Irvine 92604 Is Home To Woodbridge High School, #10 Rated Public High School In Orange County, CA

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Woodbridge High School (Irvine 92604) is comparable in size to University High School down the road, but at just 22 acres, the grounds are less than half the size. Established in 1980, Woodbridge has approximately 2,200 students and is a California Distinguished School. It is in the Irvine Unified School District.

woodbridgehighschoolThe second-floor walkway was built to ease pedestrian traffic along the campus’s narrow, ground-floor walkways. But it’s also helped foster the development of a family atmosphere, faculty and students say. You can’t help but cross paths with your classmates and teachers – all day, every day.

“There’s a real sense of community,” said 23-year social science teacher Joan Malkin, selected by the county Department of Education this year as one of the five Orange County Teachers of the Year. “Because it’s a small setting, we see more of each other. Everything is closer, so everybody goes to the faculty room on breaks.”

At Woodbridge, the lines between campus and surrounding community have been blurred – intentionally, to foster a community feel. There wasn’t enough room on the campus to build all of the necessary athletic fields, for example, so student athletes trek to nearby Alton Athletic Park via a custom-designed walkway that passes under West Yale Loop street.

At the west end of campus sits a Mormon church, separated from the school buildings by a parking lot that is shared between school and church. Students and staff use the lot on weekdays, the church at night and on weekends.

And wedged between the main campus and the school’s tennis courts is a Presbyterian church.

“We’d like more room, sure,” said Principal Tom Nelson, who has been with the school since its founding 28 years ago. “But being condensed in here, we’ve been able to create a nice community.”

Woodbridge prides itself on providing a well-rounded high school experience – with strong arts, music and sports offerings – while still providing a rigorous curriculum.

In fact, Woodbridge has the county’s fourth highest participation rate in arts and music classes, behind only the Orange County High School of the Arts and two fellow Irvine schools. The school also scored highest in its district on the Register’s Best High Schools sports and fitness indexes.

“It’s really the balance of activities here,” said 18-year-old senior Matt Rashoff of Irvine, who will attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this fall.

“We downplay the frenzy of working toward college,” Nelson said. “We’re able to create a really rigorous curriculum, but also create another venue to relieve some of that pressure.”

 

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