David Burke Named New Principal of Culverdale Elementary School


IUSD is pleased to announce that David Burke has been named as the new Principal of Culverdale Elementary School. Mr. Burke is well known to the staff, students, and community as he currently serves in a leadership role supporting Mr. Jetzer as a teacher on special assignment. He was selected from a talented candidate pool in a competitive selection process that included staff and community input and participation. Mr. Burke has been a successful site leader at Culverdale for the past three years and was a respected teacher at various grade levels in Irvine Unified from 2000 – 2014. Mr. Burke will officially make the transition to principal on July 1, 2017.

 

Mr. Burke brings a student-centered learning approach to his work and is familiar with the Culverdale community and IUSD’s culture of excellence. He is committed to ensuring that all students learn to their maximum potential and to fostering innovation through collaboration with teachers, staff, students, and families.

 

Mr. Burke is excited to serve at Culverdale in his new role as Principal. He will work closely with Mr. Jetzer during this transition in leadership and will be on site daily to make sure that Culverdale is ready to successfully launch into the new school year in August.

 

“I’m excited to begin this new chapter at Culverdale as we continuously strive to provide innovative learning environments for our vibrant community of learners,” said Mr. Burke upon the news of his selection as principal.

 

A native of southwestern Pennsylvania, David resides in the neighborhood of Quail Hill, and he’s an enthusiastic world traveler who recently visited 6 of the 7 continents in 2016.  He enjoys maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, appreciating the cultural diversity and beaches of southern California, and cheering on the New York Giants.

 

Please join IUSD in congratulating Mr. Burke upon his selection as the next Principal at Culverdale.


Five Things You Need to Know About the California School Dashboard


State education officials have just unveiled a brand new accountability and improvement system to show how California’s public schools are performing — and to track their progress over time.

It’s called the California School Dashboard, and you can access it now at caschooldashboard.org. Here are five things you need to know.

1. The new dashboard is aligned with California’s academic standards, but it goes way beyond test scores.

Published online, the California School Dashboard features an array of data to help parents, educators and the public evaluate the strengths and challenges of their schools and districts. The dashboard will also help determine which schools and districts require special assistance.

You might remember the old Academic Performance Index, which annually assigned each school a triple-digit score based largely on its standardized test scores. The California School Dashboard uses color-coded pie pieces and other gauges to present a more comprehensive set of metrics. While it will likely take a little more time to grasp, it’s expected to be more useful than the API to parents, educators and the public.

2. The dashboard is based on state and local performance indicators that might look familiar.

Rather than relying on a single number, the California School Dashboard displays scores based on about a dozen state and local indicators. These indicators are specifically aligned with 10 priority areas spelled out in the state’s overhauled funding formula. (The same priority areas are also embedded in the local accountability plans that are updated annually by districts and charter schools.)

The state indicators are:

  • Chronic absenteeism
  • Suspension rate
  • English learner progress
  • Graduation rate
  • College and career
  • Academic (English language arts and math)

State indicator results are based on how schools or subgroups performed overall (known as their “status”), as well as how much they improved or declined over a three-year period (referred to as “change”).

The local indicators are:

  • Appropriately assigned teachers, access to curriculum-aligned instructional materials and safe, clean and functional school facilities
  • Implementation of academic standards
  • Parent engagement
  • School climate
  • Coordination of services for expelled students (This applies to county offices of education only.)
  • Coordination of services for foster youth (Again, this is just for county offices of education.)

Unlike the state indicators, local indicators are self-reported by schools, districts and county offices based on locally available data.

3. The California School Dashboard relies on visual graphics to show performance and growth.

For the state indicators, color-coded pie pieces represent school and subgroup performance levels. Ranked from least favorable to most favorable, the performance levels are red (one slice), orange (two slices), yellow (three slices), green (four slices) and blue (a full pie).

You can learn more about how each color is assigned by visiting the California Accountability Model & School Dashboard webpage, but the general idea is that the colors are gauges that show how well the school or subgroup performed overall (status) and how much it improved or worsened over a three-year period (change).

Here’s a sample:

So, the imaginary school to the left would have boasted favorable suspension and graduation rates while producing low English scores and very low math scores.

Again, the scores above refer only to the seven state indicators. The local indicators are represented differently. Rather than using color-coded pie pieces, the dashboard notes whether each local goal has been “met,” “not met” or “not met for more than two years.”

