Issuu on Google+

A guide to great schools



Kids Love School That’s not such a crazy statement when you live at Great Park Neighborhoods. Because here kids can walk or ride their bikes to school. Have classmates as their neighbors. Enjoy a new playground at Beacon Park School that takes recess to the next level. And at Portola High School, join extracurricular clubs and sports teams that help them stand out and fit in at the same time. What kid isn’t going to love that? And don’t worry parents, there are plenty of things for you, too. Like state-of-the-art facilities. A commitment to the arts. Great teachers. And the fact that the schools here are part of the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) — one of the best in Orange County. We





Why weren’t schools like this when we were younger?



PRINCIPAL BOB CURLEY We went to the principal’s office. But don’t worry. We just had a nice chat with Principal Bob Curley about Beacon Park School and all the amazing things it offers students and their families. No stranger to IUSD, Mr. Curley has been with the District for 26 years. But he’s excited to help set the course for a brand new school. “The beautifully designed facility creates an environment conducive to learning. Flexible workspaces, the latest in technology, an integrated curriculum, personalized instruction, involved teachers … they all help kids want to come to school,” Curley said. And combining the elementary and middle schools gives kids an experience they can’t learn from a textbook. As Mr. Curley states, “By having K-8 on one campus, we create opportunities for our older students to partner with younger ones — letting them act as

Beacon Park School is open for grades K-6, and will grow into a K-8

mentors and tutors, and giving them

over the next two years. It has been designed to meet criteria developed

a sense of ownership and leadership.

by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, which establishes

That’s something they’ll carry with

campuses that are environmentally sustainable, energy-efficient and aligned with modern teaching methods. In keeping with this campus concept, the grounds include covered walkways between each of the buildings, a separate kindergarten area with play structures, outdoor

them to high school and beyond.” So, what does Principal Curley love most about his job? “Being able to provide an academic program where every student truly feels like they

learning areas between classroom buildings, student gardens, grass

have a place. And where parents walk

fields and grade-level play equipment.

away with the trust that their kids are in a great spot.”

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. ALBERT EINSTEIN

Art is celebrated on many levels at Great Park Neighborhoods. These featured self-portraits were made at an Art Camp hosted at our first neighborhood, Pavilion Park. Thanks to all of our budding artists.



PRINCIPAL JOHN PEHRSON Is there such a thing as an A+++? If so, Portola High School principal John Pehrson has earned it. Mr. Pehrson came to the school after ten years as principal of University High School, which has been consistently recognized as one of the top high schools in the nation by publications including Newsweek and

The Washington Post. Needless to say, he’s brought a lot of experience and ideas to Portola High School — like providing kids with a “Skills Toolbox”— 19 essential skills that students will ‘sharpen’ during their four years at Portola High School, setting them up for success beyond graduation. “Our goal is to develop well-rounded students, and prepare them for a changing world,” Pehrson states. That well-rounded education comes from a ‘cross-curricular’ concept, where

Portola High School is IUSD’s fifth comprehensive high school. While its first year includes incoming freshmen only, each consecutive year will add an incoming freshman class. Serving Great Park Neighborhoods,

teachers work together as a team, and show students how to draw connections across content areas. “Every teacher hired here loves kids. Students will go home

as well as part of North Irvine, the school was designed to meet

saying that every teacher is their favorite

criteria developed by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools.

teacher,” said Pehrson.

The all-new, state-of-the-art facilities feature flexible classrooms and

Of course, that’s what it’s all about.

workspaces, fostering teamwork and collaboration. And unique areas

Kids loving their teachers. And kids

like a “Maker’s Lab,” complete with laser cutter, sewing machines, film

loving school. And with state-of-the-art

equipment and more, provide a place to work on creative projects

facilities, motivated and highly qualified

individually or with classmates. Combined with major athletic facilities, a full performing arts center and a challenging curriculum, there is truly something for every student’s interests.

teachers, and an integrated, challenging curriculum — all the elements are there. “I love seeing the looks on kids’ faces when they come here,” Pehrson said. “I love hearing them say how awesome it is.”


Behind Every Great School is a Great School District OR IN OUR CASE, A SUPER-GREAT, TOP-RATED SCHOOL DISTRICT.

You probably already know a lot about the Irvine Unified School District. The top scores, the honors and accolades. So maybe you already know the following facts. Don’t worry, there’s no pop quiz.

All four current comprehensive high schools have been named a Blue Ribbon School, the nation’s highest level of recognition for K-12 campuses.


In 2015, IUSD was named one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” by the highly regarded NAMM Foundation. The District earned the same honor in 2010, 2013 and 2014.

IUSD is at the forefront of the ‘green schools’ movement — promoting environmentally friendly construction, with more than two dozen solar installations including carports and rooftops.

The District’s schools have earned the California Distinguished School designation — considered the state’s highest honor — 63 times since 1986.

The Irvine Unified School District is unmatched in its performance at the annual Orange County Science & Engineering Fair Awards. Of the 170 awards presented at the 2015 competition, over 37% were earned by IUSD students.

In Irvine, around the perimeter of the Orange County Great Park, a new kind of community is being created, with walking and biking trails to connect to the greater Irvine trail system, to the Irvine Transportation Center and into the Orange County Great Park. In the near future there will be a mix of shops, offices and even more schools—all close to home. Anchored in the values of Irvine, but designed to enrich life in a variety of innovative ways. Beacon Park Information Center 501 Benchmark, Irvine CA 92618 949.733.3260

© 2017 Heritage Fields El Toro, LLC. All rights reserved. Great Park Neighborhoods, the bicycle logo, and “Life Will Be Different Here” is a registered trademark of and “Live Will Be Different Here” are a registered trademarks of Heritage Fields El Toro, LLC (“Heritage Fields”) dba Great Park Neighborhoods used for the marketing of new home neighborhoods in Irvine, California. Five Point Communities Management, Inc. (“Five Point”) is the development manager of Great Park Neighborhoods. Information contained herein regarding the Irvine Unified School District (“IUSD”), and Beacon Park School was obtained from IUSD and is subject to change for reasons beyond the control of, and is not guaranteed by, Heritage Fields and/or Five Point Communities. For further information regarding IUSD and Beacon Park School, contact the Irvine Unified School District at (949) 936-5000. Photography does not reflect any ethnic or racial preference. (1/17)

A Guide to Great Schools