Message from the Superintendent
May 2, 2022
Message from the Superintendent
Dear PUSD Community,
Teachers play a profound role in shaping future generations and we would like to take time to give them special recognition and gratitude during National Teacher Appreciation Week which begins today, continues throughout the week and includes National Teacher Appreciation Day tomorrow, May 3, 2022. They are truly incredible and work hard to inspire students every day.
ROTARY TEACHERS OF EXCELLENCE
All PUSD teachers are amazing but five in particular will be singled out as 2022 Rotary Teachers of Excellence! The awards are presented annually by the Rotary Club of Pasadena to educators who excel in their profession and these individuals certainly make us #PUSDproud!
The 2022 honorees are: Erik Delgadillo of Sierra Madre Middle School, Anqi Deng of Field Elementary School, Amethyst Juknavorian of Don Benito Fundamental School, Ana Negret of Alexander Hamilton Elementary School, and Bharatchandra Parekh of John Muir High School Early College Magnet. They will be honored at a luncheon on May 4.
Erik Delgadillo of Sierra Madre Middle School
Anqi Deng of Field Elementary School
Amethyst Juknavorian of Don Benito Fundamental School
Ana Negret of Alexander Hamilton Elementary School
Bharatchandra Parekh of John Muir High School Early College Magnet
Pasadena Unified students are leading the way in making improvements to education. The PUSD Think Tank is an amazing collective of students who have gathered virtually for two years to research and present recommendations for a stronger District and community. Last week, several Think Tank members made formal presentations to PUSD’s Board of Education to explain their activities and goals. They said the PUSD Think Tank is a “student-led initiative whose mission is to create a safe space for students to connect across campuses, raise consciousness about Pasadena’s history, and to provide a platform through which students can create equity within the district and the region.” It includes two cohorts made up of high school students from across the District and they have created three committees, each with a different focus: equity, curriculum, and mental health. We are extremely impressed by their ongoing hard work and their findings will serve to guide our leadership and spark change from the ground level up. For more information, check out their student website: pusd.us/thinktank.
Student Think Tank members representing PUSD's high schools arrive to present their research and recommendations on Curriculum, Mental Health, and Equity.
ETHNIC STUDIES IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Congratulations to a team of PUSD experts who have been recognized by the University of California for the establishment of an Ethnic Studies course in our high schools. The course was created to broaden the perspective of American history available to our students. California is not adding this course to its graduation requirements until 2030, but with leadership from our teachers, PUSD was able to begin early and launch its inaugural course this school year. The course meets UC’s college-ready requirements for History/Social Studies or as an elective credit and so far students have been very receptive. Students have said, “Even though we learned about heavy topics, we were in an environment that allowed us to process it and truly reflect on ourselves and history.”
Thank you to Helen Hill (Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction & Professional Development), Manuel Rustin and Totam Dao (John Muir), David Flores (Pasadena High), Andrea Flores and Joshua Tornek (Marshall Fundamental), Rhyna Vasquez and Noraryr Daduryan (Blair), Ngozi Ezieme (Rose City), and Jose Ortega (Curriculum Specialist) for their hard work and insight. Please read about their journey thus far in the University of California's High School Articulation Newsletter.
Think Tank Students and Ethnic Studies Teachers pose with the PUSD Board of Education after their presentations at the April 28, Board Meeting.
We want your input on PUSD’s Communication Plan!
PUSD is building a communication plan with the help of feedback from our students, families, employees, and community.
Take the 10-15 minute survey and let us know:
The kind of information you would like to receive from PUSD
How often you would like to receive it
The best way to reach you
EVERY KID HEALTHY RESOURCE FAIR
PUSD is making it easier for students to stay healthy and continue in-person learning. You are invited to visit your PUSD Health Programs Team and community partners at the Every Kid Healthy Resource Fair this weekend. This is an opportunity for PUSD families and employees to receive information about best practices regarding overall good health AND to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Community partners include the Pasadena Public Health Department, the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center, Huntington Hospital Community Outreach, Young & Healthy, and DayOne. To get a COVID-19 vaccination, register here: https://myturn.ca.gov/screening?config=34d450e2-079d-4bdd-8974-6ffdb3580e30
Saturday, May 7, 2022
8:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.
Pasadena Unified School District Education Center
351 S. Hudson Ave. - North Parking Lot, Pasadena, CA
Parking is available in the south parking lot off Oak Knoll Avenue.
