December 11, 2020
Dear OPA Families and Staff,
Although this week has seen difficult times with the increases in COVID-19 cases in Orange County and across California, we have had many great things happening at our school sites. On Monday, Mrs. Merlette and Mr. Bridges rewarded students for an amazing Read-a-thon fundraiser of over $23,000, by getting publicly slimed! It was an incredibly fun, although messy, event. SOC rewarded their students for a great Read-a-thon fundraiser a few weeks ago with a dip in the dunk tank for Ms. Alvarado, Ms. Velez, and Ms. Sessions. Thank you to all of our students and families who participated in the fundraisers and to our Honor Societies at each site for putting this all together.
I am very excited to welcome two new Board members to our OPA team. Mr. Paul Kagoo and Dr. Amy Smith were appointed to the OPA Board of Directors at last night’s Board meeting. You can find out more about them by visiting our website, but they both come to us with a wealth of experience and expertise, and they will be an excellent addition to the Board.
This week I also joined several virtual classes and was amazed by the level of instruction and engagement. Our teachers and students have done a great job continuing the high levels of academic achievement we expect at OPA, even though we have had to make so many adjustments with virtual and hybrid learning. I am so grateful for the hard work and dedication of our staff, who always ensures that students are receiving the best possible education, no matter the circumstances.
As of today, the Governor has not closed down schools that are already open for in-person instruction and has left it to each individual school or district to assess whether they need to revert to 100% virtual learning for a period of time. Throughout the next few weeks, we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 data and positivity rates throughout south Orange County. If it is determined that we need to revert to 100% virtual learning the future, we will try to give families as much notice as possible, so that families can make necessary arrangements. Several other local districts have already reverted to 100% virtual learning through at least January, but as of now, we intend to remain open for in person instruction, unless it becomes a health and safety risk for our staff and students.
As a reminder, please continue to keep your students home if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. Also, we strongly encourage all families who choose to travel or attend family gathering over winter break to quarantine for 14 days before they return to in-person instruction.
Finally, I want to again congratulate Saddleback Valley for being the first school in California to receive a 7-year renewal. The staff at both sites have done an incredible job creating an atmosphere of academic excellence and caring, inclusive classroom environments. It takes the entire team to create an organization as amazing as OPA and I want to express my sincere gratitude for all of our staff, from our teachers and instructional assistants and administrators, to our office staff, IT staff, and facilities staff. You are all amazing and you inspire me every day the same way you inspire all of your students. Thank you for all you do!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Just one more week until winter break!
The OPA Administrative Team