Learning Commons


Learning Commons Hours

Regular School Days: 7:30 am to 3:45 pm

Minimum Days: 7:30 am to 1:00 pm

We are occasionally closed for special events, check the library doors for changes.


Learning Commons Resources




Research Databases

Why use a database, when you can just Google it?

Databases provide academically reliable and accurate information. Websites can be written by anyone, regardless of expertise. Databases get their information from experts and professionals in a particular field of study. All articles have been fact-checked and are credible academic sources. Databases also provide a citation service to make the creation of your Works Cited list quick and easy.

Click here for the database user name and passwords!

Social Science Database for Research                                                                                                                                                                           
britannica school
Britannica School
Contains encyclopedia articles, multimedia, and primary sources                                                                                                                          
ProQuest logo
Contains Research Library, Historical Newspapers, eLibrary, SIRS Knowledge Source, and Culture Grams
Orange Public library
Orange County Library
Access to Online Databases, eBooks, Audio Books                                                                                                                                                  
Noodle tools
Noodle Tools
Online tool for Note-Taking, Outlining, and Creating Citations                                                                                                                             

Great Places to Find Images and Sounds For Projects

Artstor - Provides access to more than a million art, architecture, and photographic images in public collections.

Creative Commons Image Search - Find images that you free to use and remix across multiple open archive sites.

Freesound - Freesound is a collaborative database of Creative Commons Licensed sounds.

OpenClipArt - Openclipart is a site with public domain digital drawings.

Pexels Videos - Free videos to use in projects. All videos are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means you can edit or change the videos.

Photos For Class - The World's easiest way to search for safe, creative commons images and cite them.

Pixabay - A site with hundreds of thousands of free photos and clipart free to use for any purpose.




Textbook Policies

Students are responsible for keeping textbooks issued to them in good condition. Students should check textbooks carefully for damages at the time of issuance. Any damage or problems must be reported to library staff within one week of check-out. After this time, the student is responsible for any damage and a fine may be assessed. Students should write their name on the inside front cover of the textbook to prevent it from being mixed up with classmate’s books. Fines for repair are assessed when books are returned with damages. Books that are returned with stains, mildew, mold or water damage will be obsoleted as a total loss and full replacement price of the book will be charged. Textbooks returned after the end of the semester in which they are due may incur a late charge. Fines will be assessed for the following textbook damages:

  • Missing or defaced barcode
  • Writing or highlighting on the pages of the book
  • Broken binding
  • Missing or torn pages
  • Cover damage or excessive wear
  • Water damage, mold or mildew


Book Covers

Students should cover textbooks to protect them from damage. Grocery store paper bags are perfect for this and offer the best protection. Do not use sticky, stretchy or adhesive covers on books. These types of covers damage the outside of the book and binding and a rebinding fine will be charged.

Lost Books

Students are responsible for paying the replacement cost of all lost books. Books purchased new or used from another source (i.e. Amazon) will not be accepted as a replacement for the original book. Students should contact the student commons staff as soon as they realize a book is lost so that we can check to see if it has been returned.


If found, a partial refund will be issued for books that were reported as lost and paid for within a year when returned in good, usable condition before student graduation.




Portola is a 1:1 school. All learners at PHS receive a Chromebook upon enrollment in school and completion of required paperwork. We are about to begin the third year of our 1:1 Chromebook program.

Those learners that don't currently have a Chromebook issued to them will have the opportunity to check one out at their registration day during the week of August 12-14. If you miss these dates, we will be issuing Chromebooks after school starts on August 22, 2019.


Summer 2019 Chromebook Policy

Thank you for all of your support this year with our 1:1 Chromebook program. As we plan for the 2019-20 school year, we will allow learners to keep their PHS Chromebook over the summer and for the duration of the time that they attend Portola.

Learners may keep the Chromebook over the summer and into the next school year UNLESS:

  • Your learner is NOT returning to Portola HS in the Fall of 2019.
  • You purchased a device for your learner and they no longer need the Chromebook. Have them return the PHS Chromebook as soon as possible to the Learning Commons.
  • You do not want your learner to keep the Chromebook over the summer. It will need to be returned to the Learning Commons before your learner leaves for summer break. We will recheck this same device out to them when they return to school in August.

If you need technical support for the PHS Chromebook over the summer, you may email our Computer Support Specialist Thomas Trinh at ThomasTrinh@iusd.org


Chromebook Insurance

To protect your learner’s Chromebook we recommend purchasing the optional insurance through Worth Ave Group at the link below.

The window for purchasing insurance for the 2019-20 school year is open from August 15, 2019 until September 13, 2019.


When purchasing insurance, the Worth Group Insurance Company web form will ask you which Chromebook model you are insuring. To determine your model look at the underside of the case, the Dell 3180 clearly says 3180 near the serial number tag and the 3120 has no indication of the number on the bottom. Generally, all learners who will graduate in 2020 have the Dell 3120 and those who graduate in 2021 and 2022 have the Dell 3180.

  • You may also purchase a cover for $25 in the PTSA student store.
  • If your learner’s charger is lost, you must purchase a new one from the Learning Commons for $15. Please do NOT purchase third-party chargers.
  • If you need technical support for the PHS Chromebook, you may stop by the Learning Commons and speak to our Computer Support Specialist Thomas Trinh .
  • Important Chromebook Documents


Important Chromebook Documents

1:1 Chromebook Agreement (must be signed and returned to PHS)

IUSD Acceptable Use Policy

PHS Responsible Use Policy