Message from the Superintendent
January 6, 2021
In this Message:
- Measure S Update
- Youth Sports
- Facilities Master Plan Town Hall Meetings
- January 12: Facilities Master Plan Virtual Town Hall, Canyon HS Feeder Schools
- January 13: Facilities Master Plan Virtual Town Hall, El Modena HS Feeder Schools
- January 14: Facilities Master Plan Virtual Town Hall, Orange HS Feeder Schools
- January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- January 20: Facilities Master Plan Virtual Town Hall, Villa Park HS Feeder Schools
- January 21: Board of Education Meeting
- January 27: (Tentative) High School Showcases – Canyon & El Modena
Dear OUSD Community,
I hope this message finds you well and that you had an enjoyable winter break. While it is nice to have the opportunity to recharge, we look forward to resuming instruction for all academic models, including in-person instruction, starting Monday, January 11.
The health and safety of our students, staff, and families are our priority. If your holiday plans included travel, please be mindful that the California Department of Public Health’s travel advisory recommends, “Persons arriving in California from other states or countries, including returning California residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.” While this is not mandatory, it is encouraged to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our community and schools.
Over the break, OUSD staff remained in close contact with the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency. Contact tracing continues to affirm that schools are effectively mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on-campus due to enhanced health and safety protocols, including daily home health screenings, the use of face coverings, physical distancing, utilization of outdoor spaces, and disinfecting practices. These practices have set a course for all California school districts to reopen through California’s “Safe Schools for All” plan. While Orange Unified has offered in-person instruction since Fall, the Governor’s new plan is anticipated to provide our district with increased funding, PPE supplies, and additional support after it is approved by the legislature.
As a reminder, individuals who are sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should contact their healthcare provider and stay home. If you or a member of your household has tested positive or are awaiting COVID-19 test results, please follow public health guidance and do not report to campus.
Now that the vaccination program has begun in Orange County, we finally can see an end to this pandemic. Please remain vigilant and safe during the next months by monitoring symptoms and following all health protocols.
Happy New Year 2021!
Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Orange Unified School District
Measure S Update
El Modena’s High School’s STEM building project is moving forward steadily after a slight delay in the beginning stages of construction. Framing and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) activities are progressing well with roofing to follow. The District anticipates the building to be completed by late Spring 2021 and be available to serve students full time beginning in Fall of 2021.
Villa Park High School’s STEM Center project has suffered through some moderate delays, but the District and construction support teams have made huge efforts to bring the project back on track. Structural steel activities are completed and the building is progressively moving towards the next phases. Staff anticipates completion of the building over the early summer months and opening the STEM building to staff and students in Fall 2021.
The nearly 70,000 square foot STEM and Student Services Center at Canyon High School is coming along nicely with structural steel activities recently completed. The placing of the final steel beam was recently documented by the District in a virtual “Topping Out” ceremony in November as community members, students and District staff were able to sign the final piece of the internal structure of the building and see it hoisted into place. The Canyon High School STEM project is scheduled to open in late Fall 2021.
Orange High School’s STEM Complex opened last month.
Current Status: PHASE I Under Construction (Framing/Roofing)
Villa Park HS
Current Status: Phase I Under Construction (Concrete Over Steel Decking)
Current Status: PHASE I Under Construction (Structural Decking)
COVID-19 continues to threaten our community’s health and has necessitated various adjustments to help mitigate the spread of disease. Given Orange County’s current tier on the California COVID-19 Dashboard, we unfortunately cannot accommodate youth sports programs based upon the recent California Department of Public Health guidance.
We value our relationships with our youth sports groups and programs that utilize our facilities and understand the value these offerings provide for the students we have the honor of serving in this great community. We would love nothing more than to welcome youth sports groups back to our fields, gyms, courts, and pools as soon as it is safe to do so. Our School Board, District, and Site Leadership are all committed to making this happen as safely and quickly as possible as soon as public health guidance permits.
The Office of Student and Community Services (SCS) continues to monitor the situation. As soon as we get the green light, SCS will notify the appropriate individuals that youth sports can resume at our facilities, and we will welcome them back with open arms. Thank you for your patience as we, too, eagerly await the return of youth sports, inter-team competitions, meets, races, and similar events.
As a public entity, Orange Unified School District must comply with federal, state, and local guidance. On December 14, the California Department of Public Health released guidance regarding outdoor and indoor youth and recreational adult sports activities to support a safe environment for these sports. The guidance applies to all organized youth sports — including school- and community-sponsored programs, and privately-organized clubs and leagues — and adult recreational sports. The guidance in its entirety is available online at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/outdoor-indoor-recreational-sports.aspx
If you would like to send a message to the California Department of Public Health, you may do so at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/contact_us.aspx
With the high number of community COVID-19 cases occurring in Orange County, it remains vital to follow public health guidance. Please wear a mask, stay at least six feet from others, and frequently wash your hands. Together, we can help mitigate the spread of illness and move toward getting things back to normal.
Facilities Master Plan Town Hall Meetings
Orange Unified School District has embarked upon a District-wide Facilities Master Plan process to identify long-term demographic trends, assess current facilities conditions, and envision educational program opportunities to develop strategies that address these needs, and their impact on facilities, in a comprehensive and thoughtful manner.
As a District, we value our stakeholders and understand that an effective Facilities Master Plan must be informed by community input. We encourage our OUSD families, staff, and residents to join our Virtual Town Hall Meetings to provide invaluable feedback on the long-range conceptual school site master plans and prioritization of proposed projects to bring forward to the Board of Trustees as a recommendation.
Though each meeting is organized by attendance area to collect information about future site improvements desired in each of the four high school residency areas, community members are welcome to attend any meeting(s) of interest.
Please join the conversation to make your voice heard.
PUBLIC VIRTUAL MEETING INFORMATION:
ANAHEIM HILLS/CANYON HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AREA
JANUARY 12, 2021, 6:00-7:30 PM
REGISTER AT www.orangeusd.org/fmp/chs
EAST ORANGE/EL MODENA HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AREA
JANUARY 13, 2021, 6:00-7:30 PM
REGISTER AT www.orangeusd.org/fmp/emhs
WEST & CENTRAL ORANGE/ORANGE HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AREA
JANUARY 14, 2021, 6:00-7:30 PM
REGISTER AT www.orangeusd.org/fmp/ohs
VILLA PARK & NORTH ORANGE/VILLA PARK HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AREA
JANUARY 20, 2021, 6:00-7:30 PM
REGISTER AT www.orangeusd.org/fmp/vphs
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