Principal's Message

Welcome to Venado Middle School, home of the Knights! Situated on 17 lush green acres in central Irvine, Venado Middle School, a comprehensive middle school, serves students in grades 7-8. Venado first opened its doors in 1975 and has consistently strived to provide the highest quality education possible.

Mission:
Our highly dedicated staff plan and work collaboratively with parents and one another to help students develop their skills, recognize their gifts, and reach their highest potential. We strive to empower each student with the skills, knowledge, and values necessary to meet the challenges of a changing world. We also strive to meet the diverse social, emotional, psychological and intellectual needs of the whole child. With its consistently high performance, Venado was recognized a National Blue Ribbon School.

Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports:
Venado offers a safe and nurturing environment in which to learn. The school has a strong researched-based Positive Behavior and Supports (PBIS) program, which teaches and rewards expected behaviors. Students are expected to model the HONOR code (Honest, On-time, Noble, On-task and Respectful and Responsible), not only at school, but at home and in the community.

Programs:
Venado Middle School offers a wide array of programs to serve and meet the needs of an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse student body, such as the English Language Development Program (including a “Newcomer” Program), Gifted and Talented Education Program (GATE), Special Education and Title I. Venado also has an Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) Afterschool Classroom Enrichment (ACE) program, which offers a wide range of after school classes, including Homework Club. In addition, Venado is home to Orange County Department of Education's (OCDE) Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program.

Professional Learning Communities:
Venado has a strong Professional Learning Community (PLC) focus where teachers are organized into department teams and work to improve instruction and learning, as well as to intervene when individual or groups of students do not meet learning targets.

Intervention Program:
Venado Middle School performs consistently well on state tests of achievement; however, the achievement of student subgroups and individuals, is equally important. As a result, Venado also has a strong intervention team and program. With Title I and funds provided through the district’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), we offer 2 Reading Labs and 2 Math Lab classes to remediate basic reading and basic math skills, respectively. We also offer a Study Skills class to teach students study skills and to help them better manage and complete school work.

Technology:
Technology is an important focus area at Venado. With district computer matching and site funds, as well as with funds raised by our PTSA through our annual Direct Donation Drive, Venado students and staff have access to 3 stationary computer labs and 14 Chromebook carts. We have more devices on campus than we have students! All teachers post grades on the Parent Portal and assignments on Canvas. Our staff is integrating instructional technology in the classroom more and more frequently and are excited and committed to continuous professional development in this area.

Partnerships with the City of Irvine:
Venado Middle School also partners with the Irvine Police Department and the City of Irvine to bring other valuable programs to our campus. Officer Rick Gramer presents the Student Empowerment at Middle School (SEAMS) program to our 7th grade students. SEAMS is the middle school equivalent to the DARE programs at the elementary school level. The City’s Middle School Program (MSP) also offers students after school activities and opportunities to perform community service in and around the City of Irvine through its Youth Action Team (YAT). Venado Middle School has one of the highest rates of participation in this program district-wide.

In conclusion, Venado Middle School remains committed to offering the highest quality education in a safe and nurturing environment that meets the needs of diverse learners. On behalf of our staff, once again, welcome to Venado Middle School. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the principal of such an outstanding school in such a wonderful community. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Go Knights!

Luis Torres, M.A., N.C.S.P. #35272
Principal