IUSD hosted two Portola High School dedication ceremonies to celebrate the District’s fifth comprehensive high school, which opened last August. Participants of both ceremonies learned about the features of this state-of-the-art educational facility, which was designed to leverage learning at the highest levels.
The first dedication ceremony, on Thursday, March 2, was led by IUSD Superintendent Terry L. Walker, Board President Ira Glasky and Principal John Pehrson. The community event included the Board of Education, parents, students, teachers, staff, the District’s development partners FivePoint and the Irvine Company, City of Irvine officials, community partners, and other state and local dignitaries. All participants had the opportunity to tour the school site and experience innovative features such as design and science labs, high-tech and flexible-design classrooms, dedicated music and performing arts spaces, collaborative workspaces, top-level sports facilities, and a world-class performing arts center.
“Today’s celebration is not a beginning, nor is it a finish line but rather the dedication of this amazing facility is an important milestone in providing a world-class educational environment,” said Ira Glasky, Irvine Unified School District Board of Education President. “Portola is our first high school built in accordance with IUSD’s award winning Education Specifications. The result of countless hours spent by our teachers, administrators and architects, these ed specs detail the features needed to support instruction and 21century learning at the highest levels.”
IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker echoed similar sentiments, “This school is more than a beautiful environment, it has been developed to create innovative spaces for learning. Most importantly, it is a symbol of our sincere promise to provide the highest quality educational experience we can envision.”
Principal John Pehrson concluded the official dedication by discussing the importance of preparing students for college and careers. “We’re so excited to take on this monumental task of preparing our students for 21stcentury college and careers. We have and will continue to assemble a world-class staff to meet this challenge with fervor and complete dedication.”
He then went on to thank the many people in attendance, who had active roles in the development and opening of the school site. “Thank you for your partnership in this journey and we’re so glad you are here to celebrate with us. Go Bull Dogs!”
To view the official dedication video, click here.
The following day, Portola High School students held a special dedication ceremony during their first-ever spring pep rally. It was a unique opportunity for students to come together and celebrate their school and their positive school culture.
Students representing the inaugural freshman class joined by Superintendent Terry Walker and Principal Pehrson for student ribbon cutting. During the rally, each of Portola’s spring sports teams ran through balloon arches, while the band performed with the flag and cheer teams. Students organized and ran the rally demonstrating their tremendous leadership as the school’s first-ever class.
Portola High School serves parts of North Irvine and in the years to come, the campus will accommodate approximately 2,400 Irvine students. Below is school information and features
Portola High School Vision
“Where every learner belongs, contributes and thrives.”
Portola High School Motto
PRIDE (Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Drive, Empathy)
Portola High School Stats
- Principal John Pehrson (previously served as principal at University High School for 10 years)
- More than 450 students are enrolled for the 2016-17 school year. (IUSD estimates the school will have more than 900 students for the 2017-18 school year.)
- The school opened with only freshmen in 2016-2017 and will add an additional class each subsequent year, resulting in a full 9-12 comprehensive high school by the 2019-2020 school year.
- The inaugural school staff for the 2016-17 school year is comprised of 65 employees, both certified and classified employees:
- 25 Teachers
- 12 Certified Staff
- 9 Special Education Employees
- 10 Custodial Staff
- 4 Food Service Staff
- 5 Administrative Staff
Portola High School Design and Features
Portola High School is a state-of-the-art education facility designed to meet the criteria developed by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, which helps establish campuses that are healthy, comfortable, energy efficient and aligned with modern teaching and learning.
The school’s educational technologies and amenities include:
- A performing arts building with a 720-seat theater, black box and dance studio
- An elective building that will house video production, 2D and 3D art, music rooms and more
- A student center featuring collaborative learning environment, a library with dedicated quiet rooms and an Innovation Lab
- Makers space
- 21st-Century classrooms with common areas and flexible furniture for collaborative learning
- Dedicated science labs
- A special education facility to facilitate essential life skills
- A green roof that will enable hands-on, sustainable learning
- A 2,044 seat gymnasium that includes training facilities and dedicated team rooms
- A 2,940 seat stadium with rubberized track and artificial turf
- An aquatics center with a 50-meter pool
- Eight tennis courts
- Varsity and JV baseball and softball fields
- Track and field facilities
- Two full soccer fields