#TeamPUSD Newsletter

January/February 2021 Edition

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Dear Poway Unified,

We want to thank our community for collectively working together to reduce COVID cases in our area. It appears San Diego County is on track to return to the Red Tier within weeks, and that means restrictions will continue to loosen. With our elementary schools back open since February 1, we are just awaiting approval from public health officials to continue with PUSD's reopening plans for our middle and high schools in March. Additionally, San Diego County will begin vaccinating K-12 school staff this weekend in those areas hardest hit by the virus. While the County has not yet opened up vaccinations to PUSD employees, we will continue to advocate for the prioritization of our employees.

Please enjoy this latest edition of the Team PUSD Newsletter.

The Poway Unified School District

Visit our Reopening Website

Developments related to the reopening of Poway Unified schools can be found on our 'School Reopening' website. There, you will find the latest information and materials that support our efforts to bring students back to campus including but not limited to: PUSD's Reopening Guidebook (English and Spanish), Health and Safety Agreement, helpful flyers on handwashing and face coverings, CDPH School Guidance Checklist, free meal information, and updates from the Superintendent.

COVID-19 Dashboard

All confirmed positive COVID-19 incidents related to Poway Unified school sites and offices will be posted to this page. For the purposes of this dashboard, PUSD is distinguishing between school-based cases and community-based cases. Full definitions of these cases can be found on our dashboard website. The Dashboard is updated at least once a week and when we are notified of confirmed cases.

*Important Note: PUSD does not wait to notify close contacts upon initial report of a positive case. However, we do wait for official confirmation from the public health department before listing the case on this dashboard.

PUSD is Hiring Instructional Assistants

Be part of the solution – help us reopen our schools. We are actively recruiting limited term Instructional Assistants to ensure enough staffing is in place for secondary school reopening, and need your help.

Apply here: bit.ly/pusd-ia-subs


District News

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The 2021-22 LCAP Survey is LIVE!

From Sunday, February 21 through Friday, March 5, 2021, PUSD is conducting our annual survey to gather your input on our Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP, which will shape the District’s goals and guide our budgeting priorities for the 2021-2022 school year. We want to hear from you: parents, students, staff, and community members! We will be asking everyone to answer the following question:

What programs or services would you like to see continued or improved in order to advance student and staff learning and wellness for the 2021-22 school year?”

This year, we are again using Thoughtexchange, a simple, convenient online platform that can be accessed from any smartphone or computer. Thoughtexchange is essentially a virtual conversation, where you can share your thoughts, see the thoughts of others in your school community, and prioritize the thoughts most important to you.

Join the conversation by clicking here: https://my.thoughtexchange.com/445950426

Poway Unified 2021 LCAP Survey Superintendent Message

OPENING SOON: Student Board Member Application Period

The application period for the 2021-2022 Student Board Member position will be open from March 1-31, 2021. Any high school juniors, in good academic standing, who will be seniors next year can choose to apply. They do not need to be nominated! The Student Board Member represents all PUSD students at Board of Education meetings, participates in discussions on student-related issues with PUSD District leadership and Board of Education members, serves on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, and learns first-hand about local government.

The application and information page can be found here: https://powayusd.com/en-US/Board/Student-Board

Black Mountain Ranch Southern Site Community Forums

The Poway Unified School District will be hosting two sessions for community members who are interest in providing input and alternative ideas for the Black Mountain Ranch Southern Site (BMRSS), located on the corner of Camino Del Sur and Carmel Valley Road. The meetings will be conducted via Zoom, and interested persons must RSVP to receive the meeting link.

RSVP here: bit.ly/pusd-bmrss

The Intra-District Transfer Window is Open!

For students who live within #PowayUnified boundaries and would like to attend another PUSD school, we will accept transfer requests for the 2021-2022 school year from February 1, 2021, at 8 a.m. through March 31, 2021, at 5 p.m.

For more information, including FAQs and restrictions due to COVID, please visit: bit.ly/pusd-transfers

Mandarin Immersion Program

Did you know Adobe Bluffs Elementary is the only elementary school in #PowayUnified to offer Dual Language Immersion in Mandarin? This 50/50 Two-Way language program develops a student's literacy and proficiency in both English and Mandarin, while inspiring them to become cross-cultural ambassadors in their communities.

ABES Principal Eddie Park hosted a Community Info Session for those interested in the 2021-2022 program year (Mandarin Immersion and Foreign Language in Elementary School).

Meeting info posted here: https://bit.ly/adobebluffs

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PUSD Foundation 13th Annual Golf Classic

After postponing last year, the #PowayUnified School District Foundation is excited to be hosting its 13th Annual Golf Classic on April 30, 2021. With your help, we can reach our goal to raise $75,000 that will directly support our STEAM initiatives and enhanced classroom resources to foster world-class learners. The Foundation is actively looking for players and sponsors for this fun day of golf, and invites you to learn more about how you can participate: https://birdease.com/pusdfoundation

(Please note that physical distancing and face covering protocol will be enforced at all times, no exceptions.)


