LearnBoost welcomes Irvine High
During the 1988–89 school year, Irvine High School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.
Additionally, in 2000 and again in 2006, the Accrediting Commission for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges awarded Irvine High a full six-year term of accreditation under the Pursuing Excellence format.
Irvine High School has also been named a Grammy “Signature Gold” for its instrumental and choral music departments.
Soon after it opened in 1970, University High School, the first high school in Irvine, began to get too crowded from the influx of residents moving to Irvine's fast-developing housing tracts. The school district had already planned for a second high school to be built on what was then the extreme north side of the city across Walnut Avenue from the Greentree residential tract which was completed in 1973. Dr. Dean Waldfogel was chosen to be the first principal of Irvine High School; Waldfogel selected his faculty of a dozen teachers from a large number of applicants. The fledgling organization accepted its first class of 300 freshmen in September, 1975. Because the high school's buildings were still under construction and not ready for occupation, the new high school was housed in extra classrooms and portable buildings at Rancho San Joaquin Middle School, sharing facilities such as sports, music and the library with the younger students there. The new Irvine High School campus opened its doors in September, 1976, taking in as sophomores the former class of "Rancho" ninth graders as well as a new class of freshmen. Each successive year added another class of freshmen and in September, 1978, the high school finally had all four classes of students. Construction continued on campus during this time, with the theater and the main gym becoming available in 1977, the football-track field in 1978 and the aquatic center in 1979. The first class graduated in June, 1979.
The campus itself is notable for its architecture. It was designed by architect Ron D. Young in the Brutalist architecture style, and built largely of tilt up concrete slabs featuring distinctive cast geometric inlays. The shapes and angles of floorplans and design motifs were based on the hexagon. The initial layout of the Humanities building envisioned two or three teachers and their respective students sharing a single open plan hexagonal room, but this quickly proved too distracting. Portable office dividers were placed in a line to define classroom boundaries, but noise was still a problem. After two years of such conditions, walls were erected to close off the large, open hexagons.
The school has developed an acronym of values:
Mark "Smerk" Mangan (63-) Pro surfer
- Alderwood Basics Plus Elementary
- Alternative Education-San Joaquin High
- Bonita Canyon Elementary
- Brywood Elementary
- Canyon View Elementary
- Meadow Park
- Lakeside Middle
- Irvine Unifiedother Special Programs
- Irvine Adult Transition Programs
- Greentree Elementary
- Eastshore Elementary
- Deerfield Elementary
- Culverdale Elementary
- College Park Elementary
- Woodbury Elementary
- Westwood Basics Plus Elementary
- Westpark Elementary
- Vista Verde
- Venado Middle
- University Park Elementary
- University High
- Turtle Rock Elementary
- Stone Creek Elementary
- Springbrook Elementary