elks National Drug Awareness Program is the largest volunteer drug awareness program in the United States. Since 1982, the Elks have developed an effective, community-based drug prevention program by partnering with federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and national organizations such as Pride Youth Programs. These partnerships ensure the Elks Drug Awareness Program addresses the leading drug abuse issues facing communities today. Over the past eight years, Orange Lodge #1475 has the most local, district, state, and national video winners of any lodge in the nation for all categories - Middle School, High School, and Post High School - from nearly 2,000 lodges and 15,000 school districts. All of these winners have been entries from OUSD.
We thank the Orange Elks for their continued partnership to support EDGE Focus Area 3.0: Genuine Wellness & Safety!
To learn more about the Elks DAP, please visit https://www.elks.org/dap/
How to Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19
The Orange County Health Care Agency has also updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Orange County’s Health Officer’s Revised Orders and Strong Recommendations section of its website to reflect the new tier status.
There are several steps Orange County residents can do at this time:
1. Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine
For the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Orange County, go to covidvaccinefacts.com. To register for COVID-19 vaccination at a Super POD site in Orange County, go to Othena.com. For questions about Othena, call (714) 834-2000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Get Tested for COVID-19
The OC Health Care Agency officials urge residents, especially those with any symptoms, to get tested for the virus.
COVID-19 testing is now widely available across the county for those who are symptomatic or asymptomatic, with or without insurance, at no cost. Testing takes only a few minutes, and results generally come back within two to three days.
If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home and let close contacts know. A close contact is someone you were within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes within a 24-hour period during the infectious period.
3. Stay Home if You Don’t Feel Well
Consult with a health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, please call the OC Health Care Agency’s Health Referral Line at 1(800) 564-8448.
4. Stay Home When Possible
When you leave the house, avoid crowds and stay 6 feet apart from people not in your household.
5. Do Not Gather
Do not mix households; for example, it is strongly recommended that people don’t dine outdoors or gather for activities with people not living in the same household.
6. Wear a Face Covering
Wear a face-covering you are around people not in your household, especially when indoors.
7. Wash Your Hands Often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose, and Mouth with Unwashed Hands
- Clean and Disinfect Frequently Touched Surfaces
- Understand and Comply with the State’s Guideline for Your Business and Events
Orange County residents may search for a business or activity type by visiting https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/ and typing in “Orange” in the County field, entering the business or activity type, and clicking, “GET LATEST STATUS.”
The District is collecting anonymous parent responses from parents, teachers, and students to allow them to provide input on our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). Your feedback is crucial to help guide the LCAP for the 2021-2022 school year. The survey is open through February 5. Thank you in advance for your feedback!
CARES (Childcare) Interest Survey
We are already in the planning stages for the upcoming school year and are currently unsure if we will have enough interest to offer fee-based childcare (CARES for TK-Grade 6) for 2021-2022 at the sites that currently offer the EDGE Club. If you are interested in childcare next year, please fill out the CARES Interest Form. This is only an interest form and not a registration form. As of today, we are unsure if we will be able to offer the parent paid program and this information will be of great help to our planning. Our aim is to let families know of the plans for childcare next year sometime after spring break.
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