The Panther Pulse

Pershing Middle Community Newsletter (Vol. 1, Issue 20)

Principal's Message

Dear Pershing Families,

A friendly reminder that in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day there is NO SCHOOL on Monday, January 16. School will resume on Tuesday, January 17.

We are also fast approaching the end of our first semester. The grade window closes this Friday, January 20th, final semester one grades will be available for families to view in PowerSchool by Friday, January 27th.

There may also be a few minor schedule changes as classes are rebalanced and/or students switch to new classes for the second semester. If your child's schedule is changing our counseling team has likely already reach out to you and your student making you aware of the change. In general, most students' schedules will remain unchanged for semester two.

It is also important to remember when semester two begins on January 23, the semester one grades do not carry over - students begin the new semester with a clean slate. In my experience this first six weeks of the second semester are extremely important and often very challenging for students. Some students are tired after pushing hard to finish off the first semester strong and there is often a let down as they begin the new semester. We are asking families to reiterate at home the message we will be sharing at school:

"Students should think of semester two as a reset. They are beginning the semester with a clean slate and it is very important they keep up with their work and create a solid foundation for themselves in this second semester. If they were unhappy with their grades last semester this a a great opportunity to start fresh and be successful."

We've got this Panthers!


Melanie Kray

Important Announcements for the Week of January 16th


In observance of the MLK Day Holiday there is no school for students on Monday. School resumes on Tuesday, January 17th.


As we prepare to finish the first semester and begin our second semester we are asking for families to talk with their students and to remind them to either keep their airpods at home or keep them in their backpacks. We have noticed a significant number of students starting to walk through the halls with their airpods in. Although we have been reminding students to put the items away we will be confiscating airpods that are not put away in students' backpacks. Thank you in advance for your support on this.


We hope you will be able to join us for our first Coffee with the Principal of the new year. Zoom information for the meeting is below:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 845 2550 1508

Password: Panthers


This week the Henry High counseling team will be on campus this Thursday, January 19th to meet with our 8th graders during their English classes. They will be sharing articulation cards and discuss course selection to help our 8th graders prepare for the transition to high school.

Last Thursday, January 12th, representatives from Henry High School were on campus to discuss elective options with our 8th graders. CLICK HERE to view the NJROTC presentation. CLICK HERE to view the engineering program presentation and their video


We are excited to show off Pershing Middle School to our future Panthers on Monday and Tuesday next week. Fifth graders from Benchley, Dailard, and Green will be touring the campus on Monday and fifth graders from Gage will be on campus on Tuesday. Our ASB members will be leading these students and their parents on a tour of the campus.


Our district is participating in a Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) grant this year. The goal of TUPE is to reduce tobacco use among young people and educate students and parents about the dangers of tobacco use. Althought tobacco use and vaping has not been an issue at Pershing this school year, we still wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and offer our parents a chance to get additional information about tobacco products and vaping, given that there has been exponential growth in young people using these types of products across the United States.

We have invited Say San Diego to come in a provide a TUPE Information Night for our Parents on Thursday, January 26th. In order to effectively plan for this event we are asking for families who would like to attend to complete this RSVP form before January 16th.


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.

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As I was thinking about the MLK Holiday, I came across this quote from Dr. King, "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically, Intelligence plus character – that is the true goal of education." This resonated with me because I believe strongly this is the work we do at Pershing and our reason for emphasizing Panther PRIDE.

Dr. King also said, "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." This idea is especially critical for our middle schoolers to understand. Their words and actions will have an impact on the community. For example, when we make rude comments to one another we not only hurt the individual who we are making the comments to but we also hurt the larger community by creating an environment where students do not feel welcome. By the same token, when we look out for one another and offer a kind word when we see someone is struggling we help lift up our entire community. Please take time this week to discuss with your child(ren) how actions, good and bad, affect all of us, and only through our collective efforts can we ensure that we act in a manner that enhances our school and the broader community at large. Our collective work and conversations about PANTHER PRIDE and what that looks like in action is something that Dr. King would be proud of.

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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

Dear San Diego Unified Middle School Families,

On Monday, January 16, 2023, middle school athletic team rosters of the schools that completed two (2) days of tryouts will be posted on the San Diego Unified Middle School Athletics website. Schools that were only able to complete one (1) day of tryouts will have their rosters posted within 24 hours of completion of their second tryout. Weeks 1 & 2 pool play game schedules with times and locations will also be posted on the website on Monday, January 16, 2023.

Each team will have two regularly scheduled practices per week: Middle School Winter 2023 Practice Schedule. If you do not see your middle school listed, it means there were not enough sign ups to field a team. If you see a box with an “X” in it, that indicates there is no practice on that day.

Practice the first week will include a review of the following:

  • Plans for uniform distribution and return of uniform
  • Team expectations from the coach
  • Commitment to game and practice schedule

Finalizing a roster is always a challenging time for every coach. If you have a specific question about the team roster, please reach out to Lonnie Jones, San Diego Unified Middle School Athletics Coordinator at

We have the following sports currently scheduled:

Winter: Boys & Girls Soccer and Boys & Girls Volleyball

Spring: Boys Flag Football & Girls Flag Football

We look forward to your student(s) participating throughout the year.

In partnership,

Athletics, PE and Health Department


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.

COVID Health and Safety Updates

Pro-Tip: Click on the maroon 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 maroon bar above.


Jan 16 - MLK Day: NO SCHOOL

Jan 18 - Coffee with the Principal @8:30 AM via zoom

Jan 19 - Henry Cluster Meeting @5:00 PM via zoom

Jan 20 = Semester 1 Ends

Jan 23 & 24: Feeder Elementary School 5th Grade Tours

Jan 23: SGT (Governance) Meeting @3:00 PM in the Library

Jan 24 - SSC Meeting @3:00 PM in the Library

Jan 26 - Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Parent Presentation @6:00 PM in the Auditorium