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


Irvine Re-elects Bokota and Brooks and Welcomes Carroll to the Board of Education


i-voted-imageTuesday, November 8, Irvine voters re-elected IUSD Governing Board Members Paul Bokota and
Lauren Brooks, according to the unofficial election results provided by the Orange County Registrar of Voters.  This is the second term for both Bokota and Brooks, who won with 21 percent and nearly 24 percent of the vote, respectively.

Businesswoman and parent Betty Carroll, also won with nearly 19 percent of the vote.  Carroll’s experience includes Irvine Public Schools Foundation Board Chair, IUSD Education Advisory Committee, School Site Councilmember, PTA board, room parent and classroom volunteer.  She received her Bachelor’s of Art degree in English from UC Santa Barbara and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

Bokota, Brooks and Carroll will be sworn in during the December 13, 2016 Board Meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the District Office (5050 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine).

In other education-related election news, Prop. 51 is leading in early returns, which will allow the sale of $9 billion in general obligation bonds to pay for building and modernizing K-12 and community college facilities statewide.  IUSD will receive matching funds that will allow the District to further augment its facilities planning and Measure E funds to ensure all IUSD schools meet the same safety and education standards as our newer schools.

Voters passed Prop. 55, which is a temporary extension of taxes on top earners through 2030, which will raise between $4 billion and $9 billion annually for K-12 schools and community colleges throughout California.  As one of the lowest funded school districts in the state, the passage of Prop. 55 will help provide vital funds for IUSD students.

Prop. 58 was also passed by voters, which is an English education proposition that eliminates the English only mandate of Prop. 227, which was passed in 1998 and approves a multilingual education.  This gives school districts flexibility to teach English learners in a manner that best fits their community.  This proposition has little impact on IUSD, which offers a comprehensive K-12 approach to language programs.


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


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

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/


IUSD Opens Portola High School and Beacon Park K-8


As IUSD kicked off the 2016-17 school year on August 24, it opened two new schools; Portola High School, the District’s fifth comprehensive high school, and Beacon Park K-8.  Serving the Great Park Neighborhoods and parts of north Irvine, both schools are state-of-the-art educational facilities designed to foster collaboration, innovation and integration of technology to ensure students are prepared for 21st Century college and career opportunities.

Common features between Portola High School and Beacon Park include:

  • Design Labs – These spaces become easily accessible extensions of classrooms to facilitate small or large group learning and project-based learning.  They also provide students with collaboration skills they will need to be college and career ready.
  • Dedicated Music Classrooms – Such dedicated spaces improve music instruction and student learning with better acoustics and less time to transition from a general use space.
  • Innovation Labs – These labs are designed to foster flexible learning and technology spaces for a variety of projects and various group work.  They create a robust environment for students to learn, collaborate, innovate and brainstorm.
  • Flexible Furniture – Each school site is equipped with flexible furniture, throughout each campus, to foster student-centered learning. This flexibility enables teachers and students to reconfigure their space for large or small group instruction and collaboration.

Both schools have been designed to meet criteria developed by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, which helps establish campuses that are healthy, comfortable, energy efficient and aligned with modern teaching and learning as reflected by IUSD’s Continuous Improvement Efforts.  In addition, many of the features at both schools are designed to mirror innovation and design lab features at such universities as Stanford and UCI.  As IUSD also continues to strengthen our relationships with the business community to ensure our students are prepared for 21st Century careers, we have developed the flexible student-centered spaces to be reflective of innovative workplaces.

Below is a list of features by school site.

IMG_9490Portola High School
This year, Portola High School welcomed approximately 400 freshmen and will add additional classes each year, resulting in a full 9-12 comprehensive high school by 2019-20.  The school is designed to support up to approximately 2,400 students.  In addition to a dedicated team of high-caliber educators, this state-of-the-art facility offers the latest educational technologies and a variety of amenities, including:

  • 21st-Century classrooms with common areas for collaborative learning
  • Dedicated science labs and visual and performing arts classrooms
  • A student union featuring collaborative learning environment, a library with dedicated quiet rooms and an Innovation Lab
  • Design lab for students’“Senior Passion Project” development
  • An elective building that will house a video production studio, 2D and 3D art, acoustically designed music rooms and more
  • A performing arts building with a 720-seat theater, black box and dance studio
  • A special education facility to facilitate essential life skills
  • A green roof that will enable hands-on, sustainable learning
  • A 2,940 seat stadium with rubberized track and artificial turf
  • An aquatics center with a 50-meter pool
  • A 2,044 seat gymnasium that includes training facilities and dedicated team rooms
  • Eight tennis courts
  • Varsity and JV baseball and softball fields
  • Track and field facilities
  • Two full soccer fields

To learn more about Portola High School, visit iusd.org/phs.  Additional resources include:

IMG_9513

To view a video of the first day at Portola High School, click here.

