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  • Friday, June 30, 2017


    3rd and 4th of July Celebrations in Greater Orange

    a news service of
     Greater Orange Community Orgainization
    July 3rd and 4th celebrations across Greater Orange
    Greater Orange kicks off Independence Day early with the City of Orange’s 22nd Annual "3rd of July" Celebration. Begun in 1995, the 3rd of July festival has grown into one of Orange County’s biggest Independence Day centered events that includes- live music, inflatable activities and that famous Orange hometown festival atmosphere all leading up to the grand finale in Fred Kelly Stadium featuring the Orange Community Master Chorale followed by Greater Orange’s most spectacular fireworks choreographed to music.

    The  Annual 3rd of July Celebration is Monday July 3, 2017 with gates opening at 4 p.m. at Orange Unified's Fred Kelly Stadium at El Modena High School, 3920 East Spring StreetOrangeCA 92869.  The musical program starts at 8 pm with the fireworks show starting at 8:45 pm.

    Fred Kelly Stadium’s artificial turf requires special rules for everyone to enjoy. The following rules when attending the July 3rd activities apply:

    • Only blanket seating is allowed on the field.

    • Strollers, wheelchairs, wagons, or other wheeled items are only permitted in designated areas-not on the field.

    • Lawn Chairs, food, drinks, seeds, gum, popcorn, hard-soled or high-heeled shoes are prohibited on the field.

    Tickets for the  "3rd of July" Celebration are $7 for adults and children over two years old.  

    Tickets will also be available for purchase at the event after 1:30 p.m.  Credit cards maybe used at the gate.

    For more information please call the City of Orange Special Events   Hotline at (714) 744 -7278 or click on:
    3rd of July INFORMATION

    Orange Park Acres 4th of July
    The 51st Annual Orange Park Acres 4th of July Parade's theme is the fitting "Our Golden Year" .   
    For 51 years, OPA has shown Greater Orange what neighborhood patriotism is all about.

    The fun starts on July 4th at 6:30 am with pre-registration for the OPA Pre-Parade 5/10K. The 10K EPIC CHALLANGE race/walk starts at 7:15 am and the 5K starts at 7:45 am.

    The OPA July 4th Parade will step off at 9:30 am at Frank and Orange Park Blvd .

    The post-parade awards and annual barbeque will be held on the lawn of the Salem Lutheran Church .

    For more information CLICK on: OPA

    Villa Park "Stars on Parade" July 4th community parade

    Villa Park's hometown July 4th Parade theme is "Stars on Parade" as all types of decorated bikes, trikes, scooters, wagons, strollers and classic cars wheel through the residential streets of Villa Park. 

    The 1.5 mile parade is led by a vintage fire engine.

    The fun starts with the line-up at Villa Park High School at 8:30 am on the Fourth of July.
    For more information click on: VPCS

     Anaheim Hills 4th of July extravaganza
    For shear size, no community does 4th of July quite like Anaheim Hills. The Greater Orange Community pulls out all the stops for a day packed with 4th of July events organized by the Anaheim Hills Community Council.

    The official 30th annual 4th of July Celebration  starts with the “Firecracker” 5 /10K Run – 2K Walk  starts with Opening Ceremonies at 6:55 am and race time at 7:00 am. The  start line for all 5K and 10K events is on Santa Ana Canyon Road at the north end of Canyon High School by the athletic field at the Canyon High School track.

    This year accurate times are assured with the use of race timing mats and chips.

    The kids 100/200 dash runs will be at 9 am at the Canyon H.S. Athletic Field.  

    Beginning at 7:30 am until 9:30 am in the Canyon H.S. cafeteria will be the Pancake Breakfast that includes hotcakes, sausage, orange juice, coffee and a whole lot of visiting with neighbors and friends. 

    This year the Yankee Doodle Dog Show also returns at 9:30 a.m. to Canyon High School. There are six fabulous dog-gone-good categories: Best Dressed Dog, Cutest Dog (35 lb. and under), Best Trick, Owner/Doggie Look-a-like, Bigger Cutest Dog (36 lb. and over) and Yankee Doodle Dog. There is a $7.00 entry fee per dog for the first category entered and $5.00 for each additional category. 

    At 1:00 pm the Patriotic Parade begins.  See the link below for more information and FAQ.

    The Peralta Park events including food booths will be between 3:00pm – 8:45 pm at Peralta Park. Bring your family, friends and neighbors to enjoy all the fabulous food. The park will also have entertainment  from 5:00 pm – 8:45pm.  

