Superintendent Walker Delivers State of the District in New Video


Superintendent Terry Walker delivered the State of the Irvine Unified School District in a new video, which can be viewed by clicking here

State of the District topics include:

  • An overview of IUSD’s vision to prepare students for 21st century college and careers.
  • District funding realities, as one of the lowest funded school districts in California, and how IUSD is maximizing investments to best serve our students.
  • New State Standards and IUSD’s instructional strategies.
  • How the District is using technology to enhance and empower students and teachers.
  • IUSD’s facilities, which are designed to foster flexibility, innovation and collaboration.
  • Important District’s partnerships with parents, students and the community, which are critical components of IUSD’s success.

Thank you for taking the time to watch this important video and for your continued investments, engagement, partnership and support of IUSD.


Irvine Company Issued Latest Installment of $45M Commitment to Art, Music and Science


During the first Board Meeting of 2017, the Irvine Company presented IUSD with a check for $2.15 million as part of the Excellence in TIC PhotoEducation Enrichment Fund grant, which supports art, music and science education for Irvine Unified School District students in grades four through six.

In September 2016, Mr. Donald Bren and the Irvine Company announced that they would renew the Excellence in Education Enrichment Fund grant with an additional $20 million over the next 10 years, bringing the Irvine Company’s commitment to IUSD students and families to more than $45 million.  Each year, more than 7,000 students are positively impacted by the Enrichment Fund.  To date, this unprecedented support has benefited more than 70,000 IUSD students.

Robin Leftwich, Vice President of Community Affairs for the Irvine Company, presented this year’s check to the IUSD Board of Education and IUSD students.  Board President Ira Glasky expressed the District’s gratitude for the generous donation, which has sustained critical educational opportunities in IUSD.

Superintendent Terry Walker stated that the Enrichment Fund has had a lasting and positive impact for IUSD students, before introducing IUSD Student Board Member Allie Hunter, who performed “Always Starting Over” from the musical If/Then.  Hunter, who is a Senior at Woodbridge High School, delivered a pitch perfect performance and was an excellent example of how the Enrichment Fund has benefited so many IUSD students.

Established in 2006, the Excellence in Education Enrichment Fund pays for specialists to work in IUSD’s fourth through sixth-grade classrooms. Students receive two 60-minute science lessons per week, two 40-minute music lessons per week and six hour-long art lessons per year, all taught by highly qualified instructors.

The program has been extremely popular in IUSD, enabling schools to preserve and continue hands-on courses that may have been lost due to budget cuts.

Related:
Irvine Company Renews Enrichment Fund with $20M Commitment to IUSD Students


School Board Hosts Swearing-In for Elected Board Members and Selects New President


During the December 13 Irvine Unified School District Board Meeting, incumbents Paul Bokota and Lauren Brooks, and newly-elected Board paul-lauren-and-betty-2016Member Betty Carroll, took the oath of office.  This is the second term for both Bokota and Brooks.

The Board also selected a new president and clerk, which are one-year terms.  Ira Glasky was selected to serve as president and Sharon Wallin was tapped to serve as clerk.  The Board and District staff honored Paul Bokota for his service as president since last December.

In addition to being the final session of 2016, Tuesday marked the annual organizational meeting for the five-member board, which approved school site liaison assignments, determined Board Member committee participation, appointed representatives to various District committees and established meeting dates through December 2017. The next two regular meetings are scheduled for January 17 and February 7. paul-and-ira-passing-gavel-2016

Board Certifies First Interim Report
Also Tuesday, the Board voted to certify IUSD’s First Interim Report of 2016-17 as “positive,” meaning the district is expected to meet its financial obligations over the next two years.

Every school district in California is required to examine and certify its financial condition as “positive,” “qualified” or “negative” twice during each fiscal year. Positive is the ideal certification, while qualified indicates a district may not be able to meet its financial obligations for the current year and the two subsequent years. A negative certification indicates that a district will not be able to meet its financial obligations over this period.


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.


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


Irvine Students Take Part in Nation’s Largest Earthquake Drill



Today, at 10:20 a.m., all IUSD schools and facilities participated in the Great California Shakeout.  This statewide earthquake drill is the nation’s
shakeout-2016largest and is annually organized by a coalition of nonprofit, business, government and education partners.

IUSD students and staff did their part by practicing real strategies they’ve learned to keep safe during and after a significant earthquake.  Today’s event included drop, cover and hold drills and evacuation exercises.

Stay Connected with IUSD

In the event of an actual emergency, below are ways the District will communicate important information and updates to the IUSD community.  Please be sure to connect with us.

IUSD Website

Visit IUSD’s website at iusd.org including the District’s news blog, NewsFlash at newsflash.iusd.org.  Here you will find up-to-date and detailed information.

IUSD Social Media

Stay connected to the District in real time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Social media is an effective and real-time way for IUSD to communicate, especially when phone lines and other communications may not be working.  To connect with IUSD visit:

Facebook facebook.com/irvineunifiedschooldistrict.
Twitter twitter.com/iusd
Instagram instagram.com/irvine_unified/.

Email, Voice and Text Messages

School Messenger is the District’s notification system, which enables near-instantaneous communication with District families via email and voice and text messages. This web-based system enables IUSD to send out emails and recorded calls to families in just minutes.  During an emergency, check your email, voice messages and text messages for important information from the District.

Resources

To find out more information about how you can prepare for an earthquake and other emergencies, please see the following resources.

