IUSD This Week – Nov. 28 to Dec. 2


Portola High School Received Cox Grant for Aquaponics
Portola High School was awarded a $5,000 grant from Cox Communications for its aquaponics program.  Aquaponics is a method of img_1514growing fish and plants simultaneously with an interconnected system. Through this project based learning experience students are not only learning about the dynamics of ecosystems, but they are also learning how to work collaboratively in teams to solve a real world problem.  Each class period has designed, and is currently building, one large aquaponics system based off of research they have completed, including collecting data from smaller systems they have designed and built earlier in the school year.  In January they will be presenting their findings to professionals in the community, ranging from local farmers to the home gardener, on whether switching to aquaponics could positively impact Irvine by utilizing less water and land than traditional farming methods.  The Cox Innovation in Education Grant will be used to purchase supplies so the students can continue to be innovative and take risks as they build and make adjustments to their aquaponics systems to increase water efficiency and plant growth.

Irvine High School Dedicated Student Art Panels
Irvine High School recently hosted a dedication for student artwork that was commissioned by the school’s Student Forum to demonstrate the values of Integrity, Honoring Self and Others, and Social Responsibility.  The artwork is now displayed in the school library.

Northwood High School Annual Food Drive
Northwood High School held its annual food drive for Families Forward.  Each Teacher Advisement group competed to bring the most items.  Mrs. Doan’s group won with 4,600 items.  In total, Northwood High collected a total of 12,000 items to help families in need

College Park Mystery Skype
Mrs. Tyndal’s 3rd graders at College Park had a unique geography and social studies lesson. They participated in a Mystery Skype in which the two classes took turns asking and answering yes/no questions to narrow down which state their Mystery class was located in.  Mrs. Tyndal’s students used Chromebooks and atlases to learn about U.S geography and to guide them through their process. They were able to successfully reveal that their Mystery Skype was with Mrs. Poppler’s 4th grade class at Good Shepherd Catholic School in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

For more news and information about IUSD, visit us on:

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Irvine High School Dedicates Student Art Panels


Irvine High School recently hosted a dedication for student artwork that was commissioned by the

Principal Monica Colunga, Sahil Patne, Grace Lee, and Sun Ah Lee representing her sister Jung Ah Lee

Principal Monica Colunga, Sahil Patne, Grace Lee, and Sun Ah Lee representing her sister Jung Ah Lee

school’s Student Forum to demonstrate the values of Integrity, Honoring Self and Others, and Social Responsibility.  These values are a representation of behavioral expectations under the school’s Positive Behavior Interventions Support (PBIS), which among other benefits establishes guidelines for positive student behavior.

Last year, the Student Forum requested that students provide an artistic representation of Irvine High values.  Various artistic renditions were vetted and the student body was asked to vote on the three that they felt best identified the school’s values.
The selected artists were asked to paint their work on canvas panels, which are now on display in the school library.
The artists listed by their work are as follows:

  • Integrity by Jung Ah Lee Integrity
  • Honoring Self and Others by Grace Lee
  • Social Responsibility by Sahil Patne

To read more about Irvine High School’s PBIS, click here.


IUSD This Week – November 18, 2016


IUSD THIS WEEK – November 14-18

Each week, so many great things happen throughout IUSD, we’ve provided the following “snapshot” to keep you informed!  Click here to view a photo gallery of this week’s events.

iusd-thisweek-11-18-16Canyon View Elementary Principal Christina Giguiere kissed a pig on Monday, November 14 as part of a PTA fundraising initiative.  The school met its goal and raised more than $52,000, so Principal Giguiere puckered up and the kids loved it!

Meadow Park Elementary fifth and sixth grade students, in the Specialized Academic Instruction program, organized and hosted a Thanksgiving meal for about 40 teachers, staff and administrators.  To prepare for the feast, students took part in grocery shopping, cooking, decorating and hosting the event, all part of their life skills lessons.  This is the second year this wonderful event has been held – it has become a tradition that Meadow Park students and staff look forward to each year.

