May 28, 2021
Dear Orinda USD Community,

I recently had the joy of speaking with a kindergarten student who told me, "I love school because you learn new things. It's the best place I could ever be right now." Getting our students and staff back to school safely during a global pandemic was no easy task, but together, we did it. May all of our families and employees enjoy some time to rest and recharge over the summer and come back excited and ready to go for the first day of school on Wednesday, August 11, 2021.

Superintendent Search
This last day of school is bittersweet for me as it is my final last day of school after 37 years as an educator. What an amazing ride it's been! It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the community of Orinda as your Superintendent of Schools these past five years.

According to Board President Liz Daoust, the search for the next Superintendent of Orinda USD is in full swing. She thanks all of you who took the time to provide input to the search firm by attending meetings and filling out surveys. Your feedback was distilled into this leadership profile report that is being shared with all candidates and will help shape a comprehensive interview process. The Board hopes to approve the next Superintendent at the Regular Board Meeting on July 19, 2021, and I pledge my full support to him/her during the transition.

Looking Ahead to Fall 2021
All Orinda USD schools will be open for full time, in-person instruction in our regular school schedules starting August 11, 2021, the first day of school. The Board proudly passed Resolution 21-12, Reopening Schools for Full In-Person Instruction During the 2021-22 School Year at the Special Board Meeting on March 23, 2021. In early August we will provide further information regarding the updated California Department of Public Health and Contra Costa Health Services' requirements about masking and distancing.

We understand that some students have medical conditions (or have family members with medical conditions) that may preclude them from participating in their educational program on campus until they, and/or their loved ones, are vaccinated. I will send a survey to the families of our students who are currently participating in distance learning to help determine a safe educational program for these students during the 2021-2022 school year if they are unable to return to campus.

Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD) COVID-19 and Tdap Vaccine Clinics
All Californians age 12 and older are now eligible to get a safe, effective, and no-cost COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, free Tdap vaccines are also available to anyone age 7 and up. While the COVID-19 vaccine is currently not a requirement to attend public school, I hope all our eligible students will get vaccinated. The Tdap booster shot is required of all seventh grade students before starting school. 
To make COVID-19 and Tdap vaccination more convenient to our community, AUHSD is partnering with Contra Costa Health Services and hosting vaccination clinics at Acalanes High School in Lafayette and Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek:
  • Acalanes High School – June 1 – June 5
  • Las Lomas High School – June 8 – June 12

Read more to access the required forms and make an appointment.
Have a wonderful three-day weekend. On Monday, I hope you will take time to honor those who have died in military service protecting our freedom.

As always, I welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions on any topic related to our Orinda USD schools.


Dr. Carolyn Seaton
Superintendent of Schools
District Calendar
  • June 7: Regular School Board Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
  • June 14: Regular School Board Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
  • July 19: Regular School Board Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
  • August 9: Professional Development Day
  • August 9: Regular Board Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
  • August 10: Teacher Work Day
  • August 11: First Day of School
Board Shorts
2020-21 Orinda USD Board School Assignments:
OIS: Liz Daoust
Del Rey: Cara Hoxie
Glorietta: Hillary Weiner
Sleepy Hollow: Jason Kaune
Wagner Ranch: Carol Brown
The Board of Trustees took the following actions at their May 18, 2021, special meeting:

If you would like information regarding future Board meetings, email Debbie Jamieson at djamieson@orindaschools.org.

Upcoming Events
  • June 7: Regular Board Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
  • June 14: Regular Board Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
  • July 19: Regular Board Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
  • August 9: Regular Board Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
Summer Learning Hub for Orinda USD Students
Parents/guardians have inquired about resources to support summer learning for their students. In addition to our intervention summer school and our summer school for English language learners, we want to provide opportunities for all students to deepen their learning. The updated Summer Learning Activities page features apps and tools to support parents/guardians who would like to reinforce and deepen their child(ren)'s learning over the summer. These resources are optional, but we hope many of you find them to be helpful.

A Message from Orinda USD Choir Teachers Ron Pickett and Christina Holling
Teaching choir during a pandemic was challenging in many ways. It was a great time to learn new technical abilities and call upon what we know best, the power of music. This final collaboration with our choir members, their parents, teachers, and ensemble alumni was extremely gratifying. We are thrilled to present "The Big Orinda Sing Project" and "I Won't Last a Day Without You," a song we hope will show the strength of our students and their families during tough times.

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) for Students Turning 5 from December 3-31, 2021 
According to the California Department of Education, “Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate." Children are eligible for TK if they have their fifth birthday between September 2 and December 2.

After the standard TK registration process for students has occurred, Orinda USD staff determine whether openings exist in the TK program. When openings exist for TK district-wide, Orinda residents whose child(ren) will turn five between December 3 and 31, 2021, may apply. Students accepted into TK will attend the school with available space in the program, which may not be the student’s home school (school of residence). Students enrolled under these conditions will begin TK on the first day of school; however, the District will not receive state funding until the child’s fifth birthday. The District will make every effort to notify families of their child’s TK application status as early as possible but no later than July 31, 2021. If the number of applications exceeds the number of TK spaces available, the offer of enrollment will be prioritized chronologically, e.g., a student with a December 3 birthdate has highest priority. In the event two or more children with the same birthdate apply for an available seat, District staff will conduct a random lottery. To register for a potential spot in Transitional Kindergarten for a student who will turn 5 from December 3-31, 2021, click here.
ONE Orinda is proud of the success it has achieved during a difficult school year. To date, ONE has raised about $4.5M of a $4.6M goal. Thanks to the continual collaboration with our Parents’ Clubs and extraordinary dedication of parent volunteers, ONE has completed a very successful inaugural year. 

