The Panther Pulse

Pershing Middle Community Newsletter (Vol. 1, Issue 27)

Principal's Message

Dear Pershing Families,

It is an exciting time to be a Panther - sixth graders will leave for sixth grade camp in one week and our middle school athletics programs had a great weekend!

For our sixth grade families your child will be bringing home a letter this week that contains detailed information about preparing for sixth grade camp. We have a brief overview of important information for families below in our sixth grade camp section. Ms. Robe has also generously offered to host a zoom meeting for all sixth grade families on Wednesday, March 15 at 6:00 PM. We're calling it "Tips From a 20 Year Veteran of Sixth Grade Camps." If you have any last minutes questions please feel free to join the meeting. Zoom information is in the sixth grade camp section below.

We also have some very talented athletes at Pershing Middle School. All four of our middle school teams (Boys & Girls Soccer and Boys & Girls Volleyball) advanced to the championship game for their respective divisions. That's right, all four teams! Congrats to all our student athletics on their exceptional performance this weekend. More details are below in our middle school athletics section. Great work Panthers!

And finally I wanted to be sure to share some of the important events that are coming up this semester:

  • Sixth Grade Camp: March 20-24
  • Patriot Day: March 22
  • Spring Break: March 27-31 (NO SCHOOL)
  • Seussical Jr. School Play: April 19, 20, 21 @6:00 PM. Tickets information will be in next week's newsletter
  • "Spring Fest" Exhibition of Student Learning: April 27th @5:30-7:00 PM
  • CAASPP State Testing: May 1-18
  • Challenge Course: May 19
  • 8th Grade Awards Night: June 8 @6:00 PM
  • 8th Grade Promotion: June 14 @ 8:30 AM

Melanie Kray

Important Announcements for the Week of March 13th


The Pershing Panther Challenge Course is coming soon! This will be an all school fundraiser and fun field event held on Friday, May 19th. Event T shirts will be earned by all students who raise $25 in donations for the Pershing Foundation. This year the Pershing Foundation would like the t-shirt to be designed by one of our students.

Would you like to see your art design on event T shirts for the Challenge Course?

Please submit your artwork to your first period teacher or via email: by April 7th (week after returning from Spring Break).

To be considered, art must be:

• The students' original artowrk

• May be done on paper, other art media or computer graphically generated

• Include: Either the name "Pershing" or a depiction of the mascot (a panther)

• Be tasteful and respectful

Please email the Foundation with any questions:


Students grades for the P3 grading window are now available to be viewed in PowerSchool. The P3 grading window is the first progress report for the second semester. If you have any questions or concerns about your child's grades please email to teacher directly or contact your child's counselor.


Ms Maggio is looking for anyone with construction, woodworking, landscaping, and/or furniture design skills to help supervise students in their current project. The Pershing Advanced Engineering students are creating an Outdoor Living Space for Pershing that includes a wellness area. There are 5 groups of 5-6 students working on so many things at once that it would be super helpful if I had an extra hand or 2. We are using basic power tools such as a jigsaw, circular saw, band saw, drills, etc and students can always use some extra guidance. The class meets M, T, Th, F from 11:06 – 12:09 and Wed from 10:39 – 11:26. Any of the days at any of those times would be great. Please email Ms. Maggio if you are interested in helping her class at

"A huge shout out to the Mercer Family for their generous and much needed donation to the Engineering program." -- Ms. Maggio's Engineering Class


Please take a moment to click on the link to the 2023 California Healthy Kids Parent Flier & Survey Link. and complete the survey. On average, the survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. Your participation assists Pershing staff to guide our decision-making process in determining further student supports from year to year - we need the voices of as many families as possible in this process! We ask that all families complete the survey before the end of March.


Be sure to save the date for our next Coffee with the Principal Event! Get information about the thinking around shifting to a single lunch for the 2023-24 scholl year, our upcoming Spring Fest in April, as well as information about next year's budget and plan for student achievement. We hope to see you there! Zoom information is below.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 845 2550 1508

Password: Panthers


Each year the State of California has all 6-8th graders take the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). These tests are used by the state to measure student progress in English and Math. This year students will be taking their English CAASPP in their English classes the Week of May 1st and then they will take their Math CAASPP in their Math classes the Week of May 8th. Eighth grade students are required to take one additional state test the California Science Test or CAST. Eighth graders will take the CAST in their science classes the Week of May 15th. We are required to have at least 95% of our students take these state exams so we wanted to make sure families have these dates early so vacations and medical appointments are not scheduled during these state-wide tests. As we get closer to the testing dates more detailed information will be provided to families.