    The evening ends with a  spectacular fireworks display with patriotic music for your enjoyment beginning at 9:00 pm at Peralta Park.

    For information regarding any of these events click on: ACC

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017


    OUSD to appoint Interim Superintendent

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    OUSD Trustees meet to appoint an Interim Superintendent
    With Orange Unified Superintendent Michael Christensen retiring at the end of the month and with OUSD Trustees not hiring from the applicants within the district the OUSD Board of Education Agenda will appoint an Interim Superintendent this week.

    Closed Session Agenda Item 4D  for  Thursday June 22, 2017 meeting has the Trustees "Considering the appointment of an Interim Superintendent" .

    After not accepting the internal applicants the OUSD Board of Trustees in a Special Session of OUSD on Saturday June 10th, the OUSD Board will proceed with interviewing three Executive Search Firms on Thursday night.

    Agenda Item 13A for the June 22, 2017 meeting has the three firms making 30 minute presentations each.  The three firms are:

    Leadership Associates based in Santa Barbara. According to its website, it is currently helping to search for a superintendent in both Vallejo City Unified and Fresno Unified.  Click on Leadership Associates

    Ray and Associates based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa currently has only  one open  position listed on its website- the Chief Financial position for Milwaukee Public Schools. Click on Ray and Associates

    McPherson & Jacobson based in  Omaha, Nebraska. In November 2015 the California School Board Association "partnered" with  McPherson & Jacobson.  Currently they have one California position on their website they are recruiting for, Ventura Unified School District

    Next OUSD Board Meeting -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    CLOSED SESSION- 5:30 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

    ARCHIVAL Information and direct news can be found at:
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    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    and the
    Greater Orange News Service
    are independent news services of /O/N/N/

    Orange Net News

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    Sunday, June 11, 2017


    SPECIAL REPORT: OUSD Superintendent search

    Trustees take search outside OUSD
    OUSD Trustees called a Special Meeting on Saturday June 10th for Superintendent search 

    After initially searching within Orange Unified , a split OUSD Board voted 4-3 in a Closed Session Special Session to hire an outside consulting firm to  search for a new superintendent at an unprecedented Saturday Special Session on June 10, 2017.

    The Agenda for the June 10th Orange Unified School Board referenced replacing the retiring OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen as Consideration of Appointment of Superintendent . Hiring an outside firm will take time and require a contract vote, thus requiring the appointment of an Interim Superintendent.  

    Unlike past OUSD superintendent searches, the current search has been very much under the radar-with many community members unaware that a search was taking place.  After the almost universally appealing appointment  of longtime OUSD administrator Michael Christensen to Superintendent six years ago, OUSD Trustees again moved to appoint from within the district ranks alerting administrators late last month of that decision. Reportedly however, the search inside OUSD had few administrators interested with just one top OUSD district office administrator and one principal applying.  Community sources close to that principal report that the principal last week withdrew from consideration.

    Greater Orange Community members learned of the pending selection of a new OUSD Superintendent as contacts from applicants looking for community support required in the application process.

    The Saturday Special Meeting was the first public confirmation that the process had advanced to the OUSD Board of Trustees.

    The California Brown Act requires all meetings, including special meetings to be noticed 24 hours in advance.  Other Brown Act notifications of Special Meetings include:
    ·      That advanced notice includes the requirement of written notice to be sent to each trustee (unless waived in writing by a trustee).

    ·      Written notice must also be sent to any local newspaper, radio or television station that has a notification request on file. That request must be renewed yearly.

    ·      A written notice also must be posted on a public place accessible to the public.  OUSD has routinely posted those notices outside the OUSD Board Room. 

    Coming less than 48 hours after the regular Thursday June  8th OUSD Board Meeting, the 9:00 am Closed Session meeting came after a whirlwind 24 hour period in OUSD one week before the end of  a ground-breaking school-year.

    At the Thursday night OUSD Board Meeting,  the OUSD Board presented the popular out-going OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen a resolution of appreciation.  The audience in the OUSD Board Room at the end of the presentation applauded with a standing ovation. 

    The next day on Friday June 9th, an unscheduled bargaining session on stalled talks between the district and the district's educators reached a tentative agreement on a two-year salary deal.  That agreement capped a six-month bargaining process which according to the OUEA website includes a one-time off the pay-schedule 1% bonus ( see link below). The negotiated first time OUSD off-schedule pay bonus appears to be a victory for the district since it would not be an ongoing expense. 
    For more information click on: Agreement

    The tentative agreement (which still must be voted on by both sides) comes on the departure of not only Superintendent Christensen, but also  the Chief Business Officer-Assistant Superintendent Joe Sorrea who has accepted a position in Dublin Unified.

