Message from the Superintendent

September 10, 2021

In this Message

Upcoming Events

Dear OUSD Community:

We are excited to share that Orange Unified is the Parenting OC Readers’ Choice 2021 Best Public School District in North Orange County! Thank you to all who voted. This recognition is truly an honor and a testament to our staff’s hard work and dedication - and our strong partnerships with our community - which allow us to provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.

Big picture

With the school year underway, our elementary and secondary schools have begun hosting virtual Back-to-School Nights (BTSN). BTSN is an important event that presents parents with the opportunity to learn about the upcoming school year and ask your child’s teacher any questions you may have. Your child’s teacher(s) will explain their goals for the class and your child and share information about their teaching style and methodology, grade-level curriculum, and other relevant information. Attending this important event shows your child that you are a partner in their education. Research shows that a parent’s involvement with their child’s education helps students be more successful in school.

Orange Unified School District has prided itself on being one of the first districts in Orange County to open to in-person instruction in the Fall of 2020 and remained open the entire time. Not all OC districts opened, and many remained closed for over a year. OUSD followed – and continues to follow – all necessary safety guidelines to open schools for in-person instruction as soon as it was permitted to do so.

As we continue to focus on the health and safety of our students and staff, we are pleased to share that Orange Unified will begin offering voluntary COVID-19 testing four times per week to all interested students starting on Monday, September 13. This type of surveillance testing program is recommended by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The intent of the OUSD COVID-19 Testing Program is to continue to maximize our school community’s good health and safety.

EVENT DATES/TIMES: Every Monday through Thursday, 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM


  • Canyon High School
  • El Modena High
  • Orange High School
  • Villa Park High School
  • OUSD District Office


To keep COVID-19 transmission out of our schools, we continue to work with public health officials to implement the latest guidance in alignment with our 2021-2022 Safety & Health-Driven Plan: Transition to Phase 3, which includes:

  • Sanitizing and deep cleaning classrooms daily, utilizing the Victory Sprayer nightly as an extra precaution
  • Applying Bac-Shield quarterly
  • Adding individual hand sanitizing units to each classroom
  • Replacing all on-site HVAC filters quarterly
  • Supporting four additional hours of daily custodial support for disinfecting touchpoints
  • Making handwashing stations available around the school grounds for students to use while outside (in addition to the restrooms)
  • Enforcing mask-wearing indoors and highly recommending it outside
  • Encouraging the use of hand sanitizer as students enter and exit the classroom

In addition to our current remediation strategies and in response to the CalOSHA and CDC guidance related to filtration and ventilation, the Board of Education voted at their meeting on September 9 to approve the procurement and installation of portable, medical-grade High Efficient Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration systems throughout the district to further mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission at our sites.

The Board of Education also passed an emergency resolution to allow staff to provide enhanced safety measures and support schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling schools to continue to operate in person. This added emergency measure allows the Superintendent to work with the Board of Education to implement actions to promote safety in school operations and is a positive measure in securing the use of resources to keep schools in person to support the social/emotional and academic learning of all students.

While we focus on keeping our students and staff healthy on our campuses, we need your partnership to help keep illness out of our schools. Please limit exposure while not on campus by following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, getting vaccinated if you are able, and adhering to quarantine protocols if necessary. As a reminder, students and staff should not attend school/work if they are feeling unwell or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

We appreciate your support and collaboration to allow us to continue to offer in-person instruction to our students.

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


This month, Justin Hale, School Clerk at Canyon High School, has been selected as our "YOU’VE GOT THE EDGE” Employee of the Month.

Justin goes above and beyond to serve the staff and students at Canyon High School, and he consistently makes decisions that reflect The Canyon Way and OUSD’s EDGE.

The Canyon Staff Administration had this to say about Justin: Justin Hale’s courtesy and respect for others set an exceptional standard of service because he routinely does one more thing to extend excellence to our community. Justin’s standard of service is matched by the integrity he approaches all tasks—both large and small—with throughout the day. Justin’s decisions are student and staff first, which yields him tremendous respect and admiration from our community and staff.

Congratulations, Justin! The Board of Education thanks you for your dedication and devotion to the Orange Unified School District.

El Modena High School Aquatics Center Update

Principal Jill Katevas gives an update on the progress of the Aquatics Center at El Modena High School. This video premiered at the Board of Education Meeting on September 9, 2021.
El Modena Aquatics Center Update - Sept. 9, 2021

free tutoring 24/7

Paper Education is a free tutoring service available to all students in grades 4-12. Students access it through their single sign-on dashboard.

Big picture

Job Opportunities

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.

Big picture
Big picture

Connect with Us

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