Portola High School Affirmed Safe by Top State Environmental Agency


Dear IUSD Community,

I am pleased to inform you that the Portola High School site has been affirmed safe by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC).  Today, DTSC provided the District with the environmental site approval, also known as a “No Further Action” notice.  This designation affirms the site is environmentally safe for students, families, staff and the community, and supports the 2014 and 2015 environmental site approvals previously granted by the DTSC.  To read the final report, click here.

During this third series of testing, 17 additional locations were selected throughout the school site by DTSC with more than 100 tests conducted at two depths of five and 15 feet, which is the industry standard.  To date, more than 300 tests have been conducted at more than 100 locations site-wide.  Below is a map with the comprehensive test locations and information.

IUSD expected the final report at the end of April; however, during a March 22 Special Board Meeting, after hearing feedback from the public, the Board of Education requested that DTSC identify additional test locations beyond the eight the state agency initially selected.  The additional locations expanded the timeframe and the time needed for DTSC to review the data and make its own independent determination.

As explained by DTSC Division Chief Dot Lofstrom during the March 22 Special Board Meeting, there are three potential “outcomes” of the confirmation soil sampling.  She explained that “Outcome Two” is the current status of the site and that if the testing supports this status, no further action will be required of IUSD.  Chief Lofstrom stated:

Outcome One

“One outcome is that all samples come back non-detect.  That means that no contaminants were discovered above the capabilities of our laboratory instruments to detect them.  In that case, the concerns described by me tonight would have been met by the District and no further action will be requested of the School District.”

Outcome Two

“A second outcome might be that contaminants are discovered but at very low concentrations.  So low as to constitute no health risk to occupants of the school.  That’s the current status of the site – our current conceptual model that there are very low concentrations of some contaminants – scattered areas underground.  These contaminants that do exist are sometimes as low as 600 times below the health concentrations, so I’m talking very low concentrations.

A few scattered concentrations of low level contaminants would confirm the current conceptual site model that there is no risk to future occupants of the school.  Very low levels of contaminants in the soil do not trigger cleanup requirements, because walking or running on a field, playing on the ground, or sitting inside rooms with concrete floors and walls do not result in any exposures that are a health concern.

In this case again, the concerns of DTSC would have been met and no further action will be requested of the School District.”

Outcome Three

“There is a third outcome, that is contaminants are present and at sufficiently high concentrations to have possible health impacts.  In that case, additional investigation will be required of the District.”

To view a video of Chief Lofstrom’s presentation during the March 22 public meeting, click here.

Chief Lofstrom and DTSC Geologist Dan Gallagher will join IUSD staff for a presentation to the Board of Education Tuesday, May 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the District Office.  The public is invited.  If you are unable to attend in person, you may view the meeting live on Cox channel 39 and AT&T U-verse channel 99.

For more information about the Portola High School site, including a comprehensive site history and District communications, please visit iusd.org/portolaconstruction.  See the following links for recent IUSD communications about the school site.

Portola High School Testing Update – May 11, 2016
Portola High School Update – April 29, 2016
IUSD Board Held 17th Public Meeting to Ensure Highest Standards for Portola High – March 25, 2016
Portola High School Meeting Reminder and Procedures – March 21, 2016
Portola High School Update and Public Meeting Notice – March 17, 2016
Portola High School Update from Terry Walker – March 4, 2016

Thank you for your support and engagement throughout this independent and rigorous process to ensure the Portola High School site is safe for our students, staff, families and community.  We look forward to welcoming the inaugural Portola High School freshman class this August and we share in the community’s excitement about this state-of-the-art educational facility that will be home to generations of Irvine students.

Sincerely,

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

Terry-Sig-Straight

 

 

 

 

newPHSmap


District Announces 2016 Classified Employees of the Year


Today, IUSD announced its five Classified Employees of the Year – Kitty Fyfe, Manny Lupercio, Kathy McCoy, Lorianne Randell and Meleah Shank. Classified employees are individuals who work hard every day to ensure the District runs efficiently to serve our students and their families. They include custodians, paraeducators, media technicians, food services staff members, analysts, secretaries, bus drivers, maintenance technicians, clerks, and all the other non-certificated staff members. Most are represented by the California School Employees Association (CSEA). This year’s five employees were selected from more than 1,500 classified employees districtwide.

Similar to previous years, a caravan of District employees and Board Members traveled to each winner’s site to surprise them in front of their colleagues and/or their school sites. This year’s well-wishers included Board Member Lauren Brooks, Superintendent Terry Walker, district staff, CSEA President Janelle Cranch and the five 2015 Classified Employee of the Year winners.

