Welcome to Sierra Vista Middle School, home of the Chargers! Sierra Vista (SVMS) is located in the suburban community of Irvine in Orange County. Opening its doors in 1981, SVMS serves seventh and eighth grade students and is one of six traditional calendar middle schools in the Irvine Unified School District. Today, SVMS is dedicated to serving a very diverse community of 839 students from 27 countries around the world, and our school includes native speakers representing 31 languages.
The staff of SVMS fully embraces our philosophy, which states: “Sierra Vista Middle School is what all schools strive to be: a caring, student-centered school in which learning matters.” Our Mission Statement says: “Sierra Vista Middle School staff and community will purposefully make all plans and decisions based upon what is best for students. The SVMS staff will create a climate of professional collegiality in which every staff member works to develop the social, emotional and academic skills necessary for students to become exemplary citizens in a global society.”
In keeping with our philosophy and mission, SVMS has a proud tradition of excellence, having received two California Distinguished School awards and earning the highest middle school API in Orange County in 2013. SVMS students have the opportunity to represent our school as participants in a variety of academic team endeavors, including Math Counts, Scripps National Spelling Bee, Science Olympiad, and National History Day. Last year, all aforementioned teams performed at high levels in the county competition and advanced to State. In 2014, a SVMS 7th grade student represented the State of California at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. Since 2010, we have sent 26 students from nine different projects to the national level competition of National History Day. Six projects made the finals at Nationals, and in 2015 we had a National Champion team in the Group Documentary category. In 2016, Sierra Vista Social Science teacher Jonathan Millers was awarded the Patricia Behring National History Day National Teacher of the Year award.
Visual and Performing Arts electives are very popular choices for our students, as 86% of the student body participate in band, orchestra, choir, musical theater, guitar, art and technology classes. SVMS students represent approximately 30% of the total IUSD Honors Concert performers in instrumental music and 25% of the total IUSD Honors Concert performers in vocal music. Last year, all five instrumental performance groups attending adjudicated festivals received Unanimous Superior ratings. The SVMS Director of Instrumental Music, Henry Miller, was selected as the Irvine Teacher of the Year and was one of ten Semi-Finalists for County Teacher of the Year. Currently Mr. Miller has been recognized as one of ten Finalists for the National Grammy Teacher of the Year award.
Parents are key partners of our school community. The SVMS PTSA coordinates parent volunteers for a number of school activities and events, including the first day of school kick-off, picture days, school dances, fundraising events, and the eighth grade promotion dance. Parent participation opportunities also exist on the SVMS School Site Council, the English Learner Advisory Committee, and for volunteers who work with individual staff members to do everything from shelving and repairing library books, to designing and making the costumes and sets for the annual school musical production.
The SVMS staff has set goals for this year in support of building hope and efficacy toward each student’s development of a growth mindset and their willingness to take intellectual risks. Our staff development is in support of these goals.
It’s a great day to be a Charger!
Lynn Matassarin, Ed.D