Sharing the Good News and Good Work of Students and Staff

May/June 2019 Edition

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Message from the Superintendent

Dear Team PUSD,

It's hard to believe we are already at the end of another school year. Last week was a whirlwind of promotions and graduations and final farewells. I couldn't help but feel emotional as I watched so many of our students proudly walk across the stage, ready for the next chapter of their lives. Congratulations to all of our students as they achieve these milestones. We have students leaving Poway Unified, headed out into the real world for colleges, jobs, military, and more. We have staff retiring after long careers serving our District. We have families packing up for vacations or packing up to move to another neighborhood, city, state, or country! Throughout this time of change, I just wanted to express my appreciation for one thing that has remained the same: our community's commitment to making Poway Unified one of the best educational experiences a child could have in a public school system.

This year, as I reflect on our work as a District, I am so proud of all that we've accomplished together as a team. Here are some highlights, to name a few:

-We addressed nearly all financial audit findings by implementing new policies and procedures to ensure fiscal stability and transparency.

-We selected model schools and provided ongoing training to implement Specialized Academic Instruction for special education students, to provide education in the least restrictive environment.

-We conducted universal reading screenings of all 1st graders, to ensure early intervention for struggling students.

-We expanded the number of No Place for Hate campuses across PUSD, to continue our work to make our schools free from bias and discrimination.

-We brought additional visual and performing arts curriculum to all elementary schools through our Xploration program.

-We launched our first Mandarin Dual Language Immersion program, in addition to our existing Spanish Immersion program.

-We increased the number and variety of career technical education pathways, and started career exploration in elementary school.

-We empowered teachers to bring technology into their classrooms and curriculum through the Voyager Program, with embedded coaching and professional development.

-We trained all staff in options based response to school threats and trained counselors in suicide awareness.

-We installed security cameras at all secondary sites, completed safety assessments at all sites, and worked with the District Safety Committee to identify key safety priorities.

-We installed child detection alert systems on all PUSD buses to increase student safety.

-We established a partnership with Palomar College to create a Middle College in 2020 so that students can take college courses for free while they're still in high school.

This is just a glimpse of a long list of initiatives and innovative work that we have accomplished to move Poway Unified forward into the 2019-2020 school year and beyond.

This work is being noticed. This year, Poway Unified was named a California Exemplary School District, one of only 18 school districts selected out of thousands of districts in California. Meadowbrook Middle School and Mt. Carmel High School were named California Distinguished Schools. And 16 of our schools: Creekside, Deer Canyon, Del Sur, Los Penasquitos, Monterey Ridge, Park Village, Pomerado, Stone Ranch, and Willow Grove Elementary Schools, with Design 39 Campus and Mesa Verde and Oak Valley Middle Schools, and Del Norte, Mt. Carmel, Rancho Bernardo, and Westview High Schools were named to the California Honor Roll. All five of our comprehensive high schools made the list of top high schools named by U.S. News & World Report. Adobe Bluffs Elementary School's Mandarin Immersion program was named the Classroom of the Year by the Global Confucius Institute. Our staff and students brought in countless recognitions and awards at the local, state, and national levels as well. PUSD's tradition of excellence continues.

Over the summer, we have many summer facilities projects underway, from more secure fencing as recommended by our District Safety Committee and more energy efficient LED lighting installation, to new carpeting and flooring in many of our classrooms. Speaking of facilities, recently about 40 individuals, including parents, staff, District leadership, and business and community leaders came together to form the Community Facilities Committee. They have been tasked with assisting us in creating a Facilities Master Plan to ensure we are designing classrooms and schools that are safe, equitable, inclusive, and innovative. We need to ensure our schools are ready for the future, as we work to create culture and conditions to support our world class learners.

Thank you for your partnership and support on behalf of our schools and students. I hope you have a wonderful summer!

Your Superintendent,

Marian Kim Phelps, Ed.D.

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Thank You, SSAC

A quick note of appreciation to the students who serve on the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council. These student leaders met monthly here at the District Office to learn about how PUSD is run and represent student voice in District decisions.


