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


30th Anniversary of Astounding Inventions


Innovative student inventions will be featured during the 30th annual Astounding Inventions contest on Saturday, January 28 from 11 a.m. astounding-invetions-image-2016to noon at the Irvine Valley College Hart Gymnasium.  The awards ceremony for grades K, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 starts at noon.  The awards ceremony for grades 4 and 5 starts at 1:15 p.m.  This year’s theme is, “Reducing your carbon footprint: small footprints help our environment.”

Supported by Cox Communications, Astounding Inventions brings together kindergarten through 8th-grade students from the Irvine and Tustin Unified School districts for an elaborate science, technology, engineering and math competition that fosters student entrepreneurship and creative thinking.

This free event is open to the public.  In addition to this year’s student displays, the event will feature a stage show, “Mad Chemists.”

For more information, see the attached flier.

2017-astounding-inventions-ivc-flyer


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:


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 to Host Ask-A-Scientist/Engineer Night


The Irvine Unified School District, in partnership with the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, will host Ask-A-Scientist/Engineer Night on The Irvine Unified School District PresentsThursday, October 13 from 6-7:30 pm. at Rancho San Joaquin Middle School.

This event is the perfect opportunity for 6-12 grade students, who are doing a science inquiry project or making a Rube Goldberg Machine, to ask science and engineering experts important questions.  Participating scientists and engineers are from the local education and businesses communities, including UCI Irvine, USC, Chapman University, Irvine Valley College, Allergan, Rockwell, the Irvine Ranch Water District and more.  In addition, IUSD science teachers will be on hand to also answer questions.

Rancho San Joaquin Middle School is located at 4861 Michelson Road. Visitors may park on Michelson and Yale without being ticketed, even though it says “No parking.” (Note that this special privilege applies only to Ask-A-Scientist/Engineer Night.)  No registration is required.  All students must be supervised by an adult.

For more information, contact the STEM department at 949-936-5057.


IUSD Named Top Five District in Nation for Student Achievement


Technology-Master-PlanAt a time when the achievement gap between low-income students and their affluent counterparts is growing nationwide, the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) was named one of the top five districts in the nation to close this gap, by Education Cities.  The nonprofit organization, which recently published the first-ever Education Equality Index tracked data from school districts in the 100 largest U.S. cities.  According to the organization’s website, “the index score is calculated by identifying the percentage of students from low-income families that reach proficiency averaged across every subject/grade.”

“IUSD and our dedicated teachers and staff continuously work to improve how we deliver the highest quality education we can envision,” said Superintendent Terry Walker.  “The recognition that IUSD is providing educational equity for all students is another piece of powerful evidence of our significant accomplishments in support of students.”

IUSD has made student intervention and a commitment to supporting the individual needs of students a critical focus.   Intervention work includes training teachers to assess student performance and to identify the necessary resources and strategies to maximize student learning. To support our learners in reading, the District utilizes targeted small group instruction to assess students as they are learning and to provide increased rigor or greater support during lessons.  This kind of differentiation ensures that teachers monitor student needs and intervene appropriately.

In addition, IUSD integrates evidence based intervention with the support of highly trained intervention lead teachers and intervention psychologists.    Our increased focus on intervention began seven years ago, and continues to be an integral part of our practice.   Meeting the needs of each student, encouraging student voice and generating greater levels of authentic engagement are integral components of our practice.

IUSD believes that our robust science, technology engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programming for all students as part of their daily instruction also supports student success.   These opportunities could not exist without our gifted and committed Instructional staff who enable IUSD to reduce class size and individualize instruction. The addition of classified support staff enables teachers to work more closely with students and facilitates effective small group instruction.

Support staff includes:

  • Instructional Aides are an effective part of IUSD’s current strategy to reduce class size and increase individualized instruction.
  • Teachers on Special Assignment, who perform a wide variety of tasks designed to support classroom instruction based on the needs expressed by teachers and school sites.
  • Science and Technology Coaches, who support teachers and students on meaningful integration of technology in classroom activities.
  • Intervention Lead Teachers, who monitor students in need of additional support.
  • Intervention Psychologists, who design and provide effective intervention and intervention training.
  • Health and Wellness Staff, including school psychologists, counselors, guidance paraprofessionals and guidance assistants.

Visit, iusd.org to learn more about IUSD programs and initiatives. To read the Ed Source article, “Achievement gaps in Irvine, San Francisco are among smallest of US cities,” click here.

 


565 Students Participate in IUSD’s 35th Annual Science Fair


IMG_2405This year marked the 35th anniversary of IUSD’s districtwide science fair in which 565 students submitted a total of 463 projects.  Once again, the event was organized and hosted by IUSD science teachers and specialists and sponsored by the Broadcom Foundation, in partnership with the Irvine Public Schools Foundation.