    OUSD's recent superintendent searches have both looked internally and externally.  The last Superintendent hired from within before Christensen was Dr. Godley. The last Superintendent hired from outside was Dr. Drier who was recruited from Colorado.

    Just this month, Lynwood Unified and Oakland Unified filled their superintendent spots from within.  In Lynwood, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Gudiel Crosthwaite took over on June 1st after the former Lynwood Superintendent Paul Gothold left for the top post of Superintendent of San Diego County  Department of Education.    In Oakland, an 18 year district veteran  Interim Deputy Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Tramme will take-over as Oakland Unified  Superintendent. The Oakland Unified Trustees turned to the long-time district employee after wide-spread community criticism of the "parade" of  superintendents in the district's top post-a total of eight in the last 16 years.  Oakland had not been able to fill the most recent vacancy since the last Oakland Superintendent Antwan Wilson resigned in November of 2016 to become Chancellor of Washington D.C. Public Schools. 

    Tuesday, June 06, 2017


    OUSD Trustees to meet Thursday

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Orange Unified Trustees meet this Thursday June 8th

    The Orange Unified Board of Trustees will meet in regular session on Thursday June 8, 2017.

    Action Items on the Agenda (pages 4-32) include approval of the new Villa Park High School Science Center Project. The project will be funded with Measure S Bond money.

    The OUSD Trustees will also approve required state-mandated budgeting items in Item 12 C (page 7).  On page 8 of the Agenda, OUSD's Projected Ending Balance of $55 million includes $36.3 million in unapproriated  funds above the required 3%  ($8.5 million) required legal reserve.

    Consent item 14 H includes the renewal of the licensing contracts for the businesses at the Peralta Site.  The contracts stipulate that either side can terminate the licensing contracts at anytime for any reason.  

    The OUSD Trustees will also be honoring twelve students from the four OUSD comprehensive high schools Class of 2017 for their outstanding scholastic achievement of having their school's highest academic grade point average (Agenda Item 9 E page 3).

    Villa Park Elementary historic building demolition brings about rodent problem
    classes moved off campus
    Orange Unified released the following statement on Tuesday Jun 6, 2016 regarding a rodent problem that apparently has resulted in staff and students being bitten by mites from rodents:

    The District is aware of the rodent issue at Villa Park Elementary School.  This issue was first discovered when some staff and students reported bug bites, which through the investigation, were identified to be rodent mites.  While rodents live throughout Southern California in bushes and trees, it is likely that these were disturbed with work preparing to demolish the vacant 1920’s buildings on the campus.  

    We appreciate the support of the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District and will continue to work with them to resolve this issue. 

    Based on the Vector Control’s advice and in consultation with parents and teachers, it was decided to move two classes to Serrano Elementary School yesterday to allow time to make sure the Villa Park Elementary Multi-purpose Room was free of rodents.  That was confirmed by the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District this morning (Tuesday, June 6) and all students will remain on campus today.  T

    he building with the original complaint remains vacant and will be treated following protocols as laid out by Vector Control.

    Next OUSD Board Meeting -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    CLOSED SESSION- 5:30 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

    ARCHIVAL Information and direct news can be found at:
    the Greater Orange News Service
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    and the
    Greater Orange News Service
    are independent news services of /O/N/N/

    Orange Net News

    Saturday, May 27, 2017


    Sorrera leaving OUSD

    Orange Unified Assistant Superintendent Joe  Sorrera to leave Orange Unified for new position at Dublin Unified School District

    Orange Net News has confirmed that Orange Unified School District  Assistant Superintendent of  Business Services Claudio "Joe" Sorrera has accepted a new position as the  Assistant Superintendent of  Business Services with the Dublin Unified School District.  The Dublin Unified School Board voted to approve his appointment this week on Tuesday May 23, 2017.

    Dublin Unified is an 8,000 student district in Alameda County in the East Bay area of Northern California.  
    For more information click on DUBLIN UNIFIED

    Sorrera's  departure, which has not been announced by Orange Unified yet, comes less than a month after Orange Unified Superintendent Michael Christensen announced his departure.  The departure of both  Christensen and Sorrera leaves a major  financial leadership vacuum for Orange Unified which under the financial leadership of both Christensen and Sorrera had become a model of financial stability across the state, even through the Great Recession. 

    In addition to the financial aspect,  Sorrera was instrumental in the organizing and financing planning of  the failed Measure K and  successful Measure S.  Much of the financial and architectural  groundwork for  Measure S was completed as planning for Measure K. 