PUSD Podcast: Graduating Seniors Discuss College & Career Readiness

For the final PUSD Podcast of the year, Director of Communications Christine Paik sat down with a group of graduates to get their reflection on their experiences in PUSD and how their education has provided college and career readiness. Take a listen!

Poway Unified School District

PUSD Podcast Ep. 15: 2019 Graduating Seniors by Poway Unified School District


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Excellence in Education Video Series

For their final video in the Excellence in Education series, Studio 701 (PUSD's digital media internship) highlighted the new Launch Lab at Pomerado Elementary School. The Launch Lab is a place for students to explore their strengths and potential career paths. Check out the entire photo essay here, and you can watch the video below.


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Career Technical Education Expo

What do you think of when you hear the term "Career Technical Education?" On April 30, 2019, students from CTE programs across PUSD showed off their learning and expertise in a variety of fields, including graphic arts, computer animation, film, photography, agriculture, sports medicine, and more. Check out this photo essay and watch the video below on the recent student expo to see all of the exciting career pathways our students are pursuing and how our business and community partners can help.

Student, School, and Staff Achievements

PUSD District Volunteers of the Year

Congratulations to the District Volunteers of the Year - Eric Hellon, Chaparral Elementary School, Ed Oliva, Twin Peaks Middle School, and Darlene and Dustin Dunn, Rancho Bernardo High School. You can read more about them here as well as find a list of all of our site volunteers of the year.
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California Honor Roll

16 PUSD schools - Creekside, Deer Canyon, Del Sur, Los Penasquitos, Monterey Ridge, Park Village, Pomerado, Stone Ranch, and Willow Grove Elementary Schools, with Design 39 Campus and Mesa Verde and Oak Valley Middle Schools, and Del Norte, Mt. Carmel, Rancho Bernardo, and Westview High Schools have all been named Honor Roll schools for the 2018-19 California Honor Roll presented by Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE). You can read about the award here.

National Merit Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to Cassidy Zublin of Rancho Bernardo High School and Christabelle Junaidi of Del Norte High School, on being named Corporate-Sponsored National Merit Scholarship Winners!

PUSD also had four students announced as College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship Winners: Jesse Steinberg, Kevin Cruse, Michael Tu of Del Norte High School and Angela Liu from Rancho Bernardo High School.

Additional recipients of college-sponsored awards will be announced on July 15.

New Student Board Member

PUSD is proud to announce the appointment of Rancho Bernardo High School junior Mariana Akins as the 2019-20 Student Board Member. Her term will begin with the August 2019 board meeting and concluding with the June 2020 meeting. Her duties will include providing continuing input for Board deliberations (excluding discipline, personnel, and employer-employee relations), strengthening communications between the Board and students, and representing all students and facilitating the discussion of all sides of an issue.

DECA Top Ten

Congratulations to Katherine Han, who competed in the National DECA Competition where she placed in the Top Ten in her category. She represented Westview High School and California as a top business competitor.
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DNHS Rocket Club

Rocketry Club students at Del Norte High School are now among the 101 national finalists in the Team America Rocketry Challenge.

The students will compete against other teams at the National Finals, taking place in Northern Virginia.

In addition to competing for a total of $100,000 in prizes, the winner of the National Finals will advance to the International Rocketry Challenge, taking place in Paris, France in June.

The top 20 finishers will earn a spot in next year’s NASA Student Launch competition.

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Outstanding API Students!

Congratulations to the following students recognized at the San Diego County Supervisor’s Awards ceremony for Outstanding Asian and Pacific Islander Students. Ellen Feng, Del Norte High School - Civil and Community Engagement; Flora Yuan, Del Norte High School - Arts and Culture; Madalyn Nguyen, Poway High School - Science and Technology; Belle Lerdworatawee, Westview High School - Civil and Community Engagement.

