#TeamPUSD Newsletter

Special Edition

Message from Superintendent Phelps

Please watch this video message from PUSD Superintendent Dr. Marian Kim Phelps to our students, families, and staff. Closed captioning is available in English or Spanish.
Poway Unified Superintendent Message on COVID-19 School Closures 03-31-20

Navigating COVID-19: PUSD Comes Together During Crisis

In this special edition of our regular #TeamPUSD Newsletter, you'll find all updates related to the COVID-19 closures as well as coverage of news and events before our schools and offices closed on March 13, 2020.



We love seeing our educators connecting and engaging with students and each other, despite school closures, on conference calling platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime. Staying positive and bringing everyone together is just what the community needs in a time where we cannot be together in person. Kudos to #TeamPUSD!

An 8-Step Guide to Staying Mentally & Physically Healthy During a Public Health Crisis

Adapting to a new routine in the midst of a health crisis can be difficult, and it's important to keep your mental and physical health a priority. So where do you start? Here's a simple guide to self care that can be done at home. If at any time you need to seek professional help, contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-985-5990. Stay healthy, #PowayUnified.
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Food and Nutrition

In the midst of this COVID-19 situation, we are grateful for the #PowayUnified Food Service Workers who were handing out free sack meals to our students. Your flexibility despite school closures does not go unnoticed. Thank you.
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Inspiring Videos

Teachers and staff from Monterey Ridge Elementary School in 4S Ranch made this video for their students, to lift their spirits and let them know how much they miss them during these school closures. This is just one of many videos posted from our wonderful school site teams. The video was featured on KUSI's morning show, take a look! (You can watch the entire video on the Monterey Ridge Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/monterey_ridge/ )
Monterey Ridge Teacher Video

Black Mountain Middle School Staff Lip Sync to "I'll Be There for You"

The theme song from the TV show "Friend," got teachers and staff from Black Mountain Middle School in PQ singing and dancing, to lift students' spirits. The video was featured on Fox5 News. Check it out below!
BMMS Staff Lip Sync’s The Rembrandts “I’ll Be There for You”

Westview's Tim Saeger Hosts Virtual Trumpet Ensemble

Tim Saeger coaches the trumpet sections for Westview, Mt. Carmel and Del Norte high schools. He formed a virtual brass ensemble with 40 of his students from their homes. Click below to watch the video. Check out the article in the Union Tribune:


Trumpet teacher forms a virtual brass ensemble with 40 quarantined students

Turtleback Elementary Shout Out

The teachers and staff at Turtleback Elementary School in Rancho Bernardo wanted to let students and families know that they're thinking about them and that we're all in this together! They even got recently retired principal Ann Auten to participate!
TBKES Closure Shoutout 2020

Fiske Family Foundation Alleviates Cost of COVID-19 Expenses

There are no words to express how blown away we were by the generosity of the Fiske Family Foundation (John Fiske is a #PowayUnified alum!) Their foundation graciously donated $50,000 to the Poway Unified School District Foundation to cover the costs of feeding students and ensuring access to technology for distance learning during COVID-19 closures. We are grateful, to say the very least.

To read more, click here: https://www.powayusd.com/Communications/Press-Releases

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Words of Encouragement from #TeamPUSD

To say that our educators miss their students is an understatement. On social media, we've seen principals, counselors, and more keep their school communities updated and engaged with personal "check-ins" from campus.

Thank you to PUSD Custodial Staff!

Our custodial, maintenance, and operations staff have been hard at work, cleaning our campuses and classrooms in our students’ absence (like the OVMS Custodial staff pictured below). A sincere thank you to our hard-working staff who have stepped up to ensure our schools remain safe, clean, and well-maintained during our closures.
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Adult School Classes Donate PPEs to Palomar Health

During the week of March 23, Poway Adult School staff delivered a wide variety of extra personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Palomar Health Medical Center Warehouse. Much like other hospitals/medical facilities around the world right now, they are experiencing an extreme shortage of critical medical supplies. Big thanks to our medical classes for donating new PPEs to those who need them most, but an even bigger 'Thank You' to all medical professionals for their service during this time. #ThankADoctor #ThankANurse

👉 Info on how you can help: bit.ly/PMCPoway 👈

Stay Up-To-Date Throughout School Closures

We want to continue bringing you the News Minute during the COVID-19 closures to keep you informed and inspired. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @powayunified for these weekly updates.

