Message from the Superintendent
October 1, 2021
In this Message
- HEPA Filter Procurement Update
- Facilities Master Plan
- COVID Relief and LCAP Funding – We Need Your Input!
- Microsoft 365 Advantage
- Covid Testing Opportunities
- Free OCTA Youth Bus Passes
- Employment Opportunities
- October: Dyslexia Awareness Month
- October 4-8: Elementary Parent Conferences
- October 5 - Disciplina Positive Parent Workshop – Spanish
- October 5-6: Virtual College & Career Fair
- October 7 - Disciplina Positive Parent Workshop – English
- October 12 - Disciplina Positive Parent Workshop – Spanish
- October 13: High School Minimum Day
- October 14 - Disciplina Positive Parent Workshop – English
- October 21: Board of Education Meeting
Dear OUSD Community:
The safety and well-being of our Orange Unified School District students, staff, and community remain at the forefront of our efforts as we continue to provide high-quality in-person instruction districtwide. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have worked non-stop to implement enhanced safety and sanitization measures on our campuses and enforce the latest public health guidance as it has become available.
In addition to our current remediation strategies, and in response to the CalOSHA and CDC guidance related to filtration and ventilation, the Board of Education voted on September 9 to approve the procurement and installation of portable, medical-grade High Efficient Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration systems districtwide to provide optimal air quality in our classrooms and further mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission at our sites.
The HEPA filter air purifiers have been prioritized for designated school spaces, including classrooms, multi-purpose rooms, gyms, school offices, and other areas over 1,000 square feet, including at our CARES, preschool, and other special program sites with shared space. They are not to be placed in private offices.
Recently, numerous health agencies have recommended MERV-13 rated filters for use in classroom filtration systems. Unfortunately, these filters are not compatible with and could damage our existing ventilation systems if installed. The newly procured HEPA air purifiers greatly exceed the rating of MERV-13 filters and have the ability to clean over 99% of the air particles passing through its system at the 0.3 micron level in an area over 1,000 square feet.
The rollout of the air purifiers began September 21, with five elementary schools receiving the first of nearly 1,900 units to be distributed districtwide. All sites will receive HEPA filters over the next three weeks, with project completion expected in mid-October.
District staff has worked out creative logistics remotely to avoid overcrowding our district warehouse. Finding space to store an extensive rollout of items is often tricky. Orange Unified’s limited storage capacity has been prioritized for Personal Protective Equipment and cleaning supplies with the number one goal established; keep the supplies in stock that our schools need most during a pandemic.
While we focus on keeping our students and staff healthy on our campuses, we need your partnership to help keep illness out of our schools. Please limit exposure while not on campus by following the Centers for Disease Control guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, getting vaccinated if you are able, and adhering to quarantine protocols if necessary.
As a reminder, students and staff should not attend school or work if they are feeling unwell or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
Thank you for your continued partnership and support as we continue to work with local public health officials to stay up-to-date on the latest guidance.
Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Orange Unified School District
Facilities Master Plan Update
Orange Unified School District completed a District-wide Facilities Master Plan (approved by the Board of Education on July 22, 2021) to identify long-term demographic trends, assess current facilities conditions, and envision educational program opportunities in order to develop strategies that address these needs and their impact on facilities in a comprehensive and thoughtful manner. The Facilities Master Plan has been carefully aligned with and supports the Orange Unified EDGE Strategic Goals and Priorities.
As a District, we value our stakeholders and understand that an effective Facilities Master Plan must be built on a foundation of District, Student, Parent, and Local Community input. Thank you to the over 1,000 stakeholders who participated in this process!
COVID Relief and Additional Local Control and Accountability Plan Funding
This year only, we are receiving additional funding for COVID relief and our Local Control and Accountability Plan. While we have been hard at work planning ways to use the funds to best support our students, we would appreciate your feedback as well! Please take a moment and let us know your thoughts by filling out the survey at https://forms.gle/hFAPuQ1rusTwqxR48
Some of the input we have already received includes the consideration of shade structures, HEPA portable filters, additional staff to reduce student-to-staff ratios, athletic facility upgrades, summer school for elementary, bottle filling stations, instructional software subscriptions, counselors, and tutoring. Do you agree with these suggestions? Disagree? Have other ideas? Let us know! Thank you in advance for your time.
Microsoft 365 Advantage
Orange Unified School District is part of the Microsoft Office 365 Advantage program, providing all staff AND students with five full copies of Office 365 ProPlus at no cost! This software can be installed by users on personal computers, tablets, and other devices. (Note: Most Windows Tablets and Windows Phones come with Office installed.)
Get Started in 4 Easy Steps!
To login to your account:
- Click here or go to go to the main login page for Office 365.
- Enter your Student ID Number@orangeusd.org or Staff email address as the Username (example:email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org), then enter the Password you use to sign in to school/District computers.
- Once you are signed in click "Office 365" in the top left corner of the page.
- Click the orange "Install Now" (lower right) button, and you're ready to go!
COVID TESTING OPPORTUNITIES
Voluntary, cost-free COVID-19 testing is available four times per week to all interested students. This type of surveillance testing program is recommended by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
EVENT DATES/TIMES: Every Monday and Thursday, 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM.
- Canyon High School
- El Modena High
- Orange High School
- Villa Park High School
- OUSD District Office
ONLINE REGISTRATION: https://hipaa.jotform.com/LivingFit/OUSDAug26Students
Free OCTA Youth Bus Passes
Youth (ages 6-18) can ride all OC Bus fixed-route buses for free beginning this month with a new promotional pass offered by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). There is no criteria to receive a pass, though an application is required.
The Youth Ride Free program is offered by OCTA. The six-month program will start in September and passes will be valid through February 28. For more information, please visit OCbus.com/YouthRideFree or inquire at your child's school site.
As Orange County continues to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and as many students return to school, this new pass allows youth to re-engage with educational, recreational, and employment opportunities without financial hardship. The pass also provides an opportunity for our youth to experience the benefits of public transportation.
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.