4. It’s not just a tool for parents and the public. The California School Dashboard also serves as the basis for technical assistance.

Under the provisions of the Local Control Funding Formula — that’s the state’s K-12 funding mechanism — schools and districts will be eligible for technical assistance from their county office of education if certain performance benchmarks are not met over time. To learn more, refer to page 70 of the CDE’s Technical Guide for New Accountability System (PDF).

5. The state has published guides and other resources for those who want to dive a little deeper — and additional resources are coming.

Again, there’s a lot to digest here, and we’ve just covered a few of the basics. For those seeking more information, the California Department of Education has compiled a bunch of resources, including:

 


IUSD Students Have Strong Showing at County National History Day


Every year, about half a million students in grades four through 12 take part in National History Day events across the U.S. These young historians produce original websites, papers, documentaries, performances and exhibits, which are showcased at the local, county, state and national levels.  The theme this year is “Taking a Stand in History.”  The Orange County National History Day competition took place on March 11 at the Orange County Department of Education offices.

IUSD had a tremendous showing with 170 students submitting 108 projects. Topics ranged from “Taking a Stand Against McCarthy: The Power of Modern Day Journalism,” to “A Voyage to Freedom: The Korean Independence,” to “William Wilberforce: Stand Against The Slave Trade.”

Students moving on to the State National History Day Competition in May are listed below.  All five IUSD high schools and four middle schools are sending projects to the state level.  Congratulations to all students who participated!

Group Documentary
Sierra Vista Middle School
Terrence Vincent Powderly: Warrior for Labor Rights
Ethan Chen, Rachel Gima and Daniel Yang

Jeffrey Trail Middle School
Equality and Justice: The 1963 March on Washington
Mishtee Shaw and Kowoon Jeong

Jeffrey Trail Middle School
The Danish Resistance: The Savage Canary’s Emblem of Fire
Padma Iyengar, Grace Wen and Ryan Jung

University High School
Fred Korematsu: A Despicable Case Against an Innocent Race
Christian Duhay and Evan Juan

Northwood High School
The Berkeley Free Speech Movement: A Protest for All Protests
Kiana Wang and Rebecca Yu

Individual Documentary
Sierra Vista Middle School
Jeffrey Wigand – Taking a Stand Against Big Tobacco
Jasmine Sinchai

Sierra Vista Middle School
Lewis Hine: How One Man’s Camera Eliminated Child Labor
Sonia Chacon

Irvine High School
All Action and Results, and Not Just Talk, Talk, Talk: John Lewis, a Lifetime of Taking a Stand for Civil Rights
Christine Park

Group Exhibit
Sierra Vista Middle School
Marian Anderson: The Voice That Took a Stand
Emilia Bretana, Amanda Carlson, Gayatri Kalyan, Quinlan Solomita and Ainsley Zapata

Sierra Vista Middle School
The Gulf War 1990-1991 – Operation Desert Storm
Shreya Shah and Rhea Mehta

University High School
Dorothea Lange: Pictures Worth More Than a Thousand Words
Alina Guo, Lan Jiang

Individual Exhibit
University High School
Joseph Lister: The Father of Antisepsis
Maggie Zhang

Irvine High School
Saddam Hussein Taking a Stand in Iran-Iraq War
Farnoush Nasouri

Historical Paper
Sierra Vista Middle School
Fred Korematsu: Fighting for a Battle Never Fought
Kevin Miura

Sierra Vista Middle School
Andrei Sakharov: Father of the Soviet Human Rights Movement
Jenny Won

Northwood High School
Peter the great: Recreating Russia
Angelina Chen

University High School
Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz: Politics, Poetics, and a Stand for Women Scholars
Peter Thomas

Northwood High School
William Wilberforce: Stand Against Slave Trade
Stuti Agrawal

Individual Performance
Jeffrey Trail Middle School
Gandhi: A Man Who Inspired Others To Take A Stand With Him To Free India From The British By Only Nonviolence
Lavanya Gupta

Sierra Vista Middle School
Rosie the Riverter: Fighting World War II from the Homefront
Jasmine Chhabria

Woodbridge High School
How British Female Spies Stood Up Against The Nazis And Gender Opposition During World War II
Naomi Hampton

