Positively Pasco: Issue #181
August 7, 2023
New Website Launching October 2023
We are thrilled to share we are launching a new PSD website in October 2023. You will still find district news and information by visiting www.psd1.org, but will discover an updated and modern look, feel, streamlined navigation, intuitive calendar and staff directory, and updated and relevant content.
Various stakeholders, including staff, students, and community members have provided valuable website feedback to shape its look and feel and navigation.
For more detailed information about the website project, we invite you to visit our Website Coming Soon webpage.
What You Need to Know About the 2023-24 School Year
The anticipation is building as we gear up for the upcoming 2023-24 school year! We know time flies, and we want to make sure you have all the information you need to prepare for a fantastic year ahead.
To ensure a smooth start to the new academic year, we have compiled essential details on our 'Welcome to the 2023-24 School Year' webpage. Here's a sneak peek of what you'll find there:
school calendars, first day of school, school meals, optional school supplies, and more!
Bus transportation routes will be completed soon, so check back in the coming weeks for all the information you'll need to plan your daily commute.
Kindergarten Enrollment Now Open
Kindergarten enrollment is open! All children who will be five years old by August 31 may enroll for kindergarten.
To enroll your child, visit the Pasco School District enrollment website.
The following documents will be needed to complete the enrollment:
- Birth certificate
- Proof of residence
- Immunization records
Early enrollment will help establish a smooth transition into kindergarten, ensure timely communication from your child’s school, and allow for transportation routing for students who are eligible.
Preschool at PSD
Learn more about PSD's preschool programs, which help ensure children enter kindergarten ready for success.
Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) and Head Start are state-funded high-quality preschool programs that serve qualifying 3- and 4-year-old children and their families. The program is FREE for eligible families.
Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is a kindergarten program for children under five who do not have access to high-quality early learning experiences before kindergarten.
Please complete our online interest form to discover what preschool program your child is eligible for in the upcoming 2023-2024 school year.
Now Hiring Bus Drivers
Help drive Pasco students to success! Apply to be a bus driver and take advantage of the many benefits this rewarding job has to offer, including:
Interested in Joining the Naming Committee for PSD's New High Schools?
Pasco School District (PSD) is excited to invite passionate community members like YOU to participate in one of our Naming Committee's for our two new high schools, which were a part of the 2023 bond. This is an incredible opportunity to be a part of shaping the identity of our new high schools and leave a lasting impact on our educational community.
- August 23rd
- September 13th
- September 20th (tentative)
Meeting Time: 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Location: Booth Building, 1215 W. Lewis St., Pasco (location could change)
Committee's Purpose: As valued stakeholders in our school district, our Naming Committee's primary objectives are to gather innovative and inclusive suggestions for the identity of our Comprehensive HS #3 and the Small Innovative High School/Career & College Academy. We will be utilizing the data platform ThoughtExchange to ensure everyone's voice is heard, promoting transparency and engagement.
You Belong: We are seeking Committee members from across our vibrant and diverse Pasco community. If you are open-minded, a team player, and solution-oriented, we warmly encourage you to apply.
Your Commitment: Your active participation and dedication are vital to the success of this endeavor. By sharing your insights and ideas, you will contribute to creating an inspiring and meaningful identity for Comprehensive HS #3 and the Small Innovative High School/Career & College Academy.
How to Apply: To be considered for a Naming Committee, please fill out the online form by Sunday, August 13. Selected members will be notified the following week. Your passion and commitment to our organization will make a difference in shaping the future of our new high schools.
Captain Gray STEM Elementary Teachers Surprise Students with Popsicle Pop-ins
Thanks to Mrs. Chavez, Mrs. Scheffler, Mrs. Milly, and Miss Olguin, our friends from Captain Gray STEM Elementary, for embarking on their weekly Popsicle Pop-ins adventure, where they cruise through the school neighborhoods on a mission to spread joy and connect with amazing students. When they spotted students, they made quick stops and surprised them with refreshing Popsicles.
Curie STEM Elementary Opens Summer Lending Library
Curie STEM Elementary opened a Summer Lending Library for students to enjoy. Throughout the entire summer, Curie STEM Elementary students can dive into a world of imagination and knowledge with a wide range of captivating books.
