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.


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


Irvine High School Dedicates Student Art Panels


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


IUSD Students Accessing Higher Levels of Mathematics Than Ever Before


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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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


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

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

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

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

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


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.


IUSD Ranks Top in State and County for California Assessment Scores


The Irvine Unified School District’s state standardized assessment scores have outperformed both state and county score averages, with IUSD ranking the highest in the state among public school districts of 25,000 or more for students who exceeded the standards in both Math and English Language Arts/Literacy.  IUSD was also the top performing district overall in Orange County.

Last spring, IUSD students in grades three through eight and grade 11 participated in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which provides information on each student’s progress on state standards.  While the scores are just one of many measures of student performance, they help to enhance our understanding of each student’s needs and inform our educational efforts.

“I am incredibly proud of Irvine Unified students’ outstanding performance.  These results are a testament to our collective efforts and the special partnership between our hardworking students, dedicated families, and talented staff,” said Superintendent Terry Walker.  “As a key driver of excellence, IUSD is guided by our Continuous Improvement Efforts, which are focused on critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and other learning outcomes also found in state standards. These student capacities have been an integral part of IUSD’s educational mission and vision since our inception. As we strive to ensure that the Irvine Unified School District remains one of the highest-performing districts in the country, we will continue to leverage collaboration and connections with our students, parents, staff and community partners.”

California released this statewide aggregate data on Wednesday, August 24, 2016.  IUSD anticipates that individual student score reports will be mailed home in the next few weeks.

In the interim, please keep the following in mind about these assessments.

Scores are One of Many Measures

Assessment scores should be recognized as only one measure when evaluating student learning; they provide some but not all information about a student’s knowledge and skills.  Results from tests should be reviewed in combination with other measures, such as in-class assignments, classroom tests, and teacher input.  For more information about your child’s academic progress, please stay in close contact with your child’s teacher(s) and school.

How Test Scores are Used

IUSD will use these scores to better understand each student’s learning and help us continue to improve upon the high-quality instruction we provide.  The scores will not be used to determine student advancement to the next grade level or as the sole piece of information when making academic decisions about students.

For additional information, please visit the following resources:

iusd.org/statewide-testing
cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ca/
http://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/