Achievements and Recognitions: Students, Staff, Schools & District

PUSD is Home to Three ACSA Admins of the Year

The Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) recently released the names of the 2021 Administrators of the Year for Region 18 (San Diego and Imperial counties). PUSD is proud to announce that three honorees are members of #TeamPUSD. Please help us congratulate:

  • Marian Kim Phelps, Ed.D., Superintendent: Superintendent of the Year
  • Joe Austin, Career Education Specialist: CTE Administrator of the Year
  • Carol Osborne, Associate Superintendent of Learning Support: Valuing Diversity Award

Congratulations on this exceptional achievement. Read more about their efforts and backgrounds: http://bit.ly/pusd-acsa

Carol Osborne Named SDCOE "Turnaround School Leader" 2021

Congratulations to Ms. Carol Osborne, #PowayUnified Associate Superintendent of Learning Support Services, who was also named the "Turnaround School Leader for 2021" by the San Diego County Office of Education. The award is given to administrators who serve as a beacon of light in school district efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion for students.

Nene & Ekene Okolo to Receive Peacemaker Award

Sisters Nene and Ekene Okolo from the @BlackinPUSD Instagram account are being recognized by the National Conflict Resolution Center as the recipients of their Local Peacemaker Award. Nene and Ekene have worked tirelessly to effect change in this district, and PUSD is proud to partner with them in our commitment to correcting systemic inequity in PUSD schools. They will be honored at NCRC's virtual ceremony in May.

Nene and Ekene also gave the Student Leader Welcome at San Diego county's Equity Conference and we highly encourage you watch for free at this link: https://stream1.sdcoe.net/wc/ec2021

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National Charity League Poway Donates to Youth in Transition

We want to give our sincere thanks to National Charity League (NCL) Poway Chapter or their generous donation of $4,783.75 to go toward our Youth in Transition program. With this gift, our Caring Connections Center can provide essential resources and personal care supplies to students/families experiencing homelessness or similar conditions. In a time such as this, we are grateful for our community partners who help us create the culture and conditions to support all of our world-class learners.
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Westview Senior Named "Up-and-Coming-Storyteller" by PBS

It's a wonderful feeling seeing #PowayUnified students be recognized on a national level for their exceptional work. PBS’ Student Reporting Labs recently named Yeonseo Seok, a senior at Westview, as a “20 Under 20 Up-And-Coming Storyteller.” Congrats!

Read more about the work Yeonseo and her SRL colleagues are doing in their communities: https://studentreportinglabs.org/blog-posts/srl20/

Poway HS Senior Selected for All-National Honor Ensemble

Please help us congratulate Poway High School Senior Ryan Whitson on his selection for the All-National Honor Ensemble through the National Association for Music Education. This is a prestigious national honor for music students, and Ryan is the only student from San Diego County to participate in the Symphony Orchestra.

Full story: bit.ly/pusd-ryan

Morning Creek 5th Grader Shares Kindness Through Code

Congratulations to Morning Creek 5th grader Mihir Konkapaka, who won the #CSforSD Video Contest through Code.org. For his coding project, Mihir built a website that generates positive adjectives for a name acronym - all because he wanted to spread kindness amongst his friends.

Check out Mihir's website: http://wordname.mskcoding.repl.co/about.html

Michelle Hinds Named to Sandy Hook Promise Advisory Board

Please help us congratulate Del Norte High School Student Support Specialist Michelle Hinds on her appointment to the Sandy Hook Promise School Advisory Committee She will support the SHP National Youth Advisory Board, and provide directional feedback for violence prevention programs.

READ: http://bit.ly/shp-dnhs

Abraxas High School Receives Gardening Grant

Congratulations to Abraxas High School on their grant from KidsGardening.org. The grant will benefit the Abraxas Garden, a space that teaches students skills in agriculture, aquaponics engineering, construction, and the importance of community outreach and healthy produce.

Mesa Verde Middle Schoolers Chosen for Art Contest

Four Mesa Verde art students were chosen by the San Diego Museum of Art to have their work displayed for the bi-annual "Young Art" contest. The theme this year is "My World Our Planet." The students created a piece inspired by a piece owned by SDMA out of recycled materials. Congratulations to the four winners!

(clockwise from top L) : Lauren C, Sasha L, Zoey L, Minh Thu N.


Fun Photos and Videos

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Elementary Schools Return to Campus Feb. 1

We so enjoyed welcoming our elementary students and special education classes back for in-person learning on February 1. Thank you for your partnership in complying with the health and safety measures we have set in place. All updates related to school reopening can be found here.