The library will be open from 9 am to 1 pm, Monday through Friday, giving everyone ample time to explore the pages of their favorite stories and embark on thrilling adventures.
We encourage all parents, guardians, and students to make the most of this opportunity to cultivate a love for reading during the summer break. Remember, reading opens doors to infinite possibilities and fuels the imagination like nothing else!
Let's make this summer unforgettable and embark on incredible literary journeys together!
Meet Our New Pasco Principals
McGee Elementary - Emily Gomez
Welcome Emily Gomez to her role as Principal of McGee Elementary School. Mrs. Gomez brings an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience to her new role, with over 20 years of dedication to education in the Pasco School District. She is committed to upholding McGee's proud tradition of fostering student success and nurturing Pasco Pride.
McGee Elementary - Daniel Garza
Welcome Daniel Garza to his role as Assistant Principal of McGee Elementary School. Mr. Garza has served as the Assistant Principal at Emerson and Marie Curie STEM Elementary Schools for the past year. With a solid background of 10 years of experience, including eight years in teaching and two years in administration, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise.
Emerson Elementary - Daniel Horn
Welcome Daniel Horn to his role as Principal of Emerson Elementary School. Mr. Horn joins us from his previous role as the Sr. Director of School Support at the Achievement Network, where he significantly impacted over the past five years. As a former bilingual teacher, he has a special passion for supporting dual language programs. He believes in the power of language and culture in shaping a well-rounded educational experience.
Livingston Elementary - Kristen Wren
Welcome Kristen Wren to her role as Assistant Principal of Livingston Elementary School. Many of you may already know her as she spent 13 incredible years at Livingston, serving as a dedicated teacher, instructional coach, and Behavior Intervention Specialist. Mrs. Wren served as the Assistant Principal at Longfellow Elementary for the past two years, gaining valuable leadership experience and further honing her skills. But now, she's returning "home" to Livingston, and she couldn't be more thrilled!
Reynolds Middle School - Holly Cozad
Welcome Holly Cozad to her role as Assistant Principal of Reynolds Middle School. With an impressive 23 years of experience in the education field, Mrs. Cozad brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role. For the past eight years, she has been the Assistant Principal at McGee Elementary School, where she played a vital role in shaping a supportive learning environment. Mrs. Cozad's primary goal for the upcoming year is to cultivate strong relationships within our school community.
Stevens Middle School - Tyler Thompson
Welcome Tyler Thompson to his role as Principal of Stevens Middle School. As the new Principal, Mr. Thompson is committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for all students. He believes in celebrating personal achievements and ensuring every student feels valued and supported on their educational journey. Mr. Thompson served as Stevens' Assistant Principal for the past three years.
Stevens Middle School - Amy Kasenga
Welcome Amy Kasenga to her role as Assistant Principal at Stevens Middle School. With an impressive 28 years of experience in education, Mrs. Kasenga brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our school community. Mrs. Kasenga is eager to build strong relationships with the dedicated staff, motivated students, and supportive families at Stevens Middle School.
McClintock STEM Elementary - Brooke Schuldheisz
Welcome Brooke Schuldheisz to her role as Principal of McClintock STEM Elementary School. With an impressive track record of eight years as the Principal of Emerson Elementary School, Mrs. Schuldheisz brings a wealth of experience and a passion for education. Her journey began in 1995 as a dedicated kindergarten and 1st-grade teacher, later expanding her role as a math specialist. Embracing the role of a guiding force, Mrs. Schuldheisz is committed to ensuring each individual's emotional and academic success.
Pasco High School - Veronica Machado
Welcome Veronica Machado to her role as Principal of Pasco High. Mrs. Machado has been an integral part of the Pasco High School community for the past four years as an Assistant Principal. Mrs. Machado steps into her new role as Principal. She eagerly anticipates continuing her collaboration with the incredible staff, students, families, and community members of Pasco High School. Together, they will work towards upholding the school's mission statement of "All Belong, All Learn, All In!"
Pasco High School - Maria Keaney
Welcome Maria Keaney to her role as Assistant Principal of Pasco High. Mrs. Keaney has spent the past five years as an Instructional Coach at McLoughlin Middle School, where she significantly impacted educators and students alike. She understands the importance of fostering a supportive and inclusive environment that empowers every student to thrive.
