The Panther Pulse

Pershing Middle Community Newsletter (Vol. 1, Issue 5)

Principal's Message

Dear Pershing Families,

Despite the most unusual two weeks of weather I think I have ever experienced while living in San Diego, we completed a very successful second week of school. Students spent this past week getting textbooks issued from the library, continuing community building activities in their classrooms, and getting comfortable with the learning activities their teachers are engaging them in.

One of the new traditions we have started at Pershing, is our emphasis on having students exhibit Panther PRIDE (Positivity - Responsibility - Integrity - Determination - Empathy) on campus, particularly outside the classroom. This past week we focused on Positivity and teachers focused on "catching" students practicing positivity on the campus.

On Friday, during one of the heavy down pours, a student slipped in the water and two sixth graders, Taylor Grobe & Ashlan Daniels, and two eight graders, Timothy Tang & Zachary Watkins, rushed over to help the student that had fallen and made sure they were ok. They helped the student get cleaned off and then walked them over to their next class. Several of the teachers who saw what occurred were so impressed they reached out to me to share what had happened. I am so proud of these students, this is exactly the type of Panther PRIDE we had wanted to see if action. Pershing Panthers look out for on another and take care of each another! This is just another great example of what makes Pershing a special place.

Week 3 is a busy one so please be sure to check out all important details below!

Some Photos from Week 2

Important Announcements for the Week of September 12th


Families please encourage your child(ren) to participate. Oftentimes middle schoolers worry they will be the only ones dressing up - they won't be; and these are the types of activities that make school fun and memorable.

  • Monday, Sept 12: Military Monday in honor of 9/11: wear red, white, & blue
  • Tuesday, Sept 13: Twin Tuesday: match with one or more of your classmates
  • Wednesday, Sept 14: Wacky Wednesday: bring your materials to school in "anything but a backpack"
  • Thursday, Sept 15: Theatrical Thursday: dress as your favorite movie, book, video character
  • Friday, Sept 16: Fan Friday: wear your favorite sports team gear

**A friendly reminder that all attire worn during spirit week must adhere to the school dress code policy and on Wednesday, during the "anything but a backpack" challenge, we encourage students to exercise good judgementwhen selecting what you will use to carry their school materials. Items deemed unsafe or overly distracting will be stopped at the entrance and stored in the office until the end of the school day.


Last week information was sent to you electronically about our upcoming picture day and your child(ren) should have brought home an order form. If for some reason your child(ren) did not make it home with the flyer, copies of the order forms are available in the main office and accessible on our school website via the PeachJar Flyers link under the "News" tab.

We wanted to make sure that parents are aware that Picture Day falls on the same day as our Spirit Week Twin Day. If parents choose not to have their child participate in Twin Day because of a particular outfit you would like them to wear for school photos we understand but we also felt it would be ok if students chose to have matching outfits for school photos.


A friendly reminder that Wednesday, September 14th is the start of our modified Wednesday schedule. Students will be released at 1:45 PM on Wednesday.


This Wednesday, Sept. 14th our Parent Foundation will be hosting it's first meeting of the year at 6:30 PM in the library. We hope you will be able to attend, this is a great way to get involved. Meetings are typically held the 2nd Wednesday of each month. For planning purposes here are the tentative dates for Foundation Meetings.

  • September 14
  • October 12
  • November 09
  • December 14
  • January 11
  • February 08
  • March 08
  • April 12
  • May 10


I heard from many of you last week regarding your frustration and/or concern around communication and the middle school athletics program. I am asking for your patience and understanding as the program is understandably going through some growing pains.

This is the first year that San Diego Unified is running a full middle school athletics program with multiple sports at all 30 middle schools in our district. Our District Middle School Athletics Coordinator, Mr. Lonnie Jones, is a dedicated professional who wants to create the best possible experience for all students participating in the program. He is always open to feedback and is working hard to ensure that families get the information they need about tryouts and practices in a timely manner.

In order to help streamline communication around middle school athletics, a link has been added to the "Students" tab of the Pershing Middle School website or CLICK HERE to view. It will contain information on the tryout and practice schedules as well as any email communication that is sent out by the district regarding middle school sports. We hope it will be an additional tool to help families get the information they need.


