Vision & Values

Since its opening in September, 1970, University High School in Irvine has been a comprehensive public high school which has fostered a commitment to excellence, social responsibility, high achievement, and rigorous programs. Empowering and inspiring both students and those who facilitate their learning, the high school provides an environment in which human needs, aspirations, and goals are addressed.

University High School is a concerned community of administrators, certificated and classified staffs, and parents who are responsible to students, the larger communities beyond the campus and each other. The primary purpose of the high school is to develop multifaceted programs which meet the diverse needs of all students, generate a sense of belonging and nurture purposeful life choices. This staff expects of students a commitment to their education which includes the completion of assignments, regular attendance, a respect for learning, and pride in achievement.

The staff of University High School advocates quality education and esteem-enhancing extracurricular activities. We affirm that those who are most responsible for the implementation of policy and most affected by its consequences should be participants in the policy's development. Though fulfilling different roles, each member of the staff contributes meaningfully to validating processes and programs, suggesting opportunities and directions for change, and discussing openly curriculum and budgetary challenges. This pro-active involvement and open communication ensures University High School's capacity for growth, renewal, and continuing commitment to excellence.


University High School will provide students with the means to acquire knowledge and develop habits of mind to prepare them for the world they will inherit. To this end, we foster skills in:

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Communications and Interpretation
  • Artistic Creation and Aesthetics
  • National and International Awareness
  • Personal and Social Development
  • Interrelationships of Science, Technology, Mathematics and Society


University High School’s learning environment is based upon a set of values shared among students, teachers, administrators, support staff and parents. These values become the unifying vision that guides our learning community.

Organization, Leadership, Vision and PurposeThe stakeholders

  • Encourage open communication.
  • Share governance through a decision-making process.
  • Balance academic freedom with agreed-upon practices and policies.
  • Implement and follow school policies consistently.

Curriculum: The stakeholders

  • Develop critical thinking skills.
  • Apply learning both inside and outside the school environment.
  • Articulate and collaborate between and among levels and across curriculum.
  • Meet and exceed state standards.
  • Evaluate and revise the curriculum to meet student needs.

Instruction: The stakeholders

  • Innovate and experiment.
  • Foster autonomy within a collaborative culture.
  • Coach students to think, to problem solve, and to exercise responsibility for their learning.
  • Accommodate a variety of learning styles.
  • Analyze student performance results to inform and guide instruction.

Assessment: The stakeholders

  • Encourage reflection and self-evaluation.
  • Design assessments to reflect state standards
  • Implement multiple types and sources of assessments to accommodate all students and learning types.
  • Use benchmarks and common assessments to guide instruction.

School Culture: The stakeholders

  • Pursue excellence.
  • Practice ethical behavior.
  • Embrace and respect the diversity of all cultures and individuals.
  • Cultivate individual talents and interests.
  • Encourage students to share meaningful life experiences and outside knowledge with their learning communities.
  • Empower and inspire students to use classroom learning to ignite student passion for meaningful social, political, intellectual and creative activity.
  • Balance mental and physical health.


Teachers at University High School work towards incorporating the six performance areas into their curriculum and daily instruction, such that, by graduation, students should be able to demonstrate skills in the following areas:

1. Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

A demonstrated ability to deal with complex, real-life problems logically

These traits address the challenges of assessing and using information to make thoughtful decisions.

  • question
  • think critically
  • find, select, apply information
  • problem solve

4. National and International Awareness

A demonstrated knowledge of national and international issues

These traits deal with thoughtful human interactions that foster harmony and understanding.

  • consider and understand the perspectives of others
  • participate in discussions of school, community, and world issues
  • act in a socially responsible manner

2. Communications and Interpretation

A demonstrated ability to communicate in the English language and also in an additional language

These traits relate to conveying and receiving information.

  • read and listen for meaning
  • speak, and write clearly
  • demonstrate basic proficiency in a language other than English
  • demonstrate a basic understanding of numbers, and mathematical symbols

5. Personal and Social Development

A demonstrated ability to handle real-life problems in finance, fitness, and day-to-day living, and community service

These traits direct personal skills and assets towards successful human interactions and make a person able to harness his/her talents for a productive life.

  • participate and work cooperatively in groups
  • demonstrate intellectual independence
  • adhere to Trojan Code of Conduct, which includes honesty, respectfulness, and accepting differences
  • be physically fit
  • serve the school and/or community
  • manage time
  • conduct career exploration

3. Artistic Expression and Aesthetics

A demonstrated ability to produce an artistic performance or creative product that reflects the student's understanding of the arts

These traits deal with the appreciation and expression of creativity through images, sounds, movements, and words as a means of understanding culture.

  • acquire knowledge and skills necessary to express themselves in an artistic manner
  • express themselves creatively using various artistic media
  • make aesthetic judgments based on criteria
  • identify the importance of art in diverse cultures

6. Interrelationship of Science, Mathematics, Technology, and Society

A demonstrated ability to recognize the interrelationships of science, mathematics, and technology as they relate to everyday experiences in the world around us

These traits enable the student to make decisions in a complex technological society.

  • draw conclusions using inductive and deductive reasoning
  • use the scientific method
  • demonstrate the use of current technology
  • demonstrate technological literacy including the ethical issues and impact of technology on society
  • understand and interpret scientific articles, graphs, and calculations.