Woodbridge High Team Earns Top Honors at the Orange County Academic Decathlon


Woodbridge High School has punched its ticket to the California Academic Decathlon in March with an impressive win in this year’s Orange County Academic Decathlon.  

Rounding out a raucous awards ceremony Friday night at Santa Ana High School’s Bill Medley Auditorium, the nine-member Woodbridge squad was announced as the Overall Team Winner by the Orange County Academic Decathlon Association and OCDE.

That means Woodbridge advances to the state-level competition in Sacramento.

Woodbridge, which last won the county title in 2006, scored 52,038.4 total points at the 49th annual event, which was staged over the course of two consecutive Saturdays. Along with a plaque, bragging rights and a plethora of individual medals, the team received a $3,000 travel stipend for the state showdown, which will draw high-performing contenders from California’s 38 counties.

“It is great to see the students rewarded for all their hard work and commitment to each other,” said Mike Nakaue, a retired science teacher who coaches the team along with English teacher Shan Wu. “It took the right mindset, grit, commitment, dedication, and they trusted each other.”

Here’s a breakdown of the top Orange County teams by division:

DIVISION 1

  • 1st Place: Woodbridge High School, Irvine Unified School District
  • 2nd Place: Valencia High School, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
  • 3rd Place: Westminster High School, Huntington Beach Union High School District
  • 4th Place: Trabuco Hills High School, Saddleback Valley Unified School District
  • 5th Place: La Quinta High School, Garden Grove Unified School District

DIVISION 2

  • 1st Place: El Dorado High School, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
  • 2nd Place: Esperanza High School, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
  • 3rd Place: Servite High School, a private school
  • 4th Place: Sonora High School, Fullerton Joint Union High School District
  • 5th Place: El Toro High School, Saddleback Valley Unified School District

DIVISION 3

  • 1st Place: Los Alamitos High School, Los Alamitos Unified School District
  • 2nd Place: Brea Olinda High School, Brea Olinda Unified School District
  • 3rd Place: Segerstrom High School, Santa Ana Unified School District
  • 4th Place: JSerra Catholic High School, a private school
  • 5th Place: Santiago High School, Garden Grove Unified School District

Held at the local, county, state and national levels, Academic Decathlons are designed to prepare students for college and careers by promoting 21st-century skills. And here’s a fun fact: The contest was founded in 1968 by former Orange County Superintendent of Schools Robert Peterson.

Nine-member teams battle for the highest scores on multiple-choice exams, speeches, interviews and essay assignments based on a yearly theme. (This year it was “World War II.”) Each decathlon team must include three “Honor” students (those with GPAs of 3.75 or above), three “Scholastic” students (GPAs of 3.00 to 3.74) and three “Varsity” students (GPAs of 2.99 or below).

The event culminates with the popular Super Quiz Relay, which takes place in front of an audience.

“Academic Decathlon is much more than learning information, it deals with goal-setting, improving and making adjustments over a long period of time,” Nakaue told the OCDE Newsroom. “It deals with more than just bonding for social activities as a team, but involves bonding to the standards and goals established by the team.”

“Many decathletes become lifelong friends,” he added. “These lifelong lessons only come from embracing moments, and the Academic Decathlon creates a platform for these moments, resulting in students experiencing the important things in life.”

This year’s Orange County Academic Decathlon was presented by the Orange County Academic Decathlon Association and OCDE with support from community members and sponsors, including NuVision Federal Credit Union, Del Taco LLC, the Orange County Register, Aeries Software, Illuminate Education and Power School.

You can learn more about the program by visiting OCDE’s Academic Decathlon 101 webpage.


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


Uni High Student/Teacher Only Calf. Team Selected to Study D-Day in France


University High School is the only California high school to have a student/teacher team selected to Picture Judy Richonne Sonia Kellyparticipate in the Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom® Albert H. Small Student and Teacher Institute.  In addition, this student/teacher team is only one of 15 teams, nationwide, to be selected to participate in this prestigious program by the nonprofit education organization National History Day.

As part of the program, University High student Sonia Kelly and social science teacher Judy Richonne will tell the story of a fallen World War II hero.  After a year of research, Kelly and Richonne will first travel to Washington, D.C. this June to finish their research with help from the National Archives, historians and college professors. While in D.C. the teams will tour the World War II Memorial, attend a dinner hosted by the White House Historical Association and prepare for the voyage of a lifetime to Normandy, France.  Once in France, the teams will visit the D-Day beaches, walking in the footsteps of their Silent Heroes. After seeing museums, historic sites and churches that were used as field hospitals, the teams will visit the Normandy American Cemetery. There, each student will deliver a powerful graveside eulogy for the Silent Hero he or she spent the year researching.

“Throughout their research these students and teachers have become incredibly connected to their Silent Heroes,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “When they read their eulogies they are reading a eulogy for someone they know, someone whose story they are responsible for telling. It results in a powerful, and often tearful, understanding of the sacrifice these Silent Heroes made in World War II.”

During the program, teachers and students will also create a memorial webpage about their Silent Hero. After the conclusion of their travels, teams use these websites in presentations to local community groups, schools and classes, and veterans’ organizations.  The overall goal of the program is to teach a new generation or students about the sacrifices and challenges faced during World War II.