Beacon Park K-8
Beacon Park will accommodate approximately 1,000 students at capacity.  Similar to Portola High School, this state-of-the-art campus will also include the latest educational technologies and a variety of amenities including:

  • Student collaboration spaces across all grade levels
  • Dedicated music classrooms
  • Dedicated science classrooms in grades 6-8
  • Innovation Lab
  • Design Lab
  • Parent Center
  • Full-Court Gymnasium
  • Dedicated kindergarten play area
  • Large outdoor play field
  • Hard court activities including handball and tetherball equipment
  • Dedicated fitness lab for students in grades 6-8– Mirrors athletic spaces found at the high school level.

 To learn more about Beacon Park, visit iusd.org/bp

IUSD is pleased to welcome back to school all of our more than 32,000 students and their families and we hope those attending our new schools feel at home as they settle in for a great year ahead.


IUSD High Schools Ranked Top in the Nation


Newsweek magazine has published its annual list of the top public high schools in the U.S.  IUSD was the only Orange County school district with Newsweek Top Schools Ranking 2016schools in the top 100 nationally.  Equally impressive, three IUSD high schools were ranked top three in Orange County.    Northwood High School ranked first in the county and No. 25 nationally, University High School was second in the county and No. 57 nationally, and Woodbridge High School was third in the county and No. 69 nationally.

Newsweek selected 500 of the nation’s best from more than 20,000 public high schools.  The ranking process included indicators such as standardized test scores; counselor staffing; college acceptance and enrollment; SAT and ACT participation and performance; Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) participation and performance; and dual enrollments.

Below are the 12 OC high schools on the top 500 list:

  • Northwood High School, Irvine Unified School District (25)
  • University High School, Irvine Unified School District (57)
  • Woodbridge High School, Irvine Unified School District (69)
  • Corona del Mar High School, Newport-Mesa Unified School District (100)
  • Yorba Linda High School, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (172)
  • Aliso Niguel High School, Capistrano Unified School District (252)
  • Arnold O. Beckman High School, Tustin Unified School District (295)
  • Tesoro High School, Capistrano Unified School District (323)
  • Trabuco Hills High School, Saddleback Valley Unified School District (335)
  • Huntington Beach High School, Huntington Beach Union High School District (346)
  • San Clemente High School, Capistrano Unified School District (403)
  • Marina High School, Huntington Beach Union High School District (475)

Other publications, including U.S. News & World Report and The Orange County Register, have also curated lists of top-performing high schools over the years, using their own respective formulas. While no ranking system can tell the full story of what goes on inside a school or classroom, each adds something to the discussion of educational success.  IUSD schools have been consistently recognized.


Woodbridge High Students Place Third at National History Day Competition


Nat Hist Day Woodbridge Winners 6.20.16

This month, National History Day winners were announced during the 42nd annual Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest. Woodbridge High School students Eunji Son, Chai Won (Bella) An, and Kenny Chung, placed third in the senior group exhibit, titled, “Perry Expedition: Exchange through Encounter of Japan.”

More than 600,000 students from around the world competed in five categories: documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances and websites. Less than 1% of those entries were awarded the opportunity to compete in the national finals at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest held in Maryland.  Competitors represented the top entries from 57 affiliate members, including every state, Washington, D.C., American Samoa, Guam, South Korea, South Asia, China and Central America. Nearly 3,000 middle and high school students presented their work related to the 2016 theme, Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History.

“The competitors at this contest are some of the brightest students of their generation,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “The work they produce is astounding in its breadth and scope of historical research. Once again, they amazed myself, the NHD staff, and the judges with their hard-work and creative projects. I want to congratulate them all for being in the top 1% of History Day projects created this year and especially congratulate those whose work was deemed the best of the best.”

During the Orange County National History Day competition, in the junior level, 15 projects out of a possible 18 projects were IUSD projects and advanced to the state competition. IUSD middle school students swept the website, documentary and historical paper categories in both the individual and group entries.

IUSD high school students also had an impressive finish at the County competition, with 18 out of 27 projects continuing to the state level, with IUSD sweeps of the documentary and historical paper categories for both the individual and group entries.

