Northwood High School Update

*UPDATE 5:36PM* Northwood High School Update: The Irvine Police Department has determined that the Northwood High School campus is safe. Students may return tonight to pick up their vehicles. School will resume tomorrow, April 14.

Please see the following link to the Irvine Police Department press release.


At approximately 1:40 p.m. today, the Irvine Police Department received a phone threat regarding the Northwood High campus.  The police immediately responded to the school and are currently investigating.  Out of an abundance of caution the school was put into a lockdown.

At approximately 2:40 p.m. students began to be released class by class to the Portola and Yale school entrance.  Student/parent reunification is taking place.   IUSD and Northwood High School will provide updates to the Northwood High community.

LCAP School Funding Survey Now Open

Dear IUSD Community,

I would like to encourage your participation in the 2017-18 school funding survey, which is part of the 10-month Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process.  This interactive process helps IUSD identify annual goals, take action on those goals, and measure progress on academic achievement, school climate and parent engagement.  Your input is critical to IUSD’s decision-making process and will help guide investments in the District’s priorities.

The survey is divided into three brief sections:

  • New proposed actions and investments
  • A review of actions, using one-time funding, recommended for extension for one or two additional years
  • Open comment section

To learn more about the state’s funding system, including the Local Control Funding Formula and the LCAP, visit  To view an informational summary of the proposed LCAP actions, click here.

To take the survey now, click here.

Thank you in advance for your participation.  Your engagement, partnership and support continues to enable IUSD to best serve our students.


Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Jeremy Stonebarger Named New Principal of Turtle Rock Elementary School

We are pleased to announce that Jeremy Stonebarger has been named as the new Principal of Turtle Rock Elementary School. Mr. Stonebarger currently serves as Principal at Valencia Elementary School in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District. He was selected from a talented candidate pool in a competitive selection process that included staff and community input and participation. Mr. Stonebarger will officially make the transition to principal on July 1, 2017.

Mr. Stonebarger brings a student-centered learning approach to his work and is familiar with 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. Stonebarger is excited to serve at Turtle Rock and he will work closely with Mrs. Catabijan during this transition in leadership to successfully launch into the new school year in August. He looks forward to meeting with staff, students, and the parent community over the coming weeks.

“I’m excited to begin this new chapter at Turtle Rock Elementary School as we strive to provide innovative learning environments for our students,” said Mr. Stonebarger upon the news of his selection as principal.

A native of south Orange County, Mr. Stonebarger resides in Mission Viejo with his wife, Jennifer, and children, Hannah, 10, and Jackson, 8. Mr. Stonebarger loves watching his children play baseball and soccer.  His favorite family vacation spot is in Maui, Hawaii.

Please join IUSD in congratulating Mr. Stonebarger upon his selection as the next Principal at Turtle Rock.

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 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.