The Panther Pulse

Pershing Middle Community Newsletter (Vol. 1, Issue 30)

Principal's Message

Dear Pershing Families,

I cannot believe it is already April! The school year continues to fly by and I am so proud of our students & staff and what they have been accomplishing this year. I am looking forward to showing off the work they have been doing at our Spring Fest Event on Thursday, April 27th. We had a great first week back from Spring Break!

A reminder that April is Autism Awareness Month, and it begins with United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Throughout the month, it is important for us to focus on coming together in unity and collaboration by fostering worldwide support, sharing stories and connecting to create a more inclusive world. Many of us know someone who is austistic or is on the spectrum and many struggle to embrace their uniqueness knowing fully how different they are. If you do not know anyone who is autistic, let me introduce you to Dr. Temple Grandin, professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. Dr. Grandin did not speak until the age of three and a half years. She loved horses and found friends with kids who shared that interest with her. She credits her science teacher in mentoring her to pursue her love of animals. One of her biggest contributions is designing how facilities handle cattle to provide low-stress environment during herding and especially on the way to being slaughtered. She is the leading expert in this area in the cattle industry. And she is autistic. So, know that all of us are different, which is what makes us unique. And one's autism does not make that person less than; it just makes them different. During this month, let's commit to standing together to make a world of difference where all people with autism can reach their full potential.

Melanie Kray

Important Announcements for the Week of April 10th


The initial round of summer enrollment for the academic program closes April 14. Pershing Middle School is not a host site for summer school. Pershing students who attend summer school will attend at Mongomery Middle School. If you are interested in having your child participate in summer school please complete the Middle School SS Enrollment form and turn into Ms. Rebecca Bon in the main office by Friday, April 14.


We hope you will be able to join us for this month's foundation meeting in our library @6:30 PM. We will be discussing upcoming elections for the executive board, end of year activities, and this year's challenge course fundraiser! For your convenience this meeting will also be available to participate in via zoom:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 865 8308 8405


We want to remind all families that the P4 grading windows ends on April 21. The Parent Portal in Power School will be closed April 24-27 in order for grades to be processed and families will be able to view P4 grades in PowerSchool on Friday, April 28th.


Students have been working hard and an important benchmark, P4 grades, is fast approaching. CLICK HERE to see the 8th grade expectations that were shared with students to participate in end of the year activities.

SPRING FEST, APRIL 27th @5:30-7:00 PM

The Pershing Middle School faculty would like to cordially invite all families to attend our second semester open house which we are calling Spring Fest: An Exhibition of Student Learning. We hope you will be able to attend and elementary students from our feeder elementary schools: Benchley-Weinberger, Dailard, Gage, and Green are also welcome to attend.


Each year the State of California has all 6-8th graders take the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). These tests are used by the state to measure student progress in English and Math. This year students will be taking their English CAASPP in their English classes the Week of May 1st and then they will take their Math CAASPP in their Math classes the Week of May 8th. Eighth grade students are required to take one additional state test the California Science Test or CAST. Eighth graders will take the CAST in their science classes the Week of May 15th. We are required to have at least 95% of our students take these state exams so we wanted to make sure families have these dates early so vacations and medical appointments are not scheduled during these state-wide tests. As we get closer to the testing dates more detailed information will be provided to families.


There a lots of a ways to stay involved and support Pershing Middle School starting with our fabulous Pershing Parent Foundation. Be sure to check out their website: and visit them on facebook @parentsofpershingpanthers. On their facebook page they have information on how to sign up for Amazon Smile so that a portion of your amazon purchases support our school.


Do you have suggestions for our school website? CLICK HERE to complete our website feedback survey.

The Pershing Robotic Panthers participated Saturday in the "Spring Showdown" robotics competition held at Francis Parker School. The Panthers had a great day competing in both pre-coded robot runs and robot coding completed onsite under timed conditions against well over 30 other teams. While we did not come away with an award during this competition, the teams had a great day running robots in the last competition of the school year. Congratulations Robotic Panthers!

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As we near the production of Seussical Jr! It has been a long and extremely rewarding process. We are excited that the week of April 17th is fast approaching and our students will be able to show off all their hard work and their amazing talent.

Tickets for our evening performances April 19-21 are on sale now (click on the link to purchase tickets):


This was the dream of former Principal Susan Levy over ten years ago as her own love of musical theater and her knowledge of the power of performing arts motivated her to bring a full scale production to a public middle school. With an unparalleled passion she created a middle school drama program from nothing to something that has become the model and envy of not only other public schools in the area but local theater companies as well. The productions served not only current students but the community as well as local elementary schools were often welcomed on field trips to expand younger students' minds to the power of the performing arts.

While Mrs. Levy had a long and exhaustive career and was certainly worthy of retirement; the majority of the lament came from (already) dramatic students about the future of this beloved program. While we were able to pull together an amazing team this year, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could ensure that Pershing Middle School would forever have a FUNDED drama department to be able to offer their students?

It costs roughly $5,000 to put on our production each year. This pays for the rights to the show that is chosen, scripts, props, and most importantly a Director and Choreographer. As you know, Mrs. Levy faithfully directed each production on her own time with no additional payment. That number does not include the hundreds of volunteer hours from parents willing to provide their time and skills to volunteer from organization to costumes to set design. It is a huge undertaking that Mrs. Levy shouldered mostly on her own. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have the funds in place for years to come so that a production could be guaranteed by the assurance that the school could hire an outside resource to bring a show to life? Wouldn’t it be even more amazing to honor Mrs. Levy’s legacy with a named endowment in her honor?