The program is coordinated by National History Day® and is funded by Mr. Albert H. Small, a veteran himself.  Mr. Small’s generous donation includes overseas travel, courses, and room and board for each student/teacher team.


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.


Sierra Vista’s Henry Miller Named 2017 GRAMMY Music Educator Finalist


IUSD is proud to announce Sierra Vista’s Music Teacher Henry Miller has been named, by the GRAMMY Foundation, one of 10 finalists for henry-miller-2016-2the 2017 Music Educator Award.  This prestigious honor is particularly impressive, given that there were more than 3,300 nominees from all 50 states.  The winner will be announced in Los Angeles during GRAMMY week and will attend the GRAMMY Awards.

The Music Educator award recognizes teachers 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 schools.

Below is a link to CBS This Morning’s national coverage of the 10 finalists.
http://cbsn.ws/2gmiDzh

Congratulations and best wishes to Henry!

Related News:
Sierra Vista’s Henry Miller Named a GRAMMY Music Educator Semifinalist
Woodbridge High School Named Top GRAMMY School in the Nation
All Four IUSD High Schools Named 2016 GRAMMY Signature School Semifinalists


IUSD This Week: Dec. 5-9


IUSD This Week:

-Henry Miller Named GRAMMY Finalist for
-Computer Science Week (Hour of Code)
-2018-19 Academic Calendars

Sierra Vista’s Henry Miller Named 2017 GRAMMY Music Educator Finalist
IUSD is proud to announce Sierra Vista’s Music Teacher Henry Miller has been named, by the GRAMMY Foundation, one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Music Educator Award.  This prestigious honor is particularly impressive, given that there were more than 3,300 nominees from all 50 states.  The winner will be announced in Los Angeles during GRAMMY week and will attend the GRAMMY Awards.

The Music Educator award recognizes teachers 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 schools.

Below is a link to CBS This Morning’s national coverage of the 10 finalists.
http://cbsn.ws/2gmiDzh

Congratulations and best wishes to Henry!

Computer Science Week Dec. 5-11

This week, IUSD Participated in Computer Science (CS) Week, which is designed to inspire students to learn how to code, develop computer science skills, and to be prepared for the digital economy.  For more information, visit code.org.

As part of CS Week, IUSD’s focus is on The Hour of Code, a global event reaching more than 100 million students in more than 180 countries.  The Hour of Code was started three years ago, with the belief that anyone anywhere can learn how to code and that the benefits of coding for students include:

  • Students learn how to check their work for details, apply logic and persist at a task
  • They also learn how to ask a good question, often in written form
  • Students learn how to collaborate, because much programming today is accomplished in teams

For fun coding activities any student can do, visit:

Google’s Made with Code
, which is designed to inspire girls to learn how to code
Code Studio’s Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code, which is a fun game all Star Wars Fans will enjoy

IUSD 2018-19 Annual Calendar Survey

IUSD teachers, classified staff, and administrators work together to develop school calendars for the years ahead, for both traditional and year-round schools. Instruction and learning are primary considerations; however, calendar committees consider many factors, including past history, tradition, and feedback from the community.  Before we finalize the calendars for the 2018-19 school year, we would like your feedback.  Below are the calendars for the 2018-19 school year.  Once you have had a chance to review, please click here to provide your feedback by Tuesday, January 3 at 5 p.m.  To email your comments, send them to hr@iusd.org.

To view the 2016-17 and 2017-18 calendars, which are finalized, click here.

2018-19 Traditional School Calendar 
2018-19-traditional-school-calendar

2018-19 Year-Round School Calendar
2018-19-year-round-school-calendar


IUSD 2018-19 School Calendars Survey


IUSD teachers, classified staff, and administrators work together to develop school calendars for the years ahead, for both traditional and year-round schools. Instruction and learning are primary considerations; however, calendar committees consider many factors, including past history, tradition, and feedback from the community.  Before we finalize the calendars for the 2018-19 school year, we would like your feedback.  Below are the calendars for the 2018-19 school year.  Once you have had a chance to review, please click here to provide your feedback by Tuesday, January 3 at 5 p.m.  To email your comments, send them to hr@iusd.org.

To view the 2016-17 and 2017-18, calendars, which are finalized, click here.

2018-19 Traditional School Calendar 
2018-19-traditional-school-calendar

2018-19 Year-Round School Calendar
2018-19-year-round-school-calendar


Computer Science Week Dec. 5-11


IUSD is participating in Computer Science (CS) Week, which is designed to inspire students to learn how to code, develop computer science skills, and to be prepared for the digital economy.  For more information, visit code.org100-gb

As part of CS Week, IUSD’s focus is on The Hour of Code, a global event reaching more than 100 million students in more than 180 countries.  The Hour of Code was started three years ago, with the belief that anyone anywhere can learn how to code and that the benefits of coding for students include:

  • Students learn how to check their work for details, apply logic and persist at a task
  • They also learn how to ask a good question, often in written form
  • Students learn how to collaborate, because much programming today is accomplished in teams

For fun coding activities any student can do, visit:


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:

Facebook facebook.com/irvineunifiedschooldistrict
Twitter twitter.com/iusd
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