Great Shakeout
Irvine Police Department – Emergency Management
Ready.gov


Beacon Park Dedications Showcase IUSD’s Newest K-8


IUSD hosted two Beacon Park K-8 dedication ceremonies to welcome students, their families and community to the District’s newest school.  bp-ribbon-cutting-9-28-16Participants of both ceremonies learned about the features of this state-of-the-art educational facility, which is designed to leverage the talents of teachers and staff as they work to develop each student’s full potential.

Community Dedication
The first dedication ceremony, on September 28, was led by Superintendent Terry L. Walker, Board President Paul Bokota and Principal Bob Curley.  The community event included the Board of Education, parents, students, teachers, staff, the District’s development partner FivePoint, city of Irvine officials, community partners, and other 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 work spaces, and a production space, where students film and produce the daily school news program.

“Beacon Park is not just a school,” said Walker.  “This is a place where our students will form connections with learning, new possibilities, the community and with each other – ultimately forming a connection with an exemplary education.”

Board President Paul Bokota echoed similar sentiments, noting that innovative features, which IUSD is working to implement in all of our schools, foster 21st century college and career readiness.  Principal Curley concluded the dedication by highlighting his vision for Beacon Park to be an innovative school, that supports the highest learning standards for both students and teachers, and is a place of community for Beacon Park families.

To view a video of the community dedication event, click here.

Student Dedicationbp-student-ribbon-cutting-9-29-16

The following day, the school held a special dedication ceremony for students only.  It was an opportunity for students to come together and celebrate their school and school culture.

Student representatives from each grade-level joined Principal Curley on stage to place items in a time capsule that will be opened in 10 years.  The items ranged from messages about students’ hopes for the future to what they believe Beacon Park will be like in 10 years to artwork and posters referencing current pop-culture to mark this special moment in time.

When asked if they love their school, students cheered and raised their hands with excitement.  Many expressed that they love their teachers, the new classrooms and facilities, and of course the expansive playgroundbp-student-dedication-9-29-16
and athletic fields.  The ceremony concluded with the students learning the school song, “Bengal Roar.”

Beacon Park serves the Great Park Neighborhoods and will accommodate approximately 1,000 students at capacity.


Irvine Company Renews Enrichment Fund with $20M Commitment to IUSD Students


board-checkThe Irvine Company has extended the Excellence in Education Enrichment Fund with a renewed grant of $20 million over the next 10 years.  The Enrichment Fund supports science, music and art programs for IUSD students in grades four through six.  This most recent donation brings the Irvine Company’s commitment to IUSD students to more than $43 million over 20 years.  Each year, more than 7,000 students are positively impacted by the Enrichment Fund – that’s more than 70,000 children who have benefited from the Irvine Company’s generosity.     
 
“This gift from Irvine Company allows us to continue an enrichment program that distinguishes Irvine schools nationally,” Irvine Unified Superintendent Terry Walker said. “This is vital, especially during the shift to Common Core and new science standards requiring substantially more hands-on instruction.”
 
Robin Leftwich, Vice President of Community Affairs for the Irvine Company, presented IUSD with a $20 million check during an Enrichment Fund appreciation event, surprising teachers, students and parents in attendance.  The event, held on Monday, September 26 at Portola Springs Elementary, was to honor and thank the Irvine Company and Chairman of the Board Donald Bren for their partnership with IUSD.   In addition to speaking presentations from the Superintendent Terry Walker, School Board President Paul Bokota, Leftwich, students and teachers, the event also featured student musical performances, science demonstrations and art displays. 
     
The afternoon began with a performance by the Northwood High School String Quartet; two choral performance by fifth and sixth graders from Brywood, Canyon View, Bonita Canyon, Cypress Village and Portola Springs elementary schools; and finally, a performance by violinist Kevin Muira, an eighth-grade student at Sierra Vista Middle School and 2nd place winner in the Junior Division of the prestigious Menuhin International Violin Competition in London. 
 
Established in 2006, the Enrichment Fund has provided IUSD $2 million each year over the past decade.  The funds pay for specialists to work in IUSD’s upper-grade elementary classrooms.  To learn more, click here. 

To view a brief video of the event, click here

Irvine Unified Council PTA to Host Board of Education Candidates Forum


The Irvine Unified Council PTA will host a candidates forum for the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education on Wednesday, October 5 at 7 p.m. at the IUSD District Office,vote-300x298 located at 5050 Barranca Parkway, Irvine.  This free event is open to the public and will be broadcast live on Cox Channel 39 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99.

This year, six candidates are running for three seats.  They are: Governing Board Member Paul Bokota; Governing Board Member Lauren Brooks; Irvine businesswoman Betty Carroll; Irvine businesswoman Naz Hamid; Army captain Mark Newgent; and Geri Zollinger.  

During the forum, each candidate will have the opportunity to make a statement and answer uniform questions presented by an unbiased moderator from the League of Women Voters. The questions were developed by the Irvine Council PTA Executive Board. There will also be a limited amount of time for questions from attendees.

The Irvine Unified Council PTA, which comprises of around 13,000 members from 37 individual PTA units, has traditionally invited school board candidates to share their views in advance of local elections.

“We are proud to host the Candidates Forum for the upcoming School Board election,” said IUCPTA president Tracey Rinard.  “An important aspect of the PTA mission is advocacy.  Bringing all the candidates together allows us to engage our parents in the legislative process and hear the candidate’s solutions to the issues that impact both our PTA parents and students.”