December 5, 2022
MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
Dear PUSD Community,
Pasadena Unified is all about the future and that’s clearly illustrated in this week’s update. First of all, we’re thinking about future enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year. We are also celebrating our forward-thinking future scientists for their outstanding work at the Innovation Expo. We are changing the future by improving the way we educate our students today (see GATE story) and through our ongoing commitment to teachers (see Alder Graduate School and Teacher Awards stories). Last but not least, we are asking for your help designing the district of the future with plans for new learning spaces and improvements at school sites across the district.
We have so much to look forward to and so much to do before the end of 2022. Thank you for your hard work and have a great week!
Brian McDonald, Ed.D.
NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS: ENROLL NOW!
Neighborhood school registration is now open for the 2023-2024 school year. Families may register for their neighborhood school if they are new to PUSD TK (Transitional Kindergarten) or K-12 students or if they are current PUSD students who are changing schools as they advance to 6th or 9th grades. pusd.us/findmyschool
Please note: registration is not required FOR TK-12th grade students to continue at the same school.
PUSD children are not just students, they’re innovators. The Innovation Exposition, now in its 10th year, showcased original and creative projects by students in grades K-8 on Friday at McKinley School. The Innovation Exposition is Pasadena’s “Alternative to the Science Fair” because it goes beyond the typical science fair allowing students to explore six unique areas: Invention, Science Fiction, Scientific Inquiry, Environmental Innovation, 3D Printing, and Reverse Engineering.
Thank you to the judges, who are experts in their fields, for volunteering their time to evaluate student presentations. Congratulations to all of the young scientists who submitted incredible work in both competitive and non-competitive categories!
PUSD has a new partner in its corner helping to deliver high-quality gifted and talented services for eligible students. Since the start of our partnership last spring with the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA), the benefits have added up for over 130 students in grades 3-8 at six different schools. The IEA program for PUSD includes after-school innovation clubs, STEM challenges like catapults, science fiction writing, Innovation Exposition mentoring, online 3D printing workshops, and environmental design projects. PUSD leaders are excited to continue this partnership which goes far beyond the classroom walls.
“It is such an asset to be able to tap into the expertise of an organization that dedicates itself to meeting the unique needs of gifted learners,“ said Karen Anderson, PUSD Arts & Enrichment Coordinator and GATE Specialist. “The Institute for Educational Advancement understands how to connect with our students and their unique needs, challenging them while developing their critical and creative thinking skills, and nurturing their love of learning.”
FACILITIES MASTER PLAN: LET'S PLAN TOGETHER!
Please share your vision for your campus by taking the Facilities Master Plan survey. PUSD needs your input in the district-wide planning process to guide us in prioritizing improvements at our campuses. We aim to accommodate new models of learning, to better serve the needs of families in the area, and to ensure that our schools adhere to the latest safety standards.
Check www.pusd.us/fmp for more information.
THE FUTURE OF TEACHING
Earning your Master’s Degree and teaching credential in one year may be challenging but it’s definitely doable, thanks to PUSD’s partnership with the Alder Graduate School of Education. The program, now in its third successful year, combines hands-on practice with educational theory and research.
Unlike other grad students, Alder residents – aka student teachers – spend four days a week in the classroom under the guidance of a mentor PUSD teacher for the duration of the school year. They also attend weekly in-person and online seminars. Hanh Le, the Director of PUSD’s Teacher Residency at Alder, says the program is better than other graduate programs because of its diverse demographics and its ability to entice homegrown teachers to remain at Pasadena Unified.
"Alder residents are getting practical experience right now in the classroom with their mentor teachers! They're learning about universal design for learning, they’re learning culturally responsive teaching, equity and diversity and they're also, of course, learning their content-specific pedagogical practices with mentors who are the backbone of this program," Ms. Hanh Le explained.
Both mentors and residents earn stipends through the program and 96 percent of graduates obtain full-time teaching positions after completing the program! Interested candidates (both potential mentors and residents) can contact Hanh Le via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
PUSD teachers and principals got a treat at the “drive-through” last week. They drove up to the Education Center to pick up a total of $200,000 in grants, thanks to the Pasadena Educational Foundation (PEF), College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation, and Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. PEF Teacher Grants will help 189 educators take their creative projects from idea to reality by providing resources to enhance the classroom experience for thousands of students in Altadena, Pasadena, and Sierra Madre.
The grants recognize excellence in education and will support several school-wide projects. One will be used to turn Webster Elementary’s Art Loft into a STEAM loft to incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math. The Webster STEAM loft is to become a “makerspace” with tools for creativity and hands-on learning offering to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent.
Principal Kristin Forrest says the money will make a huge difference at Webster. Ms. Forrest is also the recipient of the Kathy Onoye Principal Award and says Dr. Onoye is an inspiration. “So not only was she my boss when I was an instructional coach… but also she was my own children’s principal at Willard Elementary, our little neighborhood school, where my children attended. So it means so much coming from her because they adore her and they’re young adults now.”
Congratulations on that full-circle moment and to all of these deserving recipients! We are so very #PUSDproud.
SAN RAFAEL ELEMENTARY PANDA FAIR
San Rafael Elementary school students, parents, and PTA volunteers helped out at the Panda Fair over the weekend with tree sales, cookie decorating, ornament making, and a whole lotta holiday fun!