Are You Prepared for an Earthquake?

April is Earthquake Preparedness Month and IUSD would like to take this opportunity to encourage families and students to be prepared.  Taking the following simple steps will go a long way helping to keep you and your family safe during an earthquake or other emergency.


Know the emergency plan at your child’s school Emergency Supplies

We maintain responsibility for our students. Campuses in the Irvine Unified School District will be secured and students will be kept at school until they can safely be released to parents or authorized guardians through an established reunification process.

We prepare to be self-sufficient. Though IUSD works closely with the Irvine Police Department, the Orange County Fire Authority and other agencies, it may be necessary to coordinate our own response efforts if emergency personnel are tending to more immediate needs. IUSD staff members have therefore been assigned specific roles and responsibilities, which are practiced during drills throughout the year.

Make sure we have your most up-to-date contact information.  Be sure that your school has updated information about how to reach parents and responsible caregivers to arrange for pick-up. During times of emergency the school telephones may be overwhelmed with calls, so it is important your school knows how to reach you.

Ways to Stay Connected to IUSD

School Messenger.  In 2013, IUSD introduced a brand new notification system, School Messenger, which enables near-instantaneous communication with District families via phone calls and emails. This web-based system enables IUSD to send out emails and pre-recorded calls to families in just minutes.  During an emergency, check your phones, voicemails and emails for the most up-to-date information from the District.

Social Media.  Stay connected to the District on Facebook and Twitter.  During recent disasters throughout the U.S. social media has proven to be a very effective and real-time way to communicate, especially when phone lines are jammed.  To connect with IUSD on Facebook, visit  To connect with us on Twitter, visit


The following is important information from the Irvine Police Department Office of Emergency Management about earthquake preparedness.  The Office of Emergency Management encourages residents to be prepared by making a family plan, stockpiling emergency supplies and knowing how to stay connected to the City for important updates.

Where to Start

Start by assembling a supply kit that is tailored to your family’s needs; develop a plan of action for meeting up with and communicating with family members; register your home and cell phones with the City’s iAlert system to receive emergency alerts and information; listen to 1640AM during an emergency for live updates, follow the City on Twitter and Facebook; and take a Community Emergency Response Team course offered by the City.

For more emergency preparedness information, visit

Emergency Supply List 

It is important for residents to be prepared at home and work. Below is a starter emergency preparedness checklist. Customize your checklist to meet your family’s individual needs.

  • Water (one gallon per day, per person)
  • Non-perishable food (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • A plan to communicate with your family
  • A designated meeting location for your family/loved ones
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit and medications (2-week supply)
  • Cell phones with chargers
  • Multipurpose tool, duct tape, tool kit and scissors
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents
  • Family and emergency contact information/card
  • Emergency blankets
  • Extra cash in $1 and $5 denominations
  • Baby supplies; games/activities for children
  • Pet supplies
  • Miscellaneous: two-way radios, extra keys to car and house and a manual can opener

Emergency Preparedness for Pets (
If you have pets, be sure to include them in your preparations and provide supplies for them as well.

Stay connected with the City when disaster strikes:

iAlert (
iAlert is the City’s mass notification system to provide residents with time-sensitive information during a disaster. Go online to register your home, cell and work phones and to customize your account to receive phone, text or email messages or messages through hearing impaired receiving devices. iAlert is a critical component of Irvine’s emergency communications.

1640AM is the City’s radio station, which is used to provide information to those in and around the Irvine area. Be sure to have your car radio and emergency radio pre-programmed to this station.

City of Irvine Website (
The City will post updates as soon as possible in the event of an emergency.

Social Media
Many times when a disaster causes phone service to be disrupted, the Internet is still working. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive updates and information.

Facebook (

Twitter (

ICTV Cox Channel 30
ICTV is the City’s television station that allows us to provide information to residents with Cox Cable (Channel 30) and U-verse (Channel 99) subscribers in and around the Irvine area.

Presentation: All Roads Lead to Calculus/Statistics

Dr. Patrick Callahan, a nationally recognized mathematician and education specialist, will give a presentation entitled “All Roads Lead to Calculus/Statistics” on Tuesday, April 21, 6-8 p.m. at University High School in the theater.  Please join us to hear Dr. Callahan provide information on mathematics education and college readiness as IUSD transitions to new state standards for instruction and an Integrated Mathematics Pathway.


