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 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

Message from Terry Walker: School Funding Survey

Dear IUSD Community,

I would like to encourage your participation in the 2016-17 school-funding survey, which is part of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process.  This first survey kicks off the 10-month LCAP process for the 2016-17 school year, which will help IUSD to 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.  We will reach out to you throughout the current school year, including a second survey in the spring, for your continued feedback. 

To learn more about the state’s funding system, including Local Control Funding Formula and the LCAP, visit

Click here to take the survey now. 

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​  

Message from Superintendent Walker: School Funding Update

Dear IUSD Community,

Thank you to the nearly 2,500 stakeholders who participated in the Irvine Unified School District’s recent additional investments survey, as part of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process.  The LCAP is an important part of our annual process because it aligns IUSD’s strategic planning with our budget to ensure we accomplish both State and District goals.

Your input, insights and ideas have been critical components of this process.  As a result of your feedback, the Board of Education, during the August 18, 2015 Board Meeting, approved the proposed additional investments.  These investments support the following District focus areas for the 2015-16 academic year:

1. Direct Student Instructional Support
2. Mental Health Support
3. Increase School-Site Funding
4. California Standards Aligned Materials and Support
5. Equity and Safety

We are excited about how these additional investments will positively impact our students, staff and school sites, as we prepare our students for a competitive 21st Century college and career environment.

Survey results, an updated LCAP and budget presentation, and additional information will be posted this week on the District’s LCAP webpage.

As we begin the next phase in the LCAP process this September for the 2016-17 school year, we will continue to seek your feedback throughout the year.  This process will enable the District to further refine and enhance our planning and budget development. Recommendations will be brought to the Board in June 2016 for approval.

Thank you again for your continued participation.  It is your engagement, partnership and support that continues to enable IUSD to best serve our students.

Best wishes for a wonderful and safe 2015-16 school year.




Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools

Additional School Funds Survey Opportunity

As part of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process, which requires school districts to identify annual goals, take action on those goals, and measure progress on academic achievement, school climate and parent engagement, the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) has engaged stakeholders over a 10-month period for their feedback.  In late June, IUSD confirmed new additional state funding of approximately $10 million in ongoing monies and approximately $23 million in one-time funds.  In accordance with the LCAP process, IUSD is once again seeking stakeholder feedback about how this additional funding will be used to support the four Irvine Unified School District goals and augment the existing LCAP.  LCAP Image

Please take a few minutes to participate in this important survey.  Your feedback is an essential resource in determining how IUSD staff and stakeholders can collaborate to create the highest quality educational experience we can envision for our students in the 2015-16 school year.

To take the Proposed Additional Investments survey now, click here.  The last day to take the survey is August 9.

District Local Control Accountability Plan Goals:

Goal #1 – Ensure all students attain proficiency in the current content standards.

Goal #2 – Ensure access to rigorous and relevant learning tools, resources, and skills for all staff and students.

Goal #3 – Cultivate a positive school culture and system of supports for student personal and academic growth.

Goal #4 – Communicate effectively and form strategic alliances to secure the support and resources necessary to deliver our vision.

For the LCAP and budget presentation, click here or visit our LCAP page for more information.  A summary of updated actions of the 2015-18 LCAP can be viewed by clicking here

Your engagement, partnership and support continues to enable IUSD to best serve our students.  Thank you.

IPSF campaign looks to raise $1.3 million for Irvine schools by New Year’s Eve

Have you heard about the Irvine Public Schools Foundation’s Annual Campaign to raise money for IUSD schools? Well, it’s netted about 90 percent of its goal with just two weeks to go, foundation officials announced today.

This year’s drive was launched back in October, and the target amount is about $1.3 million. That figure reflects how much the City of Irvine will match through its own challenge grant.

Logo.Full.Lg.Color.CenterThink of it this way: For every dollar donated to the IPSF campaign, the city will kick in an additional dollar until it has spent $1.3 million. By Wednesday, the foundation said it had raised approximately $1.17 million of that total.

