PUSD Update

November 1, 2021

Message from the Superintendent

Dear PUSD Community,

November has arrived and it’s hard to believe we’ll soon be in the midst of the holiday rush. Please take a moment to slow down and enjoy the activities going on in our District. This week’s update has a little bit of everything: talking, dancing, studying, creating, and celebrating. I hope you will keep smiling through it all and, as always, stay safe.


During the week of October 25 - 29, the District conducted 5,038 tests among students and employees through the PUSD COVID-19 Testing Program with only a .83% positivity rate, a slight increase since last week. We are still experiencing substantial transmission across Los Angeles County and we ask all identified close contacts to follow the quarantine requirements in order to prevent transmission in our schools and community.


To bolster safety measures, PUSD requires all unvaccinated students in grades TK-12 to be tested weekly for COVID-19, with informed parent or guardian consent. We are thankful for the thousands of people who have responded to the confidential COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Submission Form. Please contact Health Services or Human Resources if you have any questions.


This month, Pasadena USD will administer the California Healthy Kids Survey to parents, guardians, PUSD staff and students in grades 6, 7, 9 and 11. The purpose of this survey is to gather information about key elements that affect learning. By now, parents should have received the consent forms needed for their students to participate. The survey window opens on November 3 and closes on November 19, 2021. The survey is voluntary yet highly encouraged.


Open enrollment continues through November 15. We are currently accepting sibling and priority applications for Fall 2022. Please visit our website at www.pusd.us/enrollment for helpful information.


Vaccinated 7th and 8th graders from across the District will soon go “Head Over Heels” at the Pasadena Playhouse. The theater, which is an Open Stage partner with PUSD, is offering 20 free tickets per middle school to attend the 8 p.m. performance on November 11, 2021. “Head Over Heels” includes hits of the Go-Go’s like “Mad about You” and “Our Lips Are Sealed” and the musical comedy will feature actors performing all over the newly converted theater. Patrons will be required to wear a mask at all times and must provide proof of vaccination. All guests are encouraged to either “dance on your feet” or “groove in your seat” during the show. Please fill out the google form and the first 20 students from each middle school will be sent a ticket!


Pasadena High School’s Creative Arts Media and Design students will join hundreds of local artisans for the Jackalope Fair November 21 and 22, 2021. The fair will include a Pasadena High School booth and will feature one-of-a-kind artwork, accessories, jewelry, housewares, fashion, food and more. All PUSD staff and students will receive a $5 coupon to spend at any booth (bring ID to receive your coupon).


Congratulations to Jeannine Briggs, a senior at John Marshall Fundamental High School and to Abigail Griffith, a senior at Pasadena High School! The two outstanding Pasadena Unified students were honored at the 2022 Royal Court Coronation last week. Members of the Royal Court serve as ambassadors of the Tournament of Roses and will each receive a $7500 educational scholarship. They will attend dozens of public events in the months leading up to the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.


Pasadena is very proud of its rich art history and equally proud of its artists, especially our young ones. We are encouraging students in grades 4-8 to submit entries in keeping with this year’s theme: Dream. Believe. Achieve. Budding artists are asked to create designs for a vase to hold the beautiful roses symbolic of the event. Winning sketches will be chosen from each school and students will paint their vase. First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded districtwide to students from grades 4 and 5 (Elementary) and to students from grades 6 to 8 (Secondary). An award ceremony is planned for December 4 at the Tournament House.


PUSD’s Human Resources Department recently launched the “Let’s Talk” cloud-based communication system that can be accessed through any device at any time. It is a question-and-answer chat system designed to open the lines of communication with employees, students, and parents. Among other features, it will allow the District to manage critical messages and safety concerns. To use the system, click on the attached link. We welcome your feedback and look forward to hearing from you! Human Resources / Department Home

Thank you for all that you do, stay healthy, and have a great week!


Brian McDonald, Ed.D.


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Above, PHS's Abigail Griffith (left) and Marshall's Jeannine Briggs (second from left) join in the Royal Court Coronation for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses 2022.


Getting the vaccine will help protect our students and employees. COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone ages 12 and over. Get the COVID-19 vaccine to keep our community safe! www.pusd.us/vaccine

#VaccinatePasadena #PUSDproud @CityOfPasadena