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 High School Students Arrive in Sacramento to Meet with State Lawmakers and Others

IUSD high school students, accompanied by teachers, District staff and IUSD Board Members, are in Sacramento today to meet with state lawmakers, journalists, government experts and staffers to discuss issues impacting education.  Below are photos of the group, which just recently arrived to the state capital.  They have a full day ahead, including meetings with State Senator John Moorlach; Assembly Member Steven Choi; veteran journalists Jim Miller and Sam Stanton; representatives from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the California School Boards Association, the Public Policy Institute of California, and the California School Employees Association; and staffers from various representatives’ offices.














Top photo: IUSD students for visit to Sacramento
Left to right: Assembly Member Choi, IUSD students, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Assembly Speaker Rick Simpson, Senator Moorlach 


Irvine Voters Pass Measure E

Dear IUSD Community,

I am pleased to announce that voters have passed Measure E.  The school facilities improvement measure, which was placed on the June 7 ballot by the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education, passed with 60 percent of the vote, according to the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ website.  The county agency will officially certify the results by the end of the month.

Although only voters in the neighborhoods served by Irvine’s oldest schools voted on Measure E, it was the subject of citywide discussion and campaigns.  Passage of this measure is an affirmation of the community’s confidence in the Board of Education and our District.

IUSD’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA), the Irvine Teachers Association, the California School Employees Association and the many parent volunteers and community members, who comprised the Yes on E Campaign, were pivotal in communicating the importance and positive impact of Measure E to the Irvine community.  PTA Council President and Campaign Committee Chair Connie Stone and her team worked tirelessly to ensure educational equity for all IUSD students, now and for generations to come.

Measure E will provide a maximum available bond issuance of $319 million to provide modernizations to the District’s aging schools. This funding will be issued in four series over 12 years. IUSD anticipates the first bond issuance to occur in January or February of 2017.

Click here for a list of schools that will receive funding and to see proposed project lists for each school site.

District staff will present the proposed school site project lists to the Board of Education during a yet to be determined Board Meeting in the coming months.  In addition, the District will begin the process to form a Citizens Oversight Committee to oversee the allocation of bond funds and to conduct an annual audit.  By law, funds can only be used for facilities projects and cannot be taken away by the state or redirected for other purposes.  Property owners in the newest areas, who are paying Community Facility District (CFD) fees toward school facility construction, will not be impacted by the Measure.

Passage of Measure E is a tremendous step forward to ensuring all IUSD schools meet the same safety and academic standards as new schools and that all students have equal access to 21st-century educational facilities.  IUSD will regularly communicate important milestones and updates through our school communities and on our website iusd.org.

Thank you for your support and engagement, which helps IUSD better serve our students.


Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools, Irvine Unified School District


Irvine Unified Council PTA to hold forum for trio of Board of Education candidates

With three hopefuls vying for two open seats on the IUSD Board of Education, the Irvine Unified Council PTA will host a special Candidate Forum beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held at the District Office, located at 5050 Barranca Parkway. It will also air locally for Cox cable subscribers on IUSD’s channel 39 and via AT&T U-verse’s government and public television menu.

vote-300x298Irvine voters will head to the polls on Nov. 4 to fill two at-large posts on the five-person school board. Seeking a four-year term are incumbent Ira Glasky, an attorney; Bob Vu, an educator, scientist and entrepreneur; and Sharon Wallin, an incumbent who currently serves as board president.

At the forum, each candidate will have an opportunity to make a statement and answer questions presented by an impartial moderator from the League of Women Voters. The questions, developed by the Irvine Council PTA Executive Board, will be the same for all three candidates, and there will also be a limited amount of time for questions from the audience.

“The Candidate Forum has become an Irvine Council PTA tradition and helps us connect our families with the district and the issues we face in public education,” Irvine Council PTA President Connie Stone said.

“We face challenges and opportunities with increases in school populations throughout Irvine as well as implementation of Common Core,”  Stone said. “We are excited to hear what our candidates have to say about these issues and opportunities.”

