Message from the Superintendent
March 27, 2020
Dear OUSD Community,
I wanted to reach out to let you know in recent weeks Orange Unified School District (OUSD) has taken aggressive action to protect our community from the spread of COVID-19. Most recently, the OUSD Board extended the school closure to May 8, 2020. While this has created new challenges across our schools, OUSD remains committed to continuing our mission – In partnership with our community, we will provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader. Our commitment remains to inspire our learners of today to be purposeful leaders of tomorrow. The transition to online distance learning for a continuance of quality educational opportunities is our major commitment.
As the OUSD Superintendent working collaboratively with our employees, the District has focused on three priorities:
- Protecting the health and welfare of the OUSD community, including students, staff, teachers, and their families through enforcement of social distancing and implementation of the Governor’s Executive Order to “Stay at Home.”
- Taking immediate action to activate our front-line workers, who are needed now more than ever, on a rotational schedule for their vital delivery of essential services. Nutrition Services, Transportation and Maintenance & Operations staff continue to provide meals, disinfect sites and provide delivery of educational packets to students.
- Redoubling efforts to allow for continuity of the teaching, learning, and academic mission of the District—and in particular our commitment to online learning and clarifying issues of grading and the graduation for the Class of 2020.
Recent actions include moving all classes to virtual formats, suspending study trips and athletic activities for the spring semester, closing most District sites and facilities to visitors, canceling on-campus events (including all use of facilities requests), and prioritizing remote work efforts of staff that allow a continuance of all necessary District business. Our hope is that these proactive steps will help to minimize health and safety risks to OUSD students, teachers, staff, and the larger community.
I also wanted to share that the California Department of Education, with the approval of the U.S. Department of Education, will waive this year’s statewide testing for students. This means students will not be taking the Smarter Balanced summative assessments, the California Science Test, English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, and the California Alternate Assessments. This does not affect Advanced Placement tests. The College Board will support AP students with optional remote learning and at-home AP testing. These options will give students the opportunity to earn the college credit and placement they have been working toward all year. More information regarding AP testing dates will be available in April.
During this unprecedented moment in our District’s history, the OUSD community continues to work together in support of our shared values of RESPECT, INTEGRITY, EQUITY and EXCELLENCE. We know there are challenges and anxiety is high. We appreciate that everyone - parents, teachers, classified staff, administrators, and students - has done their part to make this work. We are all sacrificing for the greater good and we will be stronger for it in the future.
WE are Orange Unified! WE are a strong community that cares about each other. WE are innovative, and WE will get through this and come out stronger in the future!
We wish you and your family good health and safety. Please check OUSD’s COVID-19 website and School Closure Resources page for ongoing updates and latest information.
Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools