PUSD Update

November 15, 2021

Message from the Superintendent

Dear PUSD Community,

It may have felt like July outside this past weekend but November is well underway and soon the holidays will be upon us. Our goal is for everyone to celebrate Thanksgiving safely and to return to school refreshed and energized. I am grateful for our outstanding staff members who work tirelessly to keep students safe. I’m thankful for parents who have been so supportive and I’m filled with gratitude for our students who continue to amaze me with their strength and flexibility throughout the pandemic.


We are continuing our push to have as many students and employees as possible become vaccinated and to show proof. Following the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that 5-11 year olds get the COVID-19 vaccine, we have finalized plans with the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) for District vaccination clinics. PUSD Vaccination clinics for 5-11 year olds only are planned for November 22, 23, and 24 from 9:00am - 11:00am at the McKinley School Gym, right across the street from the PUSD Education Center. Appointments for these dates are limited and can be made through myturn.ca.gov. Please use the same site to find a community vaccination clinic for students who are 12 and older. We aim to offer opportunities for the first dose before Thanksgiving and the second dose three weeks later which will allow our students to be fully vaccinated before they return from winter break. In order to provide a safer reentry to school after Thanksgiving, we are also offering free COVID-19 testing to all PUSD staff and students on Saturday, November 27, from 9:00am - 1:00pm at the PUSD Education Center, south parking lot. No appointment is necessary. Results will be received within 24 - 48 hours after testing. Please enter the south parking lot from Oak Knoll Ave.


If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for children, you can find answers at a panel discussion presented by PUSD and the Pasadena Public Health Department this Wednesday, November 17, 2021 from 6:30pm - 7:30pm. Health Director Ying-Ying Goh, MD, and her esteemed colleagues will answer questions from parents and staff about getting children vaccinated. Gather the facts before making a decision and find out how we can help our students continue in-person learning. The livestream will be simulcast in English and Spanish and can be found at gopusd.com/townhall. Questions can be submitted to the panel in advance at gopusd.com/questions.


The California Healthy Kids Survey is out now and we’d love to get your opinions. The District is asking parents, guardians, PUSD staff and students in grades 6, 7, 9 and 11 to take part in the survey to gather information on key elements that affect learning. Topics include school safety and health issues such as nutrition, drug use, and risk of depression. Please go to www.pusd.us/survey and follow the instructions. The survey is open until November 19. It is anonymous, confidential, and voluntary but it is highly encouraged because your voice is valuable!


John Muir High School Science Teacher Susana Oliu is the newest recipient of an award designed to help underserved students soar when it comes to competition. Ms. Oliu is one of only 66 educators nationwide who will receive a $3000 stipend to serve in the Society for Science Advocate Program for the 2021-2022 school year. As an advocate, Ms. Oliu will mentor her students through STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) competitions. The program also provides year-round training to teachers as they help kids complete applications and navigate the competition process. For young scientists, contests can inspire confidence, enable them to experience the thrill of discovery, and can lead to future STEM careers. Ms. Oliu has been teaching Pasadena Unified students with mild-to-moderate disabilities since 2008.


PUSD, along with multiple community partners, will be hosting a Wellness Fair, Tuesday, November 16, 2021 from 4:30pm - 5:45pm. You can learn tips and tricks to help you through stressful events and ways to cope when you are feeling anxious. Come and see what resources are out there for you!

Thank you for all that you do, be well, and have a great week!


Brian McDonald, Ed.D.



Getting the vaccine will help protect our students and employees. COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone ages 5 and over. Get the COVID-19 vaccine to keep our community safe! www.pusd.us/vaccine

#VaccinatePasadena #PUSDproud @CityOfPasadena