District to Receive Second $2 Million Gift Tuesday

District to Receive Second $2 Million Gift Tuesday
School Board to get another installment of Donald Bren’s $20 million gift that funds science, music and art in grades 4 through 6 for 10 years.

Jorge Barrientos
Orange County Register

October 8, 2007

The School Board on Tuesday will receive the second installment — $2 million — of a $20 million donation from Donald Bren and the Irvine Co. that funds science, music and art in grades four through six for 10 years.

The Irvine Company pledged the $20 million in April 2006 for programs that typically are in danger of elimination when revenue is tight. The gift is intended to ensure the programs’ continuity regardless of budget demands.

The company gave its first installment of $2 million last October. The district will receive $2 million every year at the first school board meeting in October for Irvine’s Educational Enrichment Program.

A science demonstration and music performance by students will take place during a presentation at Tuesday’s board meeting. The district’s Education Services team will present a report on the program’s first year that will service as a baseline for performance growth in years that follow. Among some of the report’s numbers:

  •  Students in 194 classrooms in grades four through six at all 22 district elementary school receive instruction through the program.
  • Students in grades four, five and six receive two 60-minute lessons per week taught by a science specialist. More than 220 sixth-graders enter their projects in the district science fair.
  • More than $3 million was used to pay for teachers in science, music and art in 2006-07.
  • A survey of 579 students in grades four through six last year found that 86 percent think learning science now will help them as an adult; 73 percent consider art one of their favorite subjects; but 48 percent feel that what they learn in music helps with other subjects in school.
  • An end-of-the year evaluation found that 89 percent (about 5,000 students) received outstanding or satisfactory grades in art; and 87 percent (nearly 5,000) received an A or B in music;

A brief reception with food and music will be held before the meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the district administration center, 5050 Barranca Parkway. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the board room.

For a full agenda, go to and click on the “agenda for current board meeting” under the “board of education” tab.