That’s a lot of money, but it still leaves funding on the table, and the clock is ticking. The deadline to leverage the entire city match is Dec. 31

“We are deeply grateful for the community support of our Annual Campaign thus far,” IPSF President and CEO Neda Eaton said. “However, with 32,000 students currently enrolled in IUSD schools, we need additional funding to maintain the world-class education our community expects and our students deserve.”

The Annual Campaign represents IPSF’s primary call to action each year, reaching out to parents, community members and corporate donors. Proceeds continue to pay for instructional assistants and additional staffing hours across the district, reducing student-to-educator ratios.

IPSF is in fact the only organization that can raise funds to add teachers and instructional assistants in Irvine’s classrooms. Meanwhile, the foundation also fuels elementary music programs, science, technology and after-school classroom enrichment.

“Many Irvine residents moved to our community due to the high quality of our local schools,” Eaton said. “With the help of our community, we can reach our goal by Dec. 31 and help maintain the excellence of our schools.”

For more information, or to make a donation, click here.

Board selects new president, certifies financial health and OKs advisory committee

The IUSD Board of Education voted unanimously to elect Lauren Brooks to a one-year term as president and Paul Bokota to a one-year term as clerk before turning its attention to the budget and other matters on Tuesday.

LaurenBrooks2The school board’s annual organizational meeting — and the final session of 2014 — began with Superintendent Terry Walker administering the oath of office to incumbent members Sharon Wallin and Ira Glasky, who were the top two vote-getters in the November election. Moments later, Brooks (pictured to the right) was announced as president, and her first act was to commend the leadership of her predecessor, Wallin.

The five-member board also approved school site liaison assignments, appointed representatives to various committees and established meeting dates through next December. The first two regular meetings of 2015 are scheduled for Jan. 13 and Feb. 3.

Latest budget update includes ‘positive’ news

Later in the evening, Assistant Superintendent John Fogarty presented a brief budget update, and the board voted unanimously to certify IUSD’s First Interim Report of 2014-15 as “positive,” meaning the district is expected to meet all of its financial obligations over the next few 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 is rare and would indicate a district was unable to meet its financial obligations.)

Recognizing the volatility of the state economy and Sacramento’s heavy reliance on income taxes, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office has outlined three possible scenarios for California’s economy, ranging from a slowdown to a temporary surge. Fogarty, who oversees business services for the district, told the board that the LAO’s most likely scenario projects moderate growth through 2019-20, which may lead to steady increases for K-12 schools.

“It was very unusual for (the LAO) to have three scenarios,” Fogarty told the NewsFlash afterward. “They’ve never done that before. While things look good right now, we know they could change very quickly.”

California’s new Local Control Funding Formula, meanwhile, has increased the amount of base funding for school districts and allocated more dollars to serve English-language learners, low-income students and foster youth. Projected increases have also enabled IUSD to strategically invest the reserves it built up to weather the state’s fiscal crisis, Fogarty said.

That said, there are a number of potential challenges and uncertainties for school districts, which must take a multi-year approach to budgeting. The state’s plan to address the unfunded liability in the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS, requires districts to contribute significant dollars to help close the gap, and temporary tax increases that went into effect under Proposition 30 will begin to expire in 2016, eliminating a dependable source of state revenue.

As we’ve mentioned here before, the state’s new funding model mandates that school districts develop comprehensive accountability plans with stakeholder input that show how local resources are being directed toward measurable objectives for student achievement and school climate, and because these are three-year plans, funding is often earmarked in advance. IUSD crafted its first Local Control and Accountability Plan last year and will soon be reaching out to the community to update priorities for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years while considering options for 2017-18.

Board approves new education advisory committee

Lastly, the board voted to establish a new education advisory committee that will review and discuss critical educational issues and district initiatives.

The committee, requested by board members in November, will comprise two appointees from each board member along with the superintendent, the assistant superintendent of education services, a PTA representative, three teachers, a student representative and a representative of the California School Employees Association.