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Professional Growth Day

Teachers and Administrators throughout the District participated in a Virtual Pro-Grow Day in late January, put on by the PUSD Tech & Innovation and Learning Support Departments. Thank you to our session hosts for covering a wide variety of topics for our teachers, from Universal Design Learning to Equity in the Classroom.

SSAC Thanks Teachers, Staff

GRATITUDE: Our Superintendent's Student Advisory Council (SSAC), which is comprised of high school students throughout #PowayUnified, recently filmed a message of appreciation and encouragement to #TeamPUSD teachers of all grade levels We invite you to take a look!

(This video was filmed by SSAC, and edited to fit social media time limits.)

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Stone Ranch Student Council Cares for Veterans

For the #GreatKindnessChallenge, Stone Ranch Elementary Student Council coordinated a generous donation of blankets, jackets, socks & face masks to the San Diego Rescue Mission
(a non-profit homeless shelter/recovery center), to keep people warm and safe. The student council said they want to thank the Stone Ranch community for their donations and generosity.

Del Sur 2nd Graders Donate to Veterans

As the days grow colder and winter sets in, 2nd grade Explorers at Del Sur Elementary wanted to make sure the community was taken care of over the break: "Thanks to our very generous community we were able to assemble 130 care packages for the Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD). The VVSD provides services to homeless military veterans. Our care packages included winter beanies, socks, snacks, and a special letter written by each student."

Virtual Pep Rally at Garden Road Elementary

Scenes from Garden Road's first ever virtual pep rally! Whether students were on campus or at home virtual learning, everyone got to join in on the fun dance party, school chant, shout outs and awards. It was such an amazingly well coordinated live event via Zoom.

Twin Peaks Celebrates Second Quarter Achievement

So much hype at Twin Peaks Middle School, as students were recognized during a drive-thru celebration for earning all "Oustandings" for the second quarter Thank you to Twin Peaks ASB, Twin Peaks Middle School PTSA and “Rambo the Ram” for putting this together and helping students feel special. Congratulations!

100th Day of School

Elementary schools throughout the District recently celebrated the 100th Day of School. As per tradition, students and staff dressed up as centenarians to commemorate the day. Below is a collection of cute photos from social media:

"Snow Day" Fun at Highland Ranch

Preschoolers at Highland Ranch Elementary School had some fun in the "snow" after a winter storm in January. How cute is this?

Studio 701 "Excellence in Education Series"

PUSD’s Studio 701 video interns highlight how even with campus closures, many PUSD employees kept the District going behind the scenes. Watch by clicking the video below:
Poway Unified "Excellence in Education" Series: Behind the Scenes with Essential School Employees


Celebrations and Resolutions

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February is Black History Month

Throughout the month, we reflected on generations of Black and African American history and heritage in the United States. We also shared important biographies, educational resources, and collaborated with our Black Student Unions to highlight representation, identity, and diversity.

Why do we celebrate Black History Month?

Why do we celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth, and why is it important to do so? The Big IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Awareness) Committee at Black Mountain Middle School
breaks it down in this helpful video. Thank you for sharing, Raiders! Take a look:
Black Mountain Middle explains Why We Study Black History Month

"Profiles in Power" series from SDCOE

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) kicked off a new video interview series called "Profiles in Power" during Black History Month to promote equity and learn about the common values and beliefs we have about education. Rancho Bernardo High School Career Guidance Technician Jamal Felton was recently interviewed, and shared how his experience and people skills help his RBHS community see the positive power of a Black role model. Watch by clicking the YouTube video below:
Profiles in Power: Jamal Felton

National School Counseling Week Feb. 1-5

Did you know Feb. 1-5, 2020 is #NationalSchoolCounselingWeek? Every year, we take time to highlight the tremendous impact school counselors have in helping students achieve social, academic, and career success. This year has been difficult, no doubt. But the support of our School Counselors makes an extraordinary difference. Thank you!

Lunar New Year 2021

Happy Lunar New Year everyone! Wishing you health and happiness in the Year of the Ox. Every year, Adobe Bluffs Elementary puts on a beautiful celebration - and this year is no exception. Check out their virtual celebration below:
ABES Celebrates Lunar New Year 2021!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2021

We honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Thank you, Dr. King, for teaching us what it means to Be a Light.

January Is Board Recognition Month

January is School Board Recognition Month, where we pay special tribute to the trustees who play such an important role in our communities and schools. We shared a series of posts on our social media so the community could get to know our Trustees a bit more.

Poway Unified School District

The Poway Unified School District is located in northern San Diego County, California. PUSD operates 25 elementary schools (K-5), one elementary & middle school combination (TK-8th), six middle schools (6-8), one continuation high school, five comprehensive high schools (9-12), and one adult school. 24 schools are located in the city of San Diego; 11 schools in the city of Poway; and 3 in the County of San Diego. The District serves approximately 36,000 students and is the third largest school district in the county.