Message from the Superintendent

August 25, 2020

Important Information for the 2020-2021 School Year

Orange Unified remains committed to the safety of our students and staff and providing a high-quality education during these challenging times. Access our plan by clicking the button above.

COVID-19 Watch List Update

Dear OUSD Community,

On Sunday, August 23, Orange County was removed from the California COVID-19 watch list as public health officials successfully reported three consecutive days of data below all of the state’s monitoring thresholds. The state mandates a county must be off the watch list for 14 days before all schools can reopen for on-campus instruction without getting a waiver.

Provided Orange County’s daily COVID-19 numbers remain below state-set thresholds for 14 consecutive days, Orange Unified School District would be allowed to move to Phase 2 of the 2020-2021 OUSD Re-imagining Schools/Health & Safety-Driven Reopening Plan, pending approval by the OUSD Board of Education.

The district will be evaluating the best date for students to return to on-campus learning once state guidelines allow. To ensure the safety of our students and staff, on-campus instruction will be phased in, starting with the elementary grades. Given the current data trends, it is possible that students could begin a phased-in return after Labor Day.

Orange Unified’s Phase 2 SLICE offers families modified options that include on-campus instruction. Elementary families can choose to continue with 100% online learning, transition to full-day on-campus learning (5 days per week) with enhanced health and safety measures in place, or select a blended online/on-campus model. Middle and high school families can choose to continue with 100% online learning or transition to full-day on-campus learning (2-5 days per week depending on enrollment) with enhanced health and safety measures in place. Students enrolled in the EDGE Virtual Academy will not be affected.

Orange County could be placed back on the watch list should it be flagged for exceeding any one of six different COVID-19 metrics for three consecutive days. These metrics are the case rate, the percentage of positive tests, the average number of tests a county can perform daily, changes in the number of hospitalized patients, and the percentage of ventilators and intensive care beds available.

To track the number of days Orange County has been off the monitoring list, please visit the OC Health Care Agency website and click on the online dashboard.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we continue to navigate the new school year with the health and safety of our students and staff at the forefront of our efforts.

Warmest Regards,

Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools



Technology Update

Yesterday, roughly 500 devices and 300 hotspots were distributed to families in need, bringing the total number of laptops, tablets, and hotspots distributed in the past week alone to approximately 1,300. Due to the overwhelming response this morning, more devices will be distributed in the coming days.

Families in need of technical support can contact Technology Services for help. Community technical support is available for all OUSD students and parents from 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM, Monday – Friday. They can be reached at 714-628-5372 or by emailing

Devices are handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointment is needed.

Since March, Orange Unified has provided over 10,000 devices and 2,000 hotspots to support students engaged in distance learning.

Distance Learning Etiquette

Distance learning instruction and educational activities that occur via District-approved web/video conferencing platforms may be recorded by the District for educational purposes. The recordings may be shared with other students enrolled in the class and/or their parents/guardians, and/or with district personnel or other school officials with a legitimate educational interest in reviewing such recordings. Students and parents are not to record, photograph, or share any distance learning instructional activities without the consent of all of the participants, or unless prior District approval for such recording has been granted.

Please be mindful of images you share online as they may contain sensitive information, such as username/passwords, phone numbers, and other personal information that may be in the background, on a desk, or taped to a computer, for example.

Questions/Comments Regarding the 2020-2021 School Year

Questions/comments will be handled by the appropriate personnel. If there are multiple questions or comments on the same subject matter, we will add them to our "Frequently Asked Questions" section of our resources.

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