PUSD Update

December 13, 2021

Message from the Superintendent

Dear PUSD Community,

I am feeling grateful, excited, and extremely proud this holiday season: grateful that our students are safely back to in-person learning, excited to celebrate with family and friends, and proud because Pasadena Unified will be participating in the Rose Parade for the first time in 17 years! This will be a proud moment for all of us because it exemplifies the hard work and dedication on the part of students, parents, and staff. It is a chance to be a part of history and it is an opportunity to have our District shine as millions of people tune in on January 1, 2022.


As we look forward to the Rose Parade, we first have to make sure that we are gathering safely. Now is the time to get your vaccine and/or booster shot. We are offering several clinics to make things easier for the Pasadena Unified community. Appointments are available through myturn.ca.gov. Limited walk-ins available.

PUSD Clinics (ages 5 - 11 only)

  • Dec. 20, Jan 3 (Mondays at the Ed Center, NOT 12/27) 1 PM - 3:30 PM

  • Dec. 14 at Willard Elementary, 2:30 PM - 4 PM

  • Dec. 15 at Madison Elementary, 2:30 PM - 4 PM

PUSD Clinics (12 - 17 year olds only)

  • Dec. 20, Jan 3 (Mondays at the Ed Center, NOT 12/27): 8 AM - 12 PM

If you cannot attend one of our District clinics, there are several other local options for vaccinations and testing.






I am also grateful for members of our community who go above and beyond to help our students. The Pasadena Unified Board of Education bestowed special recognition upon a local 10th grader for his work in supporting PUSD’s English Learners. Peter Panossian and his family have been hosting book drives for over a year and so far they’ve collected 5,509 gently used books for PUSD elementary school students. Mr. Panossian and his older sister meticulously organized the books by grade level and then hand delivered them with personal notes from their original owners to students at Hamilton Elementary, Jackson Elementary, and Washington Accelerated School. Peter plans to help the school librarians organize the books and aims to host more book drives next year.


As our two phenomenal Rose Princesses from Pasadena Unified rush to get ready for the big day, they are also taking time to say thank you. Abigail Griffith and Jeannine Briggs stopped by a special Board of Education meeting last week to express their sincere gratitude. Ms. Griffith is a Pasadena High School senior, a dancer, a worship leader, an intern, a social media manager, fluent in Spanish, and a budding expert in Hispanic/Latin American culture. She says her PUSD education has made her who she is today and it is the reason she is on the royal court. She aspires to create architecture that reflects the diverse cultures of Los Angeles.

The excitement is also building for Ms. Briggs, who attended McKinley, Hamilton, Wilson, and is now a senior at Marshall Fundamental. A member of the National Honor Society, she is also President of the Broadcasting Club, Vice President of the Black Student Union, Secretary of Mock Trial, Student Body Class of 2022 Secretary, a member of Girls Build L.A., and a Jazz Band Vocalist. Ms. Briggs said there are three things that have formed her experience in PUSD and she’s grateful for all of them: her close-knit group of peers, PUSD parents who are focused on giving students the best education possible, and last, but certainly not least, teachers.

I couldn’t agree more! These two accomplished young women are amazing ambassadors for our District. They truly make us proud. I can’t wait to see them on New Year’s Day, take a ride along the parade route in our vintage school bus, and listen to fantastic music from the All-Star PUSD Band as they boldly march into 2022.

Big picture
(Above) Pasadena Tournament of Roses Royal Court Princesses, and PUSD students, Abigail Griffith and Jeannine Briggs, receive special recognition from the Board of Education.

One more note - don’t forget schools dismiss early on December 21 for Winter Break. Please check with your school for schedules. Students return to school on Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

Have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season!


Brian McDonald, Ed.D.


- YouTube


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