Principal's Message






Welcome to Plaza Vista School and our 25th Anniversary! 


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 23-24?

Lots, this is just a sampling:

-We have hired some of the best staff around for our vacancies. Learn more about them here.

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

-A new playground is being installed and will be ready on or about August 1st.

-The return of Lunchtime Activities provided by the City of Irvine and our PTA.

-Increased social-emotional support for our students including a brand new Wellness Space in partnership with CHOC, Orange County Department of Education, and the Tsao Family Foundation. .

-New and improved middle school electives including AVID, psychology, Introduction to Spanish, Introduction to Drama & Stagecraft, and more!

-Every elementary classroom will have 1 device per student and students will have the option to check out a device for use at home. Students in middle school will check out a device for school and home use. We recommend Chromebook insurance for checked out devices.


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 2023-2024:

  • 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 Rubenstein
  • Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success by Segal
  • 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)
  • Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention- and How to Think Deeply Again by Hari
  • The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Desmond Tutu
  • 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 email Mr. Parker!