Seven IUSD Campuses Earn California Distinguished School Honors for 2009

Five middle schools and two high schools in the Irvine Unified School District have earned the state’s highest level of recognition for public schools, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell announced this week. 

Lakeside, Rancho San Joaquin, Sierra Vista, South Lake and Venado middle schools were all named California Distinguished Schools for 2009, as were Northwood and Woodbridge high schools.

“This recognition is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our students, parents, staff and community toward setting high expectations for each student,” said Dr. Gavin Huntley-Fenner, president of IUSD’s Board of Education. “To have a single California Distinguished School in the district is a tremendous accomplishment. To have seven schools earn this prestigious honor in one year is truly phenomenal. I am particularly proud because the award recognizes the progress these schools have made in narrowing the achievement gap.”

Now in its 24th year, the California School Recognition Program spotlights exemplary elementary and secondary campuses in alternating years. This year, 136 middle schools and 125 high schools were honored after each submitted a comprehensive narrative application and took part in an extensive site visit.

Campuses in the Irvine Unified School District have now earned the label of California Distinguished School 40 times since 1986, and all of IUSD’s middle schools and comprehensive high schools have been recognized at least once. (See the chart below.)

All 2009 honorees will be celebrated during an awards ceremony on Friday, May 29 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. This year’s California Distinguished School recipients will retain the designation through 2013, when they are eligible to reapply.

For more information on California Distinguished Schools, or to view the complete list of 2009 honorees, go to

IUSD California Distinguished Schools
(1986 through 2009)

Alderwood Basics Plus School — 2002, 2008
Bonita Canyon Elementary — 1989, 2006
Brywood Elementary — 1991
Canyon View Elementary — 2002, 2008
College Park Elementary — 2006
Culverdale Elementary — 1998
Deerfield Elementary — 2006
Greentree Elementary — 1998
Irvine High — 1988, 2007
Lakeside Middle — 2005, 2009
Los Naranjos Elementary — 1998
Meadow Park Elementary — 1998
Northwood Elementary — 2002
Northwood High — 2005, 2009
Rancho San Joaquin Middle — 1996, 2009
Santiago Hills Elementary — 1998
Sierra Vista Middle — 1996, 2009
South Lake Middle — 1999, 2009
Springbrook Elementary — 2000
Stone Creek Elementary — 1998
Turtle Rock Elementary — 2002
University High — 1988, 1992
University Park Elementary — 2000
Venado Middle — 1994, 2009
Vista Verde Elementary — 1993
Westpark Elementary — 2002
Westwood Basics Plus Elementary — 1998
Woodbridge High — 1986, 2009