The Double Your Impact campaign in April and early May earned additional donations and closed this past week at $25,000+. We are grateful to the community members and parents who supported this effort and helped move us towards the $4.6M goal. We are so appreciative of all the support this past year. As we approach a new school year in August, we encourage more volunteers to join us by contacting: info@oneorinda.org

We remain Stronger Together for a Brighter Tomorrow as we look to the 2021-2022 year!
Del Rey wrapped up the year with a “Fitathon” fundraiser, a virtual Bingo night, teacher and staff appreciation week, and an incredible “AsiaFantasia” virtual assembly that joyfully explored Asian culture. The final week of school also brought lots of fun on-campus celebrations for our graduating fifth graders, including a field day carnival, awards ceremony, and breakfast. 

Del Rey is saying farewell to Kirsten Theurer, Del Rey's beloved Principal, who is retiring after 14 years with Del Rey, and Del Rey's School Secretary, Michelle Brobak, who is taking on a new role as the Administrative Secretary with the Orinda USD Student Services Department. Del Rey wishes them well in their next adventures and will miss them greatly!

As Del Rey finishes up the year, they are busy planning on a full reopening in the fall. Del Rey is working with the lunch vendor to bring back lunch service and the childcare vendor to continue providing a variety of childcare opportunities. 
As the Glorietta Gophers finish up the school year, Glorietta is celebrating some exciting final activities. A group of fourth and fifth graders have been publishing The Glorietta Times newsletter about all the happenings around campus. The folks at the Orinda News were so impressed, they wrote a story about the cub reporters in their own newspaper! Here’s a link to the April issue of The Glorietta Times. For May, the newsletter will become a broadcast with a video production to share the May edition with the whole school. 
Glorietta's Diversity and Inclusion Committee hosted an Art Contest that asked Gophers to show and tell about the culture and traditions that make their homes special. To participate, students were asked to create a piece of art (drawings, paintings, sculptures, digital art, Lego creations) and upload it to their grade's Flipgrid. A winner from each grade will be chosen and will receive a $10 gift certificate to Sweet Dreams.
Glorietta also held several special events to celebrate the promotion of its fifth graders to OIS. Ffith graders participated in a special fourth vs. fifth grade kickball game, and they enjoyed a fun filled water play day with time up at Meadow Swim and Tennis Club and a water slide and other activities at Glorietta on the lower playground! The Promotion Ceremony was livestreamed for others to watch. The whole school celebrated the last week of school with an exciting Spirit Week including Tie Dye day, Wacky Tacky Day, Class Color Day, Favorite Team Day, and Getting Ready for Summer Day. 
Students at Sleepy Hollow thoroughly enjoyed being on campus with their classmates throughout the month of May! Sleepy Hollow brought back weekly Monday Morning assemblies as each class joined via Zoom. Student council members played a pivotal role in making sure each assembly ran smoothly. It was a delightful way to start the week with a roll call (also known as a chance to wave your hands or get up and dance when your class is called). Also popular at each assembly was the weekly chance to share a joke or two. There were over 500 jokes submitted in total; Sleepy Hollow students like to chuckle! 

Another big number worth mentioning was the number of books donated at Sleepy Hollow's first-ever Book Drive. Ms. Gilbert, Sleepy Hollow's library technician, collected and sorted over 1,000 books for teachers to add to their classroom libraries.

As the school year comes to a close, Sleepy Hollow gets ready to say goodbye to two beloved staff members, Dr. Dotan and Mrs. Schantz. Dr. Dotan has served Sleepy Hollow as the school psychologist and Mrs. Schantz has been the Speech and Language Pathologist for over 20 years. Sleepy Hollow will not be the same without them and wishes them well on their next adventures.
Wagner Ranch’s upper grade play structure is taking shape and tantalizing the students! More than half of the apparatus is now in place with an expected mid-July completion date, in plenty of time for the coming school year! The generosity of Wagner Ranch’s parent community, who made this possible, is greatly appreciated!  

On May 18 Wagner Ranch held its first school-wide Diversabilities Awareness Day. This was a smashing success! The books and activities in which the students participated were very well chosen for each grade level, and students were thoroughly engaged in their learning. A huge thank you to WR parents and POISE members (Parent of Orinda Individuals in Special Education) Pam Ha and Bergen Woodbury, and to Ms. Headley and Ms. Ericson for all the work that went into putting on this day. 

Despite the many different iterations of the school program this year, Orinda Intermediate students finished strong! Most students opted to return to in-person learning, which allowed for a renewed sense of community and improved morale.

In lieu of a traditional Open House this year, OIS students curated their work from across the curriculum to share with their parents/guardians. Students created digital portfolios in Google Drive using Google Sites. Students had time during Advisory sessions, but many students also worked on their portfolios independently during asynchronous time. 

OIS administrators were thrilled to be able to host an 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony that closely resembled those held in typical years. The Promotion Committee, composed of dedicated OIS parents, worked overtime to plan and execute both the ceremony and the final festivities for the 8th graders. Rather than attending Six Flags as they typically would, the students participated in a special outdoor celebration during school hours on Friday, May 28th.