Northwood High School Update

*UPDATE 5:36PM* Northwood High School Update: The Irvine Police Department has determined that the Northwood High School campus is safe. Students may return tonight to pick up their vehicles. School will resume tomorrow, April 14.

Please see the following link to the Irvine Police Department press release.


At approximately 1:40 p.m. today, the Irvine Police Department received a phone threat regarding the Northwood High campus.  The police immediately responded to the school and are currently investigating.  Out of an abundance of caution the school was put into a lockdown.

At approximately 2:40 p.m. students began to be released class by class to the Portola and Yale school entrance.  Student/parent reunification is taking place.   IUSD and Northwood High School will provide updates to the Northwood High community.

IUSD Preschool Enrollment Open for 2017-2018 School Year

The Irvine Unified School District’s (IUSD) preschool program is open for Registration for the 2017-18 school year.  The program is open to children ages 3 and 4 who live within the District’s attendance boundaries, and is run by a staff of professional educators at IUSD’s Early Childhood Learning Center.  A variety of options are available, including subsidized funding for income-eligible families.

Established in 2002, the Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) has worked collaboratively with local families to build a world-class learning community that supports each child’s social, emotional and pre-academic needs.

The ECLC campus is located at 1 Smoketree in Irvine. To learn more about registration and enrollment, visit the ECLC website or call 949-936-5890.

IUSD Middle School Students and Families Invited to Annual Mathletics Night at UCI

IUSD middle school students and their families are invited to IUSD’s annual Mathletics Night on Saturday, February 18 at 7 p.m. at the Bren uci-mathletics-image-2017Events Center on the UCI campus.  During this free event, which is a joint partnership between IUSD, UCI and the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, students and their families will catch a free game between UCI and UC Riverside men’s basketball teams.

However, as the name implies, there’s a twist – during the first half, students will be challenged to track game statistics and calculate percentages.  Scores will be calculated and winners announced during the halftime break.

Each IUSD middle school student — and teacher — is eligible for up to four free tickets to the game.  Additional tickets may also be purchased. Those interested should RSVP no later than Monday, February 13, by visiting

Tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Participants are encouraged to arrive early to the arena with their entire party.  For more information, click to enlarge the flier.

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

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.

Aaron Jetzer Named Principal of Eastwood Elementary

Aaron Jetzer-GroundbreakingIUSD is pleased to announce that Aaron Jetzer has been named Principal of Eastwood Elementary School, which is scheduled to open in August 2017 to serve the new community of Eastwood Village. However, Mr. Jetzer will continue in his current role as Principal of Culverdale Elementary and begin the transition to Eastwood in January, 2017.

Mr. Jetzer has 16 years of education experience and is recognized as an outstanding leader in IUSD.  He currently serves as Principal of Culverdale Elementary, where for six years he has developed an excellent reputation as a site leader who works collaboratively with students, staff, and the parent community, including the PTA and the Irvine Public Schools Foundation.  Innovation and continuous improvement are the hallmarks of Mr. Jetzer’s leadership, including the piloting of math and reading programs at Culverdale before they became standardized across the District. He continues to revamp the school’s technology and wireless infrastructure and in 2012, Culverdale was recognized as a California Distinguished school.

Mr. Jetzer is looking forward to the challenge of opening IUSD’s newest K-6 school and will work closely with students, staff and parents to develop an environment that personalizes learning to ensure that all students develop the knowledge, skills and abilities to connect to the world around them.  He is experienced at working with diverse student populations, has high expectations for academic achievement, and will offer a broad range of extracurricular programs.

Mr. Jetzer lives in Laguna Niguel with his wife and two kids.  In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, watching his kids play soccer, working on home projects, cooking, biking, running and yoga.

Important Water Safety Reminders

Graphic with Text Baby by Pool 2016As you prepare for the hot summer months, filled with fun and long days in the sun, IUSD would like to take this opportunity to share important water safety reminders.  IUSD and the City of Irvine have partnered with the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) on a water safety campaign for Irvine.  According to OCFA, Irvine has the second highest drowning rate in Orange County.

Below are links to helpful handouts from OCFA in five languages, which can be printed and placed on your refrigerator or somewhere visible for the whole family.  Also, please share this information with caregivers.

ABCs of Water Safety


Water Safety Rules


Another helpful resource is OCFA’s drowning prevention webpage, which includes tips and videos.

Thank you and have a fun and safe summer!

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.

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

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


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