As always, the most up-to-date information regarding the novel coronavirus can be found at PUSD's COVID-19 resource page (http://bit.ly/3cX1khG).
Poway Unified News Minute 03-20-20
News Minute 3-27-20: COVID-19 Video Report #2


Student, School, & Staff Recognition

District Teachers of the Year for 2020

As the news and conditions surrounding COVID-19 were changing by (quite literally) the hour, we had the pleasure of honoring our #PowayUnified District Teachers of the Year for 2020.

We could not be more thankful for our Teachers who make it their mission to empower world-class learners. Please join us in celebrating these visionaries who have such a positive impact on our students each and every day:

Laura Snow, Pomerado Elementary School
Aaron Smith, Bernardo Heights Middle School
Amy Hillebrecht, Twin Peaks Middle School

District Classified Employees of the Year for 2020

We were able to spread joy in the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis as Superintendent Phelps personally called each District Classified Employee of the Year to congratulate them.

These individuals make it their mission to help us unite the #PowayUnified community. And for that, we are humbled. Please join us in celebrating these visionaries who have such a positive impact on our students each and every day.

Anna Noel, Instructional Aide II, Rancho Bernardo High School

David Oliva, Transportation Bus Aide, Transportation

Donna Lawrence, Library Media Technician, Oak Valley Middle School

PUSD is Home to Two ACSA Administrators of the Year

Not one, but TWO #PowayUnified administrators were named "Administrators of the Year" for Region 18 by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA)! Congratulations to Black Mountain Middle School Principal Scott Corso, Middle Grades Principal of the Year, and Associate Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Burks, Technology Administrator of the Year. We are grateful for their strong commitment to students and PUSD!

Read the press release here: http://bit.ly/39xZOAq

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Abraxas Named "Model Continuation High School" by State Superintendent

We are thrilled to share that Abraxas High School was named a “Model Continuation School” by California Department of Education Superintendent Tony Thurmond!

Only 43 schools in California made the list this year, and we are exceptionally proud of the positive culture and conditions Abraxas continues to create for our students. Click to read more about Recognition Program, and how Abraxas cultivates a supportive learning environment through programs like the Community Garden: http://bit.ly/abxhsmcs

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Black Mountain MS Re-Dedicated as National AVID Demonstration Site

Congratulations to the Black Mountain Raiders for being revalidated as an AVID National Demonstration Site for another three years! Black Mountain is the only demonstration site within #PowayUnified, and one of four in San Diego County. The visiting team from AVID was very impressed with the systems, instruction, leadership and welcoming, caring culture at BMMS. We are so proud!

A Gift for Valley Elementary School

It was an exciting morning for Valley Elementary School February 26th, when Poway High School Sophomore Madalyn Nguyen gifted brand new robotics kits from Pitsco Educaiton to the entire school. After being honored as a "Girls Living in STEM" awardee in 2019, Madalyn decided to give Valley the kits in hopes that younger students develop a passion for STEM like she did. Please join us, along with Superintendent Phelps, in Congratulating Madalyn and Valley on this outstanding achievement!

National School Counseling Week 2020

From February 3-7, Poway Unified participated in "National School Counseling Week" to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems. This year's theme was Helping Build Better Humans. Simply saying 'Thank You' to our #PowayUnified Counselors doesn't feel like enough for the work they do to enrich our students' lives ❤️ To all of our counselors: WE LOVE YOU! #NSCW2020

Take a look at some of the featured #schoolcounselors from this week's social media challenge!

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New "Think Big Reading Room" for Garden Road Elementary

February was a very exciting month for Garden Road Elementary with the GRAND OPENING of their new #ThinkBigReadingRoom! Complete with benches, stone cushions and a beautiful garden mural, this space was created thanks to a gracious donation from the Eleni & Wolfgang Gagon Trust and Carson Scholars Fund. This room supports students where they are in their quest to learn, all while their minds explore other worlds through reading a book. Congratulations on your new room, Garden Road!