Art Scholarship

Westview High School student Anastasia Schas was recently recognized for her artistic abilities. She won the North County Society of Fine Arts’ (NCSFA) scholarship for major talent in painting, drawing, and creativity. The award was presented at the NCSFA Spring Fling Art Show and Jazz Festival, held at the Rancho Bernardo Library. Anastasia hopes to study filmmaking at Cal Arts.

New Oak Valley Principal

Mr. Colin Young was approved by the Board of Education to serve as the new principal of Oak Valley Middle School, effective July 1, 2019. Mr. Young has a long history in the Poway Unified School District, first as a social science teacher at Poway High School, then as an assistant principal at Mt. Carmel High School, and most recently as an assistant principal at Poway High School. You can read more him here.
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Two SDCOE Awards for April Egaran

Congratulations to April Egaran, PUSD’s After School Education and Safety (ASES) Program Coordinator, on receiving two awards from the San Diego County Office of Education for the outstanding job she has done. April was recognized by her peers from the ASES consortium as a STEM Champion for extensive STEM programs in afterschool - which she attributes to her entire team, and also received an award for her work coordinating the ASES Duct Tape Fashion Show!

Coach of the Year!

Congratulations to Monique Lamphiere-Tamayoshi, teacher and coach at Mt. Carmel High School, who was named CIFSDS Gymnastics Coach of the Year.

Coach of the Year!

Congratulations to Mike Bird, teacher and coach at Mt. Carmel High School, who was named CIFSDS Coach of the Year.
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Grand Recognition!

Congratulations to Isabel Adamos from Rancho Bernardo High School who won the Grand Recognition award and Global Village award at this year’s iVIE Awards - Student Video Festival held by the San Diego County Office of Education. Meadowbrook Middle School also won for Best Middle School News Program!

State and National Garden Awards

Congrats to the Abraxas High School Garden on winning 1st place in the California Garden Club high school category and 1st place in the National Garden Clubs high school category (out of over 5,000 garden clubs)!
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National Youth Arts Awards

Poway High's Singin’ In The Rain pit orchestra won the National Youth Arts (NYA) Award for Outstanding Youth Orchestra for the 2nd year in a row! Congratulations! PUSD theatre companies won numerous NYA awards for their amazing work. Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees.


Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical:
-Lilith Freund as Wednesday in The Addams Family (Westview Theatre Company)
-Audrey Linton as Eliza in My Fair Lady (Del Norte High School)
Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play:

-Abby Kooyman as Vera Claythorne in And Then There Were None (Westview Theatre Company)
Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical:
-Cassidy Stillwell as Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain (Poway High School)
-Gabriella Diaz as Alice Beineke in The Addams Family (Westview Theatre Company)

-Fin Proctor as Hunk/Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz (Mt. Carmel High School)
Outstanding Ensemble:

-The Addams Family (Westview Theatre Company)

-Singin' in the Rain (Poway High School)
Outstanding Youth Orchestra:

-Singin' in the Rain (Poway High School)
Outstanding Musical Direction:

-Jessica Schemmel for Singin' in the Rain (Poway High School)
Outstanding Direction:

-Robert Townsend for And Then There Were None (Westview Theatre Company)

AVID Standouts

The PUSD Board of Education recognized AVID 8th Grade and Senior Standouts. AVID stands for “Advancement Via Individual Determination.” AVID’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. Every year one 8th grader from each middle school and one senior from each high school are selected as an AVID Standout for their strong academic performance and commitment to their community.

8th Grade AVID Standouts

High School AVID Standouts

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Project Lead The Way

Poway High School has earned the distinction of being named a Nationally-Recognized Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School. In 2013, the inaugural year of Poway High School’s Engineering Academy & Pathway, PHS received the honor of being a PLTW Certified Engineering Program; one of 13 in the state of California. Since 2017-18, PLTW started recognizing school districts, high schools, middle schools, and elementary programs as distinguished schools. Poway High School is the only school in the Poway Unified School District (PUSD) to receive this honor.

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State Pole Vault Champion

Ashley Callahan (left) captured the girls pole vault championship at the annual CIF State Championships held at Buchanan High in Clovis. You can read about her here. Also at the state finals this year, Jacob Rice (right) of Rancho Bernardo was second in the boys pole vault and Camryn Thomson of Poway High placed third.

Volleyball Sweep

Poway Unified teams swept three of the CIF San Diego Section boys volleyball titles: Westview High won the Open Division, Poway High won Division I, and Del Norte High won Division II. Congratulations to all!
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Congratulations to Westview Boys Baseball - CIF San Diego Section Division I Champions!


Fun Photo Gallery

Honorary Diploma

This is 93-year-old World War II Veteran Dominic ‘Monte’ Montemarano. Monte has dedicated countless hours to speaking in U.S. History classes at Mt. Carmel High School and has been attending the school's patriotic observances for over ten years. This year, he was selected as Mt. Carmel's Volunteer of the Year. When Principal Greg Magno found out that Monte was drafted in March of 1944 (his junior year) and never got to finish high school in Buffalo, New York, he reached out to administrators there. On Friday, June 14, Monte received an honorary high school diploma from his alma mater, Burgard High School, in front of the Mt. Carmel staff, who gave him a standing ovation. Thank you for your service, Monte!

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School Principals Day

May 1st was School Principals Day! It's never too late to thank your favorite principal!
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Garden Road Safety Patrol

The GRES Safety Patrol worked hard to keep students and their families safe before and after school, year-round.

Medieval History Faire

Mesa Verde Middle School held their 25th Annual Medieval History Faire which is the culmination of the 7th grade students studying world history. Students had the opportunity to practice archery, reconstruct a da Vinci bridge and watch demonstrations of jousting, sword making and catapulting.

Black Belt Principal!

Students at Sunset Hills Elementary School not only got to see a karate demonstration by fellow students, but were surprised when Principal Wilken stepped up to attempt to break a wooden board. She broke it like a pro! Following the demonstration, Sunset Hills parent - Master Thomas Thai, of Miramar Martial Arts Academy, presented the school with a donation check.

Olympic Athlete and DEA Agent Visit RBHS

Students at Rancho Bernardo High School listened to a powerful presentation by former DEA agent Rocky Herron. Agent Herron spoke of the dangers of drug use and the impact that drugs have on friends, family and your ability to reach your goals. Following him on stage was 12-time Olympic medal winner, athlete Al Joyner who delivered a message of hope and the need to believe in yourself and to persevere and to follow your dreams. Joyner was raised in very humble surroundings and was faced with numerous hardships but managed to overcome them and achieve his goals. His message was “Impossible” means “I’m Possible.”

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We Wear Many Hats!

PUSD Extended Student Services (ESS) representing well at the Palm Springs BOOST (Best Out-of-School-Time) Conference! They were the Hat Contest winners!

On the Red Carpet!

Rancho Bernardo High School senior and PUSD Studio 701 intern, Zach Camerino, applied his learning at the Billboard Music Awards filming on the red carpet in Las Vegas and the Tony Awards in New York.
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Designer Dress

Canyon View Elementary School teacher Samantha Yellen models the dress her first graders "decorated" for her.
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International Fair

Stone Ranch held its 9th Annual International Fair with 19 countries represented by SRES families sharing cultural facts, games, and food. Students danced, played instruments, and showed off their cultural attire. It was another wonderful fair!

Field Day Fun!

Students at Valley Elementary School enjoyed their traditional end of the school year celebration with a field day - full of fun activities! Students competed in relays (with wet sponges!), crab walks, Hula Hoops, Limbo and more!
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Girls in STEM Inspiration Day

Poway High School's Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Next Club in collaboration with Poway High School Engineering Academy, Team Spyder, and PHS National Center for Women & Technology hosted their Inaugural GIRLS in sTEm Inspiration Day. Over one hundred girls, young women, parents, and grandparents from all over San Diego county attended. This event was a complimentary hands-on engineering workshop to promote, inspire, and empower girls to embrace sTEm

Tarde de Familia

Meadowbrook Middle School hosted Career Technical Education's Tarde de Familia, featuring Public Service w/local firefighters and a retired FBI agent, with the presentation entirely in Spanish.

Retirement Bells

Retirees Jan Simpson, Cindy DeClercq, Lori Hath, and Agnes Chow were among those who got to ring in their retirement at the PUSD District Office on June 14. They have over 100 years of service to #TeamPUSD combined!
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Classified School Employees Week

May 20-24 was Classified School Employee Appreciation Week and we are grateful for all of our valued classified staff who keep everything running smoothly!
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ESS Summer Camp!

PUSD’s Extended Student Services (ESS) Summer Camps will be at 27 schools this summer! Campers go on 2 field trips every week to the zoo, pools, beach, movies, parks, bowling, safari park and more! Thank you PUSD Transportation and ESS staff for helping to make this summer a great learning experience for our students! Can you find your school shirt?!


AVID students from Black Mountain Middle School - all dressed identically - were voted "Best Dressed" at their end-of-year 8th grade event at Wave Waterpark.
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Twin Peaks is #PowayStrong!

Students at Twin Peaks Middle School sang a song about love and unity then signed thank you and sympathy cards to show they are #PowayStrong.

Gerald the Giraffe

Gerald the Giraffe took some time to read to some Canyon View Elementary School 2nd graders.
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AVID Students College Signing Day

Congratulations to all 34 AVID students at Poway High School who gathered together for their college signing ceremony and celebration. The seniors wore their college shirts and toasted one another (with ginger ale) as they proudly displayed their college of choice. Way to go!

Red Shoe Crew

The RED SHOE CREW has been active at Chaparral Elementary School! The Red Shoe Crew is a student-led fundraising event where donations go directly to San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House which provides a “home away from home” for families with children being treated for serious, often life-threatening conditions at local hospitals. Thank you parents, students and staff for your heartfelt donations!

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Gotta Dance!

RBHS Dance team visited TK students Creekside Elementary School for some dance fun!

Celebrating ACSA Winners!

Celebrating our #ACSALeaders winners for Adminstrators of the Year, including Kimberlie Rens, Dr. Drashana Patel, Greg Magno, Colin Young, and Tim Purvis. Go #TeamPUSD!
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Pomerado at Petco Park!

Fourth graders from Pomerado Elementary School went on a career day field trip to Petco Park. Students looked at their personal strengths and interests and how those might apply to the field of sports. The students interacted with personnel from the San Diego Padres in marketing, baseball operations, design/production, and advertising. Energized by the experience, the students are now working on products to submit back to the Padres Organization, including a fan give away item and a promotional video!

Midland College & Career Fair

College and career readiness starts in elementary school! Midland Elementary School hosted its 3rd annual college and career fair for students, which included representatives from colleges and different professions, including law enforcement, trades, computer science, media, event planning, and more!

CTE Career Fair

Students at Meadowbrook Middle School had the opportunity to meet and pose questions to a number of career representatives at the recent CTE Career Fair. There were firefighters, medical personnel, plumbers, dentists, bankers, reporters, a pilot and more all available to help students learn more about their career options.
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Science Field Day

Chaparral Elementary School students rocked science field day!
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Mt. Carmel Hall of Fame

Mt. Carmel High School inducted a number of alums into their Hall of Fame. Hall of Famers shown above are (L to R) Dawn Birdsall-Jewell, Vicki de Jesus, Brittany Augustine (May), Kirk Stackle, Greg Lanthier, Tom McKinney, Jill Blasczyk (Talbot), and John Tejcek.
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6th Grade Olympics

6th grade students at Twin Peaks Middle School celebrated the school's 45th Annual 6th Grade Olympics! The rain held off just long enough to allow the student Olympians to compete.

Published Author

Middle Schooler Nicole Edelstein was inspired by her mom's teaching on the environment (Lori Edelstein is an Xploration Teacher). So she wrote a book called "The Earth's Plastic Puzzle" and illustrated it and now Nicole's book is being sold on Amazon!

Thank you PTA Volunteers!