Submissions included “Extraordinary Elodea”, “Hydroelectricity”, “The Slime Awakens”, “The Effect of Varying Pitch on Voltage Generated by Vertical Axis Wind Turbines”, “Solar Powered-Water Desalination”, “A Math/Algorithm Model for Indoor Visible Light” and “The Exploration of Cellular
Responses to Transfection”

A select few of students were also presented an award from the Irvine Ranch Water District for projects that had water as the main theme. New this year, one student in High School was presented an award from Chapman University School of Pharmacy.

6th, 7th, and 8th graders who qualified are eligible to enter Broadcom MASTERS.  From there finalists enter the competition in Washington, D.C in the Fall 2016.

DSC01360DSC01383Eligible projects that entered in our district Science Fair can move on to The Orange County Science and Engineering Fair which is held on April 11-17, 2016. From there projects have the chance to move on to the California State Science Fair.

Parents are encouraged to check with their child’s school or science teacher to learn more about specific requirements and deadlines. And you may also want to check in with the rules and regulations for the Orange County Science & Engineering Fair.
And https://student.societyforscience.org/broadcom-masters-faq

In the meantime, here are a tips worth noting:

  • SF2016 Awards Ceremony4To be eligible for the Orange County Science & Engineering Fair, students must have participated in IUSD’s Science Fair, and they need to inform their science teachers, who must approve each entry.
  • OCSEF limits IUSD to 125 entrants, and county projects will be selected based on student interest, input from the students’ science teachers and ribbons awarded at the district level.
  • Not all blue ribbon winners from the IUSD Science Fair will be selected to participate in the OCSEF, and in fact some red ribbon winners might make the cut. The district’s Honorable Mention winners won’t be eligible to participate unless there aren’t enough blue ribbon and red ribbon winners to fill the 125 allocated slots.
  • The information above is subject to change.

Once again, be sure to check with your child’s school and the OCSEF Rules & Regulations before planning your project. And good luck!


More than 230 IUSD Students to Participate in Student Invention Competition


On Saturday, January 30, more than 230 Irvine Unified School District students in kindergarten through eighth grade will participate in the Layout 1Astounding Inventions Competition at Irvine Valley College (5500 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine) from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.  The competition showcases innovative student inventions, spanning a wide range of topics, including:

Conservation of Natural Resources Safety
Smart Sprinkler
Recycling Shower
Ocean Trash Zapper
Solar Umbrella Tree
Bicyclist Collision Alert Helmet
Emergency Pet Collar
Convenience Entertainment
Ultimate Sticky Pencil
Auto-Height Chair
Lego Sorter Vacuum
Automatic Slow Feeding Dog Feeder
Virtual Swim Goggles
Wii Surfboard
Levitating Car
Health and Fitness  
Easy Sneezy
SmartShoe D300
Bacteria Pinpointer
Scrape Preventer Spray
 

Event Schedule:

  • 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Public Viewing of Student Inventions
  • 1:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony: Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
  • 2:15 p.m. Awards Ceremony: Grades 4 and 5

Event Details:


Student scientists are gearing up for IUSD’s 34th annual District Science Fair


IUSD’s 34th annual District Science Fair is set to take place on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at Irvine High School.

The fair will once again be brought to you by the Broadcom Foundation, in partnership with the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, and if it’s anything like last year’s event, we’re going to see some pretty impressive projects.

Submissions include “Don’t Come Backteria,” “Microwave Oven: A Cooking Companion Or A Dangerous Device” and, of course, “The Effect Of Different Solutes In Distilled Water On The Resulting Solution’s Capability To Perform Electrolysis.”

Parents are encouraged to check with their child’s school or science teacher to learn more about specific requirements and deadlines. And you may also want to check in with the rules and regulations for the Orange County Science & Engineering Fair.

In the meantime, here are a tips worth noting:

  • To be eligible for the Orange County Science & Engineering Fair, students must have participated in IUSD’s Science Fair, and they need to inform their science teachers, who must approve each entry.
  • OCSEF limits IUSD to 125 entrants, and county projects will be selected based on student interest, input from the students’ science teachers and ribbons awarded at the district level.
  • Not all blue ribbon winners from the IUSD Science Fair will be selected to participate in the OCSEF, and in fact some red ribbon winners might make the cut. The district’s Honorable Mention winners won’t be eligible to participate unless there aren’t enough blue ribbon and red ribbon winners to fill the 125 allocated slots.
  • The information above is subject to change.

Once again, be sure to check with your child’s school and the OCSEF Rules & Regulations before planning your project. And good luck!