Rancho San Joaquin Middle School students participated in a Student Investment Workshop put on by the Irvine Chamber of Commerce.  The more than 100 students, who participated, learned about the basics of investing and then managed a portfolio of $25,000 for four weeks.  As part of the conclusion of the program, a final meeting was held in which the winning teams were recognized and awarded prizes.

Woodbury Elementary students were visited by Gabrielino Indian Chief, Ernie Salas, who shared information about his tribe’s culture and history during a third-grade assembly.

Woodbury Elementary second-grade students also participated in a concert for parents in which they sang patriotic songs.

Greentree Elementary students have been and will continue performing the school’s annual play, Disney’s Peter Pan Jr., through Saturday.  This special event is sponsored by IPSF.  Students are performing to sold out crowds of families and friends.

For more information about exciting events and news related to your school, visit your school’s website and social media pages, where available.


Superintendent Message: The Importance of Respectful Dialogue


Dear IUSD Community,

As the Thanksgiving holiday beckons, we wanted to express our gratitude for the staff, students and the incredibly invested families we serve in Irvine.

In IUSD, we enjoy a rich diversity of cultures, languages, religions and viewpoints.  We know that this diversity enables our students to understand and embrace our differences – it is our strength.  We also know that our students need to hear and to see examples of respectful dialogue and discussion.  They need to trust that they can express their ideas without fear of censure or retribution.  IUSD staff are committed to the values of equity and inclusion, which means supporting the right of all students to express their feelings and opinions, respectfully.

This past election year offered many teachable moments.  Our educators have facilitated thoughtful discussions in classes throughout our schools. However, the tone and tenor of the current political discourse has raised concerns for some of our students and their families.  These concerns have been communicated to the District Office and to our schools.  The sentiments expressed stem from what our children have observed from an election that was, at times, uncivil and contradicted the respectful exchange of ideas we expect from our children at school and at home.

While we must refrain from endorsing any political point of view, we do have a responsibility to ensure our campuses are safe and that our students are respectful of each other.  To this end, all IUSD schools implement what is known as Positive Behavior Interventions Support (PBIS).  Among the many benefits of PBIS, it establishes values, expectations and guidelines for positive student behavior, irrespective of the behaviors students may observe through the media and in our society today.  PBIS is a constant on IUSD campuses and our staff have continued to remind students about the importance of being good citizens who represent respectful and appropriate interactions with their fellow students and those in our community.  We will not tolerate bullying or discrimination for any reason in our schools.

Please take a moment to discuss the importance of respectful dialogue with your children and we will continue to do the same at school.  If your child needs support or help expressing any concerns or fears he or she may have, please contact your school principal or school psychologist.  You may also contact the Irvine Family Resource Center for additional resources.  The safety and wellbeing of our students is our top priority.

To view information about your school’s PBIS, please visit your school’s webpage.

Thank you for your continued engagement, partnership and support, which enables IUSD to best serve our students.

Sincerely,

Terry-Sig-Straight

 

 

 

 

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools, Irvine Unified School District


Annual IUSD Survey Closes Nov. 27


lcap-2016Please take a few minutes to complete our IUSD Annual Survey, which includes the LCAP school funding survey and portions of the state Healthy Kids survey.  The LCAP is an important part of the District’s annual process because it aligns IUSD’s strategic planning with the budget to ensure we accomplish both State and District goals to best meet our students’ needs.  Your feedback, insights and ideas are critical components of this process.

We know that this is a busy time of year and we appreciate you dedicating a few moments to provide us candid and constructive feedback.  The survey will be open until November 27, 2016.

All responses to this survey are anonymous and will be kept strictly confidential.  Please click here to take the survey.


Irvine Re-elects Bokota and Brooks and Welcomes Carroll to the Board of Education


i-voted-imageTuesday, November 8, Irvine voters re-elected IUSD Governing Board Members Paul Bokota and
Lauren Brooks, according to the unofficial election results provided by the Orange County Registrar of Voters.  This is the second term for both Bokota and Brooks, who won with 21 percent and nearly 24 percent of the vote, respectively.

