Parents, teachers, administrators and members of the community gathered at the newly constructed Woodbridge High School Performing Arts Center for the annual State of the District address to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Irvine Unified School District and to honor the unique commitment and dedication of the entire Irvine community to student achievement and academic excellence. Attendees cheered as Superintendent Terry Walker accepted a special $4 million contribution from Irvine Company and The Donald Bren Foundation in honor of the district’s golden jubilee. This gift represents a $2 million annual increase to the Company’s 20-year, nearly $50 million commitment to support arts, music and science education in the district.
“Thanks to community support like that of Irvine Company and its Chairman Donald Bren, Irvine students have flourished, leading the state in the arts, math and sciences. This success has been achieved while many school districts have been forced to drastically cut these programs. This remarkable gift on the occasion of our 50th anniversary and our ongoing partnership will allow the district to further expand our enrichment programs and continue to enhance our commitment to educational excellence,” Walker said.
The Excellence in Education Enrichment Fund, established by Irvine Company’s funding commitment, helps provide art, music and science teachers to every fourth- through sixth-grader in the district. Instruction includes two one-hour science lessons per week, two 40-minute music lessons per week, and six one-hour art lessons per year – all taught by highly specialized instructors. Since 2006, this program has helped more than 150,000 elementary students and has propelled IUSD students to consistently outperform their peers in California and the nation in many of these subjects.
“Education has always been at the core of our planning principles in Irvine, and today’s contribution deepens our Company’s decades-long partnership with IUSD, students and families to support enrichment programs in science, art and music,” said Irvine Company Senior Vice President Jeff Davis.