Message from Superintendent Walker: School Funding Update

Dear IUSD Community,

Thank you to the nearly 2,500 stakeholders who participated in the Irvine Unified School District’s recent additional investments survey, as part of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process.  The LCAP is an important part of our annual process because it aligns IUSD’s strategic planning with our budget to ensure we accomplish both State and District goals.

Your input, insights and ideas have been critical components of this process.  As a result of your feedback, the Board of Education, during the August 18, 2015 Board Meeting, approved the proposed additional investments.  These investments support the following District focus areas for the 2015-16 academic year:

1. Direct Student Instructional Support
2. Mental Health Support
3. Increase School-Site Funding
4. California Standards Aligned Materials and Support
5. Equity and Safety

We are excited about how these additional investments will positively impact our students, staff and school sites, as we prepare our students for a competitive 21st Century college and career environment.

Survey results, an updated LCAP and budget presentation, and additional information will be posted this week on the District’s LCAP webpage.

As we begin the next phase in the LCAP process this September for the 2016-17 school year, we will continue to seek your feedback throughout the year.  This process will enable the District to further refine and enhance our planning and budget development. Recommendations will be brought to the Board in June 2016 for approval.

Thank you again for your continued participation.  It is your engagement, partnership and support that continues to enable IUSD to best serve our students.

Best wishes for a wonderful and safe 2015-16 school year.




Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools

Water Safety Reminder

As we head into August and September, the two hottest months of the year, IUSD would like to remind our students and families to be water safe.  mom-teaching-child-to-swim-safelyAccording to the Orange County Fire Authority, more than 80 percent of drownings occur in residential backyard pools and spas.  It can happen quickly, without warning, without a splash and without a cry for help.

Remember to secure pool and spa areas, always have adult supervision, swim with a buddy, and set water safety rules for you and your family.  To learn more about drowning prevention and the ABCs of pool safety, visit the Orange County Fire Authority website.

Six Irvine Students to Join All-National Honor Ensembles

Six Irvine Unified School District students have been selected as members of the prestigious National Association for Music Education’s 2015 All-National Honor Ensembles.  Performance categories include Honor Band, Mixed Choir, Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Band.  Irvine will send six of the 30 California students to participate in this year’s concert.National Ensembles

Eliott Chung, University High School and Eric Li, Northwood High School will perform in the All-National Honor Concert Band.  Elysia Ouyang and Mina Rhee from University High School and Michael Suh and Andrew Yang from Northwood High School will perform in the All-National Honor Symphony Orchestra.

The concert is October 28, 2015 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee and is part of the National In-Service Conference.  This is an exciting opportunity for our talented musicians to work with other young musicians and prestigious conductors from across the nation.

For more information, visit and click on the video at the top of the webpage.

Congratulations to our Irvine students and best wishes as they prepare for this exciting concert!

Additional School Funds Survey Opportunity

As part of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process, which requires school districts to identify annual goals, take action on those goals, and measure progress on academic achievement, school climate and parent engagement, the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) has engaged stakeholders over a 10-month period for their feedback.  In late June, IUSD confirmed new additional state funding of approximately $10 million in ongoing monies and approximately $23 million in one-time funds.  In accordance with the LCAP process, IUSD is once again seeking stakeholder feedback about how this additional funding will be used to support the four Irvine Unified School District goals and augment the existing LCAP.  LCAP Image

Please take a few minutes to participate in this important survey.  Your feedback is an essential resource in determining how IUSD staff and stakeholders can collaborate to create the highest quality educational experience we can envision for our students in the 2015-16 school year.

To take the Proposed Additional Investments survey now, click here.  The last day to take the survey is August 9.

District Local Control Accountability Plan Goals:

Goal #1 – Ensure all students attain proficiency in the current content standards.

Goal #2 – Ensure access to rigorous and relevant learning tools, resources, and skills for all staff and students.

Goal #3 – Cultivate a positive school culture and system of supports for student personal and academic growth.

Goal #4 – Communicate effectively and form strategic alliances to secure the support and resources necessary to deliver our vision.

For the LCAP and budget presentation, click here or visit our LCAP page for more information.  A summary of updated actions of the 2015-18 LCAP can be viewed by clicking here

Your engagement, partnership and support continues to enable IUSD to best serve our students.  Thank you.

New to Irvine? Enroll Now for 2015-16 School Year

Enrollment for students new to the Irvine Unified School District is open Monday-Thursday, through August 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Woodbridge High School.  Enrollment is an easy three-step process.  New Student Enrollment

Before you begin, visit the Enrollment section of the District’s website, which will provide you with important information and the following steps:

Step One – Online Registration
Online registration in the Aeries system will get you started and save time during the enrollment process system.

Step Two – Required Documents
Once you have completed the online registration process, the next step is to verify your child’s enrollment eligibility with the required documents.

Step Three – Registration Verification
Once you have assembled the required documents, you will need to verify enrollment by visiting Woodbridge High School, Monday – Thursday, through August 6, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

If you have enrollment questions please contact IUSD’s main phone line at 949-936-5000.

