PUSD Update

January 24, 2022

Message from the Superintendent

Dear PUSD Community,

I would like to thank you for your understanding and flexibility as we adjust to ever-changing protocols and directives from state and local health officials dealing with the Omicron variant. We are doing everything we can to continue in-person learning without interruption. We are asking for your help with a few things this week and, as always, we are grateful for your cooperation and commitment to our students.


Throughout the pandemic, our PUSD Health Programs’ staff have been extraordinary in their efforts to keep our kids safe and healthy. They have conducted more than 73,000 COVID-19 tests through our robust testing program and exceeded 2,400 tests conducted during Winter break alone. All students can access weekly tests at mobile testing clinics at each school as well as regular testing and vaccination clinics at the PUSD Education Center. Weekly Mobile Testing Clinic (Scroll to the bottom of the link for schedule.)


By now, every TK-12 student should have received one rapid antigen testing kit to conduct surveillance testing at home. Our staff worked non-stop to distribute more than 15,000 free COVID-19 antigen tests provided by the California Department of Public Health for TK-12 students attending in-person instruction. The goal of the take-home test program is to reduce the risk of transmission by receiving immediate results and preventing students from attending school while positive for COVID-19. Please use the kit if you think your student has been exposed or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

All kits will come with clear instructions: How to use the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test

For more details about how to plan test days so that it is an optimal time to use the test, how to share test results with local health officials, and how to clearly understand results so that parents and students know what to do next, visit pusd.us/testkits.

We would also like to remind you that getting vaccinated and boosted when eligible is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself and those you love.

For more testing and vaccination options, please see the following sites:





Appointments are available through myturn.ca.gov.
PUSD COVID-19 Test Kit Distribution
How to use the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test


The pandemic has exacerbated inequities in our community. The state of California estimated a 48% increase in students experiencing homelessness over the last decade and recent legislation (AB-27) was passed to provide expanded services in partnership with schools and other public agencies. In order to ensure students impacted by this crisis receive appropriate services, Pasadena Unified is conducting an annual housing survey. The purpose is to help our students and families gain access to all available state and local resources.

Please complete the confidential survey by January 30:

  • www.pusd.us/housingsurvey, or

  • If you require a paper survey or alternative accommodations, please contact your school site or Pasadena Unified’s Families in Transition Office at 750 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, CA 91104 (626) 396-5782


Several PUSD students are celebrating success in the 2022 Essay and Art/Poster Contest honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The winners were announced during the Pasadena MLK Community Coalition’s virtual King Day celebration last week. They were selected from hundreds of entries, which all had to reflect on this year’s theme: At a Crossroads – Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

These are the winners of the art competition:

Elementary Division:

3rd place- Aaron Nava, 5th grade student of Don Benito

2nd place- Ayli Lopez, 4th grade student of Longfellow

1st place- Holly Kim- 4th grade student of Don Benito

Middle School Division:

3rd place- Noah Bustamonte, 8th grade student of Blair

2nd place- Cassandra Vidal, 7th grade student of Blair

1st place- Matilda Currie – 7th grade student of Eliot

High School Division:

3rd place- Alliyah Almedo, 10th grade student of Blair

2nd place- Andrew Marquez- 11th grade student of Pasadena High School

1st place- Zoe Sanchez -10th grade student of Pasadena High School

The following are the winners for the essay competition:

Elementary Division:

3rd place- Henry Flores, 5th grade student of San Rafael

2nd place- Xavier Hernandez, 5th grade student of San Rafael

1st place- Gordon White, 5th grade student of San Rafael

Middle School Division:

3rd place- Jordan Schneiderman, 7th grade student of Blair

2nd place- Finn Hendrie, 7th grade student of The Gooden School

1st place- Oliver Malone, 7th grade student of The Gooden School

Highschool Division:

3rd place- Sarah Perez, 12th grade student of Marshall

2nd place- Lucas Bowman, 10th grade student of Marshall

1st place- Kenia Aguilar, 12th grade student of Marshall

Your words and works of art are inspiring! Congratulations and have a great week!


Brian McDonald, Ed.D.



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