Distinctly Irvine


Schools & Education

From preschool to post-graduate education, Irvine gets top marks

Initially built around the University of California at Irvine (UCI) – now one of the highest ranking state Universities in the nation – the City of Irvine has created an environment that enables high academic achievement from pre-K through doctoral programs.

Quality education is the cornerstone of all great communities, and Irvine is a great community. Irvine’s reputation as a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family is due in no small part to its schools and the community’s support.

Ever since the first bell rang at Irvine’s Public School more than a century ago, the Irvine Company has championed the city’s schools, teachers and schoolchildren.  From major financial gifts to enhance enrichment programs in music, science and art, to a unique collaboration with the city and school district in planning, designing and building beautiful modern schools, the Irvine Company has been dedicated to ensuring that the city’s students – tomorrow’s leaders – have access to the very finest education possible.


Elementary – High School

The Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) consistently ranks among the finest in the nation.  Students in the district are consistently in the top five in Orange County for average SAT scores, and more than 90% of the district’s high school graduates attend college.

IUSD Facts:

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

+ In both science and visual and performing arts, IUSD high school students significantly outperform their peers throughout California, the United States and the world.

+ At the Orange County Science & Engineering Fair Awards, IUSD students earned 49 out of 154 awards presented.

+ For the second year in a row, Northwood High School was selected as a Grammy Signature School by the Grammy Foundation.  The foundation has awarded 10 Grammy Signature awards to IUSD high schools, more than any other California district.  

+ Irvine Unified high school students scored significantly higher than state, U.S. and global students in biology, chemistry, physics, art history, music theory and studio art drawing. 

Student Achievement is Soaring
Irvine Unified Ranks Tops in Common Core Tests in California - The Orange County Register

The Irvine Company’s investment in schools, along with District leadership and excellent teachers, is having a transformative influence, empowering Irvine students with knowledge, creativity and experience.  The results speak for themselves.


Elementary – High School

The well-respected Tustin Unified School District is committed to a legacy of excellence in education and to teaching students K-12 in a dynamic and challenging environment. High standards of excellence in academics, visual and performing arts, and athletics are the cornerstone of Tustin schools, coupled with a major emphasis on educational technology in the classroom.

From kindergarten through high school graduation, children have access to signature programs, the experience of challenging curriculum and exceptional teachers whose highest priority is student achievement.

TUSD Facts:

+ Tustin Unified has received eight National Blue Ribbon School honors, 37 California Distinguished School awards, and six Title I Academic Achievement School awards.

+ Tustin Unified offers STEM at each of its middle and high schools. This enriched Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Program engages students in rich and rigorous STEM learning by using hands-on, project-based curriculum to create, build and apply math and science concepts to everyday problem solving.

+ Currently K-8 students are provided Apple iPads and high school students receive Toshiba Proteges.  Coupled with classrooms equipped with interactive whiteboards, Apple TV and new teacher computers, these advanced tools cultivate a “Future Ready” classroom experience. 


The Benefit of Benefactors

From 2003 to 2005, the Irvine Company made major annual financial gifts to support art, music and science programs.  Then, in 2006, the company and Donald Bren Foundation announced an unprecedented $20 million gift that established the Excellence in Education Enrichment Fund in the Irvine Unified School District.  Since then, thousands of fourth- through sixth-graders have received quality instruction in art, music and science from specialist teachers.

District officials emphasized the programs’ ripple effect on Irvine’s students, saying the programs are “among the cornerstones” of the district.  “The depth and spread of these programs have transformed our schools and changed the way our students interact with other subject areas.”

The successful enrichment programs throughout the years have benefited from true community partnership.  In addition to the Irvine Company and Donald Bren Foundation, participants have included the Irvine Public Schools Foundation and, of course, parents.

For more information, visit: www.goodplanning.org.