Morning Creek Elementary Student Off to National GeoBee Competition

The results are in! The National Geographic Society named Arjun Jagan, a fourth grader at Morning Creek Elementary, as one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2020 National Geographic GeoBee State Competition. The contest will be held at Cal State University, Fresno on Friday, March 27, 2020.

National Signing Day for PUSD Athletes

February 5th was College Signing Day at Petco Park, hosted by San Diego Sports Association. Dozens of PUSD student-athletes got to announce their intent to continue their athletic careers in college. Congratulations to all! (Video made by PUSD interns Sumedh and Jovanna)
College Signing Day

Eagle Scout Gives Back to RBHS Performing Arts

“I saw this as a perfect opportunity for my Eagle Scout project, as students in this program needed new and safer dressing rooms for their shows, events and performances.”

Rancho Bernardo HS senior Jimmy Hernandez recently celebrated his Court of Honor for completing an Eagle Project that helped the RBHS drama department. Read his story of giving back to the community: http://bit.ly/3bFPGHC

Biomed Students Honored in White Coat Ceremony

Congratulations to the Del Norte Biomedical pathway students who were presented with their own personalized white lab coats! A big thank you to teachers Mrs. Craig and Ms. Barnett for leading these future medical leaders through the

Project Lead the Way pathway!

Mt. Carmel HS Society of Women Engineers Club Awarded $1,000

This is just part of the MC Society of Women Engineers club that wrote a proposal to educate elementary students about how drinking water is processed! They gave them $1000 to build their models and implement their ideas! Can’t wait to see your ideas made into reality!

(Photo courtesy of @principalmagno on Instagram)

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Happy Retirement, Officer MacPhee!

It was a bittersweet 'goodbye' to School Resource Officer Gary MacPhee this month, a role he has faithfully served for the last eight years. Thank you for being part of #TeamPUSD and the #PowayUnified community! You are part of our students' success!

Dancing All the Way to Florida

Huge congratulations to the Poway High School Dance Project for their incredible success as they bring home three national placements at their national competition in Florida!

RBHS Band Dir. Selected for CMEA State Award

Congratulations to Rancho Bernardo High School Band Director Duane Otani on his selection for the CMEA State Byron Hoyt/Don Schmeer Band Educator Award. Well deserved!
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Valley 5th Grader Wins Mathematics Award

Congratulations to Sergio Barragan, a 5th grader at Valley Elementary, for achieving the TODOS: Mathematics for All Recognition Award! This award is presented to students who have shown significant progress in mathematics, going above and beyond to overcome challenges and succeed in the classroom. Well done, Sergio!

Excellence in Communications

PUSD's Communications Department received several Excellence in Communications awards from the California School Public Relations Association annual state conference, in the categories of Media Relations, Feature/Editorial Writing, and Crisis Communication. Congratulations to Chief Communications Officer Christine Paik and Communications Specialist Olivia Schouten!

Poway High School Senior Honored with Dell Scholarship

Congratulations to Nhat Pham, the Poway High AVID Senior being named one of only 500 Dell Scholars in the United States. After immigrating from Vietnam, Nhat has pushed himself to step outside the comfort zone. He shows determination and hard work in everything he does - his AP classes, community service with Ronald McDonald House and on-campus clubs, student leadership through AVID, and the PHS site council (to name a few).

As a Dell Scholar, Nhat has won a $20,000 scholarship, a laptop, a scholars network that includes mentors, and $500 in textbook credits to use at any university he chooses to attend.


Fun Photos & Videos

Black History Month

The #PowayUnified School District was proud to celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth in honoring the struggles, history and contributions of African-Americans to the United States. Throughout the month, we shared the stories and impact of influential African-Americans from the 1800s to now, and celebrated African-American culture throughout the District at school sites.
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World Beat Center Comes to Westview HS

As part of the Black History Month celebrations, Westview High School hosted World Beat Center performers in the quad during lunch. They shared cultural stories through drum and dance experiences, and even taught students the dances.
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Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month. We shared inspiring stories and fun facts about influential women in history. Poway Unified is proud to honor the women of the past, so the women of today may be inspired.

Celebrating 100 Days of School!

Throughout #PowayUnified, schools celebrated 100 days of school and being "100 days smarter!" We even saw what the 101st day of school looks like with Ms. Cruella De Vil...