Principal Levy, with her background in drama and theater, started an incredible tradition at Pershing with the high quality musicals that were put on annually and we want to continue that tradition but we need your help. We are looking for parent volunteers to help with the school play, particularly a parent who would be interested in directing it or knows of someone in the community who could direct it. Please contact our community assistant Ms. Johanna Moreno at if you are interested in helping support the school play this year. If we can get volunteers in place we would be looking to start auditions at the end of October or beginning of November.


We will be hosting the Scholastic Book Fair the Week of Sept. 19-23 in our school library. Students will be visiting the fair through their classes and they can also purchase items after school or during our Back to School Night event on Sept. 22nd.


We have updated our school website so families can now see the meals being served in our cafeteria during the week for breakfast and lunch. For the 2022-23 school year, schools in California are once again able to offer "universal meal" service. All students are able to receive free breakfast and lunch on campus. To view the menus please visit our school website and click on the "Breakfast and Lunch Program" link under the "Families" tab or CLICK HERE.


Although it is always best to try and schedule appointments outside the school day so students are not missing instructional time we know that is not always possible. In the event you need to take your child out of school early, a friendly reminder that the person picking up your child must be on the emergency contacts list in PowerSchool and they must have photo ID verifying their identity. This includes parents as well.


Please remember if your child is absent from school to contact the office to clear their attendance. The easiest way to report the absence is to email our School Clerk, Ms. Devin Caputo at You may also leave a voicemail for Ms. Caputo by calling 619-362-3624 and dailing 1, or you may write a note and have your child turn it into the office upon their return.

SHORT-TERM INDEPENDENT STUDY CONTRACTS: if you child is going to miss 5 or more consecutive days of school for a medical procedure, family vacation, sports tournament, etc. please contact Ms. Caputo so we can set up a short-term independent study contract and ensure your child stays on track with assignments. These contracts must be set up BEFORE the absence begins.


Over the next month I am going to be working with IT staff to update and streamline our school website to make it more user friendly. The website still remains a good place to find important information about the school but other good sources of information about the upcoming school year can be found in these weekly newsletters and please follow us on Instagram @pershing_sdusd or follow me on Twitter @melanie_kray for the latest information.

Back to School Night, Sept. 22nd

A friendly reminder our BTSN has moved to Sept. 22nd so it does not conflict with Gage Elementary. It will be in-person. More details will be forth coming.

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In Case You Missed It - Some photos from the first week!

Bell Schedules

Please note for the first two weeks of school everyday is a regular bell schedule. The Wednesday Modified Bell Schedule will begin on September 14th.

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COVID Health and Safety Updates

Pro-Tip: Click on the maroon bar to visit the District's COVID Updates Page

Student Expectations & School Policies Assemblies

Mr. Hawthorne and our counseling team, Mr. Salazar and Mr. Castro, reviewed school wide rules and expectations with all students on Friday. Click on the maroon bar above to see the slide deck presented to students.

PrimeTime Before & After School Program

Our PrimeTime Before and After School Program is currently full but is still accepting applications. Those completing applications will be put on the waitlist. Click on the maroon bar above to access the PrimeTime website & application.

Review Previous Community Newsletters

Want to review information from a previous community newsletter? No problem, just click on the maroon bar above.


Sept 13: Fall Picture Day (make picture day will be Oct. 18)

Sept 14: Pershing Parent Foundation Meeting @6:30 PM (they will occur the 2nd Wednesday of every month)

Sept 19: School Site Council (SSC) @3:00 PM

Sept 21: Coffee with the Principal @8:30 AM (first one will be via zoom and then alternate zoom and in-person meetings)

Sept 22: Henry Cluster Meeting @5:00 PM via zoom (zoom link & info is available under the "News" tab on our school website)

Sept 22: Back to School Night @6:00 PM in-person

Oct 5: CherryDale Fundraiser KickOff Assemblies (Periods 1-3)

Oct 7: PR1 Grading Period Ends

Oct 12: Pershing Parent Foundation Meeting @6:30 PM

Oct 13: SLIM Parent Night @6:00 PM

Oct. 19: Coffee with the Principal @8:30

Nov 18: PR2 Grading Period Ends

March 20-24: 6th Grade Camp