South Lake Newsletter - June 7, 2024

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Good Afternoon South Lake Community,
As we head into the summer break, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering support and partnership throughout this school year. Your dedication and collaboration have been instrumental in creating a nurturing and dynamic learning environment for our students here at South Lake. Together, we have navigated challenges and celebrated achievements, and it has been an honor to witness the growth and resilience of our students. While your child is leaving their adolescence and heading toward their teenage years, I encourage you to establish some guidelines for summer like spending time reading for pleasure in lieu of screen time, heading outdoors to the beach, pool or parks as opposed to video games, and look to volunteer your child’s time to productive projects rather than sleeping on the couch all day. Your teen is craving interactions, connections, and some semblance of routine. 
We wish our now 9th graders the very best of luck as their head to high school and to our future 8th graders who will take on the responsibility of being our role models for our next group. They have really shown tremendous growth this year, and bring a high level of energy to school every day! 
We have a few staff members who will not be returning next year as they pursue new adventures:
Mrs. Ahnn will be taking a leave of absence next year to be with her family. This is not farewell but see you later! 
Mrs. Le is heading over to Rancho Middle School to teach Engineering and Robotics all day. She has been an essential member of our staff for her entire career as a teacher. Besides teaching science, she established our Engineering program at South Lake 8 years ago and we are one of the most robust programs in IUSD. We will miss her dearly but she won’t be a stranger!
Mrs. Park is heading to the district office as a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) after 10 years at South Lake. She will be taking on larger responsibilities in the Special Education department and we wish her the very best of luck! 
Mrs. Hufford will be heading to Sierra Vista as we reduce from two to one Autism Specific class. We wish her the very best in her next adventure. 
Mrs. Craik will be leaving at the end of the month to Laguna Beach Unified where she will be a Mental Health Specialist and serving in the community where she lives and her kids attend school. She will be dearly missed and we wish her the best of luck!
Lastly, we say farewell to Assistant Principal Wang and he would like to share a heartfelt farewell. 
Hello Sharks,
It is an honor have served you, the community, as South Lake's Assistant Principal this school year. It is a bittersweet moment today to see the students off to bigger and greater adventures in high school. Almost a year ago, I met them, the class of 2024, on the blacktop on the first day of school. And today we bid farewell and wished each other the best. As some of you know already, I am leaving my role of being assistant principal at South Lake because I’m hoping to explore other levels of school leadership. While my time here has been short, I’ve gained so much learning from all of you (adults and students alike), and I will remember how you’ve made me feel welcomed and supported.
Middle school is a time of tremendous growth! I remember telling students that I grew almost a foot between my 7th and 8th grade year. Some students have made greater transformations and have made positive impacts on those around them. Over the course of this year, I’ve seen many of them growing, experiencing challenges, resolving conflicts, and learning through it all. It's been a privilege to witness their successes this year. Each of the students had stepped up to their individual challenges and triumphed over them. I hope, that as they move towards future opportunities, that you remind them that consistency is the key to success. Consistency in efforts and dedication has brought them to this milestone today, and it is what will carry them to whatever you they to accomplish. If students have spoken to me before because they were in trouble… They might remember me asking them: “What do you want from this situation? What do you think needs to happen?” These two questions are what I am hoping to leave with everyone today, because they are applicable to our everyday lives. I challenge your students to ask themselves these two questions about what they want and what they can do to achieve it. I hope they can all find fulfillment in their future endeavors. Their potential is limitless, and I can't wait to see the incredible things they will achieve.
I would also like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the families of South Lake who have supported our students and staff every step of the way. Especially our PTSA and committee members - you have shown me what it means to show up for your student’s education and experience. I know that people say Irvine has the best schools, and I would like to add on that we also have the best families. Great parenting, as I have learned, is the foundation of any one’s success, and I deeply appreciate all of you. Your unwavering support and encouragement have been crucial to their success.
Finally, I would like to celebrate our dedicated staff, thank you for your tireless efforts and commitment to serving our students. Throughout this year, I saw how much each of you cared about the quality of education each student received and the attention you provided to your students. In observing and working with you, I am constantly reminded of good teaching and positive role modeling. Thank you for extending your support and welcome to me in my first year of school leadership. It truly meant a lot to me to have people to learn alongside with, and I recognize your expertise in your roles.
Again, Sharks, thank you all for the memories and support. Congratulations, and best of luck to you, the graduating class of 2024. 
Take care, 
Mr. Wang

We wish Mr. Wang the best of luck in his future endeavors!
As we bid farewell to another academic year, I wish you all a restful and enjoyable summer. Thank you for being an integral part of our school community…Go Sharks!
In kindness,
Belinda Averill
South Lake Announcements
If you have a returning student to South Lake, there is nothing you need to do to re-enroll. We will be sending out a postcard over summer with some important dates to calendar. We will have Shark Week for our incoming 7th graders on August 13th and our returning 8th graders during their first week of school on August 23rd…more info to come. Our office will be open next week Monday and Tuesday from 8:30am to 3:00pm to drop off any items that need to be returned or pick up promotion certificates etc. There are a few yearbooks still available for purchase, $40 cash only. 

Summer Resources
As summer is approaching and more unstructured time, we encourage you to implement a plan with your young teen about their time spent online and/or on their phone. The American Academy of Pediatrics has put together a comprehensive 5 C’s Young Teen Media Guide and a Media Plan tool to use with your young teen. In addition, with input from families, educators, mental health professionals, and youth, Project Cal-Well produced this easy-to-use guide to help parents and other adult family members navigate how to support the overall well-being and mental health of school-aged children, including tips for what can be difficult conversations. Access the guide here.  Lastly, there are plenty of resources available for you and your family in our Summer Break Resource Guide.

IPSF Summer Programs
Summer is almost here…don’t miss out on all the fun at IPSF Summer! Choose from over 400 exciting and educational classes for students in grades PreK-12, all taught by specialized instructors and IUSD teachers. Session A classes start June 13, register today!

Middle School Program (MSP) at South Lake
If you are looking for great after school activities for your students, there are several events and classes to get involved with through our Middle School Programs hosted by the city of Irvine. Please contact Site Coordinator Karley Abeyrama at (949) 724-7190 or at for information.   

Fall Programming from MSP & YAT

OCTA Youth Ride Free Program 
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is excited to announce the continuation of their “Youth Ride Free” promotional bus pass program.  This free youth pass allows youth ages 6 to 18 to ride all OC fixed-route buses every day for free.  The new purple/orange Youth Ride Free passes are valid now through September 30, 2024 and require a new Parent Request Form for each recipient.  For more information regarding the program visit: To participate in the program, complete a new Parent Request Form, available using the below links, printed forms are also available in the front office.  Return the completed and signed form to the front office to be issued a purple/orange youth bus pass for the 2023-24 school year. 
Parent Request Form:

OC Bus Ride Guide – How to Ride:

Stay Connected
Stay connected by checking your email for communication from South Lake and IUSD.  South Lake is also on Instagram @southlakemiddleschool and our website is at
Dates to Calendar:
August 13th – Shark Week for 7th grade only 
August 13th – Shark Social sponsored by PTSA 
August 20th – first day of school for 7th grade
August 21st – first day of school for 8th grade