Principal's Message



Welcome to Plaza Vista School and our 23rd session! 

Plaza Vista opened its doors in 1999 as a year-round option for Irvine students with a focus on community, the arts, and academics. Today, Plaza Vista is a neighborhood school with many of the traditions from its outset continuing to thrive. We’re honored to serve your children here at Plaza Vista and endeavor to provide the highest quality educational experience we can envision.

Plaza Vista is a California Gold Ribbon School, a (twice awarded) California Distinguished School, and an Educational Results Partnership and Campaign for Business and Education Excellence California Honor Roll School. Our students' achievement on standardized exams consistently ranks amongst the highest in the state (like other Irvine schools!). 

Science specialists and science teachers serve students starting in 4th grade. Our supportive PTA helps fund technology, art, lunch time activities, coding classes, supplementary curriculum, and more! IPSF helps fund numerous instructional aides (with many of those staff holding teacher credentials), music classes for all students, and more!

Computers are available for students in all grades along with Chromebooks and iPads (thanks in part to our amazing PTA). We are a 1:1 (computing device per student) K-8!

Plaza Vista’s Positive Behavior Intervention System framework is PRIDE- Partnership, Respect, Integrity, Determination, and Empathy. Our entire student body benefits from our middle school students’ leadership via student council, PRIDE mentoring, National Junior Honors Society, No One Eats Alone Day, recycling work, and more.

Our amazing PTA strengthens community and provides resources for our school program in numerous ways including our renowned annual carnival in May (please join us!), the Jog-a-thon, the annual membership drive, family nights (which have included a magic show, bowling, restaurant nights, a “drive-in” movie, bingo, and many more), guest speakers, the book fair, assemblies, bake sales, lunch-time activities and games, field trips, Red Ribbon Week, and more!

The Mission Statement of Plaza Vista is: All staff through collaboration, shared leadership, and while engaging in intellectual risk-taking, will support every child. An unofficial but hallowed slogan here painted in the hallway is: We take care of this place, we take care of each other.

What’s new in 20-21?

Lots, this is just a sampling:

-Some talented and dedicated new staff.

-Nearly all classes/grades will experience smaller class sizes due to increased staffing in IUSD.

-We are on a traditional calendar for 21-22 due to the pandemic and are slated to return to year-round calendar in 22-23. IUSD calendars are here.

-Increased staff support for our students that speak a language other than English at home.

-Increased social-emotional support staff for our students including our elementary resource counselor Christina Kee (MFT) and counselor Dana Parola (MA).

-High school virtual Spanish 1 for interested 8th graders.

-An updated library (new books and furniture!).

-New electives for middle school including coding, history of film, wellness, and the return of student government & yearbook.

-More digital tools and curricular supports for students and teachers including 2nd Step, Calm Classroom, Delta Math, Florida Virtual Academy, i-Ready, Lexia, and ST Math.

-More information on this unique year is located here.

We also feature after school classes and childcare (before and after school) on site. If you are new to the area and/or are interested in a tour, please contact our front office.



Plaza Vista School- home of Stars!

James Parker, Principal

(949) 936-6950


Mr. Parker’s Top 10 Suggested Readings 2021-2022:

  • Daily 5: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades by Boushey & Moser
  • How to Lead: Wisdom from the World's Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changes by RRubenstein
  • Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success by Segal
  • Leaders of Learning: How District, School, and Classroom Leaders Improve Student Achievement by DuFour & Marzano
  • Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing Students’ Potential through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and innovative Thinking by Professor Boaler (Stanford)
  • No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Hastings & Meyer
  • Square Peg: My Story and What it Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries, & Outside-Of-The-Box Thinkers by Professor Rose (Harvard)
  • Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Kleon
  • Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work & Life by Varol
  • Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon by Bryar & Carr

Have a suggested title? Please let Mr. Parker know!