Message from the Superintendent
October 22, 2021
In this Message
- Governor Newsom’s Proposed Vaccine Mandate
- Jordan Academy Recognized with Prestigious Golden Bell Award
- Running Springs Elementary Students Learn About Bolivian Peers
- Villa Park High School’s Café Showcase
- Nominate Your Favorite School Hero
- Latest Board of Education Meeting Recording Available Online
- COVID-19 Testing Opportunities
- Employment Opportunities
- November 2: Non-Student Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
- November 12: End of Trimester - Minimum Day, Elementary & Middle Schools
- November 18: Board of Education Meeting
- November 22 – November 26: Thanksgiving Break
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. Providing a safe and healthy school environment for all of our students and employees continues to be our top priority, and we appreciate your ongoing support of our students and staff.
On October 1, Governor Newsom announced a proposed mandate for students attending in-person instruction to be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting the term following full U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the vaccine for their grade span (7-12 and K-6).
We understand many in our community are deeply concerned about this proposed mandate, while others wholeheartedly support the Governor’s announcement. As a public school district, we are obligated to implement and follow state Health and Safety Code requirements, laws and regulations, and vaccination requirements under sections 120325 - 120380 of the California Health and Safety Code.
Our Board of Education Trustees, administrators, principals, teachers, and staff are not involved in the decision-making process of Governor Newsom or the California Department of Public Health.
The California Department of Public Health will initiate the rulemaking process and write regulations addressing requirements, such as the process and scope of medical and personal exemptions. Students who are granted an exemption waiver could attend school in person without receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you have opinions that you would like to share about this new regulation or provide input on the rulemaking process associated with this new mandate, please direct those to the California Department of Public Health or our local representatives:
We would also like to take this opportunity to address the concerns we have heard from our families and offer clarity as to what the proposed mandate means:
- Governor Newsom’s proposed mandate for 7-12th grade students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is not currently in effect. The mandate cannot go into effect until the vaccine has full U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for specific age groups of students.
- The mandate has an anticipated implementation date of January 1, 2022, or July 1, 2022, for children ages 12 and over. The vaccine requirement would go into effect at the start of the semester following the vaccine’s full approval by the FDA.
- Current immunization requirements (diphtheria, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae type B, measles, mumps, pertussis, poliomyelitis, rubella, tetanus, and chickenpox) were approved through a legislative process, not a governor’s mandate.
- At this time, TK-12 educational leaders are being told that exemptions will be available for families who do not wish to have their children vaccinated.
- Exemptions for student COVID-19 vaccines are not yet applicable because the proposed mandate has not yet taken effect. It is anticipated these exemptions will include medical and personal beliefs. If an exemption waiver is completed correctly and granted, a student could attend school in person. The personal belief exemption can be used by families unless legislature changes the list of mandatory vaccines for TK-12 students by adding the COVID-19 vaccine. The personal belief exemption covers religious exemption. If the legislature approves the COVID-19 vaccine for TK-12 students, then the only available exemption will be medical.
- Families with students who opt-out of receiving the vaccine and do not have an exemption waiver in place will not be allowed to attend school in person should the mandate go into effect.
Attending school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success and it is our sincere desire for all of our students to be able to remain in the classroom. We will continue to share our latest news and updates on our website and across OUSD social media accounts.
We have made it through these challenging times by working together, and I 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
Jordan Academy Recognized with Prestigious Golden Bell Award
Jordan Academy’s Academy of Language and Computer Science was recognized as an innovative and sustainable program that makes a demonstrated difference for students and focuses on meeting the needs of all students, according to the California School Boards Association.
Now entering its third year offering the specialized Spanish Dual Immersion with Computer Science Integration program, Jordan Academy provides a unique educational experience that fosters a culture empowering students to be biliterate problem solvers, critical thinkers while providing a nurturing, culturally responsive learning environment that promotes equity and empathy.
Students in Jordan Academy’s program spend 50% of their day immersed in Spanish: Language Arts, Social Studies, and Math. Immersion students are learning Spanish through content, not merely the teaching of the language in isolation. The Computer Science Integration aspect of the program is a unique blend of coding, robotics, computational, and algorithmic thinking/reasoning skills. Read more by CLICKING HERE or visit Jordan Academy’s website at orangeusd.org/jordan-academy
Running Springs Elementary Students Learn About Bolivian Peers
In the month of October, students in Running Springs Elementary School’s Spanish class are learning about the exceptional daily routines of primary school children and teachers as they prepare to go to school in Bolivia.
Explore unique routes and risky conditions leading to learning sites, students are questioning the reasons long walks and even homemade zip lines are the only ways to school. This helps them to appreciate how fortunate they are to have safe roads in our community. It is easy to take for granted simple routines and established norms, such as crossing guards helping our community to be safe and even the privilege to wake up at seven instead of four in the morning.
Many children in Bolivia are citizens of the jungle and concurrently of a nation that is characterized by 60% living in extreme poverty, meaning that basic needs are not easily met. Students are fascinated to discover that some Bolivians have dreams to one day leave their precarious condition, and a primary way to get out of poverty is for children to attend school and complete their education.
As students inquire about their peers’ situation, some suggested that children residing in Bolivia should leave their home country and seek a safer place that supports their dreams, even asking if adoption could help those in need. By recognizing cultural differences and being receptive to diversity, students develop awareness that their bright and inquisitive minds will use to help them create positive changes in the future.
Villa Park High School’s Café Showcase
The award-winning Villa Park High School Vocal Music Department hosted their 7th Annual Villa Café Showcase in the VPHS Amphitheater. The community showed incredible support for the amazing students and were able to witness all of their hard work come to fruition.
The program from musical theater consisted of an eclectic variety including jazz numbers, singer/songwriter, movie music, and pop. There was quite a whimsical version of “All Star” by Smashmouth as well as feature tunes from Disney Pixar films like Cars and Coco. Finally, the crowd got into the Halloween spirit with the tune “I Put a Spell on You” from Hocus Pocus.
Award-winning Choir Director Stacy Oh stated, “It was thrilling to be able to perform for a live audience once again!”
NOMINATE YOUR FAVORITE SCHOOL HERO
Do you know an OC educator or school employee who gets an A+ in every area? Parenting OC is now accepting nominations School Heroes at https://parentingoc.com/2021/08/top-teachers-employees-2022-nominations. Nominate your favorite teacher, staff member, or school leader to be honored by Parenting OC in their March 2022 issue.
All nominations will be posted on www.ParentingOC.com
LATEST BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING RECORDING AVAILABLE ONLINE
We are pleased to announce that our Board of Education Meeting recordings are now being posted in both English and Spanish on the OUSD YouTube channel and Board of Education page. If you were unable to attend the live meeting or watch the live stream, you can watch the recording at your convenience. Each meeting will be available until it is replaced by the next Board of Education Meeting.
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
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.