Mid-week, our next school-based vaccination clinic:
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Webster Elementary School
Pfizer and Moderna Vaccination Clinic
2101 E Washington Blvd , Pasadena, California 91104, USA
Nurses Friday, May 6 is National Nurses Day and is the first day of National Nursing Week, which concludes on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
National School Nurse Day is Wednesday, May 11 and recognizes school nurses and their important role in the safety, health, and academic success of our students. Thank you PUSD Nurses for all you do for PUSD students!
INNOVATION EXPOSITION 2022
Can waste power the world? Is there life on Mars? Those questions and more have been answered by kids at the Innovation Exposition – Pasadena’s alternative to the science fair. After a two-year hiatus, you can expect the same level of creativity this year as students in grades K-8 display their original projects on Friday, May 6, at the Blair School, 1201 South Marengo Avenue, Pasadena. What makes the Innovation Exposition so unique is that we use the extensive expertise of our community to interact and provide feedback to our students and we are still in need of judges for this event!
Judging occurs from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm (at the latest). You can volunteer for part or all of that time. If you are interested, please sign up HERE. Invite your friends! The Innovation Exposition allows students to explore interests and talents in six categories: Invention, Science Fiction, Scientific Inquiry, Environmental Innovation, 3D Printing, and Reverse Engineering. Public viewing of both competitive and non-competitive projects will be from 5 - 6 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony. Innovation Exposition Schedule of Events
“No Boundaries 17,” PUSD’s annual student art exhibition, will display limitless creativity throughout the week. The 17th annual exhibit at the Paseo in downtown Pasadena showcases hundreds of works by students from all District schools and is free to the public through May 8. If you’d like to brighten your day, stop by the gallery. It’s open Monday - Friday: 3-6 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday 1-4 p.m. For more information, go to gopusd.com/noboundaries. “No Boundaries” is presented by the PUSD Arts Education Department, in collaboration with community arts partner Side Street Projects. It is produced in partnership with the City of Pasadena’s Division of Cultural Affairs, the Pasadena Educational Foundation, Art Night Pasadena, and The Paseo.
In honor of School Nutrition Employee Week (May 2-6) and School Lunch Hero Day this Friday, we would like to thank our PUSD Food Services Team who have worked rain or shine without stopping – even when the pandemic first began – to make sure that children get nutritious meals.
Once again, they will offer free breakfasts and lunches for kids ages 18 or younger this summer through the 2022 Summer Food Program. The free meals will be served at schools and other sites throughout Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre. Children do not need to be enrolled in PUSD schools to receive a meal and no pre-registration is required for the program which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and PUSD’s Food and Nutrition Services Department, and operated by PUSD, the City of Pasadena, and other organizations. Each school day at PUSD, we serve over 14,000 nutritious meals to students. This program provides an opportunity for our students and all the children in our community to continue receiving those meals during the summer. Participants just need to show up to one of our community feeding sites to receive both breakfast and lunch curbside. For more information and a list of sites, visit www.pusd.us/foodservices or call PUSD Food and Nutrition Services at (626) 396-5852.
CAREER DAY AT JOHN MUIR HIGH SCHOOL EARLY COLLEGE MAGNET
From screen writing to code writing and everything in between, future career possibilities came to life at John Muir High School’s inaugural "Career Day" last week. In the past, the school has presented separate events for each pathway; this was the first combined career day for all students to engage in workshops, exhibits, and presentations from a variety of industries all at once.
Beverly Rodriguez, the Engineering and Environmental Science Academy Lead Teacher, said if you can think of an industry that exists in Pasadena, it was most likely represented at Career Day. The event featured professionals and career fields from the Business, Engineering, Arts, and Entertainment Industries and included outdoor booths where Mustangs could network with community business partners and professionals. Students had the option to learn more about their own academy or explore and experiment with other careers.
Senior Quincy Watson explains coding languages during a workshop at John Muir High School Early College Magnet. Photo credit © Mustangs Media
Mustangs mingle with industry professionals at Career Day. Photo Credit © Mustangs Media
Blair's Ovations 2022
Upcoming Spring Musicals:
You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown
Washington STEAM (Octavia Butler Magnet)
May 12 @ 7 pm
May 13 @ 7 pm
May 18 @ 7 pm
May 19 @ 7 pm
Once on This Island
John Muir High School
May 13 @ 7 pm
May 14 @ 7 pm
Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical
May 19 @ 6 pm
May 20 @ 6 pm
May 21 @ 1 pm & 6 pm
Thank you for sharing your time and talents! Have a great week!
Brian McDonald, Ed.D.