Academic Model Selection for the 2020-21 School Year

Action Required by Wednesday, July 22!
Select your model

IMPORTANT: Academic model selection is required for each IUSD student by July 22 at 5 PM.
Information on how to complete this process is here.



Dear NHS Community,

Just a reminder, that all students will begin school online, in a distance learning format this year. However you still need to select an academic model in the event that we can return to school. Thank you to those of you who have selected a model already.

Please note, the hybrid model is the NHS model that will allow your student to come to school in-person for part of the school week when it is safe. The NHS hybrid program will start online, like the rest of the district, but it will be much more structured than the emergency distance learning schedule for last year. Students will be engaged in live, online time with teachers on a much more regular basis. We feel fortunate to have learned so much last year about developing courses online and ways to best engage our students. Opening school this year, the NHS staff has been able to plan ahead for this sort of delivery model and is prepared to offer a comprehensive program to our students. The NHS staff is excited to have our students in this program back on campus as soon as it is safe. We miss our students!

I can assure you that the guidelines for returning, as well as the many safety measures that NHS and IUSD will implement will support the safety of staff and students. Measures include the obvious such as mandatory face coverings, hand washing, and cleaning. We also continue to look at measures such as ways minimize contact, keep students in small groups whenever possible, ensure safe transition patterns, and limit unstructured time while ensuring students have ways to interact with their peers in a safe manner. The NHS staff will take every opportunity to ensure that every single safety protocol is in place and equipment secured for our safe return.

If you do not believe your student will be able to return to NHS even when the guidelines allow, I would suggest you select the Irvine Virtual Academy at San Joaquin (IVA). This will be an all online program with no in person contact, even when guidelines are lifted. In this program, the curriculum is not the NHS curriculum and there will be some different transitions. However, for students who need this sort of a program, we will do our best to ease the transition back to NHS when it is time.

Again, every IUSD family must make a selection for at least the first term of this year (semester) by this Wednesday, July 22 at 5 PM. To make the Academic Model selection for your student you must login to Parent Portal and follow the prompts. Step by step directions are also available by clicking here. If you would like to change your selection, you may do so by this Wednesday but selections will be final for the entire first semester.

Leslie Roach, Ed.D.




Good afternoon NHS families,

As you know these are difficult and evolving times for our community and world. The governor just announced that schools in Orange County will not be allowed to open in person until cases reduce. While I am sad that our students and staff will not return in person as soon as we had planned, I am grateful to continue to use any additional time to maximize our plan for the safest possible return for our students and staff when it is appropriate. We continue to plan for the NHS hybrid model to begin as soon as it is deemed safe. In the meantime, we will start in a distance learning format.

The Irvine Unified School District continues to plan with the same start school on August 20th. However, as I am sure many of you have read, there are two choices of academic models for families to select from for the 20-21 school year.

Even though we will all start in a distance learning format, all IUSD family must still select an academic model that meets the unique needs of the family and students.

This is in preparation for when we are allowed to return to school in person at some point before the end of the term and we hope to maintain as much continuity as possible for the students, keeping them with the same teachers they begin the year with.

At the high school level, there are basically two choices available. The NHS hybrid model where students will be on campus for part of each week (when this is possible) and work online the rest of the week. Students will be supported with NHS staff, teachers and counselors, and with our specific curriculum and coursework.

The other option is the Irvine Virtual School at San Joaquin, where students will work all online and have no in person contact at any point in the semester and work through Florida Virtual School curriculum.

The two programs are run through two distinct school sites but both with IUSD staff. There is extensive information on the IUSD and NHS website outlining the details of each program. Please note, students will be enrolled in the specific courses they selected through the spring conference and registration process. If you select the Irvine Virtual Academy, courses will be matched to the best of our ability. If students would like to select new courses in either program or the courses are not available in the program, there will be an opportunity through the schedule change process, closer to the start of the school year.

I encourage each family to focus on the program/school model that best meets the needs of the families and individual students to make the selection.

The deadline to select you academic model/school has been extended to Wednesday, July 22nd at 5 PM. You must select your model/school through the Parent Portal. Instructions are posted on the NHS website. If you would like to change the model you have selected, you may do so until Wednesday, July 22nd at 5 PM. At that time, your student will be committed to the model/school you select for the entire first semester. Please reach out if you have any specific questions.


Leslie Roach, Ed.D.




Dear NHS Community,


We have received a few questions about the differences in the blended and hybrid models as presented in the earlier information. Here is another explanation that might help in the decision making process. Please note that students do not need to reselect courses, just a model for instruction.

Hybrid model is all NHS. The NHS student will attend NHS two days per week for live lessons with their NHS teachers and receive additional instruction and assignments for the other three days per week at home. Students will be present for 6-8 periods per day during the two days they are on campus. Class sizes will be half as large as in the past at about 15 students. Classes that were selected last spring will be used to build their schedule. More information on the bell schedule and cohorts will be sent out as we have more information. Parents can be assured all proper safety protocols as outlined by the county health department will be in place and the specifics of this plan will be provided in a future email. This includes all students and staff wearing masks or face coverings.

