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

 

 


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.


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 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.


IUSD Preschool Enrollment Open for 2017-2018 School Year


The Irvine Unified School District’s (IUSD) preschool program is open for Registration for the 2017-18 school year.  The program is open to children ages 3 and 4 who live within the District’s attendance boundaries, and is run by a staff of professional educators at IUSD’s Early Childhood Learning Center.  A variety of options are available, including subsidized funding for income-eligible families.

Established in 2002, the Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) has worked collaboratively with local families to build a world-class learning community that supports each child’s social, emotional and pre-academic needs.

The ECLC campus is located at 1 Smoketree in Irvine. To learn more about registration and enrollment, visit the ECLC website or call 949-936-5890.


IUSD Board of Education Passes Resolution in Support of Public Schools


On February 21, 2017, during the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education meeting, the Board of Education passed Resolution No. 16-17-42 to affirm the District’s commitment and support for public education.  The resolution is being sent to local, state and federal officials.  To view the entire resolution,  click here or see below.

IRVINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
RESOLUTION NO.  16-17-42

A RESOLUTION OF THE IRVINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION’S AFFIRMATION, COMMITMENT, AND SUPPORT OF THE PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM

WHEREAS, The Irvine Unified School District’s core values include, but are not limited to: nurturing the diverse gifts and capabilities within each individual; challenging every student and adult learner to persevere for excellence; developing competent, resourceful, resilient, and empowered learners prepared to meet the challenges of a complex future; and enhancing the human capability for courage, compassion, and contribution; and

WHEREAS, the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education believes that a system of quality public education is one of the essential foundations to make a meaningful difference in today’s and tomorrow’s world; and

WHEREAS, the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education believes that education is the most important asset in maximizing the opportunities of an individual and a community; and

WHEREAS, the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education believes that without quality public education a great divide will exist between the educated and the uneducated, corresponding to a divide between the prosperous and the impoverished; and

WHEREAS, the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education believes that well-funded, effective public schools are essential to developing empowered learners prepared to meet the challenges of a complex future; and

WHEREAS, public schools have a positive impact every day on the lives of countless students; dedicated school board members and school district employees who work countless hours to provide for the needs of learners of all ages, and

WHEREAS, quality public education for every child is integral to the democratic viability and economic future of our nation, by directly and indirectly contributing to the intellectual and physical development of all learners, regardless of heritage or circumstance; and

WHEREAS, all human beings have the capacity to learn at high levels and quality public education is the key to every learner having boundless opportunities to reach his or her dreams regardless of heritage or circumstance; and

WHEREAS, the potential for erosion of financial support for public education serves to deepen the inequalities and diminish the opportunities for every child; and

WHEREAS, as a student’s first model of civic engagement, public education is both a product of, and a tribute to, our democratic principles.  As always, we will defend those principles, students, and the integrity of our public schools.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the commitment to excellence is the hallmark of the Irvine Unified School District.  As a school and community partnership, our promise is to provide the highest quality educational experience we can envision;

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Irvine Unified School District is committed to ensuring students have access to a free, high-quality education that addresses the needs of the whole child, a commitment to anti-discriminatory policies and practices, and support for a safe and welcoming school environment for every student, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or socioeconomic background;

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Education does hereby affirm its support for the public education system.


IUSD Announces 2016-17 Teachers of the Year


Early this morning, a caravan of District staff and IUSD Board Members traveled to seven schools to announce the three Teachers of the Year and the four Teachers of Promise.  Click here for the 2016-17 Teachers of Promise.

Now in its 31st year, IUSD’s Teacher of the Year program recognizes exceptional instructors at the elementary, middle and high school levels.  Below are this year’s honorees.

Elementary School Teacher of the Year

Mary Thomas-Vallens
Fifth Grade APAAS (Alternative Program for Academically Advanced Students) Teacher
Brywood Elementary

Mary Thomas-Vallens has been an educator since 1977.  Her passion for teaching is as strong today as it was when she first began 39 years ago.  Thomas-Vallens empowers students to strive for academic excellence in a supportive and empowering environment.  In addition to a focus on academic rigors, she encourages students to think beyond themselves and offers a range of service learning projects, such as Families Forward, Team Kids and more!

Her expertise extends beyond the classroom.  Thomas-Vallens has elevated the teaching of thousands of IUSD teachers through her Launch Point Professional Development training by teaching instructional strategies that support higher level thinking skills.  College students just beginning their careers benefit from her support through her coordination of field-study work for UCI students.

As best stated by Brywood Principal Astrid Ramirez, “She does more than teach…she touches lives.”

Middle School Teacher of the Year

Lauren Morrison
Education Specialist – Special Education
Jeffrey Trail Middle School

Lauren Morrison is a devoted and knowledgeable team player who has an excellent relationship with both her students and school staff.  She works tirelessly with her students to ensure they are supported and have every opportunity to be successful.

A typical day for Morrison starts before school with an IEP meeting, followed by a Special Education meeting; she then teaches a full class schedule.  Any free time is usually filled with principal, school psychologist or PBIS team meetings.  After school, she provides academic support to students.  This is only a snapshot of her day and does not fully capture her incredible work to serve our students each and every day.

Jeffrey Trail Principal Mike Georgino said, “Lauren is not only an enormous asset for JTMS but also to the teaching profession in general.  She deserves this recognition for being an outstanding teacher.”

High School Teacher of the Year

Christina Banagas-Engelerdt
English Teacher
Northwood High School

Christina Banagas-Engelerdt has been a member of Northwood High School’s staff since the school opened in 1999 and has established herself as a leader on campus.  From crating English curriculum in the school’s early days to her current role as WASC Chairperson, Banagas-Engelerdt embodies the Northwood core values of Compassion, Mutual Respect and Integrity.

As a compassionate teacher, Banagas-Engelerdt has served as the school’s intervention lead for several years and has had oversight of the creation of countless support classes – teaching several of these classes herself.  As a result, students know they can always come to her for guidance and support.  She is reflective in her teaching and strives to create a challenging yet supportive environment for her students.

Banagas-Engelerdt is held in the highest regard by her colleagues for her tremendous work ethic and her constant willingness to help others.  She has mentored numerous student teachers, helped innumerable students through many obstacles and has been a key player in the school’s evolution.

Principal Leslie Roach stated, “Christina is everything we could ask for in a Timberwolf and we are honored to have her here and Northwood High School.”

More information about the Teacher of the Year program
Nominations are submitted by District employees and candidates are later interviewed by a committee that includes teachers, principals and administrators.  That panel ultimately narrows the field to three, using the following criteria: Evidence of a wide range of instructional strategies used effectively; commitment to the teaching profession; and demonstration of Irvine teachers’ values of integrity, empowerment, learning, collaboration and trust.

Teachers of Promise
IUSD also recognizes a handful of standout first- and second-year teachers, who are announced as “Teachers of Promise.” Click here for the 2016-17 Teachers of Promise.

Excellence in Teaching Awards Banquet
All of this year’s honorees will be formally recognized on Friday, April 21 at the Excellence in Teaching Awards Banquet, which is organized each year by the Exchange Club of Irvine and the Irvine Teachers Association.