PUSD Update

November 22, 2021

Message from the Superintendent

Dear PUSD Community,

This Thanksgiving, many Americans will feast on gravy-soaked turkey, piles of stuffing, sweet potatoes, and even sweeter desserts. I am looking forward to the feast and happy to be able to celebrate in person this year with friends and family. I am also grateful for my extended family -- the Pasadena Unified community. They are tasked with the job of giving our children an excellent education and keeping them safe every day. For everyone who makes that possible every day, I am incredibly thankful. As Oprah says, we must learn to “cultivate gratitude.” At PUSD, we continue to cultivate outstanding students, some of whom are cultivating their own school gardens. The one thing we don’t want cropping back up after the break: you guessed it, the Coronavirus.


We are following recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to encourage all children ages 5 and older to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are the best tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and helping us continue in-person learning. We are striving to make it easier for all eligible students to be vaccinated and working with the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) to offer vaccination clinics on school campuses.


Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) helped kick off our first vaccine clinic aimed at kids ages 5 - 11 at McKinley Elementary School today. Representative Chu encouraged parents to vaccinate their children. She also answered questions and helped dispel misinformation. We are hosting two more clinics tomorrow and Thursday, November 23 and 24, from 9:00am - 11:00am at the McKinley School Gym, located across the street from the PUSD Education Center. Appointments for these dates are limited and can be made through myturn.ca.gov. We aim to offer opportunities for the first dose before Thanksgiving and the second dose three weeks later. We also plan to partner with local pharmacies to offer additional clinics at school sites in December which will allow our students to be fully vaccinated before they return from winter break. If you cannot attend one of our District clinics, there are several other local options for vaccinations and testing.





In order to provide a safer reentry to school after Thanksgiving, we are also offering a convenient drive-thru COVID-19 testing site to all PUSD staff and students on Saturday, November 27, from 9:00am - 1:00pm at the PUSD Education Center, south parking lot. No appointment is necessary. Results will be received within 24 - 48 hours after testing.


The sibling and priority application window has closed. However, families will have another opportunity to participate during the first lottery in January. Pre-enrollment for schools of residence will begin on November 29, 2021. It is for:

  • New to PUSD K-12 students who prefer their school of residence

  • Kindergarten students turning 5 by September 1, 2022

  • New to PUSD students entering Transitional Kindergarten

  • Current PUSD students who are promoting to 6th or 9th grades and prefer to attend their school of residence: pusd.us/findmyschool

As our first lottery approaches, please be aware of all of the academy choices at our wonderful high schools! If you missed our “Right Fit High School'' presentation last week, you can view it here: https://youtu.be/Xiglpluspq8. You can also visit the academy Padlet page to see all of the exciting things academies have to offer: ttps://padlet.com/turleykristina/gpyfqx4z5ji4b7m7.


Farm to School is a Pasadena Unified program that keeps growing stronger. It is designed to source locally grown fruits and vegetables to be used in school meals. The program takes advantage of the agricultural abundance of California and is supported by the Pasadena Educational Foundation. It features a Harvest of the Month produce item and encourages enthusiasm around healthy eating. Hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables are harvested at PUSD campuses by expert gardeners and PUSD students. Farm to School also contributes PUSD grown produce to the monthly CalFresh produce distribution. They are in need of volunteers, so please help out if you can. Curbside Volunteer – Produce Distribution – Pasadena Educational Foundation. As we give thanks at our dinner tables this Thursday, let’s also be filled with gratitude for this homegrown abundance in our own backyard.

Thank you for all that you do. Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday!


Brian McDonald, Ed.D


Luca talks about the COVID-19 Vaccine


Getting the vaccine will help protect our students and employees. COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone ages 5 and over. Get the COVID-19 vaccine to keep our community safe! www.pusd.us/vaccine

#VaccinatePasadena #PUSDproud @CityOfPasadena