Message from the Superintendent
May 16, 2022
Message from the Superintendent
Dear PUSD Community,
I know what some of you may be thinking – with so much to do before the end of the school year, how are we going to make it to summer? As always, the answer is – by leaning on each other. Our staff is once again being asked to adapt to changing pandemic guidelines in order to keep us all safe and healthy. Our students are getting ready for finals, internships, promotions, and graduations. I’m excited about the future of the Class of 2022. We’ve prepared our high school graduates well and the entire Pasadena community is in their corner, ready to uplift them and help them on the road to success. Over the years, one of my greatest joys has been to see graduates come back to say hello or to work in our community. I encourage members of the Class to do the same.
GRADUATIONS COMING UP!
The Class of 2022 graduates in just a few weeks. We’re so proud of everything they have accomplished and their resilience in the face of adversity. This ability to get up and get going again after the pandemic makes them true champions. We’re so proud of you, Class of 2022!
High School Graduations at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium
Please note that graduation ceremonies are ticketed events for families of graduates. Parents/guardians, please check with your school for details. COVID safety protocols apply.
June 1, 2022
2:00 p.m. Marshall Fundamental Secondary School
6:00 p.m. John Muir Early College Magnet High School
June 3, 2022
2:00 p.m. Pasadena High School
6:00 p.m. Blair High School, Rose City High School, Center for Independent Studies
For middle and elementary school promotions, click here
GRADUATE IN THE SPOTLIGHT
PUSD Senior Kennedy Hackett is headed to Harvard University this fall after becoming the first student to graduate from John Muir High School (JMHS) Early College Magnet with a high school diploma and an Associate of Arts degree in Natural Science from Pasadena City College. Through a partnership between the college and Pasadena Unified, PCC Northwest is located on the campus of John Muir High School. Students can take college-level courses there during the school day.
A scholar, leader, and athlete, Kennedy has a 4.2 GPA and is described by teachers and counselors as “persistent, charismatic, and ambitious.” Her academic achievements and involvement in the school and community include Associated Student Body Vice President, 2022 Class Treasurer, the pep squad, track and field, and the Black Student Union. She also volunteers as a tutor for younger children – a job she sees as one of the most meaningful experiences of her life. She says the knowledge she acquired through dual enrollment has prepared her to step up to the university level. Good luck at Harvard, Ms. Hackett! We are incredibly #PUSDproud of you!
ORIGINAL DUAL-LANGUAGE IMMERSION (DLIP) CLASS READY TO GRADUATE
Pasadena Unified is getting ready to say farewell in multiple languages to the founding class of students who began the Dual Language Immersion Program in kindergarten. The program, started in the 2009-10 school year has enabled students to master academic subjects in both English and a target language (Spanish, Mandarin, French, or Armenian). It all began with one Mandarin kindergarten class, one small Mandarin first grade class, two Spanish kindergarten classes, and one Spanish first grade class and it now includes programs at over a dozen PUSD preschools, elementary, middle, and high schools. The first graders graduated last year but this is the first kindergarten class to graduate. One of the parents who helped launch the program over a decade ago called it transformative and says her children will never really know how valuable it has been to learn to read, write, and speak in a target language.
New-to-PUSD students and current students who are transitioning to a new school for the 2022-23 school year should complete online registration for their school of residence (or offered lottery school). Online registration is available at pusd.us/registration. In-person support is available at school sites and at the Office of Enrollment, Permits, and Student Records.
ASIAN AMERICAN AND NATIVE HAWAIIAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH
May is officially Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, following a resolution by the PUSD Board of Education. AANHPI persons make up 7.4 percent of the student population at PUSD and number more than half a million in the San Gabriel Valley alone. We celebrate the history and achievements of AANHPIs, their leadership, resilience, and courage. The Board also encourages support for efforts to combat hate toward AANHPI communities which continue to face exclusion, discrimination, racism and most recently, an uptick in hate crimes against them as a result of the pandemic.
NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH MONTH
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The goal of this month is to break the stigma around mental health and encourage people of all ages to seek help. To combat the negative effects of the pandemic as well as other pre-existing mental health challenges, PUSD has expanded its mental health workforce and partnerships.
PUSD Mental Health Services and THRIVE: School Mental Health aim to provide a spectrum of comprehensive services that support PUSD students by addressing mental, social, and emotional barriers. PUSD has also partnered with Care Solace and Hazel Health to further expand available mental health services and resources for our staff, students, and their families. For further information about available mental health services, please visit: https://www.pusd.us/Domain/1327
CLASSIFIED SCHOOL EMPLOYEE WEEK
PUSD employees know how to put the “class” in classified! This week – May 15-21 – is Classified School Employee Week. Classified employees often work behind the scenes but play a vital role in the care, guidance, and safety of our students. Their work is essential and their positions include: office/clerical employees, custodians, bus drivers, business managers, and more. We appreciate the important work you do for our schools and students!
NEW PLAYGROUND AT HAMILTON ELEMENTARY
A colorful, long-lasting new playground is now the site of laughter and smiles for more than 500 children who attend Hamilton Elementary. Pasadena Unified partnered with Carter’s Kids, a nonprofit founded by TV star Carter Oosterhouse, and Chuck E. Cheese, a children’s birthday party destination, to make the playground a reality.
Hamilton Principal Erika Cooper says the playground is a welcome addition to the campus and an amazing gift. Thank you to the generous donors, PUSD Facilities, and so many volunteers who made it possible.
Carter’s Kids has built and developed community and school playgrounds and parks in 22 states across the country to encourage physical fitness and ensure that every child has access to a fun, safe place to play. Hamilton is the site of the 86th playground built by Carter’s Kids since Oosterhouse started the nonprofit in 2006.
PasadenaLEARNs will host its 2022 Community Showcase on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 351 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena, CA 91109 in the south parking lot. The event showcases student learning, artwork, and performances through PUSD’s LEARNs Expanded Learning Program. The Showcase is free and open to the public.
UPDATED COVID-19 GUIDELINES
Like many cities across the country, Pasadena is experiencing an increase in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases. However, the number of hospitalizations remains low at this time. As we head into graduation season, we would like to minimize transmission and work to keep our entire PUSD community safe. PUSD is following recent updates issued by Pasadena Public Health Department.
As a reminder, asymptomatic students who have been exposed to someone while they were infected with COVID-19 are still allowed to stay in school and do not have to be quarantined. However, in order to remain on campus, they are required to test within 3-5 days after last exposure and mask around others while indoors, except while eating or drinking, for 10 days after last exposure. The same is true for athletes participating in youth recreational sports programs and school sports/teams.
Another update involves students who test positive. Previous protocol required COVID-19 positive students to isolate for 10 days.
Now, COVID-positive students can leave isolation on Day 6 if they meet the following criteria:
- A COVID-19 viral test collected on Day 5 or later is negative; AND
- No fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine; AND
- Other symptoms are significantly improved and resolving --OR--
Isolation can end on Day 11 if the following criteria are met:
- No fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine; AND
- Other symptoms are not present or are significantly improved and resolving.
Stay healthy and have a great week!
Brian McDonald, Ed.D.