New Horizons High School - Becky Hitchman
Welcome Becky Hitchman to her role as Principal of New Horizons High School. After serving as Assistant Principal at New Horizons High School and the Pasco Digital Learning Academy for an incredible five years, Mrs. Hitchman is stepping into her new role with a wealth of experience as she's spent the last 24 years serving in many functions such as a teacher, education specialist, and administrator. One of Mrs. Hitchman's top priorities is to ensure that students have a positive learning environment that empowers them to reach their college or career goals.
New Horizons High School and Virtual Digital Academy - Bambi Pescasio
Welcome Bambi Pescasio to her role as Assistant Principal to New Horizons High School and Pasco Digital Learning Academy. With a decade of experience in education, Mrs. Pescasio joins us from Othello High School, where she served as Assistant Principal. Her passion for fostering transformative educational opportunities and cultivating a culture of growth, resilience, and lifelong learning is truly inspiring.
Twain Elementary - Cesar Vera-Rodriguez
Welcome Cesar Vera-Rodriguez to his role as Assistant Principal to Twain Elementary School. Mr. Vera-Rodriguez is a dedicated educator with 11 years of education experience and a proud product of Pasco schools. His passion for education and commitment to our community are truly inspiring! Mr. Vera-Rodriguez is determined to work closely with staff to create our students' best possible learning experiences.
High School #3 - Raquel Martinez
Welcome Raquel Martinez to her role as Planning Principal for High School #3. Mrs. Martinez brings a wealth of experience from her impressive 18-year career in education, all within the Pasco School District. She has served in various capacities, including six years as Principal at Stevens Middle School and three years as Assistant Principal. Additionally, she dedicated nine years to teaching biology and serving as a Bilingual Facilitator at Pasco High School. In her new position, Mrs. Martinez will be at the forefront of engaging with our community, including parents, students, and local stakeholders, to gather valuable input for our new high school.
Innovative High School: Career & College Academy - Seth Johnson
Welcome, Seth Johnson, to his role as Planning Principal for the Innovative High School: Career & College Academy. As Planning Principal, Mr. Johnson will play a crucial role in engaging our community and stakeholders to chart the path for building a small, cutting-edge high school. With a wealth of experience as Principal of New Horizons High School for the past eight years and an additional eight years as a dedicated teacher, Mr. Johnson brings a unique perspective to the table. He eagerly embraces this rare opportunity to build a school and its educational offerings from scratch.
Emerson and Longfellow Elementary School - Jose Cruz
Welcome Jose Cruz to his role as Assistant Principal for Emerson and Longfellow Elementary School. With an impressive 13 years of experience in the education field, Mr. Cruz comes to this position from Edwin Markham Elementary, where he served as a dedicated third-grade Dual Language Teacher. His passion for education and commitment to student success shines through in all he does. As he splits his time between Emerson and Longfellow Elementary Schools, he is excited to build positive and authentic relationships with our incredible students, their families, and dedicated staff members.
Chiawana High School - Brian Leavitt
Welcome Brian Leavitt to his role as Assistant Principal for Chiawana High School. Mr. Leavitt has a wealth of experience, having spent the last three years as the Director of K-12 Student Services in the Kennewick School District. But that's not all! He's no stranger to Pasco, as he previously served an impressive 12 years in various roles, including Assistant Principal, Principal, and District Administrator.
Curie STEM Elementary - Kathleen Crowner
Welcome Kathleen Crowner to her role as Assistant Principal for Curie STEM Elementary. Mrs. Crowner has spent the last three years as Assistant Principal at Whittier Elementary School. Now, we are fortunate to have her splitting her time between Curie and Whittier, where she will continue her fantastic work. Mrs. Crowner brings with her an incredible wealth of experience, having dedicated an impressive 33 years to the field of education. Throughout her journey, she spent 24 years right here at PSD, teaching grades 1 through 8 and contributing as an instructional coach and Assistant Principal. Her commitment to education is truly inspiring!
Congratulations to our North Star Winners
Superintendent Michelle Whitney presented our latest round of North Star winners with awards to acknowledge them for shining brightly in their profession and putting students first!