Meleah Shank

maleahThe day started at 8:50 a.m., with the first stop at Stonegate Elementary to award Meleah Shank, P.E. Paraprofessional, with the first of five Classified Employee of the Year awards. Meleah has been with IUSD for four years.

She was recognized for commitment to student’s health and wellbeing. Through her yoga instruction, she has provided students the unique opportunity to benefit from not only strength training but also from relaxation and breathing techniques. Her instruction has enabled students to become more aware of their environment and better equipped to manage obstacles and challenges by utilizing techniques they are learning.

“Meleah is a dedicated professional who consistently searches for ways to improve her instruction,” said Stonegate Principal Harmony Briscoe. “She is an enthusiastic and inspirational team member who has made a
difference for our kids.”

 

Manny Lupercio

mannyManny Lupercio, Head Custodian of Brywood Elementary was the next stop at 9:30 a.m. Manny has been with IUSD for 15 years and received the Classified Employee of the Year for his high standard of professionalism and dedication.

Manny is loved by students and staff because of his compassion, integrity and his commitment to Brywood. He knows students by name and gives endless high-fives. Manny is a leader on campus and for his colleagues throughout the district – he is a role model for students and staff alike.

“Manny is an unsung hero who gives of himself to students, staff and our school,” said Principal Astrid Ramirez. “He lets all students know he cares about them and sets a great example with his positive attitude.”

 

Kathy McCoy

kathyThe third stop was to College Park Elementary at 10:15 a.m., where for the first time in IUSD history, two employees from the same school received Classified Employee of the Year awards. The first was Kathy

McCoy, Nutrition Services. Kathy has been with IUSD for 11 years and received this honor for her customer service and commitment to student nutrition.

Kathy’s recognition is particularly special, since College Park’s kitchen and serving room is one of the smallest in the District. She stepped up to pilot the first elementary “outdoor café” and was heavily involved in the process from planning and design to implementation. Prior to implementing the outdoor café, Kathy could only have five kids in the tiny kitchen at a time. What used to take up to 12-15 minutes in line for students, now takes five to eight minutes. Her vision and work has enabled students to get healthy food in less time.

“Kathy is considered the heart and soul of our school,” said College Park Principal Meg Gwyn. “She goes above and beyond to connect with the kids. She knows every child’s name and takes the time to make sure students know the rules of the café and have access to healthy food choices.”

 

Lorianne Randell

lorlor2Lorianne Randell, Media Tech was the second Classified Employee of the Year to be recognized from College Park Elementary. Lorianne has been with IUSD for nearly 10 years and received this recognition for helping students develop their technology skills and for supporting both students and teachers in the school’s technology lab.

Lorianne monitors the College Park’s First in Math programs, SBAC testing and works with students on everything from typing to coding. Teachers rely on her with the utmost confidence to ensure the computer lab and related testing and activities are running smoothly. Her knowledge and skills have benefited both College Park students and staff.

“If you have a question, you don’t search Google, you ask Lorianne,” said College Park Principal Meg Gywn. “She knows everything about our school and students and will assist our students on everything from a
paper jam to nose bleed.”

 

Kitty Fyfe

kittyThe final stop at 11 a.m. was to the District Office to award Kitty Fyfe, Special Education Analyst, with Classified Employee of the Year. Kitty has been with IUSD for 22 years and received this recognition for her dedication to the critical work of the Special Education department.

Kitty, fondly nicknamed “Ninja Kitty” has the ability to remember the history and important details of students and is able to provide background knowledge that is helpful to staff. In addition, she is responsible for a wide-range of duties, including budgeting, staffing, data analysis and information management.

“Kitty is very caring and compassionate for the students we serve,” said Melanie Hertig, Executive Director of Special Programs. “Her ability to support and have answers for those she serves, both in and out of the office is unsurpassed. She is proactive and hardworking, while maintaining a great sense of humor.”

Congratulations again to each winner, who will receive $1,000 courtesy of CSEA Chapter 517, as well as a jacket and commemorative plaque. They’ll also be honored at the May 24 IUSD Board Meeting.


2016-17 School Funding Survey Closes Monday


The 2016-17 school funding survey, which is part of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process closes Monday, May 16.  If you haven’t already, please take a moment to participate in this survey.

The LCAP process helps IUSD identify annual goals, take action on those goals, and measure progress on academic achievement, school climate and parent engagement.  Your input is critical to IUSD’s decision-making process and will help guide investments in the District’s priorities.

