Thank you all for a wonderful first week back after winter break. Although it was great to have some time off for the holidays, all of our champions seemed eager to be back in class with their classmates and teachers virtually this week. We are all looking forward to an amazing 2021.
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The OPA Board of Directors held a Special Board meeting tonight, January 5, 2021, to discuss the health and safety of our OPA staff, students, and families in response to the rising numbers of COVID-19 in Orange County. Based on the current COVID-19 case data for California and Governor Newsom’s decision to extend the stay-at-home order for the Southern California region, the OPA Board of Directors voted to temporarily transition to 100% virtual learning for all students beginning on January 11, 2021. The Board will reassess the COVID-19 data at the January 28, 2021 Board of Directors meeting to determine a possible date for resuming hybrid instruction.
As we all start the holiday break, I want to thank everyone for an incredible year. Although there have been many challenges, our OPA community has grown stronger, closer, and more resilient through 2020, and our champions have gained valuable academic, social, emotional, and life skills. As we move into 2021, we will continue to improve our programs and provide even more opportunities for our champions to excel.
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.
It is with great excitement that we announce the 7-Year Charter Renewal for OPA-Saddleback Valley!! This is an amazing accomplishment, and it appears OPA-SV is the first in the state to receive this incredible honor! Only schools designated by the California Department of Education as High Performing are eligible to receive a 7-year renewal. December 2nd, at the Orange County Board of Education meeting, the OCBE voted to renew the OPA-SV charter through 2028.
It has been a very exciting week for OPA. On Wednesday, December 3rd, OPA-Saddleback Valley was awarded the first 7-year charter renewal in California! Under the newly adopted AB1505, schools designated by the California Department of Education as High Performing are eligible to receive a 7-year renewal. Therefore, OPA-Saddleback Valley is approved to operate through 2028. OPA-South Orange County is due for renewal in 2024 and will hopefully also be eligible for a 7-year renewal at that time.
Thank you all for your patience, dedication, and support of our OPA champions throughout these difficult times. As I reflect about what I am truly thankful for this season, it is definitely our OPA community. Although there have been many challenges to overcome in 2020, our students have remained focused, engaged, and on track for academic, social, and emotional success. You have all played a tremendous role in ensuring that our champions have the support they need to overcome these incredible obstacles. Thank you for all you do. I can’t express my gratitude enough!
It has been a great week at OPA! Students are getting into the swing of thigs with the virtual and hybrid classes and it has been fun to see all of the great learning happening at each campus. We had a wonderful English Language Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday evening. Ms. Didion shared information regarding our English Learner program and the different supports available to help our English learners excel academically. Next week at our Board meeting, we are excited to honor our students who have recently been reclassified as English Language Proficient.
I hope that you all had a wonderful week. It has been great having students on site at both of our campuses all week long. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make both our virtual and hybrid programs such a success. With the input and dedication of our OPA community, we continue to improve each day and are committed to providing the best educational experiences and safest instructional environment possible for all of our champions.