If you are interested in contributing to this worthy case you can donate online to:

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Panthers will be participating in The Challenge Course very soon!

The Pershing Foundation is promoting The Challenge Course as its main fundraiser for the year. Funds raised will support teacher stipends, teacher appreciation and wellness throughout the year, campus beautification projects, educational classroom and teaching enhancements, supplemental supplies for engineering, physical education and the library, and so much more!

We need your help!

  1. We are in need of prize donations. As students earn donations via the donation website, they will earn a raffle ticket for each $5 raised. Those tickets will then be used as a chance to win prizes. If you are able to donate items, tickets to events, gift cards, or anything a middle schooler might like as a prize, please contact Diana Smith at to coordinate.
  2. We need business sponsors!
    1. Business sponsors will have their business name and logo printed on the event T shirts, displayed on the donation website, and printed in the 8th grade promotion program! There are several different levels available for sponsorship.

Platinum $1000

Gold $500

Silver $250

Partner $100

We thank you in advance for any donation to this worthy organization. Your donation would be tax deductible, as the Foundation is a 501c3 Checks can be mailed to:

Shawna McCarthy

C/O Pershing Middle School

8204 San Carlos Drive

San Diego, CA 92119

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions to the event organizer, Diana Smith at (702) 286-9107 or

Important Challenge Course Dates:

Donation website launch - April 24th (more details to come)

Cutoff for donations to count toward prizes - May 14th

Raffle ticket distribution - May 17th

Raffle winners drawn - May 19th

Stay tuned for a list of available prizes!

Our policy for SDUSD Middle School Athletics (MSA) is to usually try to wait until the morning of to make decisions about the weather and then let school sites make individual decisions because every geographical area and playing surface is different throughout the District. With rain forecasted for the rest of the week throughout the City, the SDUSD Athletics Office has made a unilateral decision to postpone all middle school flag football tryouts for the duration of this week due to anticipated bad weather. We will resume tryouts upon our return from Spring Break on April 3. Coaches are being alerted that they must still have a minimum of two days of tryouts before deciding on teams. Those two days of tryouts will be the next two scheduled days per this schedule upon our return from Spring Break: Spring 2023 Practice Schedule. Until coaches/teams are set, decisions as it pertains to practices/tryouts, including weather decisions, will be made centrally from the SDUSD Athletics Office. A message is being sent to all parents/guardians of students who registered as we have those emails from the sign-up form.

The start of the Flag Football season remains April 15th and our office anticipates having the first two weeks of the flag football game schedule released by the end of this week.

For any questions, please check our Middle School Athletics District website located at or contact Lonnie Jones, our SDUSD Middle School Athletics Coordinator at


Does your child need help with Spanish? Mr. Barry is offering tutoring support on Tuesdays in Rm. 104 afterschool.


If you were not able to attend the meeting CLICK HERE to see the slide deck the Henry team presented.

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COVID Health and Safety Updates

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

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in our area, with San Diego County recently entering the Medium COVID-19 Community Level. Other illnesses such as the influenza virus (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and the common cold also remain highly prevalent and easily transmissible. Practicing good health hygiene habits – washing hands, staying home when sick, and considering wearing a mask indoors and in crowded areas – can help prevent the spread of illness and is especially important during this time when many will be traveling or gathering with family and friends.

The district is providing all students and staff with at-home COVID-19 test kits to help our school communities have greater peace of mind about returning to school safely on Tuesday, Jan. 3 after the winter break.

The California Department of Public Health now recommends self testing for COVID-19 the day before coming back to school and two or three days after returning. We encourage students and staff to test on Monday, Jan. 2 and again on either Wednesday, Jan 4 or Thursday, Jan 5.

Testing before returning to school is recommended but not required. Additional test kits for students and staff are available at the Ed Center COVID-19 testing facility. If you test positive for COVID-19, please do not attend school and report your illness here.

Please do not send your child to school if they are feeling sick or experiencing symptoms of any cold-like virus, until those symptoms start to improve and there is no fever for 24 hours (without use of fever-reducing medication). Keeping your sick child home will be a great benefit for the health and wellness of our students and staff.

What Symptoms to Look For

  • The flu and COVID-19 are both spread from person-to-person, especially indoors and in crowded places. Symptoms for both viruses can include nasal congestion, fever, headache, and muscle and joint pain, as well as a sore throat and coughing.
  • RSV is a respiratory virus that has been detected in previous cold and flu seasons. Symptoms of RSV include cough, runny nose, and fever. Treatment consists of managing symptoms.

Tips to Avoid Getting Sick [English | Español)
Public health officials offer these tips to prevent getting sick:

  • Consider wearing a well-fitting, good-quality mask, especially indoors or in crowded spaces
  • Wash hands thoroughly and often
  • Use hand sanitizers, if unable to wash hands
  • Stay away from sick people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces and/or wash/sanitize your hands after using them.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 and flu vaccines
Review Previous Community Newsletters

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Apr 19, 20, 21: Seussical School Play @6:00 PM

Apr 21: P4 Grading Window Ends

Apr 27: Spring Fest @5:30-7:00 PM

May 1-18: CAASPP School-wide testing

May 19: Pershing Foundation Challenge Course

Jun 8: 8th Grade Evening Awards Assembly

Jun 9: 8th Grade Dance

Jun 12: 8th Grade Promotion Practice

June 13: 8th Grade Promotion Practice & Dave & Buster's Trip

Jun 14: 8th Grade Promotion