October 11, 2017
Dear Orange Unified School District Staff and Community,
With all Orange Unified School District campuses set to reopen Thursday, our Maintenance and Operations crews are working diligently to inspect every site that was closed as a result of the Canyon Fire 2, ensuring a safe return for both students and staff.
Athletic events, physical education classes and other outdoor activities will also resume based on the latest advisories from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Though fire vehicles may still be staged as a precaution in Anaheim Hills and East Orange, all evacuation orders were formally lifted Tuesday night.
The No. 1 priority of OUSD is to protect the safety and well-being of our students and staff, regardless of the circumstances. As such, the decision to close some campuses while others remained open followed careful deliberations with the Orange City Fire Department, Anaheim Fire and Rescue, Orange County Fire Authority and local police agencies. District representatives were part of the Incident Command Center, and we are incredibly grateful for the support we received from all participating agencies, including our city and county partners.
Suffice to say, everyone in OUSD has played a critical role in our response. Amid a complex and evolving situation, our staff calmly and carefully evacuated three campuses and followed reunification procedures to safely connect families with their children, who closely followed directions and adhered to the safety protocols we practice throughout the year.
Parents have also been extremely supportive in reinforcing the importance of staying indoors during school hours. School site principals and staff are making every effort to accommodate student needs throughout the day. Our maintenance and operations crews have been painstakingly working to ensure the air in our facilities meets the highest standards.
Today, our thoughts and prayers are with all of those whose lives have been impacted by devastating fires. While we hope we never have to face these kinds of tragedies, it is important that we routinely prepare for them, ensuring a response that is well-rehearsed, collaborative and based on proven strategies and best practices. I am extremely proud of our employees and their dedication to our community.
Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.