FIVEPOINT’S COMMITMENT TO
Irvine earns an A+ for education
The O.C. city is known around the world for excellence in education
By Kedric Francis | March 13, 2016
Evan Negi can’t wait to be a Beacon Park Bronco…or a Bengal, Puma or Hornet. Each is in the running to be the mascot for Irvine’s new Beacon Park School, a technologically advanced K-8 public school set to debut in time for the 2016-17 academic year. Evan and his fellow students, set to transition to Beacon Park School in August, were asked to weigh in on their mascot school color preferences.
“I love how the principal engaged students in the decision making process,” says Erica Negi, Evan’s mother and a former schoolteacher. “It captured Evan’s curiosity about the new school, and gave him a sense of ownership about his role in the student body.”
The Negi family moved to Pavilion Park in Irvine’s Great Park Neighborhoods in part so that Evan and his two siblings can attend Beacon Park School.
“When we decided to move, we specifically looked at neighborhoods in Irvine that would accommodate our lifestyle with a nearby school. Pavilion Park was the perfect fit for our family and three children.”
The Negis are not alone in choosing the city because of its exceptional schools. Irvine is world-renowned for excellence in education, with visitors, transplants and long-time residents coming to the area for its public schools and universities, and a vast array of enrichment, tutoring and advanced learning services.
Irvine Unified School District serves more than 32,000 K-12 students in 24 elementary schools, six middle schools, and five high schools. District schools have received The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award, the state’s highest education honor, 63 times. And all four of the district’s comprehensive high schools have been named Blue Ribbon Schools, the highest level of recognition in the U.S.
“Irvine Unified School District’s recognition as one of the highest-performing school districts in the nation is a testament to our collective efforts and the special partnership between our hardworking students, dedicated families and talented staff,” says Terry Walker, IUSD’s superintendent.
High school graduates can choose to attend Irvine Valley College, a two-year college that has the best transfer rate in Orange County. Or they can apply to attend one of the top four-year universities in the nation. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, UCI is home to more than 29,000 undergraduates and graduate students. It generates a $4.4 billion annual economic impact on the county and is its second-largest employer.
Many of the university’s schools, departments and programs are nationally ranked, three UCI researchers have won Nobel Prizes – two in chemistry and one in physics – and Times Higher Education ranked it No. 1 among universities in the U.S. under 50 years old.
UCI’s mascot is the anteater, chosen by students back in 1965.
Soon, Beacon Park School will have its own mascot, chosen with input from Evan Negi and his peers. “Broncos” appears to be one of the early favorites, though Evan’s mother likes the Hornets, for its connection to the pilots who flew jet aircraft of the same name at the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro.
But whatever the nickname, Negi is thrilled her kids are going to school in Irvine.
“As a former teacher, I am very picky about my children’s education and always seek the best,” she says. “Irvine is the best match for our family. Beacon Park School offers a world-class education that’s just steps from home.”
IRVINE’S NEXT SCHOOL SUCCESS STORY WILL BE AT
GREAT PARK NEIGHBORHOODS
Two new state-of-the-art schools under construction right in Great Park Neighborhoods: Beacon Park School, for children in kindergarten through 8th grade, and Portola High School, the newest high school in Irvine. Both schools are scheduled to open in August 2016.
PORTOLA HIGH SCHOOL
The 43-acre Portola High School will eventually be home to about 2,400 students. Among its educational facilities, Portola High will feature a performing arts building with a 700-seat theater, a dance studio, and an electives building that will house video production, 2D and 3D art, music rooms and science labs. A special education building that will teach essential life skills and a green building to teach hands-on curriculum about sustainability also are planned.
BEACON PARK SCHOOL
Beacon Park School is under construction and scheduled to open when school begins this year. It will be home to up to 1,000 students from kindergarten through 8th grade. The state-of-the-art campus incorporates the latest space-planning concepts designed to optimize learning. Beacon Park School’s 80,000 square feet will include 33 classrooms, a design lab, an innovation lab, a fitness lab and classrooms dedicated to science and music.