    Sorrera's departure also comes amid growing unconfirmed  community speculation on the reasons for Christensen's retirement.  Much of those whispered conversations at the OUSD District Office focus on the OUSD Trustees majority.

    Last week, that OUSD Majority rejected legal counsel advice and approved a version of the El Rancho Charter that could, according to the district's legal experts, place OUSD in financial risk and not provided required protections to students and staff.  Sources close to the El Rancho Charter administration, which is currently a "dependent" charter  with a defined attendance area, report that long-term plans are to eventually make the school a completely independent charter-thus leaving the Anaheim Hills area with no public middle school.

    Sorrera began his career as a private Certified Public Accountant.  At OUSD  he served as an account supervisor and for the last six years as the OUSD Assistant Superintendent of Business Services and Chief Business Officer. 

    Sorrera is also a member of the OUSD Bargaining Team that is currently in negotiations with its employee bargining units.  

    Thursday, May 25, 2017


    OUSD Trustees ignore legal advice

    OUSD Board majority ignores legal advice 
    and approves legally questionable 
    El Rancho Charter
    The Orange Unified School Board Trustees voted 4-3 to approve  a version of the El Rancho Charter that the district's legal counsel warned against.

    Led by Trustee Timothy Surridge who cited the threat of legal action from the El Rancho Charter School, Trustees John Ortega, Dr. Alexia Deligianni-Brydges and Board President Rick Ledesma voted to approve the El Rancho Charter submitted on March 29th.   Trustees Kathy Moffat, Andrea Yamasaki and Brenda Lebsack voted against the motion after voting to re-approve the original charter the school currently operates under.

    The Orange Unified Administration and legal counsel had tried to negotiate an addendum called a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to clear-up  areas that legal counsel had concerns over.

    Legal counsel addressed the OUSD Board and warned them that by approving the March 29th version (Option B on the Board Agenda) would give all the leverage to the Charter Board which had refused for the last two weeks to consider modifying their charter in ongoing negotiations.

    Board President Rick Ledesma had at one point suggested that the two Boards get together and negotiate the legal terms of a MOU without lawyers.

    The three trustees who voted against Option B which gave the El Rancho Charter Board no incentive to further negotiate with OUSD, had favored Option A which would have re-approved the current charter and allowed  further negotiations on future changes.    

    The El Rancho Charter Board had put out numerous community alerts claiming that OUSD was not going to approve a charter renewal.  That however was never the case.  While OUSD tried to negotiate, the Charter Board refused to consider any changes using numerous legal maneuvers and threatening legal action. 

    Board President Rick Ledesma  seemed not to understand the complicated legal issues involved insisting that by approving Option B that the two parties could then go back to the negotiating table and work out all the issues-ignoring legal counsels warning that by approving Option B the district would have no further opportunity  to negotiate if the El Rancho Charter Board continued to refuse.  

    Wednesday, May 24, 2017


    Peralta and El Rancho on OUSD Agenda

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Selling the Peralta Site back on OUSD Agenda this week
    The controversial sale of OUSD's Peralta Site is back on the OUSD Agenda on May 25th. Closed Session  starts at 5:00 pm with comments on the agenda taken before the Closed Session starts. 

    Closed Session Item  4 D has the OUSD Board discussing the price with district lawyers and "an unidentified number of potential buyers for the property" .  The agenda item only identifies the site by its address, not by name.

    In 2012 the OUSD Board voted not to lease the property to developers who were planning a high density apartment complex.

    OUSD Trustee Timothy Surridge then went on a community-wide lobbying tour trying to drum-up support for selling the property.  Surridge and his board allies stated that voters would not pass a facilities bond if the district is not using all of its resources.

    Selling the Peralta Property, which currently is being used mostly for recreation, has been a goal of Surridge and his Board allies for years.  Now with term limits, time is running out for the members of the OUSD Board who want the property sold to developers.

    OUSD Board has two options for El Rancho Charter vote on Thursday
    A renewal of the El Rancho Charter by the OUSD Board of Trustees  is certain this Thursday May 25th. The question is- Which charter will the Board approve?

    The OUSD Board Agenda Item 12 B ( Agenda pages 3-176) includes two Options for the OUSD Trustees to vote on-both options would approve a charter for El Rancho. 

    Which of the two options -and therefore charters-depend on if the El Rancho Charter Board and the district have reached an agreement by the OUSD Board meeting and have an approved Memorandum of Understanding  (MOU2). The El Rancho Charter Board held a 9 am May 22nd Special Charter Board Meeting to discuss and possibly approve a MOU2.

