Principal's Message


Welcome to Plaza Vista School and our 24th 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 22-23?

Lots, this is just a sampling:

-Some talented and dedicated new staff.

-Thanks to Measure E, our new music building debuted after spring break. Also, our kindergarten wing is completely upgraded along with improvements to our upper-grade science portable.

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

-We are reverting to our year-round tradition! Our calendar and bell schedules 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 Sellers (MA). Other supports are listed here.

-Virtual world language courses after school for interested 8th graders through IUSD’s Irvine Virtual Academy (IVA).

-New electives for middle school including History of Rock & Roll, Drama, Drawing,  Creative Writing, and expanded math support.

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

-Every classroom has a device for each student AND students have the option to check out for home use.


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 2022-2023:

  • 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)
  • Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Kleon
  • 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