Irvine 92604 Is Home To Irvine High School, #5 Ranked High School In Orange County, Located In Greentree Community

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Irvine High School (Irvine, CA 92604) opened in 1976 in a mostly residential neighborhood opposite the Greentree community. Being one of four comprehensive high schools in the Irvine Unified School District, it currently supports a student enrollment of 2050.

It was named a California Distinguished School by the State Board of Education and received the highest award for Excellence in Education from the U. S. Department of Education.

Additionally, in 1994, the Accrediting Commission for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges awarded Irvine High a full six-year term of accreditation under the Pursuing Excellence format.

Classrooms are housed in single-story buildings with indoor hallways, and all buildings converge on an outdoor quad area in the center of campus. Irvine High also earned the highest score for school environment and culture among the Register’s Top 10-ranked schools and fourth highest overall.

Administrators and teachers credit a targeted intervention strategy that emphasizes personal ethics and the development of well-rounded citizens.

This recipe for success is emblazoned on a painted mural inside the school’s practice gym that reads, “Integrity, Honesty, Social responsibility,” creating the acronym IHS – not coincidently the school’s initials.

“It’s a very accepting, gentle school,” Principal Monica Colunga said as she watched students walk through campus on a recent school day. “You set the tone right away in the ninth grade – we have certain expectations founded in our values, and the students rise to the occasion.”

The strategy ensures a majority of students on the campus take ownership of their educational experience. So many of the students have been molded around a model of tolerance and respect, in fact, that students from rougher schools who transfer here are typically transformed themselves, Colunga said.

Added 15-year-old freshman Min’ka Lewis: “It’s easier to get along with different varieties of people here. You feel safe and comfortable – everyone cares about you.”

Every student at the school is paired with a faculty mentor who stays with the student all four years.

During 10-minute homeroom periods three days a week, students meet with their mentors to discuss everything from their course loads to problems at home. The mentors also meet with the students’ parents each year during a mandatory conference.

“Our students really trust us because they feel they have a teacher who’s their friend, not giving them a grade,” said social science teacher Terry Griffin, who has been at the school for 29 years. “Students don’t have as many opportunities to fall through the cracks. We know their families, and they have an intimate relationship with us.”

Because classes are challenging, Irvine High has worked hard to offer as many diversions as possible. The school operates on a complex “blended block” schedule that allows students to enroll in eight classes each semester, not including zero period. Some classes meet daily; others meet every other day. The schedule gives many students ample time to participate in performing arts and athletics, Colunga said.

 

(Excerpts from OC Register)