No RSVP is necessary to attend, but organizers recommend arriving by 6 p.m. to ensure a seat. There may also be time at the end of the forum to chat with the candidates.

Posted in PTA

Irvine Unified Council PTA to host forum for three school board candidates

The Irvine Unified Council PTA is hosting an upcoming “Candidate Forum” for the trio of school board hopefuls in next month’s special election.

The session, which is open to the public, is set to kick off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13 at the District Office, located at 5050 Barranca Parkway. It will also be aired on IUSD’s cable station for local Cox subscribers (Channel 39) and AT&T U-verse customers (through the government and public television menu).

Three candidates are vying to fill the board vacancy in the June 3 special election, which was triggered after petitioners gathered enough signatures to invalidate the appointment processCarolyn Inmon, a retired teacher, Bob Vu, an educator, scientist and entrepreneur, and Ira Glasky, an attorney, are each looking to secure the seat until November, when the regular board election will be held.

As in previous forums, each participant will have an opportunity to make a statement and answer uniform questions from an objective moderator from the League of Women Voters. There will also be a limited amount of time for questions from attendees, who will get an additional chance to speak one-on-one with the candidates after the program.

The Irvine Unified Council PTA, which comprises nearly 13,000 members from 33 individual PTA units, has traditionally invited school board candidates to share their views in advance of local elections.

“Hosting the Candidate Forum is consistent with PTA’s mission as a strong advocate for public education,” IUCPTA Advocacy Chair Petra Schaefer said. “California’s public schools are facing a significant sea change with Common Core, and Irvine is poised for exponential growth in our schools. We want to ensure all voters can make an informed choice in June.”

State education officials partner with California PTA to offer Common Core resource for parents

What do the Common Core standards look like in the classroom?

Parents and community members can now read lesson samples and learn how to support the standards at home through a new online resource made available by the California Department of Education and the state PTA.

Both organizations are promoting a series of reader-friendly PDF brochures called “Parents’ Guide to Student Success.” Available in English and Spanish, these grade-level guides feature an overview of key Common Core lessons in English and math, suggestions for supporting learning at home and tips for parents on how to talk to teachers about their children’s academic progress.

The series, which was originally developed by the national PTA, can be accessed here.

“Parent Involvement Day is the perfect time to release these guides,” State Superintendent Tom Torlakson said last week, “because we know that well-informed, engaged parents can make all the difference in our work to give every student a world-class education. With modern standards and assessments and a new approach to school funding, we have a historic opportunity for serving these students, their families and our entire state.”

The Common Core standards, which happen to align nicely with IUSD’s own Continuous Improvement Efforts, were crafted to promote the knowledge and skills necessary for students to pursue competitive colleges and careers. They’ve been adopted by 45 other U.S. states, and they’re prompting big changes to California’s standardized testing program.

IUSD has more information about the standards on its Common Core webpage.

Ninth annual BryWorld Multicultural Festival draws 1,500 for food, art, games and more

Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it to this year’s BryWorld Multicultural Festival, but Brywood Elementary parent and coordinator Vida Gotico was kind enough to share a few photos and a rundown of the popular event, which drew some 1,500 students, staff, parents and community members.

From 5 to 8 p.m. on May 3, the Brywood campus was transformed into an international festival of food-tasting, art, crafts and cultural performances, punctuated by the “Parade of Nations,” featuring students in traditional costumes.

Organized by Brywood’s PTA, the ninth annual event was “a way of opening the community’s minds to the beauty and treasures each culture has to offer,” Gotico said.

“Students from many and diversified cultures attend Brywood,” she said, “and the festival is a chance to experience all of them within their very own school.”

We’re told face-painting, a photo booth, a cake walk and teachers’ raffles were also part of the fun.

Photos courtesy of Vida Gotico

IUSD seeking feedback on its homework policy from students, parents and teachers

Two years after introducing a new districtwide homework policy, IUSD is encouraging students, parents and teachers to weigh in on the policy’s impact by taking brief online surveys.