While at the state competition, IUSD students were recognized in three award categories: Honorable Mention, Runners-up and Champion.

Honorable mention winners included a Junior documentary “Perry’s Voyage: Opening the Gates of the Rising Sun” and group exhibit “The Kennedy-Nixon Debate: How Television Changed Politics Forever” from Sierra Vista Middle School and a senior historical paper from University High School “Star of the North: Catherine the Great’s Exchanges with Western Europe and Russian Encounters with the Enlightenment.”

Runners-up included a junior website from Jeffrey Trail Middle School “The Beatles: Revolution on Abbey Road” and a Senior individual documentary from University High School “The Okie from Muskogee.”

Four IUSD champions at both the Junior and Senior levels advanced to the national competition. From Lakeside Middle School a historical paper “Unlikely Explorers: The Mormon Battalion;” Nat Hist Day Woodbridge Project 6.20.16from Sierra Vista Middle School a group documentary “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: Jonas Salk’s Pioneering Exploration into Poliomyelitis;” from Northwood High School a group documentary “Charles Lindbergh: Exploring Through Aviation, Exchanging Controversial Ideas, Encountering Hostile Criticism;” and from Woodbridge High School a group exhibit “Perry Expedition: Exchange Through Encounter in Japan.”

IUSD extends its congratulations to all of our students who participated in the county, state and national competitions and to the many dedicated teachers who worked tirelessly with the students.  To read about Sierra Vista Middle School teacher Jon Miller, who was named top middle school history teacher of the year, click here.

Founded in 1974 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, the National History Day Contest was created to inspire students to conduct original historical research. Since its creation, the contest has grown to an international competition with more than 600,000 participants that awards thousands of dollars in scholarships and prizes annually. The theme for 2017 is Taking a Stand in History.


Sierra Vista Teacher Named Top Middle School History Teacher in the Nation


Jon MillersSierra Vista Middle School History teacher Jonathan Millers received the prestigious Junior Division Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award, worth $10,000, at this year’s Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest in Washington, D.C. This honor is bestowed upon one junior division (middle school) and one senior division (high school) teacher annually. The recipient of the national award is selected from the affiliate winners of the prize. National History Day has affiliates in all fifty states, Washington, D.C., China, Korea, Guam, South Asia, Central America, and American Samoa. Millers became eligible for the prize after winning California’s Junior Division Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award.

Millers has participated in National History Day – California (NHD-CA) for nine years. NHD-CA, sponsored by the Sacramento County Office of Education, is one of the largest state history competitions in the nation. Each year more than 40,000 students from 28 counties explore historical topics and create projects that are entered in school, district, and county competitions. County champions advance to the annual state wide contest which includes more than 1,200 participants.

“Mr. Millers has a love for history and seeing students engaged in learning,” said NHD-CA State Coordinator Craig Irish. “His passion is evidenced by the students who pack his classroom each day during lunch and before and after school to work on their history projects. We are proud to have Mr. Millers represent California as the Junior Division Behring Teacher of the Year.”

As an 8th grade History teacher, Millers engages his students with hands on activities such as historical court case reenactments, or encouraging students to adopt the persona of a historical figure. Sierra Vista began participating in the National History Day Contest as an extracurricular activity. However, after seeing its effectiveness to improve student skills in research, use of technology, reading, and writing, it was decided to expand the program. It is now a key component in the school curriculum. The annual school presentation of these projects draws more than 300 attendees, including former students who offer advice to the next generation of National History Day Contest participants.


IUSD Celebrates Groundbreaking of Newest Elementary School


Groundbreaking Featured image
The Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for Eastwood Elementary School, June 1 at the new school site – 99 Meander, Irvine. The ceremony marks the start of construction on Irvine’s 39th school, serving the Eastwood Village.  Eastwood is a K-6 school and is expected to open in August 2017.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by the IUSD Board of Education, IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker, IUSD staff, PTA Council President Connie Stone, President of California School Employees Association, Chapter 517 Janelle Cranch, Mayor Steven Choi, city of Irvine representatives, Irvine Company representatives Robin Leftwich and Mike LeBlanc, and members of the community.

“Like all Irvine schools, Eastwood Elementary has been designed to encourage curiosity and collaboration to prepare our students for 21st century college and careers,” said IUSD Board President Paul Bokota.  He then announced Eastwood’s new Principal Aaron Jetzer who will transition from Culverdale Elementary.

Click Here to see photos of the event.