Message from the Superintendent

April 29, 2022

Upcoming Events

  • May 3: Canyon Hills ES Open House; McPherson Magnet Open House
  • May 5: Imperial ES Open House; Board of Education Meeting
  • May 16: Classified School Employee Week
  • May 18: Employee of the Year Celebration
  • May 19: Prospect ES Open House; Sycamore ES Open House; Board of Education Meeting

In this Message

  • California Pivotal Practice Award Program (CAPP)
  • La Veta Elementary Selected for Angels ‘Adopt-A-School’ program
  • School Bus Driver’s Day 2022
  • Nohl Canyon Elementary Celebrates 50 Years
  • 2021 and 2022 Teacher of the Year Celebration
  • Portola Preparatory Academy Now Enrolling
  • Richland High School’s WASC Meet & Greet
  • CARES Child Care Registration
  • Employment Opportunities

Dear OUSD Community,

With only about six weeks of school remaining, we are excited to have so much to celebrate. Three of our high schools have once again been named by U.S. News and World Report as “Best” High Schools in the nation for the third consecutive year. Additionally, Orange Unified School District and seven of our individual school sites were announced as winners of the California Pivotal Practice Award Program (CAPP) in recognition of innovative practices from the 2020-21 school year when many California schools were transitioning back to in-person learning. We continue to celebrate our staff and schools while offering new educational opportunities for our students.

Please learn more about the great things happening throughout our district by reading the details below.

Warmest Regards,
Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Orange Unified School District

California Pivotal Practice Award Program (CAPP)

The California Department of Education (CDE) unveiled the California Pivotal Practice Award Program (CAPP) this year in place of the California Distinguished Schools program, which typically honors high-performing campuses.

We are proud to share that Orange Unified is recognized as a district, along with seven of our school sites:

· Anaheim Hills Elementary

· California iInspire Academy

· Fairhaven Elementary

· Fletcher Elementary

· Nohl Canyon Elementary

· Santiago Middle

· West Orange Elementary

Pandemic-era disruptions made it difficult last year for the state to collect consistent assessment data, which has served as the basis for the Distinguished Schools program. Working with partners in the education community, the CDE created the CAPP Award to specifically honor schools and districts that designed and implemented unique learning opportunities and strategies in at least one of four target areas — student engagement, technology distribution, nutrition services, and social-emotional well-being — during and after distance learning.

For example, Anaheim Hills Elementary School students continued to thrive both academically and in social-emotional health because of the continuing educational supports for students through the Collaborative Learning block of their instructional schedule dedicated to small group instruction.

At Fletcher Elementary School, the teachers and staff are determined to do “Whatever it Takes” to help all students succeed. The “Fletcher Peer to Peer Virtual Reading Groups” program was created to support struggling readers attending school virtually. “Peer tutors” were assigned to specific groups of intervention students and tasked with supporting student learners where they were in the foundational reading process. GATE student tutors met with the virtual students in breakout rooms daily via Google Classroom to work on phonemic awareness, phonics or fluency. Students in the intervention groups showed improvement in their reading, GATE students learned valuable leadership skills, and lasting relationships were made.

West Orange Elementary School provided immediate prevention and intervention measures to ensure that both students working at home and at school demonstrated growth through our “Whatever I Need” (WIN) program. WIN was developed to address the growing gap between students exiting 3rd grade without reading and a need to make literacy a foundational focus. They also focused on increasing home-to-school communication.

“This accolade serves to validate the extraordinary steps our schools took to connect with and engage students during one of the most challenging years imaginable,” Orange County Superintendent Dr. Al Mijares said. “Our teachers, administrators, and support staff went above and beyond to provide students with technology, healthy meals, and emotional support, and their eagerness to collaborate and share best practices enabled schools across Orange County to be among the first in the state to reopen for on-site learning.”