To learn more about the state’s funding system, including the Local Control Funding Formula and the LCAP, visit iusd.org/LCFF-LCAP/.  Click here for an informational summary of the proposed LCAP actions.

Click here to take the survey now.


Portola High School Site Testing Update


In Superintendent Terry Walker’s last communication to the IUSD community about the Portola High School site, he shared that test results and data will be made available to the public and all interested parties in mid-to-late May.  As part of IUSD’s ongoing commitment to transparency, the following is an update about the testing and lab results.  While the District is waiting for the final report to be completed, it appears this third series of tests confirms the 2014 and 2015 site approvals granted by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

However, the District will not know conclusively, until the DTSC has reviewed the data and made its own determination.  We anticipate this information in the coming weeks and will communicate with the community at that time.

Below are three potential “outcomes” of the confirmation soil sampling as detailed on March 22 by DTSC Division Chief Dot Lofstrom during a Special Board Meeting.  She explained that “Outcome Two” is the current status of the site and that if the testing supports the current status, no further action would be required of IUSD.  She stated:

Outcome One

“One outcome is that all samples come back non-detect.  That means that no contaminants were discovered above the capabilities of our laboratory instruments to detect them.  In that case, the concerns described by me tonight would have been met by the District and no further action will be requested of the School District.”

Outcome Two

“A second outcome might be that contaminants are discovered but at very low concentrations.  So low as to constitute no health risk to occupants of the school.  That’s the current status of the site – our current conceptual model that there are very low concentrations of some contaminants – scattered areas underground.  These contaminants that do exist are sometimes as low as 600 times below the health concentrations, so I’m talking very low concentrations.

A few scattered concentrations of low level contaminants would confirm the current conceptual site model that there is no risk to future occupants of the school.  Very low levels of contaminants in the soil do not trigger cleanup requirements, because walking or running on a field, playing on the ground, or sitting inside rooms with concrete floors and walls do not result in any exposures that are a health concern.

In this case again, the concerns of DTSC would have been met and no further action will be requested of the School District.”

Outcome Three

“There is a third outcome that is contaminants are present and at sufficiently high concentrations to have possible health impacts.  In that case, additional investigation will be required of the District.”

To view a video of Chief Lofstrom’s presentation during the March 22 public meeting, click here.

IUSD is cautiously optimistic that DTSC will concur that the site meets “Outcome Two” and this will provide the public with confidence that all standards, protocols and procedures set by the DTSC have been met by IUSD to ensure the site’s safety.

Once completed, the final report, including the raw data, will be posted on iusd.org/portolaconstruction.  In the meantime, please visit the Portola webpage for a history of the site, site approvals, resources and correspondence.


Dr. Michele Ogden Named New Santiago Hills Principal


Dear IUSD Community,

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Michele Ogden has been named as the new Principal of Santiago Hills Elementary School. Dr. Ogden was selected from a talented candidate pool as the best fit for Santiago Hills. The selection process included staff and community input and participation. Dr. Ogden is an experienced Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) leader. Most recently, she spearheaded curriculum and instruction initiatives in math and science district-wide. She was an elementary teacher with experience in grades 1-4, spending seven years at Vista Verde. Her official start date is July 1, 2016.

Dr. Ogden brings a student-centered learning approach to her work and is familiar with the Santiago Hills school community and IUSD’s culture of excellence. She is committed to fostering innovation through collaboration with teachers, staff, students and families.

Dr. Ogden is excited to work with the Santiago Hills’ students, staff and community. She will begin her transition to Santiago Hills over the coming weeks and will meet with Mr. Pace to ensure a smooth start to the next school year.  She cannot wait to meet with students, staff, and the parent community.  “I look forward to becoming an active member of the Santiago Hills family and sharing the energy, excitement, laughs and day-to-day opportunities that come our way,” said Dr. Ogden.

She lives in Aliso Viejo with her husband, son and daughter.  After seven years of cheering for her kids in their running pursuits, she has recently become a runner, completing three 5Ks and two half marathons in 2016 alone.

Please join IUSD in congratulating Dr. Ogden and in welcoming her to Santiago Hills.