Businesswoman and parent Betty Carroll, also won with nearly 19 percent of the vote.  Carroll’s experience includes Irvine Public Schools Foundation Board Chair, IUSD Education Advisory Committee, School Site Councilmember, PTA board, room parent and classroom volunteer.  She received her Bachelor’s of Art degree in English from UC Santa Barbara and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

Bokota, Brooks and Carroll will be sworn in during the December 13, 2016 Board Meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the District Office (5050 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine).

In other education-related election news, Prop. 51 is leading in early returns, which will allow the sale of $9 billion in general obligation bonds to pay for building and modernizing K-12 and community college facilities statewide.  IUSD will receive matching funds that will allow the District to further augment its facilities planning and Measure E funds to ensure all IUSD schools meet the same safety and education standards as our newer schools.

Voters passed Prop. 55, which is a temporary extension of taxes on top earners through 2030, which will raise between $4 billion and $9 billion annually for K-12 schools and community colleges throughout California.  As one of the lowest funded school districts in the state, the passage of Prop. 55 will help provide vital funds for IUSD students.

Prop. 58 was also passed by voters, which is an English education proposition that eliminates the English only mandate of Prop. 227, which was passed in 1998 and approves a multilingual education.  This gives school districts flexibility to teach English learners in a manner that best fits their community.  This proposition has little impact on IUSD, which offers a comprehensive K-12 approach to language programs.


IUSD Students Accessing Higher Levels of Mathematics Than Ever Before


Since the adoption of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in 2013, IUSD students are accessing
students-studyinghigher levels of mathematics than ever before in IUSD history.

Background:
Previous state standards adopted in 1997, identified Algebra 1 as the grade level course for 8th grade. The recently adopted CCSS added an additional course in middle school, Math 8, which is now considered the grade level course for 8th grade.  The addition of Math 8 increased the number of secondary math courses in the sequences for ALL students within California.

What this Means for IUSD Students:
Students who successfully complete Enhanced Math 7/8 in 7th grade and progress through our current enhanced math pathway will be prepared for Calculus in 11th grade. This is comparable to students in past years completing Algebra 1 in 7th grade, Honors Geometry in 8th grade, Algebra 2 in the 9th grade, Pre-calculus in the 10th grade and Calculus in 11th grade.

As a result, more IUSD students are on track to reach Calculus than in any previous year in IUSD’s history.

  • Districtwide, approximately 35% of 7th graders are enrolled in Enhanced Math 7/8.
  • In 2014-2015, 13.63% of 7th grade students were enrolled in Algebra 1.
  • In 2015-2016, 29.03% of 7th grade students were enrolled in the equivalent course for acceleration, Enhanced Math 7/8.
  • In 2014-2015, 15.17% of 8th grade students were enrolled in Honors Geometry.
  • In 2015-2016, 24.82% of 8th grade students were enrolled in the equivalent course for acceleration, Enhanced Math 1.

IUSD’s progression of math courses also provides students with multiple opportunities to accelerate.  These opportunities did not exist prior to the transition to our new math courses.  For more information about math pathways, click here.

 


Sierra Vista’s Henry Miller Named a GRAMMY Music Educator Semifinalist


henry-miller-2016Congratulations to Henry Miller, Sierra Vista Middle School music teacher, for his designation as semifinalist for the national GRAMMY Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation.  Henry is one of 25 semifinalists selected from 3,300 nominations from all U.S. states.  His nomination represents Sierra Vista’s and IUSD’s outstanding music program and his dedication as a teacher.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (K through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools.  A joint partnership and presentation of the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation, this special award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception.

In December, one recipient will be selected from 10 finalists, and will be recognized for his/her remarkable impact on students’ lives. The winner will be in Los Angeles during GRAMMY week to accept the award, attend the GRAMMY Awards ceremony and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine other finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants.