Students in grades four or higher can take their survey by clicking here, while parents can share their perspectives here. (A separate link is being sent to all Irvine teachers.) The deadline to participate is Friday, May 10.

Adopted by the Board of Education in May 2011, the revised policy called for school-specific plans based on nine foundational principles to ensure that homework was purposeful, reasonable in scale and aligned with the educational objectives and needs of each student.

The revisions were based on the work of the district’s Curriculum Council, which surveyed thousands of parents, students and staff about home studies and later engaged in two daylong sessions before developing its recommendations.

Irvine Unified PTA council to hold candidates forum for school board hopefuls

The Irvine Unified Council PTA plans to host a forum for candidates of the IUSD Board of Education beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held at the District Office, located at 5050 Barranca Parkway. It will also be aired locally for Cox cable subscribers on IUSD’s Channel 39.

Here’s how the forum will work: Each candidate will have the opportunity to make a statement and answer two uniform questions from an objective moderator. We’re told there will also be a limited amount of time for questions from attendees, who will then have an additional opportunity at the end of the program to talk one-on-one with candidates.

This year, nine hopefuls are vying for three seats on the Board of Education. They are: Paul Bokota an Irvine businessman; Lauren Brooks, an educator and businesswoman; Margaret Brown, a school planning director; Omar Ezzeldine, chair of the city’s finance commission and an educator; Carolyn Inmon, a retired teacher; Michelle Ollada Alipio, a school nurse; Michael Parham, an incumbent who is currently serving as school board president; Bob Vu, an educator, scientist and entrepreneur; and Cyril Yu, O.C. Deputy District Attorney.

The group that’s hosting the event, the Irvine Unified Council PTA, should be familiar to most Irvine families. The organization is made up of nearly 13,000 members from 32 individual PTA units that support schools throughout IUSD. President Petra Schaefer said the council’s election role aligns with its overall mission to advocate for public education.

“California’s public schools are facing a financial crisis,” she said, “and IUCPTA wants to ensure that the IUSD community has an opportunity to get to know the candidates so that they can make an informed choice on Nov. 6.”


IPSF, PTA join forces to recognize outstanding parent volunteers and leaders

Each year around this time, the Irvine Public Schools Foundation co-hosts a luncheon to recognize some of the most dedicated parent volunteers in IUSD. While the event usually culminates with one overall winner, a pair of volunteers has earned the top award for 2012.

Rosalyn Reasor and Ron Elter, who established the Timberwolf 5K Run/Walk fundraiser and have managed the event for the past three years, were surprised with the joint-honor on June 7 at the IUSD Volunteer of the Year Awards luncheon, which is hosted annually by IPSF and the Irvine Unified Council PTA.

Forty volunteers were recognized at the ceremony, which drew more than 140 attendees to the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center in Irvine. In addition to Reasor and Ekter, who secured a $700 grant for Northwood courtesy of IPSF, grade-level awards were presented to Victoria Loera of Woodbury Elementary School, Satomi Connelly of Sierra Vista Middle School and Jennifer Krause of Woodbridge High School. The latter honorees received $400 grants for their schools.

Meanwhile, the Irvine PTA also presented a handful of awards in recognition of outstanding service to children and youth. Hiram Aviles received the PTA’s Very Special Person Award, Sandy Lester earned the Honorary Service Award and Kathleen Sarangay took home a Continuing Service Award along with members of the Irvine Prevention Coalition’s Underage Drinking Task Force.

The Golden Oak Award, the PTA’s highest honor, was presented to two recipients this year. Linda Lang Pierce was recognized for her many years of service to Irvine schools and the community, and IPSF was also awarded for its 16-year commitment to enriching education in Irvine.

Speaking of IPSF, the foundation was presented with a $5,000 donation at the luncheon courtesy of the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center and the Irvine Chinese School.