Virtual (IVA) model is ALL ONLINE and through San Joaquin High School, IUSD’s Independent Study High School. There is no in person contact. All classes will be virtual taught by IUSD teachers, not necessarily NHS teachers. There is a complete video explanation of the IVA on the district website found here. Students will be enrolled in the courses that most closely align with the originally scheduled courses selected through the NHS Spring registration process. There are some courses that are unique to NHS and will not be provided through this option. Based on staffing constraints, course offerings have to be limited. The IVA course offerings are linked here.

Blended model is a mixture of both Hybrid (NHS) and IVA (San Joaquin). Some classes on the schedule would be at NHS in the hybrid style as described above, and up to two classes would be through the IVA model as described above, as available.

You would select blended if there is a unique course in the other program that you are enrolled in or want to access. For example, the main schedule is hybrid, but the student needs to take Chinese through IVA because NHS does not offer that, OR conversely, the student is in all IVA but IVA doesn’t offer a specific course the student would like to take so he/she selects one hybrid course. Students will establish a “home school” (NHS or IVA-San Joaquin) based on where the majority of courses are. Students will access the unique course at the other program based on availability but every attempt to accommodate will be made. Athletes do not need to select the blended model. It is assumed students can continue with their sport pending the status of athletics. Hybrid and IVA students will both be able to participate.

If you signed up for “blended” classes in the Spring, in addition to your regular NHS schedule, you would still opt for this model and NHS will attempt to accommodate the same classes as you selected. For example, we would enroll the student in 5 or 6 classes through the hybrid schedule, and then the “blended” class you selected in the Spring will be assigned as an IVA class. “Blended” classes, as they used to be called will no longer have an in-person component. For this year, they will be run through IVA and will be totally online.

If a co-curricular option (performing arts, Yearbook, etc.) is a course offered in the NHS hybrid schedule, you would need to be able to fully attend the course if you would like to continue to fully participate. If students can no longer participate due to the in person component, they will be able to select a new elective through IVA.

Transcripts, GPA, and Diplomas: If your student chooses to enroll in the IVA their transcript will read “San Joaquin High School” for the term. Since San Joaquin High School is a WASC Accredited school with A-G and NCAA approved course lists, your courses will count in your cumulative GPA. However, should circumstances prevent your child from returning to NHS before graduation, their diploma will still reflect they graduated from NHS.

Parents can change decisions up to Sunday, July 19. However, as staffing is determined based on student choices, your academic model selection will be final for the fall semester.


If you have further questions, please feel free to reach out. Information will continue to be pushed out as more specific information is determined. I appreciate your time, patience, and flexibility as always.



Leslie Roach, Ed.D.




NHS Update #1: Wednesday, July 15

Dear NHS Community,

As communicated by the District earlier today, IUSD remains committed to the safety, health, and wellbeing of our students, staff and families and to providing educational equity and excellence for our more than 36,000 students. The challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic remind us, each day, of the importance of this collective commitment. To that end, last night, the Board of Education made the critically important decision to approve the Academic Models below for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Board also voted to require face coverings/masks at all times on IUSD campuses and in classrooms for all staff, students, and visitors. Face coverings/masks may only be removed when maintaining physical distancing of six feet or more and at the direction of a teacher or other staff, or when drinking, eating, or participating in recess/physical activity. Persons with a medical or mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering may be exempt per state guidelines. Click here to read more.


The academic models outlined below are aligned with state and local guidelines for schools and designed to meet the interests of our students, staff and families.

Middle and High School Models (Includes 6-8 grade students at K-8 schools):

  • IUSD Virtual Academy
  • Hybrid Model
  • Blended Program Model

Special Education Models:

  • Special Education students will have the options of the IUSD Virtual Academy, Hybrid Model or Blended Program Model available to them. A Traditional Model will be made available only for Moderate/Severe and Autism Specific programming.

We strongly encourage families to click here for more details about each of IUSD’s Academic Models.


You will have today, July 15, through Sunday, July 19, to select a model for your student. If a selection is not made during this time, your student will be placed in the Hybrid Model.

To make the Academic Model selection for your student you must login to Parent Portal and follow the prompts. Step by step directions are also available by clicking here.

Families can access the Planning FAQ and the 2020-2021 Opening and Safety Planning resource page for a wide range of information that can support your decision-making process. After reviewing this information, if you have questions about the Academic Models, or the Academic Model selection process, please feel free to contact us.

The NHS staff is excited to work with your student and family. For those of you that are new to NHS, we continue to be excited to help ease the transition to the high school experience, even if it is not in the typical way. I want to thank you in advance for your trust, support and partnership during this complex and challenging time.



Leslie Roach, Ed.D.