Learning Commons

Welcome to the Portola High School Learning Commons!

Hours: 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Minimum Day Hours: 7:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Online Catalog Search

Online Resource List

Resource Name Description User Name Password
ABC-CLIO Social Science Database for Research irvine library
Britannica School Contains encyclopedia articles, multimedia, primary sources, games, and other learning resources that support student research. phsiusd irvine
Destiny Online Catalog PHS Library Book Catalog and Search Tool Same as network login Same as network login
KniteCite Citation Citation creation templates in MLA, APA, and Chicago styles No login required No password required
Library of Congress Digital Collections A database that gives you access to print, pictorial and audio visual collections No login required No password required
Noodletools Tools for Note-Taking, Outlining, and Creating Citations Same as network login Same as network login
Orange County Public Library Online Databases, eBooks, Audio Books OCPL Card Number OCPL Card Number
Overdrive eBooks and Audio Book Collection Same as network login Same as network login
Proquest Database for Research irvschdist irvine
What Should I Read Next? Enter a book title you like and the site will analyze a database of real readers' favorite books to provide book recommendations and suggestions for what to read next. No login required No password required

Great Places to Find Images and Sounds for Projects

Creative Commons Image Search Find images that you freee 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.
Photos For Class The World's easist 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.


The Bulldog Learning Commons and Student Union is designed to be central to student life at Portola High School. Our vision is to support all PHS students in an engaging, collaborative and innovative space. The commons provides resources in a variety of formats to help PHS students be successful in school and athletics and to pursue personal interests. The Bulldog Commons and Student Union is open throughout the school day Monday - Friday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM including lunch and break. The Student Commons and Student Union has the following services available for students:

Chromebook laptops for check-out while in the commons

  • Wireless Internet access
  • Printing
  • Comfortable furniture and study spaces
  • Student collaboration spaces
  • Novels and textbooks as required by course sequences
  • High interest fiction and nonfiction books
  • Support in conducting research
  • Available databases: ABC‐CLIO, Proquest and Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Makerspace/Innovation Lab


Technology Responsible Use Agreement

Parents and students must sign off each year on the Technology Responsible Use Policy before computers or laptops may be used at school. This signed policy will allow the students to use the Internet, Google Apps for Education and Office 365 at school. School computers and resources are to be used for school assignments and research, including printing. All sites accessed must be appropriate for school. Ethical use of information and copyright law should be followed by students.


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 two weeks 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.