Congratulations to the following employees:
Silence Coolidge, Head Custodian, Franklin STEM Elementary
Sherry Stecklein, Unit Manager, Franklin STEM Elementary
Molly Winsel, 3rd Grade teacher, Franklin STEM Elementary
Barbara Pierce, Assistant Principal, Reynolds Middle School
Cathie Tate, Teacher, Delta High School
Tania Guaman, Assistant Principal, Delta High School
Belin Mendoza, Teacher, Delta High School
Support Pasco Students
S.H.A.K.E. School Supply Drive
Looking for a way to help kids and give back to the community? The non-profit S.H.A.K.E. (Seniors Helping All Kids' Education) is running a school supply drive through August 9 and will donate supplies to schools throughout the Tri-Cities, including Pasco. The complete list of items needed can be found on our website.
Donations can be dropped off from 8 am - 5 pm at the PSD Booth Building at 1215 W. Lewis St., Pasco.
Thank you for supporting local students!
Vaccine Clinics Available to All Families
Thanks to the support of the Washington State Department of Health, we are pleased to announce that we have booked the Cara-A-Van. The Care-A-Van will be making its way to our district soon, allowing getting required childhood vaccines for school attendance. The clinics will be held outdoors in the parking lots from the van, ensuring a safe and convenient environment for all.
When and Where:
Tuesday, August 15, 1 - 5 pm
- Location: Ochoa Middle School, 1801 E. Sheppard St. Pasco (during back-to-school schedule pick-up)
Thursday, September 7, 1 - 5 pm
- Location: Stevens Middle School, 1120 N 22nd Ave. Pasco
High School #3 Groundbreaking Ceremony
Join us for our groundbreaking celebration of Comprehensive High School #3.
When: Thursday, August 17, 2023, 10 am
Where: Rd 60 and Burns, Pasco
Directions from I-182:
Take Exit 9 (Road 68) and head north.
Turn right onto Sandifur Pkwy.
Turn left on Rd. 60.
The Hgh School #3 site will be on the corner of Burns and Rd. 60
Digital Learning Academy Ribbon Cutting
The Digital Learning Academy is opening soon, and we are celebrating by hosting a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in partnership with the Pasco Chamber. Please join PSD staff, community members, and government officials as we celebrate this new building.
When: Thursday, August 24, 2023, 4 pm
Where: 4403 W. Court St., Pasco
Community Members Invited to Share Info at All Staff Expo & Rally
We are hosting our annual Welcome Back Expo & Rally, where over 2,500 PSD employees will gather to kick off the 2023-24 school year! The Expo is an excellent opportunity for local businesses or organizations to highlight their offerings.
When: Monday, August 28, 2023, 7 – 8:45 am
Where: Edgar Brown Stadium, 725 N. 18th Ave., Pasco
Cost: $50 non-profit, $100 for-profit organization
City of Pasco Parks and Rec Free After School Program
The City of Pasco Parks and Rec Department offers a free after school program for Pasco students, and this year, PSD will be offering free after school transportation for students at Chess, Frost, Emerson, and Longfellow Elementary Schools.
When: Monday - Friday, 3:30 – 6 pm
Where: City Hall Activity Center, 525 N. 3rd Ave., Pasco
Students will enjoy homework assistance, arts and crafts, recreational, and STEM activities, and more!
Register online by selecting the 'Youth' dropdown and selecting 'YR400 - After School Program (6 - 11) - School Days 2023'.
For more information, call 509-545-3456.
Pasco Back to School Night with the Dust Devils
Save the date for Pasco Back to School Night with the Dust Devils sponsored by Gesa Credit Union.
When: Thursday, September 7; doors will open at 6:30 pm, and the game begins at 7:10 pm
Where: Gesa Stadium, 6200 Burden Blvd., Pasco
For more information, contact Ana Munguia.
Pasco Fiery Foods Festival
Join the City of Pasco on their annual event focusing on celebrating different cultures by sharing a wide variety of delicious and exotic foods. From the culinary arts' captivating aroma to the chili pepper contest's thrill, the day promises to be nothing less than hot and happening! Be one of the hundreds of people to witness and participate in the ultimate celebration of all things fiery and flavorful.
When: Saturday, September 9, 2023, 9 am – 3 pm
Where: Downtown Pasco, 4th and Lewis St., Pasco
For more information, contact Gracie Valle-Chimal.
First Day of School
August 29: Grades 1-6 and 9
August 30: Grades 7-8 and 10-12
August 31: Kindergarten