Take a look at these photos schools shared via social media:

Celebrating Lunar New Year at Adobe Bluffs

Happy #LunarNewYear from Adobe Bluffs Elementary! 🐭🏮 We rang in the #YearoftheRat with INCREDIBLE (and cute) performances by students TK-5, including the Mandarin Club, Mandarin Immersion students, our partners at SDSU Chinese Cultural Center, and more. Xie xie to those who made this beautiful celebration happen!

Watch the video below for a recap.

Celebrating Lunar New Year at Adobe Bluffs

Titans United Week

Poway High School hosted an acts-of-kindness week, where each day had a flower-themed craft that was handed out to classmates. Thank you for brightening students' day, Titans ASB!

Building Kindness Bags for Garden Road Families

If you popped into the Garden Road Elementary School MPR earlier this month, you would have noticed over 150 bags full of food for local families in need - all donated by GRES students! Thanks to Counselor Katie McLeod and GRES Staff for assisting Eagles in bag assembly. Look at their handwritten notes! This is how you #choosekindness ❤️

Valentine's Day 2020

#TeamPUSD was not shy about sharing love and kindness with others this Valentine's Day! We want ot thank everyone for the impact they have on our students' lives each and every day - we are so grateful! Check out these sweet photos that were shared with us on social media:

ReWear Boutique Back at Pomerado Elementary

Support a #PowayUnified elementary school AND get a new ‘fit? YES 👏 PLEASE 👏 The famous ReWear Boutique was the place to go February 5th for those looking at up-cycled clothes, shoes and more! Each item was only 25 CENTS. The bonus? All shopping supported Pomerado families!
ReWear Boutique at Pomerado Elementary

PUSD Wax Museums

Wax figures, or the real deal? So much fun seeing elementary students' research come to life this week with "Wax Museums," where they learned about a historical/influential figure, presented fact-filled speeches, and answered biographical questions about their lives from 'museum patrons.' Another successful example of dynamic, project-based learning. Can you guess who they are?

Mt. Carmel Alumna Goes Undefeated on "Jeopardy!"

Hey, we recognize that "Jeopardy!" champ... MacKenzie Jones! She's a former Mt. Carmel Sundevil, and went six days undefeated in the popular TV trivia game.

(Video courtesy of "Jeopardy!" on YouTube)

Mackenzie Is a 5-Game Winner! | JEOPARDY!

Representing PUSD at Long Beach Education Conference

Pomerado Principal Laura Crow, Pomerado Teacher Laura Snow, and Special Education Program Specialist Laura Mueller had the opportunity to attend the "Educating for Careers" Professional Learning Conference in Long Beach this month, where Laura Crow and Laura Snow presented a session on Building Connections Between Curriculum and Careers. Well done!



2020-21 Continuing Student Registration Opens April 1

The online Continuing Student Registration will be open April 1 - April 30, 2020. Parents and Guardians will receive email notification once the website is open.

We must receive a completed digital packet for all returning students. This will allow for proper placement of your student for the 2020-2021 school year. This annual digital process will allow a family to complete one single “family” packet instead of completing one packet per student. Packets can be completed using any computer, tablet or smartphone with an internet connection.

In preparation of this process, now is the time to confirm that you know your parent login username and password. This information will be needed to complete the registration packet. Please take a moment and ensure you can login to https://sis.powayusd.com. If you do not know your username and/or password, you can visit https://password.powayusd.com to retrieve your login credentials.

Please notify your current Principal via email as soon as possible if you do not plan to return to PUSD for the 2020-2021 school year.

Once school resumes, we will be collecting all required signed paperwork.

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Now Accepting Student Board Member Applications

The application period for the 2020-2021 Student Board Member position will be open through April 7, 2020. Any high school juniors, in good academic standing, who will be seniors next year can 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.

Please post and forward to any PUSD high school juniors that you think might be interested. You can check the information page here: https://powayusd.com/en-US/Board/Student-Board

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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 App

Did you know we have an app?

On our app, you can:
1. Choose which schools to follow in Settings
2. Receive emergency messages from the alert center
3. See what's happening on the calendar
4. Follow along with the News Stream
5. Catch the latest sports scores

And MUCH MORE! Download for FREE on the App Store and Google Play Store.

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.