Message from the Superintendent

July 29, 2020

OUSD's Safety & Health-Driven Reopening Plan 2020-2021

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.

Dear Orange Unified Families,

The OUSD Board of Education voted 7-0 to approve the 2020-2021 OUSD Re-imagining Schools/Health & Safety-Driven Reopening Plan at their regular meeting on July 23. The plan prepares us to pivot between 100% distance learning, blended (elementary only), and full-day on-campus instruction for the 2020-2021 school year, as public health guidelines permit and in accordance with all mandated public health and safety protocols.

To help us to plan accordingly, the District needs to know which families want to continue with a 100% distance instruction model rather than return to on-campus or blended (elementary only) instruction when we are permitted to move to Phase 2. Please complete the grade appropriate OUSD Instructional Model Commitment Form by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31, for EACH of your students that attend an OUSD school. This information is critical so that schools and programs can prepare accordingly.

We are prepared to pivot between the following instructional plans in the new year. We are currently in Phase 1, as ordered by the state of California on July 17.

Phase 1: 100% Distance Learning

  • All students engage in daily synchronous (live) online instruction with teachers from their school site.
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Phase 2: Modified In-Person Instruction Options for Families (schedules are the same in-person and virtual)

  • Full-day on-campus instruction for 5 days (elementary only).
  • Full-day on-campus secondary instruction for 2-5 days dependent upon how many families choose this model (middle and high school only).
  • 100% virtual instruction provided by students' home school teachers as if in class with their peers. This model of instruction is different than that of the EDGE Virtual Academy (secondary only).
  • Blended Model (TK-6 only - collaborative learning on-campus combined with the distance learning model).
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Phase 3: Normal Operations Resume

  • This is possible if the state of California moves to Stage 4 and the Orange County Healthcare Agency states that conditions support in seat instruction without the need for social distancing.

100% Virtual Learning Option: Full Year, Regardless of Phase (Secondary Only)

  • Students can choose the EDGE Virtual Academy as a virtual learning option.
  • Utilizes specialized curriculum designed specifically for virtual learning - this unique program is different than the Phase 2 virtual learning option.
  • Classes are taught by Orange Unified School District teachers.
  • Families selecting this option are committing to student enrollment for the entire 2020-2021 school year.
  • Students in the EDGE Virtual Academy retain the ability to participate in sports and extracurricular activities (as they are phased back in) at their school of residence.

Your decision will commit your student(s) to your selected model of instruction through the first trimester or quarter as set forth below. Choosing to remain at your home school is a commitment to attend, whether it operates through distance learning or on-campus instruction. If you do not make a selection, your child(ren) will remain enrolled in the 100% distance learning model when the District is permitted to offer on-campus instruction and moves to Phase 2.

Given the dynamic situation, it is our intent to allow for flexibility, and there will be an opportunity for families to change models at the end of the trimester (elementary & middle)/quarter (high school). Sports and extracurricular activities will be available to students through their home schools as these activities are permitted per the health guidelines.

Additional information and updates regarding the 2020-2021 school year are available online at

Thank you for your support in helping us prepare for a successful school year.


Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D

Superintendent of Schools

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, then we will add them to our "Frequently Asked Questions" section of our resources.

Technology Support

To ensure equitable access to technology for distance learning, we will continue to have devices and internet hotspots available for students to check out from their school.

The District will also continue to provide the community with technical support through email at and by phone at (714) 628-5372. If you have any issues with your device or internet connection, please do not hesitate to contact our Technology Services Department.

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