“All Roads Lead to Calculus/Statistics”
Dr. Patrick Callahan
Tuesday, April 21, 6-8 p.m.
University High School, Theater


Outstanding IUSD Staff Honored by County

Wednesday, April 15, the Orange County Board of Education and County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares presented awards to two IUSD staff members for their dedicated and exceptional service.Janelle Photo

Janelle Cranch was one of six recipients of the County’s Classified Employees of the Year award for 2015.  The California Department of Education’s Classified School Employees of the Year
program annually highlights the contributions of employees who have performed exceptionally in support of public school students, from preschool through grade 12.

Janelle, a Buyer Technician – Fixed Assets, works in the District Office and is known for her customer service, leadership, expertise and for her service on a variety of committees with IUSD.  She is described as a tenacious advocate for staff and students and as an iconic leader.  Janelle serves as President of California School Employees Association, Chapter 517. Her commitment, compassion and work ethic have earned her a reputation as one of the most beloved and respected members of the school community.

Judy Richonne, a social science teacher at University High School, received the Outstanding Contributions to Education (OCTE) award. The OCTE program honors individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to education.Judy Photo

Judy’s accomplishments include her work as an advisor for History Day and the Holocaust Art and Writing Contest through Chapman University.  Judy has taught five different Advanced Placement courses in the past eight years and was an AP Exam Reader for the College Board from 2010 to 2014. In 2013, Ms. Richonne published “The Human Cost of War: Beyond the Statistics” in the International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies. She also presented at a teaching conference at California State University, Fullerton in 2013 on using human stories from the war in Iraq in the classroom.

“Ms. Richonne uses her knowledge and experience to engender a love for history in others,” said Orange County Board of Education President Dr. Ken L. Williams. “She has a unique appreciation for the powerful foundation of critical thinking and complex problem-solving the human story provides, as well as an appreciation of the simple beauty of the tale that is ours to share.”

Congratulations to both Janelle and Judy.

Pictured above:
-Janelle Cranch with IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker and Orange County Board of Education President Dr. Ken L. Williams
Judy Richonne with Orange County Board of Education President Dr. Ken L. Williams

New University High School Principal Selected

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kevin E. Astor has been selected as the new University High School Principal.  After engaging in an extensive recruitment and selection process, which included staff and community input, Dr. Astor emerged from a highly-qualified candidate pool as the best fit for University High School.  His expected start date is July 1, 2015.

Dr. Astor joins IUSD from Capistrano Valley High School, where he has served as Principal for the past four years.  He has extensive secondary education experience, and has provided leadership for programs such as International Baccalaureate (IB); an Academy of Math, Technology, and Science; and extensive Advanced Placement (AP) courses.  He is well-versed in instruction and Common Core standards.  Dr. Astor has a history of working at schools with diverse student populations, high academic achievement, and a broad range of extracurricular and athletic opportunities for students.  Above all, he is deeply committed to the success of University High School and is eager to begin building strong relationships with staff, students and parents.

Dr. Astor has also served as Principal for Orangeview Junior High School and Assistant Principal at both Cypress High School and Walker Junior High School in the Anaheim Union High School District.  He taught Spanish 1-4 and AP at the secondary level in several Anaheim-area schools.   

Dr. Astor holds a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California; a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from the United States International University, San Diego; and Bachelor’s degrees in Modern Foreign Language Education and Hispanic Language and Literature, from Boston University.  

He currently resides in Tustin with his wife Diane and their four children.  The Astors enjoy a rich home life filled with sports, school functions, and church.  Having grown up in Tustin, Dr. Astor has a keen appreciation and respect for the Irvine Unified School District and the exemplary reputation of University High School.  He is honored to have the opportunity to build partnerships with the community and serve alongside so many talented and dedicated staff members.

Dr. Astor is a passionate and talented leader who will be a great fit for University High School.  He is looking forward to meeting staff, students and parents as he begins his transition to University High in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we want to thank those who assisted in the selection process.

Textbooks recommended for the 2015-16 school year available for review

Pile of Textbooks

High school textbooks recommended for IUSD adoption were made available for public review on March 16.

These instructional materials are under consideration for 2015-16, covering the content areas of English/language arts, foreign language, mathematics, visual and performing arts, science, health and history, and social science.

The books will remain on display at each of IUSD’s four comprehensive high schools throughout the adoption process, which is expected to conclude with a vote by the Board of Education on June 23.  ***(Please note Board approval has been rescheduled from May 5 to June 23.)***

Kelvin Okino Named Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Construction

After an extensive interview process, IUSD is pleased to announce Kelvin Okino has been selected as Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Construction.   Mr. Okino joins the District with more than 28 years of construction management experience, working with nineteen K-12 school districts and five community college districts.

