Irvine 92612 Has "University High School", Orange County’s #3 Rated High School

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University High (Irvine, CA 92612) is a comprehensive high school in Orange County, California with an enrollment of 2,476 students. The school’s 55 acre campus is in close proximity to several institutions of higher learning, including the University of California, Irvine, Concordia University and Chapman University.
It is in the Irvine Unified School District.
It’s the oldest and most highly regarded of Irvine’s four public high schools, and it consistently earns its reputation through award-winning academic competition teams, dozens of National Merit Finalists each year, and top-notch arts and music programs.
In addition, University High School is the home of the Orange County Deaf and Hard of Hearing program with an enrollment of 103 students who fully participate in the school’s academic, athletic and activities programs. Ninety-six percent of University High School graduates enter post-secondary educational programs
 
University is not a magnet school or a charter school; in fact, virtually all students live within its attendance boundaries, and the only way for a student at another Irvine Unified school to transfer into the school is if a University student transfers out.

The school consists of a collection of one-story, tan-brick buildings spread out across 55 grassy acres in a mostly residential enclave of Irvine’s Turtle Rock community. The school’s motto is “Unity through diversity” – reflecting its multicultural student body and its role as host to a county program for about 115 deaf and hearing-impaired students.

The concentration of academically talented students has created a highly competitive environment.

“There are so many intelligent kids in your class that the teacher can’t give everyone an A, so it’s about striving for the good grade,” said 17-year-old senior Jacob Choi, who will attend Vanderbilt University this fall. “But the competition definitely causes you to strive for excellence – it’s not a negative environment.”

While the school’s curriculum is designed to appeal to all students, including those less academically inclined, tremendous resources have been invested into helping the best and brightest excel, Principal John Pehrson said.

Classes are taught at a higher intellectual level than average, and teachers are encouraged to constantly find ways to challenge their top students.

“My teachers are able to go way beyond the standards and have really engaging activities and discussions in class,” Pehrson said. “It’s a cycle – the kids allow the teachers to go deeper, and the teacher trains the kids to be better thinkers. It gets to the point where there’s no limit to what the kids can learn and do.”

The competitive environment also encourages average and struggling students to achieve at higher levels