Board of Education to elect a new president during final meeting of the calendar year

The IUSD Board of Education will convene for its final session of 2014 at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

As this marks the board’s annual organizational meeting, trustees will elect a new president and clerk and set meeting dates for 2015. In addition, the five-member board is scheduled to appoint school liaisons and representatives to various committees.

gavelA little later in the evening, board members will also vote to certify IUSD’s First Interim Report.

Every school district in California is required to 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 a district will not be able to meet its financial obligations.

IUSD is recommending certifying its First Interim Report as positive, meaning the district is in solid financial shape.

Lastly, the board will vote on a recommendation to form a new education advisory committee to review and discuss critical educational issues and district initiatives.

This type of committee was requested by board members at their meeting last month. As proposed, it would include board appointees, the superintendent, the assistant superintendent of education services and representatives from the PTA, the Irvine Teachers Association and the California School Employees Association.

As usual, Tuesday’s meeting will be held at the District Office, which is located at 5050 Barranca Parkway in Irvine. To access the agenda, click here.

IUSD will seek input from local stakeholders during update of accountability plan

Parents, teachers, students, staff and community members are once again being encouraged to weigh in on IUSD’s goals for achievement and school climate as the district begins the months-long process of updating its three-year Local Control and Accountability Plan.

You may recall that the LCAP was introduced last year as a requirement under California’s new funding formula, which increased local control while allocating more resources to schools that serve low-income students, English-learners and foster youth. By law, each district’s accountability plan must be submitted by July 1, outlining annual goals as well as plans for taking action and measuring progress on a number of fronts, including academic achievement, school climate, access to a broad curriculum and parent engagement.

LCAP 111914At Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, Alan Schlichting, IUSD’s director of student support services, previewed the process that will be used to update Irvine’s plan. You can scroll through his presentation here, but essentially the timetable begins with community presentations and district communications in November and December, followed by stakeholder meetings to gather input in January and February.

In March and April, the community will get to review a draft of the LCAP and offer additional feedback, both in person and through an online survey. The school board is expected to hold a public hearing and adopt the finalized plan in May or June.

Because districts must annually develop LCAPs that cover three years, Schlichting said the task facing IUSD is to update priorities that were drafted for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years, while considering options for 2017-18.

“Remembering that this is a three-year plan, many of the actions that we put into the plan are multi-year steps that will grow in cost over time,” he said, “and those have been budgeted through 2016-17.”

“We may have additional funds that are available,” he added. “We’ll learn about that with the release of the governor’s 2015-16 state budget in January, and at that point we’ll consider additional actions to our LCAP.”

Schlichting noted that IUSD is also moving forward with a number of state and local initiatives, including implementation of Common Core standards, new state assessments, the establishment of Next Generation Science Standards and technology integration. The LCAP, meanwhile, requires progress in eight areas — credentials and instructional materials, academic standards and implementation of the Common Core, parental involvement, pupil achievement, pupil engagement, school climate, access and enrollment, and pupil outcomes.

With those in mind, IUSD identified four goals for its 2014-2017 LCAP. They are: Ensure all students attain proficiency in the current content standards; ensure access to rigorous and relevant learning tools, resources and skills for all staff and students; cultivate a positive school culture and system of supports for student personal and academic growth; and communicate effectively and form strategic alliances to secure the support and resources necessary to deliver our vision.

Progress will be being measured using a number of metrics, including results from the California English Language Development Tests, universal screening assessment data, California High School Exit Exam pass rates, graduation rates, statistics that show completion of UC and CSU requirements, as well as drop-out, attendance, suspension and expulsion data.

“We’ll be sharing with the board data on how we’re progressing in those areas as we move through the year,” Schlichting said.