Individual Website
South Lake Middle School
Mihajlo Pupin: Taking a Stand for Serbia
Mia Stojanovic

Northwood High School|
The Womanhouse Project
Angela Chung

Portola High School
Muckrakers of the Progressive Era Taking a Stand Against Injustice in Society
Julia Kim

Group Website
Sierra Vista Middle School
The little Rock Nine: Pioneers of Equality in Education
Annabel Yang and Andrea Huang

Rancho San Joaquin Middle School
Creation/Evolution Debate
Samuel German and James Koga

Sierra Vista Middle School
John Fitzgerald Kennedy: The Cuban Missile Crisis
Jake Compton, Rohin Palsule and Derek Yazan

University High School
Taking a Stand Against McCarthy: The Power of Modern Day Journalism
Sabrina Huang and Frankie (Hyeseung) Son

University High School
Ahn Chang-ho: Taking Initiative on Korean Liberation
Kyle Chen, Kevin Dang and Hahn Kang

 

 


IUSD to Host Blended Learning Information Session March 21


Tonight, from 6-7 p.m., IUSD will host a Blended Learning information session at the Creekside Education Center (3387 Barranca Pkwy., Irvine) in the Multipurpose Room.

Blended learning is a voluntary option for students within Irvine Unified School District. Students in the blended learning program take courses online and attend weekly in-person meetings. During the meeting this evening, attendees will learn more about the program, including course offerings, program format, content, A-G approval for the University of California, and NCAA approval for online courses.

Driver’s Ed Flyer – 2017-18 Blended Learning Options-Fall 2017

Blended Learning Options-Fall 2017


Hundreds of IUSD Students Participated in 35th Annual Bren Honors Concert


Hundreds of IUSD’s outstanding musicians took center stage during the 35th annual Donald Bren Honors Concert at Segerstrom Concert Hall, located at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

Approximately 625 top IUSD vocalists and instrumentalists in grades five through 12 participated in the musical showcase. This annual event is presented by the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, in partnership with IUSD.

“The Bren Honors Concert has become an important IUSD tradition and has given our exceptionally talented students the opportunity to showcase their music and vocals in a world-class venue,” said Brad Van Patten, IUSD’s coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts. “This year, the concert concluded with a special finale featuring 340 student vocalist in the high school honor orchestra having the honor to perform Peter Boyer’s “On Music’s Wings” with the composer also conducting. Students ended the night by receiving a standing ovation.”

The concert is named in recognition of the generosity of philanthropist Donald Bren. Under his leadership, the Donald Bren Foundation and the Irvine Company have provided more than $200 million to support education, including more than $45 million to preserve art, music and science programs in IUSD.
In addition to serving as an incredible performance opportunity for students, the Donald Bren Honors Concert also generates funds to support music education.  “The Donald Bren Honors Concert represents an outstanding effort by donors, parents, music instructors, students and members of the community to provide, preserve and expand outstanding music programs for kids in our schools,” said IPSF President and CEO Neda Eaton.


Irvine High Newspaper Staff Takes 1st in County Competition


Irvine High School’s El Vaquero newspaper staff won 1st Place in sweepstakes at the Orange County Journalism Education Association at Fullerton College on Saturday. The group also brought home 1st Place in Best of Show, Division 2.

Those contributing to the win included Mehr Bawa and Brian Zhou in news, 1st and 2nd Place, respectively; Claire Song and Michelle Ma in feature writing; Brenda Nguyen, 1st Place in editorial writing; and Sahil Patne, 1st Place in sports. Mona Chahine placed 1st in news photography and Joyce Hsiou and Jonathan Lam both placed in newspaper layout. Nineteen Irvine High staffers participated in the annual contest that this year consisted of 14 local area schools and around 300 student journalists.

This is the first time El Vaquero has had four 1st Place winners in a single write-off event.

Winners in the sweepstakes categories of news, feature, editorial and sports will advance to the state competition on March 25 in Long Beach, along with participants in several non-qualifying categories.


IUSD Elementary Schools Celebrate Read Across America Day


During the first week of March, IUSD elementary schools invited a cast of special guests to read their favorite children’s books to officially celebrate Read Across America Day.  Established by the National Education Association, Read Across America Day is an annual literacy campaign that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel — better known to kids as Dr. Seuss.