Sincerely,
Eamonn eSignature

 

Eamonn O’Donovan
Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources
Irvine Unified School District


Measure E – School Facilities Improvements


Instagram-logoThe Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) has placed Measure E, a school facilities improvement measure, on the June 2016 ballot. IUSD serves more than 32,000 students and is one of the
highest performing districts in the nation. However, due to the state’s new funding formula, IUSD ranks at the bottom in per pupil funding in California. As a result, IUSD’s general fund cannot support the significant investments many of our aging facilities need without creating a significant impact on our instructional programs across the District.

If approved by 55 percent of registered voters, the measure will provide an investment of $319 million to address the serious school facility issues that have been identified by each school site within the Measure’s boundaries.  The cost of the measure will be $29 per $100,000 of assessed value, (as opposed to market value, which is typically much higher) over a 30-year period. To provide some perspective, the estimated approximate cost to the average property owner will be about $10 per month.

Funds from this measure would be used to upgrade Irvine’s oldest schools by:

  • Providing the facilities and equipment needed for career and technology classes so students are prepared for college and good paying jobs in fields like science, engineering, technology and skilled trades.
  • Providing classrooms, science labs and school facilities that meet current academic, technology and safety standards.
  • Ensuring that all schools have the classrooms and instructional spaces needed for Irvine’s world class art and music programs.
  • Improving traffic and safety in and around schools.
  • Updating instructional technology in the classroom for improved student learning in core subjects like reading and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
  • Replacing aging roofs, plumbing, electrical systems, and heating and cooling systems.
  • Ensuring classrooms, labs and other facilities are accessible for students with disabilities.

To view a list of priority facilities improvements by school, click on the school names below.

Elementary/K-8 Schools Middle Schools High Schools
Bonita Canyon Lakeside Creekside
Brywood Rancho San Joaquin Irvine
Canyon View Sierra Vista Northwood
College Park South Lake University
Culverdale Venado Woodbridge
Deerfield
Eastshore
Greentree
Meadow Park
Northwood
Oak Creek
Santiago Hills
Springbrook
Stone Creek
Turtle Rock
University Park
Westpark
Plaza Vista K-8

For more information, visit iusd.org/schoolimprovements.  Click here to view IUSD’s legislative priorities, which provides information about the District’s funding.

 

 


Portola High School Update


Dear IUSD Community,

As part of the District’s commitment to providing you with ongoing information about the Portola High School site, the following is an update on the status of recent confirmation soil sampling.

On March 22, the District held a special Board Meeting to present information about the school site and to receive public comments about the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) plan for additional soil sampling of the site.  This was the 17th public meeting, since 2013, in which the Portola High School site has been discussed.  During the meeting, DTSC and District staff informed attendees that 10 locations throughout the site had been identified to conduct confirmation soil samplings that were intended to reaffirm the state agency’s initial approvals of the site.  DTSC Geologist Dan Gallagher stated, “In my professional opinion, 10 samples at two depths…should be sufficient to clear this site.” However, upon hearing public input, the Board of Education requested DTSC identify additional locations beyond the initial 10.

In the weeks following the meeting, DTSC Division Chief Dot Lofstrom and DTSC Geologist Gallagher, under DTSC Director Barbara Lee’s oversight, have worked in collaboration with IUSD to identify seven more soil sample locations, beyond the initial 10, for a total of 17 locations.  This is in addition to the 27 soil gas locations with 136 tests and the 68 soil sample locations with 105 tests that had been previously conducted throughout the school site.  Overall, the site will now have 112 test locations with more than 300 tests conducted site-wide.  As acknowledged by Chief Lofstrom during the March 22 meeting, the Portola High School site has had more scrutiny and testing than any other site on the former El Toro Marine Base, because DTSC “tends to be particularly protective of schools.”

The independent confirmation sampling process is being conducted under the oversight of DTSC, including Chief Lofstrom and Geologist Gallagher.  The process has included the following organizations and steps:

  • Drilling and setting of the soil gas probes is being conducted by Interphase Environmental, Inc.
  • An onsite California professional registered geologist with PlaceWorks (IUSD consultant), inspects the soil and collects the soil samples.
  • Jones Environmental, Inc. conducts the onsite analysis of soil gas samples in mobile laboratories.
  • Soil samples are sent to A&R Laboratories to test for the presence and levels of petroleum hydrocarbons.

In collaboration with DTSC, District consultant PlaceWorks, will develop the final report.  Upon completion of the report in mid-to-late May, IUSD will make this information available to the public and all interested parties, including the raw data.

I look forward to communicating with you next month to share the test results and next steps, if any.

For more information about the Portola High School site, including a comprehensive site history and District communications, please visit iusd.org/portolaconstruction.  See the following links for recent IUSD communications about the school site.