IUSD NewsFlash will post more LCAP information in the weeks and months ahead to promote opportunities for public input. In the meantime, you may want to peruse Tuesday night’s slide presentation, which includes details about IUSD’s objectives, along with funding information and next steps. You can also learn more by exploring these links:

IUSD’s Local Control and Accountability Plan 2014-2017
IUSD’s LCFF and LCAP informational webpage
California Department of Education LCFF Overview and Frequently Asked Questions
A Vision For IUSD: Irvine Unified School District’s Strategic Initiatives

Also Tuesday night:

  • The Board of Education and staff engaged in a lengthy discussion of dual language immersion programs, with a specific emphasis on Spanish, to understand the pros and cons and to determine if such a program would benefit a significant number of Irvine students. You can scroll through the accompanying slide presentation here.
  • The board also approved a formal request to the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, outlining priorities for the 2014-15 school year. Funding areas will once again focus on class-size support, music in kindergarten through the third grade, instructional assistants for music classes in grades four through six, school nurses, athletic trainers and the Naviance counseling program.

IUSD Board of Education approves accountability plan, adopts budget for 2014-15

The IUSD Board of Education has adopted a spending plan for the 2014-15 school year.

The plan, which reflects the state’s latest projections from May, as well as the district’s priorities from a brand new accountability report, outlines $257.8 million worth of expenditures – both restricted and unrestricted – against $246.9 million worth of total revenue. The difference will be offset by one-time dollars, as IUSD looks to strategically spend down reserves it built up to weather the state’s fiscal crisis.

IUSD 2014-15 Adopted BudgetJohn Fogarty, assistant superintendent of business services, led a brief presentation on the district’s finances on Tuesday, June 24 before the board approved the plan by way of a 3-0 vote. (The “yes” votes came from President Sharon Wallin and members Lauren Brooks and Ira Glasky. Michael Parham and Paul Bokota were not in attendance.)

This is actually IUSD’s second budget under the state’s Local Control Funding Formula, which has increased base levels of funding for K-12 education while channeling greater resources toward English-language learners, low-income students and foster youth. Yet it’s the first budget to factor in priorities from the district’s new Local Control and Accountability Plan, or LCAP, which documents measurable objectives for achievement and school climate with input from parents and other community stakeholders.

Based on the new funding levels and the district’s LCAP, IUSD’s budget calls for a decrease in class sizes by two students in kindergarten through grade six and one student in grades seven through 12. In addition, the district is investing in professional development opportunities for staff, as well as curriculum development, technology and mental health.

Before the budget vote, board members unanimously approved the Local Control and Accountability Plan, which had been recently revised based on stakeholder feedback. Alan Schlichting, director of student support services, said changes included the addition of a full-time mental health coordinator and an online learning coordinator, along with the restoration of site mental health support, including guidance assistants at the elementary level and Project Success staff at the secondary level. (You can access IUSD’s completed LCAP here.)

Here are some other takeaways from Tuesday night’s budget presentation:

●  Governor Brown’s new formula — the aforementioned LCFF — establishes a target level of funding for school districts for the 2020-21 school year. Until then, districts can expect to receive annual increases called “gap funding,” referencing the gap between what they currently get and the target amount for 2020-21. IUSD’s gap funding in 2014-15 is approximately $20 million, and an increase of nearly $18 million is projected for the 2015-16 school year, meaning IUSD will go through a similar process of analyzing its needs and priorities next year. (By contrast, IUSD was forced to make approximately $38 million worth of one-time and ongoing reductions during the state budget crisis.)

●  California’s proposed budget includes a plan to address the unfunded liability in the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS. Though the remedy asks employers, employees and the state to contribute additional dollars to resolve the shortfall — which has been estimated at $74 billion — much of the burden would fall on employers, which would see gradual increases through 2021. Under the plan, IUSD would pay $800,000 in 2014-15, part of a projected cumulative total of more than $15 million by 2020-21.

●  Though the state budget picture is bright for school districts, there are still a number of challenges and unknowns. Fogarty said there are no guarantees that the Local Control Funding Formula will continue to be implemented as planned — or that school districts will receive their targeted levels of funding. Moreover, the temporary tax increases that went into effect under Proposition 30 will begin to expire in 2016, drying up a source of state revenue. Enrollment growth, the Affordable Care Act and shifts in the state and national economies could also impact IUSD’s budget, Fogarty said.

●  IUSD’s budget projections were developed with the guidance of the Orange County Department of Education, School Services of California, the California Association of School Business Officials and other agencies.