Message from the Superintendent

April 14, 2020

OUSD Class of 2020 End of Year Activities Update

The Orange Unified School District fully understands that senior year is a milestone in the educational journey of our students. The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately inhibited us from continuing with many of these rites of passages for our Class of 2020 Seniors. Educational Services is fully committed to implementing alternative means for some of these special senior activities. Below is the current information to date:


It is our sincere hope to hold graduation at Fred Kelly Stadium as scheduled on June 10th and June 11th. If we are unable to celebrate graduation traditionally due to continued social distancing guidelines, the following contingency plan will be facilitated:

  1. A live-streamed virtual ceremony with traditional commencement speeches and presentation of the Class of 2020, followed by a unique drive-thru diploma pickup at each high school.
  2. In addition, we are committed to hosting a traditional ceremony on July 22nd and July 23rd at Fred Kelly Stadium, which is dependent on the lifting of the social distancing mandates.
  3. Traditional ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium on June 10th & 11th with only students and staff in attendance, with live streaming on the internet for public viewing. This option will be considered only if social distancing measures are augmented to where we can safely accommodate our students.


Proms at all our high schools have been canceled due to social distancing mandates. If there is a lifting of the social distancing guidelines that allow large groups of students to be in one place, all of our high schools are committed to holding on-campus dances in honor of the graduating class. Schools are committed to holding such an event through the end of July.


Grad Night is not an official OUSD event and it will be up to each school’s Grad Night Committee to decide if this event can continue if the social distancing guidelines are lifted.


Senior Breakfast and senior trips to Disneyland or Magic Mountain have been canceled. If the social distancing guidelines are lifted, OUSD is committed to having a pancake breakfast at each high school or an OUSD Class of 2020 Breakfast at the district office.

Please know that the entire Orange USD family is heartbroken that we may be unable to celebrate our amazing Class of 2020 in the traditional OUSD manner. We know that our seniors will only be stronger because of the challenges and disappointments that they may experience. We know this because we have personally witnessed them develop into young adults that exhibit resiliency, integrity, compassion, and respect in everything they say and do. They may be Comanches, Vanguards, Panthers, Spartans, Titans, and Condors in spirit yet, today they are recognized as the OUSD Class of 2020…the class that turned adversity into character. If seniors and/or parents have any ideas and or questions concerning senior activities please feel free to contact your Principal or fill out the Question/Comments Form at


Educational Services and OUEA Leadership have been working collaboratively and diligently in the development of an Interim OUSD Grading Protocol that fosters our District Core Values of Equity, Integrity, Respect, and Excellence. Our recommended grading protocol has been formulated based on the following criteria:

  • All Orange County districts have made a commitment to foster and implement an interim grading protocol that ensures a lens of equity & focuses on the primary goal of doing no harm to students
  • It aligns with the Grading Recommendations released by the California Department of Education last week
  • It is very similar to what other OC districts and districts across the nation are facilitating
  • It is grounded in culturally relevant teaching & learning research

Research on equitable grading practices provides insight into three principles that we must be cognizant of:

  • Stress related to CoVID-19 will negatively impact student academic performance
  • Student academic performance during school closures is more likely to reflect racial, economic, and resource differences
  • Teachers are being asked to provide high-quality distance learning instruction, which is new to many of them

These principles and our commitment to our District Core Values and Goal Focus Area 3.0: Genuine Wellness & Safety provided the framework for our Interim Grading Protocol for Trimester 3 and Quarter 4. Many of our OUSD families and staff are experiencing severe emotional, physical, and financial challenges, which are inhibiting them from keeping academics as their main focus. This is a reality that we cannot or should not ignore.

We fully understand that there may be initial concerns about the Interim Grading Protocol as it may be perceived as not holding students fully accountable for their academic commitments. Teachers will have the opportunity to add written comments into the Aeries platform to flag students who are struggling with standards/concepts and who have incomplete assignments. The district office and site leaders will work with these families to design interventions in summer if social distancing mandates are lifted and/or in fall. Below you will find our Interim OUSD Grading Protocol:

OUSD Interim Grading Protocol for Trimester 3 & Quarter 4

We will provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader

OUSD Interim Grading Protocol

Elementary/Middle School- Two grade options that include:

  • Pass w/Distinction
  • Pass
  • Foreign Language/HS Math courses in Middle School will encompass A-C scale to ensure a lens of equity and a focus on the primary goal of doing no harm to students. (*CDE recommendation)

High School- Alter current grading protocol to a A-C scale to ensure a lens of equity and a focus on the primary goal of doing no harm to students. (*CDE recommendation)

Grading Protocol will include teacher opportunity for written comments in order for site leaders and DO staff to flag any struggling students for summer/fall interventions.

In order to assist with the successful implementation of this protocol, an Distance Learning Elementary Task Force and Distance Learning Secondary Task Force, comprised of teachers, District Curriculum Council representation, site leaders, and district office staff have been formulated to collaborate and recommend best practices and expectations in the following areas:

  • Distance Learning Time Allotments/Schedules
  • Student Workload
  • Time given to Synchronous/Asynchronous learning
  • Office Hours

Later this week, an additional correspondence will be sent out from the Office of Curriculum & Instruction on these best practices and expectations. We thank you for your patience, understanding, and commitment to our District Core Values as we continue to address the needs of our students. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your site principal and/or feel free to fill out our Questions/Comments Form at