La Veta Elementary Selected for Angels ‘Adopt-A-School’ program

Angels pitcher Griffin Canning and sports talk show host Roger Lodge spent the morning with students and staff at La Veta Elementary School as part of the 14th annual Angels Adopt-A-School program, presented by Toyota. In addition to an all-school spirit assembly, the school received Angels bobbleheads, hats, and a $2,000 grant from the Angels Baseball Foundation in support of school programs.

Read More:

School Bus Drivers' Day 2022

Each year, the fourth Tuesday of April is designated as School Bus Drivers’ Day by the State of California to officially recognize school bus drivers for their services to our school children. At their last meeting, our Board of Education officially proclaimed April 26, 2022, as “School Bus Drivers’ Day” in celebration of our school bus drivers and transportation employees for their continued excellent service to our students. Nutrition Services provided lunch, and Transportation Leadership sponsored an awards ceremony and ice cream truck for our transportation staff as thanks for their hard work and dedication to safety.


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Nohl Canyon Elementary Celebrates 50 Years

This past Wednesday, we were excited to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Nohl Canyon Elementary School’s opening. In April 1972, Nohl Canyon opened its doors to the Orange/Anaheim Hills community. In honor of the occasion, Nohl Canyon invited current Orange Unified School District Board Members, Executive Cabinet, Executive Directors, alumni staff members, and alumni students to an Anniversary Celebration highlighting the many great Roadrunner memories in a school-wide assembly with past principals, teachers, and students taking part, including a flash-mob dance to the song YMCA.

Nohl Canyon has a long tradition of teaching multiple generations of families, and it was wonderful to share in the celebration with so many of them!

To learn more about Nohl Canyon Elementary, please visit

2021 and 2022 Teacher of the Year Celebration

The Orange County Dept of Education celebrated and recognized 2021 and 2022 Orange County Teachers of the Year at an annual dinner at the Disneyland Hotel on Monday.

Ingred Shine, a teacher at Villa Park High School, was named as one of the 2022 Orange County Teachers of the Year.

In addition, our Orange Unified School District Teachers of the Year were recognized:

2021 N͟o͟m͟i͟n͟e͟e͟s͟

Vicky Mull, El Modena High School

Kindra O'Hare, Serrano Elementary

Deryk Rawalt, Lampson Elementary

2022 N͟o͟m͟i͟n͟e͟e͟s͟

Mary Helmer, Esplanade Elementary

Corinne Owens, West Orange Elementary

“Changing the world, one student at a time” was the evening’s theme: In a world that seemed like things were changing by the minute, these passionate teachers focused on their students and how they could help them succeed despite all of the adjustments.

“A global pandemic may have delayed our in-person celebration, but nothing can diminish the pride and gratitude we have for our 2021 and 2022 Orange County Teachers of the Year,” County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares.

For more information about the Orange County Teachers of the Year program, visit

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Portola Preparatory Academy Now Enrolling

A new program that prepares students for college-level coursework is now accepting applications from incoming sixth-grade students. Portola Preparatory Academy applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis and are due by May 27 to the Portola Middle School Office.

Portola Preparatory Academy is a school-within-a-school model serving students who plan to enter Orange High School’s Early College Academy Program and earn substantial credit toward their two-year Associate’s Degree or four-year Bachelor’s Degree while in high school.

Students in Portola Preparatory Academy will gain the skills needed to complete college coursework in high school through Honors and Pre-AP coursework, which will expose them to instructional practices and routines that help develop the essential critical thinking skills and study skills required to achieve at high academic levels.

Read more:

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Visits Richland High School

Richland High School hosted a “meet and greet” in their library with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) team, parents, staff, and community members. WASC accredits elementary and secondary schools, non-degree-granting adult schools, and supplementary education programs.

To learn more about Richland, please visit

CARES Child Care Registration

CARES Child Care registration for the 2022-2023 school year is now open.
For information about the program and monthly fee schedules, visit their website at


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 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.

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