Local guest readers included Board of Education members Paul Bokota (pictured), Betty Carroll, Superintendent Terry Walker and IUSD staff.


IUSD Participates in 10th Annual ACE Day


This month, IUSD Board Members and administrators shadowed custodians, electricians, painters, clerks and other classified employees to learn more about their jobs and responsibilities as part of IUSD’s 10th annual ACE Day.  ACE, which stands for Appreciating Classified Employees, was established in 2007 by the California Schools Employee Association’s (CSEA) to recognize and celebrate classified employees, while building understanding and relationships between administrative and classified staff.

IUSD Board President Ira Glasky worked with Plaza Vista Health Clerk Janice McNeil.  At Culverdale Elementary, Board Member Paul Bokota shadowed English Language Development Instructional Assistant Nahid Sanaiha, while Superintendent Terry Walker assisted Media Tech Charles Anantavara in the school’s innovation lab.  Board Member Lauren Brooks joined PE Paraprofessional Meleah Shank at Stonegate Elementary.  IUSD’s newest Board Member Betty Carroll worked with Media Tech Carrie Finley-Bajak in the University Park Elementary Library and Board Member Sharon Wallin shadowed District Network Specialist Ray Perez at the District Office.

This year was particularly special for IUSD, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of ACE Day and was joined by Ben Valdepena, CSEA Association President; Kerry Woods is, CSEA Association Secretary; Bill Hagar, CSEA Area H Director, who recognized IUSD for the longest running ACE program in the state.

Participants joined a group luncheon after the event to share what they did and learned.

This unique program reinforces what IUSD knows and believes, which is that a school district requires the efforts of everyone – classified staff, community members, teachers and administrators to be successful. A healthy school district is built on teamwork! ACE recognizes and encourages this collaborative concept.


IUSD Officially Dedicated Portola High School


 

IUSD hosted two Portola High School dedication ceremonies to celebrate the District’s fifth comprehensive high school, which opened last August.  Participants of both ceremonies learned about the features of this state-of-the-art educational facility, which was designed to leverage learning at the highest levels.

Community Dedication
The first dedication ceremony, on Thursday, March 2, was led by IUSD Superintendent Terry L. Walker, Board President Ira Glasky and Principal John Pehrson.  The community event included the Board of Education, parents, students, teachers, staff, the District’s development partners FivePoint and the Irvine Company, City of Irvine officials, community partners, and other state and local dignitaries.  All participants had the opportunity to tour the school site and experience innovative features such as design and science labs, high-tech and flexible-design classrooms, dedicated music and performing arts spaces, collaborative workspaces, top-level sports facilities, and a world-class performing arts center.

“Today’s celebration is not a beginning, nor is it a finish line but rather the dedication of this amazing facility is an important milestone in providing a world-class educational environment,” said Ira Glasky, Irvine Unified School District Board of Education President.  “Portola is our first high school built in accordance with IUSD’s award winning Education Specifications.   The result of countless hours spent by our teachers, administrators and architects, these ed specs detail the features needed to support instruction and 21st century learning at the highest levels.”

IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker echoed similar sentiments, “This school is more than a beautiful environment, it has been developed to create innovative spaces for learning.  Most importantly, it is a symbol of our sincere promise to provide the highest quality educational experience we can envision.”

Principal John Pehrson concluded the official dedication by discussing the importance of preparing students for college and careers.  “We’re so excited to take on this monumental task of preparing our students for 21st century college and careers.  We have and will continue to assemble a world-class staff to meet this challenge with fervor and complete dedication.”

He then went on to thank the many people in attendance, who had active roles in the development and opening of the school site.  “Thank you for your partnership in this journey  and we’re so glad you are here to celebrate with us.  Go Bull Dogs!”

To view the official dedication video, click here.

Student Dedication
The following day, Portola High School students held a special dedication ceremony during their first-ever spring pep rally.  It was a unique opportunity for students to come together and celebrate their school and their positive school culture.

Students representing the inaugural freshman class joined by Superintendent Terry Walker and Principal Pehrson for student ribbon cutting.  During the rally, each of Portola’s spring sports teams ran through balloon arches, while the band performed with the flag and cheer teams.  Students organized and ran the rally demonstrating their tremendous leadership as the school’s first-ever class.