As mentioned in last week's newsletter, the general consensus among SGT members was a shift to a single lunch next school year makes sense and would be better for students. I have ordered additional lunch tables to address the seating issue and am working with our cafeteria manager to add two additional lunch serving stations for a total of four for the upcoming school year in order to address the two main concerns students had about shifting to a single lunch. Do you have strong feelings about this change? Please email Ms. Kray at with your thoughts and she will share them with SGT at their next meeting.


To help ensure disruptions to the classroom are minimized and ensure our office staff is able to stay focused on their daily responsibilities Pershing has a no lunch drop off policy. Please know all students are able to receive a free breakfast and lunch every day at Pershing so if they forget their lunch they will not go hungry. We also ask that families not attempt to circumvent the no lunch drop off policy by setting up a separate meet up time with their child during the school day to give them the lunch through the fence. Our most important responsiblity is to keep your children safe and we thank you in advance for your support and understanding regarding this policy.


There a lots of a ways to stay involved and support Pershing Middle School starting with our fabulous Pershing Parent Foundation. Be sure to check out their website: and visit them on facebook @parentsofpershingpanthers. On their facebook page they have information on how to sign up for Amazon Smile so that a portion of your amazon purchases support our school.


Do you have suggestions for our school website? CLICK HERE to complete our website feedback survey.

Big picture
Big picture

What a weekend for our Middle School Athletics Programs! We are the only middle school in San Diego Unified that had all four teams advance to the final round! We have some pretty amazing athletes at Pershing and we are so proud of what they are accomplishing and for the way they are representing our school with amazing athleticism, teamwork, and most importantly great sportsmanship! Keep up the great work Panthers!

Our Boys Volleyball Team played at tough Marshall team in the Western League Championship game this Saturday at Mission Bay High and finished as the Boys Western League Runner Ups.

Our Girls Volleyball Team faced Lewis Middle School in the Western Championship game that was dubbed the Battle of the Future-Patriots. They took Lewis to three sets but fell a little short and finished the season as the as the Girls Western League Runner Up.

Our Boys Soccer Team faced stiff competion in the playoffs this weekend but were able to defeat Wangenheim 4-1. Congratulations to Suleiman Said for being named Player of the Game. Later that afternoon our they defeated CPMA 5-1. Diego D'Agostino was named Player of the Game. The team advances to the Eastern Division championship game and will face Challenger Middle School next Saturday at Clairemont High at 2:30 PM.

Our Girls Soccer Team also had a great weekend defeating Wangenheim 8-0 and then knocking off Lewis 5-1. They will compete in the Eastern Division championship game against DePortola at 1:15 PM at Clairemont High. Congratulations to Emma McNeil and Lily Gooding for being names Players of the Game!

We are the only middle school in San Diego Unified that had every team advance to the finals. Panthers we are so proud of you and congratulations on this impressive accomplishment!

Each team will have two regularly scheduled practices per week: Middle School Winter 2023 Practice Schedule.



The sign up window for Boys and Girls Flag Football is closed. Tryouts for flag football will be held the March 20 - April 7.


Click the maroon bar to visit Pershing Foundation's website and get additional information about 6th Grade Camp. Below is a PDF of the presentation Camp Cuyamaca gave at the parent information night


Also, please be advised of a change to Cuyamaca's COVID testing policy. It had been Cuyamaca's policy to allow students who may have tested positive for COVID within the last 90 days to skip testing the weekend before camp. That is no longer the case. ALL students need to test the weekend before if they will attend camp.

On Sunday morning, March 19th, in the front parking lot of the school, the Foundation, school staff and volunteers will conduct tests for all students.

Last Names A-L will be tested 10:00-10:45 AM and Last Names M-Z will be tested 10:45-11:30 AM.

Please do reach out to the Foundation's 6th Grade Camp Coordinator with any questions: Carlos Ramon 619-846-0110


A detailed letter will be sent home with your sixth grader this week but we wanted to give you a general overview of the drop off and pick up plan. Sixth graders will go to their first period class on Monday, March 20th. Parents please bring your sixth graders to school on time. We will have a section of the parking lot set aside for student to drop off their two pieces of luggage and then students will report to their first period classes so they can be organized to get on the busses. The busses are expecting to leave at approximately 9:30 AM. Parents are welcome to wait outside the school to see their children off and wave goodbye. We also are in need of parents to assist loading luggage onto the luggage truck. Please email Carlos Ramon if you are willing to help with this.

Students will return to campus on Friday, March 24. They normally return around 11:30 AM. We will send a message to families when they are fifteen minutes away from the school. Students will be tired when they return from camp and most families choose to take their chidren home as soon as the bus arrives. Students who are not picked up by their families will wait in the auditorium until the end of the school day.