The Palomar Council PTA in the 9th District highlighted the value of PTA volunteers: $10,949,960 of value from 365,608 hours by PTA volunteers in the Poway Unified School District!
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5 years of Fire Science

Captain Bill Briscoe was recognized by PUSD CTAE department and Mt. Carmel High School's administration for 5 years of leading the Fire Science Challenge.

Minnow Tank

PUSD’s After School Education and Safety (ASES) program held its annual Inventors Club “Minnow” Tank (a bit friendlier than a shark tank), and presented a number of innovative inventions! Ideas included a way to decrease smart phone distractions, a natural and safe bee repellent, and even a remote-controlled firefighting robot!

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Preschool Promotion

Preschoolers at Sunset Hills Elementary School held a promotion ceremony – to the delight of parents and staff! The children sang songs for the audience and then received their promotion certificates. They also had some fun in front of the camera!

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Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness month and Mesa Verde Middle School students and staff teamed up to bring mental health resources to students. Students set up a mental health awareness information table at lunch and created a “Hope” sign at the front of the school. This was all possible because of the free resources that Each Mind Matters donated!

MVMS is united together to stand up for mental health! #EachMindMatters


5th Grade Festivities

Thank you for tagging us and sending us your photos from 5th grade promotion!
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8th Grade Promotion

Congratulations to all promoting 8th graders in the Poway Unified School District! On a cloud-covered Thursday morning, June 13, 2019, over 2,700 8th graders across PUSD participated in promotion ceremonies to mark the end of middle school and the beginning of high school. You can view many more photos here.
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Graduation Ceremonies

More than 2,600 high school seniors across the Poway Unified School District graduated on Thursday, June 13, 2019. For many more photos of PUSD high school graduations, you can view them here.

No Place For Hate Walk 2019

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News & Announcements

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Youth Enrichment Programs (YEP)

YEP Summer Camps are available for children grades 1st through 8th. Offerings include: Art, Computers, Drama, Engineering, Languages, Science and more. Don't miss out - Register by June 12th through the Poway Adult School website here.
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Preschool Enrollment

Our PUSD Preschool Department still has some space available in preschool classes around the school district for this Fall. Did you know that PUSD preschool has 55 classes in 26 schools around the district? You'll start the registration process by completing a Registration Request at www.powayusd.com/preschool, choose your first and second choice school and then you'll be contacted by our Preschool office. Can you believe these new PUSD preschoolers will be the high school graduating class of 2035?!

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Overdrive eBook Access

Keep kids reading over the summer with PUSD's free digital library: Overdrive - for ebooks and audiobooks on your computer or device! All they need is their student ID number and password.

Click to sign in: 9th-12th grades and K-8th grades
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Summer Work Permits

The State of California requires that all students under the age of 18 who have not received their diplomas must obtain a work permit prior to starting employment during the summer, and when school is not in session. Go here to apply. (If you already have one for your current job, a new work permit is not needed for the summer. Work permits issued during the school year, providing you remain with the same employer, expire five days after the following school year begins on August 21, 2019.)

Summer Work Permits will be issued by the Poway Adult School
June 10 through August 20
Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Friday: 9:00 to 11:00 am
Please allow a 24 hour turn around

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PUSD Small Business Internship Program

Join local small business owners in creating an internship program through Poway Unified's Career Technical Education program. An informational night will be held Wednesday, June 19, 2019 5:30pm to 7:00pm at Halcyon Real Estate in Poway.
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Del Sur 4S Ranch Community Market

Parents, teachers, students, and the community working together to offer organic, locally grown fruits, vegetables and specialty products for everyone in the community to enjoy! For more information go here.


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PUSD Tipline

As part of Poway Unified’s ongoing efforts to improve school safety and security, we have been sharing this “See Something, Say Something” public service announcement with many of our students. But this message applies to our parents and community members as well: help spread the word by watching and sharing this video so that we have as many eyes and ears out there working to keep our students and staff safe from threats. Save the tip line number in your phone: 844-787-3847. Special thanks to our law enforcement partners who participated in this PSA and continue to monitor the tip line and investigate any threats.

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.