February 23, 2021
Dear OCSA Families, Faculty, and Staff,

We hope this message finds you and your families safe and healthy. We are eagerly awaiting the day when we can see you all in person. With that in mind, today’s installment of the Academy Announcements newsletter contains important details to help ensure a smooth transition to hybrid/in-person instruction once guidelines permit, including information on a new on-campus COVID-19 testing program for OCSA students and staff, as well as updates about the school’s processes for reporting and communicating positive COVID-19 cases on campus.

Please stay tuned for regular Academy Announcements throughout the semester that will continue to provide all families with details about OCSA’s plans to reopen the campus for hybrid/in-person instruction and our dual learning academy model.
As COVID-19 metrics in Orange County continue to improve and the county approaches reclassification into the Red Tier, we are pleased to share that OCSA has partnered with a local healthcare lab to offer on-campus COVID-19 testing for students, faculty, and staff. This service will be optional and provided at no cost to OCSA employees and students.

Our plan is to schedule a testing date as soon as the county moves into the Red Tier so that test results are received before the first day of hybrid/in-person instruction on campus. Instructions to participate in this testing opportunity are forthcoming – please stay tuned.
We would like to take this opportunity to share with you OCSA’s new COVID-19 Reporting Form, created to help streamline the process for our OCSA community to know how and when to report a positive COVID-19 case.

You can access the form at any time by visiting www.ocsarts.net/COVID19Report

This form is to be completed by OCSA faculty, staff, and students (or parents/guardians on behalf of students) who have selected to participate in the Hybrid/In-Person Learning Academy. This form is also available to parents, vendors, or visitors to the OCSA campus. For those limited faculty and staff members already working on campus, this form can be used as needed, effective immediately. For all students, faculty, and staff who have yet to return to campus, please wait to use the COVID-19 Reporting Form until OCSA reopens for hybrid/in-person instruction.

Please be assured that OCSA will maintain confidentiality regarding any information submitted through this form and will protect student/staff privacy following established HIPAA and FERPA protocols.

Please complete this form if you, or your student, have been on the OCSA campus and:
  • Have received a positive COVID-19 test
  • Have had a possible exposure to COVID-19
  • Are currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
Within 24 hours of completing this form, an OCSA Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) will contact you directly to begin contact tracing protocols established by the school. Please initiate self-quarantine until contacted by an OCSA LVN and further instructions are given. You may not return to the OCSA campus or interact with other OCSA students or faculty/staff members outside your immediate household during this time. If your symptoms become more severe, please seek immediate medical attention.

It is going to take a concerted effort to keep OCSA safe. Reporting positive COVID-19 tests, possible exposure to COVID-19, or COVID-19 symptoms will ensure timely notifications to individuals and our community. Additionally, accurate reporting will help slow the spread of the disease, protect our school and greater community, and support OCSA’s ability to keep our campus open for hybrid/in-person instruction.

Thank you in advance for your commitment to this important initiative.
As we prepare for the return to on-campus instruction, we are pleased to share our updated contact tracing and notification protocols. Each time OCSA is notified through the COVID-19 Reporting Form of a positive case on campus related to a student, faculty/staff member, or community member, our Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), who are certified in contact tracing, will determine the level of exposure and initiate one or more of the following notifications.

Close Contact Notification: Close contact is defined as being exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual at a distance of less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes within a 24-hour period. Individuals identified within this group will receive notification from an OCSA LVN via phone call AND email. The LVN will provide the individual with key instructions regarding quarantine and related health care information.

Low Risk Notification: Low risk is defined as being indirectly exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual through a shared classroom or office space. Individuals identified within this group will receive notification from an OCSA LVN via email through Aeries Communications. The notification will include health care information related to monitoring potential symptoms; however, individuals within this group are not required to quarantine as long as they remain symptom free.

General Community Notification: In addition to providing close contact and low risk notifications to individuals based on the level of exposure, OCSA will send a general community notification via email on days that positive COVID-19 cases are reported on campus. The email will only provide the number of new cases reported for that day, ensuring that all stakeholders remain informed, while also maintaining privacy and confidentiality for our students and staff. The current number of active cases will also be updated regularly on OCSA’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

Lastly, with each confirmed positive case, the OCSA Facilities Team will be notified as well. These professionals are trained to complete a deep cleaning of any exposure area(s) and are committed to keeping the OCSA campus safe.

Please note, this notification system will officially begin once OCSA reopens for hybrid/in-person instruction and all Hybrid/In-Person Learning Academy students and teachers return to campus.
As previously communicated, Orange County has launched an effort to distribute COVID-19 vaccinations to the public in a phased, tiered approach.
We are happy to report that, as of yesterday, Orange County has expanded the currently active phase to include Phase 1B, Tier 1, in addition to the previously active Phase 1A. Phase 1B, Tier 1 includes individuals in the education sector, which means that all OCSA employees (teachers and support staff) will be eligible to secure a vaccination appointment in the coming weeks.
To learn more about the Orange County vaccination timeline and to view a list of those who are currently eligible to receive a vaccine, please click here.
Please be reminded that, at this point in time, Orange County still remains in the Purple Tier of California’s tiered reopening system based on the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which means that OCSA is not permitted to open for in-person instruction. There will be no in-person instruction offered until such time that the county moves back into the Red Tier and has remained in the Red Tier for at least five consecutive days. The first day a county is considered in the Red Tier is the Wednesday after the weekly county tier assignments are announced and posted on the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) website. As such, our anticipated campus reopening will likely be on a Monday (five calendar days after we enter the Red Tier on a Wednesday).

We are prepared to open for hybrid/in-person instruction as soon as we are cleared by the state and local officials, so please consider preparing as necessary for that transition. Once guidelines permit and we are able to return to campus safely, Hybrid/In-Person Learning Academy students and teachers will transition from their current distance learning format to a hybrid/in-person format for the remainder of their spring semester classes. As we move closer to opening the campus for hybrid/in-person instruction, we will communicate additional details pertaining to school health and safety protocols, how to find a carpool, what campus food services will look like, how drop-off/pick-up will work, and more. In the meantime, please continue to stay safe and healthy. We thank you for your patience and support.
If you have any remaining questions about OCSA's dual learning academy instructional model, COVID-19 procedures, or our return to campus, please review the following documents for further clarification:

If you feel your question was not adequately addressed in the resources above, please contact OCSA Administration at ocsa.administration@ocsarts.net. If your question is specific to your student’s conservatory, please email your conservatory director for assistance.
We will continue to provide you with necessary information and exciting announcements as we work to prepare the campus and strengthen the instructional program to create an unparalleled experience for all OCSA students and staff this spring.

Thank you for doing your part to keep OCSA and all of our stakeholders safe!


OCSA Administration

Michael Ciecek, Principal
Gregory Endelman, Ed.D., Executive Director of Special Services
Becca Freeland, Dean of Student Services
Maria Lazarova, D.M.A., Dean of Arts
Sally Lopez, Dean of Instruction
Leon Metoyer, Special Services Learning Specialist