Click here to read CBS’ coverage of this prestigious honor.  To learn more, visit the GRAMMY Foundation website.

Related News:
All Four IUSD High Schools Named 2016 GRAMMY Signature School Semifinalists
Northwood’s Ben Case Named a Grammy Music Educator Semifinalist
Woodbridge High School Named Top GRAMMY School in the Nation


IPSF Annual Giving Campaign 2016


Dear IUSD Community,

This year marks the Irvine Public Schools Foundation’s (IPSF) 20th anniversary.  For two decades, IPSF has been committed to enriching the educational experience of each child in every school by providing programs, raising funds and uniting the community in support of educational excellence.

The collaborative efforts of IPSF, in addition to our students, parents, staff and community partners such as the City of Irvine, are critical to IUSD’s mission to provide our students with the highest quality educational experience we can envision.  This partnership contributes to IUSD consistently being ranked among the top school districts in the nation, despite being one of the lowest funded.

To help continue our tradition of excellence, IPSF is once again kicking off its annual fundraising campaign.  Funds raised make a difference where it matters most – in the classroom.  At the elementary level, proceeds from this campaign pay for additional qualified instructional assistants who work directly with your children, improving our student to educator ratios.  In our middle and high schools, class‐size support funds equate to additional offerings and smaller classes in critical subject areas.  In addition, IPSF enhances music education for students in kindergarten through grade six, as well as grants that enable our teachers and counselors to pursue new technologies and innovative learning strategies.

Your contributions to support our schools will go even further with the City of Irvine’s Challenge Match Grant.  The City will match every donation made to IPSF, up to $1.3 million dollars.  In addition, if your company has a match program, your dollars will go even further to support IUSD students and schools.

This year is particularly special.  In honor of IPSF’s 20th anniversary, the City will temporarily double the Challenge Match Grant for community donations received by November 20.

That means for every $50 donated, $150 will go toward Irvine schools.  We need your support to maximize this opportunity.  Imagine what our district could do if each of our more than 20,000 families participated.  To make a tax-deductible donation now,  click here.  Every donation is appreciated, no matter how big or small.

Thank you for your continued investments, engagement, partnership and support of IUSD.

Terry-Sig-Straight

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools,
Irvine Unified School District


Measure E Citizens Oversight Committee to Hold First Meeting October 24


The independent Measure E Citizens Oversight Committee (COC) will hold its first meeting on October hands24 at 6:30 p.m. at the IUSD District Office (5050 Barranca Parkway, Irvine).  Items on the agenda include:

  • COC Bylaws
  • Establishment of Committee Chair
  • 2016-2017 COC Meeting Schedule
  • Measure E Implementation Plan Presentation

For the full agenda and more information about the COC, visit http://iusd.org/COC.html.

Measure E, a school facilities improvement measure, was passed by Irvine voters on June 7, 2016. In accordance with California state law, for measures passed with 55 percent of the vote, the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education appointed a Citizens Oversight Committee (COC) during the September 13, 2016 Board Meeting. The COC will monitor bond expenditures and ensure bond revenues are allocated in compliance with the voter approved measure. The focus of the committee is to provide transparency and maintain public confidence in the use of Measure E bond funds.

For more information about Measure E, visit iusd.org/MeasureE.

Related News and Information:
IUSD Board of Education Takes Action on Measure E – September 15, 2016
Reminder: Measure E Citizens Oversight Committee Applications Due Aug. 10 – July 26, 2016
IUSD Seeks Applicants for Measure E Citizens Oversight Committee – July 6, 2016
Irvine Voters Pass Measure E – June 8, 2016
Measure E – School Facilities Improvements – May 3, 2016
Board of Education Votes to Put School Facilities Improvement Measure on June Ballot – March 1, 2016
Board of Education to Hold Public Hearing March 1 on Facilities Measure – February 24, 2016
School Facilities Informational Mailer – February 2016
School Facilities Improvement Letter from Terry Walker – December 5, 2015
School Facilities Improvement Measure Informational Mailer – December 2015