Portola High School serves parts of North Irvine and in the years to come, the campus will accommodate approximately 2,400 Irvine students.  Below is school information and features

Portola High School Vision
“Where every learner belongs, contributes and thrives.”

Portola High School Motto
PRIDE (Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Drive, Empathy)

Portola High School Stats

  • Principal John Pehrson (previously served as principal at University High School for 10 years)
  • More than 450 students are enrolled for the 2016-17 school year. (IUSD estimates the school will have more than 900 students for the 2017-18 school year.)
  • The school opened with only freshmen in 2016-2017 and will add an additional class each subsequent year, resulting in a full 9-12 comprehensive high school by the 2019-2020 school year.
  • The inaugural school staff for the 2016-17 school year is comprised of 65 employees, both certified and classified employees:
    • 25 Teachers
    • 12 Certified Staff
    • 9 Special Education Employees
    • 10 Custodial Staff
    • 4 Food Service Staff
    • 5 Administrative Staff

Portola High School Design and Features
Portola High School is a state-of-the-art education facility designed to meet the criteria developed by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, which helps establish campuses that are healthy, comfortable, energy efficient and aligned with modern teaching and learning.

The school’s educational technologies and amenities include:

  • A performing arts building with a 720-seat theater, black box and dance studio
  • An elective building that will house video production, 2D and 3D art, music rooms and more
  • A student center featuring collaborative learning environment, a library with dedicated quiet rooms and an Innovation Lab
  • Makers space
  • 21st-Century classrooms with common areas and flexible furniture for collaborative learning
  • Dedicated science labs
  • A special education facility to facilitate essential life skills
  • A green roof that will enable hands-on, sustainable learning
  • A 2,044 seat gymnasium that includes training facilities and dedicated team rooms
  • A 2,940 seat stadium with rubberized track and artificial turf
  • An aquatics center with a 50-meter pool
  • Eight tennis courts
  • Varsity and JV baseball and softball fields
  • Track and field facilities
  • Two full soccer fields

IUSD Superintendent Walker Named Fourth District PTA Outstanding Administrator of the Year


IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker received the Outstanding Administrator of the Year award from the Fourth District PTA, during the organization’s annual dinner, which recognizes PTA volunteers and programs countywide.  In addition to awards given for outstanding PTA membership program, outstanding PTA units and outstanding PTA councils in Orange County, two awards are given to those who go above and beyond to support the PTA in their districts, including the Fourth District PTA Outstanding Teacher and Outstanding Administrator.

Former Irvine Unified Council PTA President Connie Stone, who nominated
Walker for the award, said, “It would be hard to find another Superintendent in Orange County or California, who has been a bigger supporter of the PTA than IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker.  The support that Terry gives to PTA is evident not only in his words, but more importantly in his actions.  He encourages every school site in Irvine to actively partner with their PTA to support students and to provide quality programming for IUSD school communities.  His support has contributed to Irvine having a PTA at every school site in the city.”

Stone continued, “Terry attends every single monthly Irvine Council meeting providing a firsthand update of district issues to the PTA presidents, always asking the PTA presidents for comments or questions and repeatedly tells the PTA presidents he has an open door policy.”

In addition to fostering productive partnerships with PTAs, Walker was recognized for making the Irvine Unified Council of PTAs a key stakeholder group in IUSD, which participates in the District’s LCAP process, has permanent seats on the District’s Educational Advisory and Finance committees, as well as IUSD’s Coalition for Legislative Action.

Stone concluded Walker’s nomination with the following example, “Several years ago, Irvine Council PTA started a high school advocacy trip to Sacramento.  Each year, Terry makes it a priority to attend this PTA program.  He does not sit next to the teacher chaperones, parents , or school board trustees on the plane and in the legislative sessions, because at every moment of the trip you will see Terry engaging with and getting to know the students.  He wants to know what is, and more importantly what is not working for the students in the high schools.  He asks to hear the good and what needs to be improved upon and brings those items back to the school board himself, always looking for ways to improve delivering the best education that we, collectively, can envision.”

The Fourth District PTA annual dinner was attended by Orange County school districts, teachers and administrators, including the Orange County Department of Education Superintendent, Dr. Al Mijares, who delivered the opening address.  The event was hosted by Fourth District PTA President Bev Berryman.

Walker has been IUSD Superintendent since 2011 and worked for IUSD as a teacher and administrator for more than 20 years.