    Option A for the OUSD Board vote is contingent on the El Rancho Board not approving a MOU2.  Option A has the OUSD Board renewing the current El Rancho charter that was originally approved in 2012.

    Option B has the OUSD Board approving a new charter with an agreed upon MOU2 that the OUSD Administration finds meets all of their concerns.

    As of the posting of this story, the El Rancho Charter website is still urging parents to show up on Thursday wearing red to support the charter.  The website alert states that the "El Rancho Charter School has been renewed for 2017-2022 by operation of law. Unfortunately, OUSD Board acknowledge or accept it. "

    For more information click on : EL RANCHO  ALERT

    The growing problems between OUSD's second charter middle school started with a letter from El Rancho Principal Michele Walker to OUSD insisting that one of the versions of the El Rancho Charter application submitted this year was automatically renewed when the legally required 60 day time period elapsed without OUSD taking action on the charter application.  

    OUSD has taken the position that the numerous El Rancho charter applications  it received all were  drafts, and therefore not subject to the legal timelines.

    The April letter from Walker insisting that the submitted charter became official the month before (March 2017) came on the heels of  an April OUSD request for clarification on nineteen changes in the 2017 version of the El Rancho Charter.  

    Another point that OUSD is insisting on clarification is language in the charter about the OUSD loan to the charter school for a construction of a new science center.  That science center is currently under construction.

    OUSD has also cited that no evidence has been presented that the changes in the Charter were voted on by 75% of the staff as required by the original charter.  Also among the other numerous concerns outlined in the OUSD Agenda Item are deletion of required insurance related items that OUSD insists are needed to protect staff and students.

    The posted November 2016 minutes from the El Rancho Charter Board report that Principal Walker was at home recovering from a surgery. Item 19 states that Walker was "working on the charter renewal while convalescing. The intention is to present to the [charter] board at the next board meeting".

    The December 2016 El Rancho Board minutes show that the Principal Walker participated by telephone.  Nothing from the posted agenda shows that the required Brown Act notification requirements were followed in the December El Rancho Charter related to the principal teleconferencing. The only item voted on by a roll call ( another Brown Act requirement) was the Charter approval in Agenda Item 15.

    The only votes by staff reported in the agenda was a 56-3 to change the special education SELPA.

    The January 2017 El Rancho Board Minutes do not report any staff votes.  Item 15 reports that the Principal was present at the January meeting and was meeting with the district to arrange a  presentation on the El Rancho Charter to the OUSD Board in February.  The minutes continue to explain  "Possibly approval in April".

    There are no minutes posted for any other El Rancho Board meetings in 2017 (February, March, April, May) and therefore no public records of the required staff vote on the charter changes.

    In August 2016, El Rancho Charter was on a list of 250 charters from the ACLU that were allegedly in violation of state law. The ACLU report accused El Rancho of not following the state law mandating  that charters accept all students.  The ACLU report alleged that El Rancho Charter limited enrollment based on a student's academic performance.

    In February 2017, OUSD paid a $10 million dollar settlement to families of  El Rancho students injured in a 2014 bus crash.

    New OUSD Assistant Superintendent of  Facilities and Planning to be named replacing Executive Director position
    OUSD will add a third Assistant Superintendent when they name a new Assistant Superintendent of  Facilities and Planning on Thursday night.  The new position will replace the current Director of Facilities and Planning.

    Agenda Item 12 F approves a new contract for the new Assistant Superintendent "consistent with the contracts of the other two Assistant  Superintendents".

    The most current public information on salaries for 2015 from Transparent California shows the two OUSD Assistant Superintendents with benefits two years ago were between $215,000 and $219,000.  

    By comparison, Transparent California reports that same year the salary for Matthew Strother, the current Executive Director of Facilities and Planning,  was $100,000.  

    For  a list of OUSD 2015 salaries click on: 

    The new $200,000 plus Assistant Superintendent position comes as talks between the district and its employee unions have stalled.

    Executive Director Matthew Strother

    The May 24th Agenda, Consent Agenda Item 14 I (pg 288) eliminates the current OUSD position of Executive Director of Facilities and Planning.

    INSIDE the May 25th  OUSD Agenda
    Other items on the May 25th Agenda:

    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING Thursday May 25, 2017
    Next OUSD Board Meeting -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    CLOSED SESSION: 5:00 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

    ARCHIVAL Information and direct news can be found at:
    the Greater Orange News Service
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    and the
    Greater Orange News Service
    are independent news services of /O/N/N/

    Orange Net News

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