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Tustin Unified Schools Receive $600,000 Irvine Company Excellence in Education Grant

The Irvine Company announced today a $600,000 philanthropic “Excellence in Education” grant for Orchard Hills School and Beckman High School. The gift will fund technology master teachers who will serve as the ‘Irvine Company Digital Learning Coach’ at each school. The coaches, who specialize in integrating technology and curriculum in the classroom, will identify best practices in the 1:1 educational learning platform, collaborate with teachers at each school regarding app use and evolution, conduct technology program evaluations and provide ongoing technical support and issue resolution.

“This grant will benefit every child at both of these schools as each student will have either an iPad or laptop,” said Tustin Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin, who was recently named 2014 California Superintendent of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators. “This funding guarantees that they will receive maximum technical resources to realize the powerful potential of these learning tools sooner than currently possible with existing resources.”

Franklin added, “This gift will help these two schools optimize their benefit from our technology bond, part of the district’s most important instructional initiative, TUSD Connect. The community and staff worked very hard to ensure its approval so we can provide a 21st century education to our students, and this complements that effort.”

The Irvine Company and the Donald Bren Foundation have a long history of consistent, generous and passionate support of education in the school districts located on The Irvine Ranch. They have invested more than $200 million supporting students, teachers, principals, individual schools, school districts, universities and university scholars on The Irvine Ranch. The Irvine Company’s innovative education philanthropy, public policy initiatives and comprehensive planning have helped create and sustain some of the most successful and highly recognized school districts in the State of California.

“The Irvine Company and Tustin Unified School District have enjoyed a long partnership for many decades,” said Robin Leftwich, Vice President, Irvine Company. “Planning for and providing quality public education has been an integral part of our master planning, and this gift is the latest example as it will address the most important programmatic issue these schools face in the 21st century classroom.”

Since opening for enrollment in fall of 2010, Orchard Hills School has become one of Orange County’s most sought-after schools. Most recently the school was ranked No. 3 in the Orange County Register’s 2014 middle school rankings and Orchard Hills has also received a perfect “10” rating from the California Department of Education.

Ranked third among all public schools in Orange County by the Washington Post, Beckman High School has twice been named a California Distinguished School and is consistently acknowledged as one of the top high schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, placing Beckman in the top 1% of all high schools in the country.

Educational excellence is the hallmark of schools on The Irvine Ranch, and a principal reason people choose to live in the Villages of Irvine™. For more information about the Irvine Company’s investment in education, visit: www.irvinecompany.com.

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