Mr. Okino’s extensive management and construction experience, along with his familiarity with the public sector, will enable him to make a smooth transition.  He will start later this month and report to the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services.

Before joining IUSD, Kelvin served as Area Manager for Vanir Construction Management, Inc., where he managed large construction projects throughout the Inland Empire and parts of Orange County and Arizona.  Prior to that, he was Vice President of Bernard Brothers, Inc. and Senior Project Manager for the JCM Group.

In his new role, Kelvin will be responsible for maintaining school facilities in accordance with the District’s mission, vision and goals.  He will oversee the development, implementation and management of all facilities planning and construction activities related to new school construction, renovation of existing schools, re-locatable classrooms and other support activities.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology from California State University, Long Beach and an Associate of Art’s degree in Architecture from Fullerton College. Kelvin is a longtime resident of Fullerton, where he lives with his wife, Patsy. Patsy is a teacher in Orange County and they enjoy their summers traveling to different countries.

Irvine Public Schools Foundation Grants $140,000 to 19 Schools for Innovative Projects

Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) recently granted $140,000 to 35 teachers for innovative projects at 19 schools in the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD), through its annual Innovative Teaching Award Program.  “We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the innovation that our schools are famous for,” stated Neda Eaton, IPSF President & CEO.  “This brings our total funding amount to $952,911 since 1996.” Logo.Full.Lg.Color.Center

The reception honoring recipients and funders was held at Strawberry Farms Golf Club in Irvine.  Funding for the Innovative Teaching Award Program is made possible by donations to the Parents Appreciating Teachers and Staff (PATS) program and IPSF partners, including Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation, Inc., COX Communications, Toshiba America Foundation, and the Exchange Club of Irvine.

The goal of the Innovative Teaching Award Program is to inspire and support innovative teaching and counseling in Irvine schools, and to provide direct resources for implementation in the classroom.  According to grant recipient Nancy Driscoll, “There is no state funding for our program, so we just feel really fortunate that IPSF has come through for us.” Grants were awarded for projects in robotics, health, technology, music, engineering, podcasting, 3D design, as well as many other areas.  A complete list of recipients and projects, along with a short video highlighting the impact of innovation grants, can be found at

IPSF Announces High School Academic Camps

Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) is excited to announce their 2015 High School Academic Camps for students entering grades 9-12 in fall 2015. Classes will be held Monday through Friday, June 22 through July 31, at Irvine High School, with a limited number of classes at University High School.  Logo.Full.Lg.Color.Center

Course offerings will focus on skill development in areas that students need support as they transition to high school, encounter college prep courses and prepare themselves for college. Additional offerings will include prep for the new PSAT and ACT exams, public speaking, entrepreneur and finance courses, as well as the Foundation’s new two-week STEAM Academy.

The online registration deadline is Saturday, May 2.  To register online, visit  Credit and debit cards are accepted.

For questions about program details, registration costs or logistics, please email


IUSD Music Series

The Irvine Unified School District, in partnership with the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, presents the Music Series, which features four performances by two Irvine high schools, Thursdays in April.NC IPSF Music Series_11x5 5_FINAL-REV_Page_1

University High School’s string quartet and Irvine High School’s jazz band will perform on the following dates:

  • April 9, 6-7 p.m. – Quail Hill Shopping Center (University High School String Quartet)
  • April 16, 6-7 p.m. – University Center (Irvine High School Jazz Band 1)
  • April 23, 6-7 p.m. – Orchard Hills Village Center (University High School String Quartet)
  • April 30, 6-7 p.m. – Woodbridge Village (Irvine High School Jazz Band 1)

Bring your family and friends to enjoy a fun-filled evening of music.  Also, enter to win one of several raffle prizes from participating retailers.  Visit for details.

District e-waste recycling event collected more than 24,000 pounds of waste

The Irvine Unified School District recently partnered with All Green on an e-waste recycling event held at the District Office. Approximately 16,524 pounds of e-waste was collected – at $.09 per pound, $1,487.16 was collected.

Recycling event 012415Additionally, there was 7,605 pounds of “no value” electronics collected. In total, IUSD diverted more than 24,000 pounds of electronics from entering the landfill.

Thank you to all who participated in this important event.  For more information about e-waste and hazardous disposal, visit the City of Irvine’s Environmental Programs webpage.