PUSD Update

October 18, 2021

Message from the Superintendent

Dear PUSD Community,

Fall is a time of transformation -- the temperature dips, the winds pick up, and the leaves change colors. Before we can change and grow as a community, however, we look to you for your input and support on several matters, the most important being the health and safety of our children.


During the week of October 11 - 15, the District conducted 4,147 tests through the PUSD COVID-19 Testing Program with only a 0.34% positivity rate. This percentage speaks to the positive efforts we are all making to keep our students, staff and teachers safe and healthy. We are thankful for the thousands of people who have responded to the confidential COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Submission Form. District staff are in the midst of reviewing results from the survey and want parents and guardians to know that help is available to anyone who might need more information on testing, vaccines, or submitting proof of vaccination.


We are grateful to those who participated in our School Needs Survey last week and voiced the areas of greatest need to guide the District's plans for our one-time $40 million Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III) grant. Respondents' priorities include: focusing on key ELA and Math curricula; increasing instructional staffing; targeting students with the greatest need for support and intervention; and strengthening social-emotional supports. The community supported making improvements to facilities, including repairs to classroom windows, replacing old carpets, and generally improving classrooms to reduce environmental hazards related to COVID-19. Please visit https://www.pusd.us/survey for a copy of the survey results.


Last week, Pasadena Unified students continued to enjoy the fruits of their labor as the White House celebrated National School Lunch week. For our students, learning about the value of nutrition is nothing new. The USDA has awarded the District with its third generous Farm-to-School grant. The grant supports school gardens where students get their hands dirty learning about the seed-to-table cycle. The funds will also help us distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to children and families, all in hopes of promoting a healthier lifestyle and planting seeds of success in school.


Speaking of our health, a reminder that coming in November, the District will administer the California Healthy Kids Survey to parent/guardians, staff, and selected grade levels. The survey focuses on issues that affect learning. It is voluntary yet highly encouraged so please keep an eye out for consent forms needed to participate.


Please join our Board and the California Legislature in recognizing this as the official Week of the School Administrator. Take a moment to thank a leader for their service and the support they have provided to you.


We are especially proud of our very own Julie Silk, who was selected as one of six finalists in the 2022 California Teacher of the Year program. Ms. Silk is a first-grade Dual Language Immersion teacher at Jackson STEM Dual Language Magnet Academy. We congratulate her on this outstanding achievement!

PUSD College Week is going on right now. Download the flyer for more information!

Show your college spirit October 18 - 22 and wear your college gear!!!

Thank you for all that you do, stay healthy, 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 12 and over. Get the COVID-19 vaccine to keep our community safe! www.pusd.us/vaccine

#VaccinatePasadena #PUSDproud @CityOfPasadena