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

Sincerely,
T-Walker2-smooth-sm

 

 

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


LCAP School Funding Survey Now Open


Dear IUSD Community,

I would like to encourage your participation in the 2016-17 school-funding survey, which is part of the 10-month Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process.  This is the second of two funding surveys.  The first survey was sent to the IUSD community last September and asked for your feedback about District priorities.  Based on your responses, the District developed a series of proposed actions.  This survey is to review those actions and investments with you, and to request your input.

The survey is divided into four brief sections:

  • New proposed actions and investments
  • Ranking of additional funding priorities, should the District receive additional state funds this May
  • A review of actions, using one-time funding, recommended for extension for one or two additional years
  • Open comment section

This interactive process helps IUSD identify annual goals, take action on those goals, and measure progress on academic achievement, school climate and parent engagement.  Your input is critical to IUSD’s decision-making process and will help guide investments in the District’s priorities.

To learn more about the state’s funding system, including the Local Control Funding Formula and the LCAP, and to see the results of the fall 2015 survey, visit iusd.org/LCFF-LCAP/.  To view an informational summary of the proposed LCAP actions, click here.

To take the survey now, click here.  

Thank you in advance for your participation.  Your engagement, partnership and support continues to enable IUSD to best serve our students.

T-Walker2-smooth-sm

 

 

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


Michael Georgino Named Jeffrey Trail Principal


Dear IUSD Community,

 We are pleased to announce that Michael Georgino has been named Principal of Jeffrey Trail Middle School.  After an extensive recruitment process, which included staff and community input and participation, Mr. Georgino has been selected from a talented candidate pool as the new leader for Jeffrey Trail.  His start date is July 1, 2016.

Mr. Georgino has 15 years of experience in education as a teacher and administrator.  He currently serves with distinction as Assistant Principal at University High School, where he is responsible for a wide range of leadership duties, including oversight of Career Technical Education, Advanced Placement, and English Language Development programs.  In the past two years, he has worked with faculty and staff to create and support a vision for the effective use of technology for teaching and learning.

Mr. Georgino has extensive teaching experience. He was a history, economics, and forensics teacher at University High for five years.  He began his teaching career at Brookhurst Junior High in the Anaheim Union High School District, where he served as a history teacher, GATE teacher, yearbook advisor, and athletic coach.

Mr. Georgino is honored to join the Jeffrey Trail team.  He is adept at working with diverse student populations and has experience serving in communities with high standards for academic achievement. He is excited to continue the commitment at Jeffrey Trail to a broad range of extracurricular programs for students.  He is eager to begin building strong and collaborative relationships with staff, students and parents.

Please join IUSD in congratulating Mr. Georgino on his new role and in welcoming him to Jeffrey Trail.

Sincerely,

Eamonn eSignature

Eamonn O’Donovan
Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources
Irvine Unified School District


Hundreds of IUSD Students to Participate in Bren Honors Concert


orchestraHundreds of Irvine’s outstanding musicians will take center stage tonight for the 34th annual Donald Bren Honors Concert at 6:30 p.m. at the Segerstrom Concert Hall, located at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.  There are a handful of tickets still available. For more information, visit ipsf.net.  The Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) will also have DVDs of the performance for purchase and the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) will broadcast the concert, in its entirety, on Cox Channel 39 in early May.

This annual event is presented by IPSF, in partnership with IUSD.  In all, approximately 600 top vocalists and instrumentalists in grades five through 12 will participate in the musical showcase.

“Our students’ exceptional talent will be showcased in this world-class venue, including a special pre-concert at 6:15 p.m. that will feature the Northwood High School Jazz Ensemble I,” said Brad Van Patten, IUSD’s coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts. “In addition, our high school students will be under the direction of Jonathan Talberg, the choral director of the Bob Cole Conservatory at CSU Long Beach, and Iman Khosrowpour, a IUSD alum and director of orchestras at Irvine Valley College.”

The concert is named in recognition of the generosity of philanthropist Donald Bren. Under his leadership, the Donald Bren Foundation and the Irvine Company have provided more than $200 million to support education, including a $20 million gift to preserve art, music and science programs in IUSD.

In addition to serving as an incredible performance opportunity for students, the Donald Bren Honors Concert also generates funds to support music education.  “The Donald Bren Honors Concert represents an outstanding effort by donors, parents, music instructors, students and members of the community to provide, preserve and expand outstanding music programs for kids in our schools,” said IPSF Chief Executive Officer Neda Eaton .