One of our 6th grade teachers, Ms. Robe, has graciously offered to host a zoom information meeting for any families with last minute questions about sixth grade camp. The meeting will be this Wednesday, March 15 @6:00 PM via zoom

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 842 9543 9558


The families of 6th graders attending Cuyamaca Outdoor School March 20th - 24th need to be aware of the following items:

COVID Testing Requirement - Before coming to camp, each student, regardless of vaccination status, is required to provide proof of a negative COVID test or provide proof of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis from within the last 90 days. This FAQ from Cuyamaca Outdoor School has more details. The Foundation and school are coordinating a COVID testing event the morning of Sunday, March 19th at Pershing. More details to come on this. Please put this on your calendar.

Volunteers Needed - We will need help with the following items. Please use the SIgnUp Genius links below.

Volunteer to help with COVID Testing

Sunday, March 19th

9:30am - 12pm

Setup testing, help administer COVID tests, put away tables

Volunteer to help with luggage

Monday, March 20th

8am - 9am

Friday, March 24th

11:15am - 12:15pm

On Monday, help load the truck that will carry luggage to camp.

On Friday, help unload the truck.

Informational Items

Cuyamaca Outdoor School FAQ

Student Packing List | Qué Llevar a la Escuela al Aire Libre

For students needing medications administered at camp: Medical Authorization Form

Para estudiantes que necesitan medicamentos administrados en el campamento: Formulario de Autorización Médica

Souvenir T-shirts & Hats Order Form - Help support Cuyamaca Outdoor School and get a fun memory for your student

Address to send postcards/letters while students are at camp:

Cuyamaca Outdoor School

Attn: student name

12561 Hwy. 79

Descanso, CA 91916

Please address any questions to the Foundation’s 6th Grade Camp Coordinator

Carlos Ramon



Does your child need help with Spanish? Mr. Barry is offering tutoring support on Tuesdays in Rm. 104 afterschool.


If you were not able to attend the meeting CLICK HERE to see the slide deck the Henry team presented.

Big picture
COVID Health and Safety Updates

Pro-Tip: Click on the grey bar to visit the District's COVID Updates Page

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in our area, with San Diego County recently entering the Medium COVID-19 Community Level. Other illnesses such as the influenza virus (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and the common cold also remain highly prevalent and easily transmissible. Practicing good health hygiene habits – washing hands, staying home when sick, and considering wearing a mask indoors and in crowded areas – can help prevent the spread of illness and is especially important during this time when many will be traveling or gathering with family and friends.

The district is providing all students and staff with at-home COVID-19 test kits to help our school communities have greater peace of mind about returning to school safely on Tuesday, Jan. 3 after the winter break.

The California Department of Public Health now recommends self testing for COVID-19 the day before coming back to school and two or three days after returning. We encourage students and staff to test on Monday, Jan. 2 and again on either Wednesday, Jan 4 or Thursday, Jan 5.

Testing before returning to school is recommended but not required. Additional test kits for students and staff are available at the Ed Center COVID-19 testing facility. If you test positive for COVID-19, please do not attend school and report your illness here.

Please do not send your child to school if they are feeling sick or experiencing symptoms of any cold-like virus, until those symptoms start to improve and there is no fever for 24 hours (without use of fever-reducing medication). Keeping your sick child home will be a great benefit for the health and wellness of our students and staff.

What Symptoms to Look For

  • The flu and COVID-19 are both spread from person-to-person, especially indoors and in crowded places. Symptoms for both viruses can include nasal congestion, fever, headache, and muscle and joint pain, as well as a sore throat and coughing.
  • RSV is a respiratory virus that has been detected in previous cold and flu seasons. Symptoms of RSV include cough, runny nose, and fever. Treatment consists of managing symptoms.

Tips to Avoid Getting Sick [English | Español)
Public health officials offer these tips to prevent getting sick:

  • Consider wearing a well-fitting, good-quality mask, especially indoors or in crowded spaces
  • Wash hands thoroughly and often
  • Use hand sanitizers, if unable to wash hands
  • Stay away from sick people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces and/or wash/sanitize your hands after using them.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 and flu vaccines
Review Previous Community Newsletters

Want to review information from a previous community newsletter? No problem, just click on the bar above.


Mar 15: Coffee with the Principal @8:30 AM via zoom

Mar 20-24: 6th Grade Camp

Mar 27-31: Spring Break (NO SCHOOL)

Apr 19, 20, 21: Seussical School Play @6:00 PM

May 1-18: CAASPP School-wide testing

May 19: Pershing Foundation Challenge Course

Jun 8: 8th Grade Evening Awards Assembly

Jun 9: 8th Grade Dance

Jun 12: 8th Grade Promotion Practice

June 13: 8th Grade Promotion Practice & Dave & Buster's Trip

Jun 14: 8th Grade Promotion