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Our Philosophy

Irvine International Academy (IIA) will be an exceptional Mandarin immersion school that teaches from a western educational perspective of reason, scientific discovery, and rhetoric while accessing every child’s natural ability for language.
IIA will provide experiences for exceptional learning and personal growth to release individuals capable of leading and rationally supporting of their ideas.  By inspiring risk-taking in a supportive environment, students become teachers and lifelong learners as they engage in partnerships to achieve goals and projects.
IIA is a place where Learning to do the right thing is as important as acquiring book knowledge. Traditional values of humanity are restored in the classroom. By genuinely accepting others and one another’s success, students develop a true self-value based on objective accomplishments.
Daily instruction will emphasize multiple intelligences (Dr. Howard Gardner, Harvard), Dr. Benjamin Bloom's Taxonomy of higher-order thinking, and Gifted And Talented Education (GATE) so that our IIA students can develop problem-solving and lifelong learning skills.  

IIA graduates/alumni become the person they were created to be, beacons that changes the world and the ones others depend upon.

Our History

Principal Steven Chuang, for the past four years, has led a successful Mandarin immersion program in San Mateo . In 2018, his school won a California Distinguished School award.  IIA looks forward to a productive partnership with other educational organizations, which share the same values of bilingual education. 

Dr. Scott has demonstrated engagement strategies around China for nine years.  Dr. Lu (far right) was a professor at Beijing Normal University and now is the principal of Beijing No. 2 Experimental Primary (top school of China 4,500 students) and leads 31 other schools.

Irvine international Academy is just that, international and opens up opportunities around the Pacific Rim.


Letter from the Superintendent - Celebrating Irvine IA Accomplishments

Superintendent's Welcome

If you are reading this, then you are anticipating the future! Almost all the Nobel Prize winners are bilingual. The best school in the County for your children is Irvine International Academy!

  • Chinese uses the one side of the brain and English the other, tremendous interface.

  • The top two economies in the world are America and China – world’ future in science, economy, and politics.

  • LAX to China is the most traveled air-corridor in the world, exceeding NY to London.

  • MIT research reported, “It is nearly impossible to achieve proficiency…of a native speaker unless you start by 10.”

Due to the way children are able to acquire language implicitly at a young age, foreign language fluency can be imparted as a matter of routine, as part of learning in a language immersion program. Mandarin is used as the medium or tool to deliver the curriculum, without adding significant cost or time. The School is eager to train students who will be biliterate and bilingual in Southern California.

The Founding Team, spent time meeting with local families, Chinese educators, and community leaders to understand the need for a Mandarin and English school. Our Founding Team is comprised of members from a variety of disciplines, including education, school administration, business, technology, legal, commercial real estate, and finance, who believe in the need for additional economic options in S. California.



Michael Scott, Ph.D.head

Principal's Welcome

Steven Chuang was born and raised in Taiwan. He went to Philadelphia in 2000 to further his study and received his Masters of Science in Education at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001, followed by teaching licenses in Mandarin Language and "Teach English as a Second Language" (ESL) in 2002.

Mr. Chuang launched his career at Philadelphia's esteemed magnet school Central High School, teaching Mandarin for 15 years. Central High School has a long history of excellence in education, including being the second oldest public high school in the United States, and having been nominated multiple times as a Blue Ribbon School. Many of Mr. Chuang's former students at Central High School have gone on to graduate from Ivy League tier universities.

During his time at Central High School, Mr. Chuang took on leadership or consulting positions helping various summer STARTALK grant programs, including one at the University of Pennsylvania, which inspired him to pursue his certification to become a principal (Cabrini University). STARTALK is a student program funded by the U.S. government to help enhance the educational experience of students learning languages which aren't commonly taught, but are considered critical to U.S. security in the 21st Century.

After receiving his certification for principalship, Mr. Chuang served as the principal of College Park Elementary School with Mandarin Immersion program and Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program in the San Mateo-Foster City School District from July 2016 to June 2020. During his tenure, College Park was identified as a 2018 California Distinguished School for its high academic performance. Principal Chuang wrote proposals that brought the prestigious STARTALK program to the San Mateo-Foster City School District for the first time. The summer programs were well received by the community, and provided enriching summer experiences for students, especially social-economically disadvantaged students and students who needed extra support to continue to learn during the summer months at no cost to their families.

Principal Chuang was inspired to join Dr. Scott and other talented team members to advocate for the Irvine community to have its first tuition-free public charter elementary Mandarin immersion school. The Orange County Department of Education Board Trustees approved the petition for this charter in part due to the strength that Principal Chuang's two decades of experience brings to the charter. Principal Chuang is energized by the challenge of bringing bilingual Mandarin education to the Irvine area, and in ensuring that the Irvine community is well served by this new unique option for students.

Steven Chuanghead
Founding Principal 

Charter School Petition

Read the petition presented by Irvine International School which was granted by Orange County Board of Education in January 2021.