IUSD Names New Executive Director of Special Education

Melanie Hertig has been named the Executive Director of Special Education. Melanie has a strong educational background, including her experience as an elementary and middle school teacher, school psychologist, and most recently, Director of Special Programs for IUSD. Her selection will provide continuity for the District, as she continues in a leadership role with the Special Education Department. Her new assignment begins July 13th.  Melanie Hertig (2)

Melanie has been with IUSD since July 2014. In her role as a Special Education Director, she has supported secondary programs, the School Psychologist Department, and the Educationally Related Mental Health Services Department.

Prior to joining IUSD, Melanie served as Director of Special Education/SELPA for the Temecula Valley School District, where she was responsible for the daily functions of the Special Education Department. In this capacity, she assisted in developing and overseeing the district’s first Special Education Local Plan Area through a collaborative process with district and school staff, local agencies and advocacy groups. She oversaw the district’s expansion of the Behavioral Health Department, continued support for the Positive Behavior Intervention Support program, worked closely with school psychologists, consulted with legal counsel, reviewed case files, and participated in all areas of mediation and due process.

Melanie and her husband reside in San Clemente. She has two grown boys and just recently celebrated the college graduation of her youngest (who graduated in three year with honors!) from the University of Oregon.

IUSD Selects New Coordinator of Student Services

Tim Hornig has been named Coordinator of Student Services. Tim is an experienced high school administrator and teacher, who has worked collaboratively with students, parents, and school and district staff to build strong relationships and maintain a student-centered environment.  Tim Hornig

Tim joins IUSD from San Dieguito High School Academy in Encinitas, California, where he has served as Principal since 2011.  Tim oversaw the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, integrated math, the school’s facility master plan (including the design and building of a new stadium and classrooms), and WASC Accreditation, while maintaining a culture intently focused on curricular supports for students.  His responsibilities also included support for all students, including “at-risk” youth, management of the San Dieguito Parent Foundation, communications with key stakeholder groups, staff development and leadership of more than 100 staff members.

Previously, Tim served as the Assistant Principal of Discipline and as the Assistant Principal of Guidance and Curriculum for Dana Hills High School. His responsibilities included student discipline, WASC Coordination, oversight of all guidance and academic counseling for students, testing, professional growth, UC/CSU matriculation, student intervention coordination and evaluation of Social Science, PE and Special Education.

He resides in San Clemente with his wife, Sarah, who is a fifth grade teacher, his daughter Kylie who is 9 and his son Owen who is 8.  Tim is excited to join the IUSD team and is looking forward to working with students, families, teachers and staff to support students and their families and to advance IUSD’s mission and goals.

IUSD Names New Director of STEM

IUSD is pleased to announce Kristen Winn has been named Director of STEM. She has a strong background in STEM education, Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science
Standards, and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID).  Kristen Winn

Kristen joins IUSD most recently from the San Mateo County Office of Education, where she served as Coordinator of Science and Engineering and was trained in design thinking and project-based learning.  As part of a regional team, she led the development and delivery of rigorous STEM curriculum and professional learning for Next Generation Science Standards.  She was also the director of the San Mateo County STEM Fair.

Prior to that, Kristen served as the AVID Regional Program Coordinator for San Diego County Office of Education.  In this role, she worked collaboratively to develop and deliver professional development and blended learning courses in the areas of Common Core State Standards, academic writing, Tutorology, critical reading and data analysis.  In addition, she taught middle school science for ten years in the San Juan Unified School District.

Irvine Shines at National History Day Competition

Irvine’s Sierra Vista Middle School students, Frances Kroll and Michelle Kroll, received first-place honors in the Junior Group Documentary Category during the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest, held from June 14 to 18 at the University of Maryland in College Park.  Their documentary was titled “Henry Ford: Driving America Into the Future,” and their teachers were Barbara Hall Jonathan Millers.frances-michelle-kroll

In the Junior Individual Exhibit category, Morgan Kopecky of Lakeside Middle School placed third with her submission, “Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Jon Pang was Morgan’s teacher.

More than 500,000 elementary, middle and high school students from the U.S. and beyond take part in National History Day competitions at the local, state and national levels each year, conducting extensive research based on a yearly theme before submitting complex projects in the form of papers, exhibits, performances, websites and documentaries. School competitions are held in the winter, followed by county and state contests.

In May, California’s National History Day event was held at William Jessup University in Rocklin, drawing more than 1,161 students from 25 counties. Fifteen of those students ultimately got the chance to bring their projects to the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest. This year’s theme was “Leadership and Legacy in History.”



There’s still time to enroll your child in IUSD’s preschool program for 2015-16

Irvine Unified’s preschool program still has space available for the 2015-16 school year.  The program, open to children ages 3 and 4 who live within the district’s attendance boundaries, is run by the staff of professional educators at IUSD’s Early Childhood Learning Center.  A variety of options are available, including subsidized funding for income-eligible families.  ECLC-cub

Established in 2002, the Early Childhood Learning Center 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 center’s website, or call 949-936-5890.