Introduction of Irvine Chinese School
Irvine Chinese School (ICS) was founded in 1976 by Ms. Mitzi Fu. It has been known for its extraordinary efforts in Chinese education, arts and sports, not only in Orange County but also through out the world. The mission of the ICS is to teach Chinese language and culture.
ICS rented facilities from University High School, Irvine for many years. In 2001, some dedicated parents and society supporters conceived the idea of having their own facility. With a clear goal, insight, and sheer determination, volunteers mounted extraordinary effort and raised $6.8 million to make the dream become a reality. On April 24, 2005, SCCCA held the grand opening ceremony of the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center (SCCCC or the Center). On September 11, 2005, ICS officially launched the fall semester at the new center. In addition to weekend Chinese classes, summer programs, after-school programs, and community Mandarin Chinese, and cultural classes are being offered gradually.
ICS students generally range in ages from five to eighteen years old. Adult classes are also offered for the working professionals who are interested in learning Chinese language and culture. The administrative structure of ICS consists of the principal, administrators, and full-time/part-time staff. The current faculty consists of 35 language teachers and 24 elective class teachers.
The current enrollment is approximately 1,065 students who are placed in one of fourteen levels, depending on their language ability and their placement test results. The courses include instructions in traditional phonetics, Han Yu Pin-Yin, traditional and simplified characters, Chinese as Second Language (CSL) and Chinese culture. In addition, we offer elective classes such as Chinese painting, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese chess, crafts, carton, performing arts, computer, Chinese martial arts, basketball, badminton, youth leadership and others. Interactive multi-media teaching materials and Moodle classes are offered to increase the interests and effectiveness of learning.
ICS also offers credit classes for high school students to earn five credits for each semester of Chinese language and culture. This program has been approved by the following school districts: Huntington Beach, Irvine, Tustin, Orange, Capistrano, and Fountain Valley. Each week, the students must receive five hours of in-class instructions, and they must conduct or participate in various extracurricular activities. At the end of each semester, ICS certifies the completion of course requirements, so that students can earn 5 credits of foreign language.
ICS started using computers to process student data in 1988. The Parent Volunteer “Service Points” system was also created and implemented in 1989. These measures have made tremendous contributions to the stable development of ICS. In year 2003, ICS adopted multimedia to assist teaching and learning. Chinese learning software facilitating students’ learning was introduced to our students in 2006, and digital learning materials developed by teachers were initiated at the same time. In year 2008, we employed a full-time and dedicated Principal/Executive Director to operate and manage the school professionally in order to provide better services to our members, students, parents, and the community.
Vision and Mission
- To be the best-run non-profit Chinese education and cultural institution in North America.
- To promote Chinese language learning.
- To preserve Chinese heritage.
- To enhance the understanding of the value of Chinese Culture.
- To advocate cultural diversity in America.