Summer Updates for Families

Pershing Panther Community Newsletter (Vol.1, Issue 1)

Almost Time for Back to School 2022-23!

Dear Panther Families,

I hope you are continuing to enjoy your last few weeks of summer break. The weather in San Diego has been hot but absolutely gorgeous and my family and I have been taking advantage - paddleboarding in Coronado, hiking Mission Trails, and a few visits to our World Famous San Diego Zoo! I hope you and your family has been able to enjoy time together as well.

As we prepare for the start of the new school year I wanted to make sure that we are keeping families updated about the start of the 2022-23 school year and sharing any important events or information that will be helpful as we return to school. One of the main ways that I will be communicating information to our community will be through this community newsletter that will be emailed out to families every Sunday evening. It will also be available on the school website.

Our main office is re-opening this Tuesday, August 16th and staff will be on hand to answer phones and assist families. Teachers and counselors return August 24th.

I am also excited to report that we have had a very positive response to the Meet the New Principal event scheduled for 6:00 PM, Monday, August 22nd in the Pershing Library. If you are planning to attend please don't forget to RSVP.

If you have questions please do not hesitate to reach out. Until then, enjoy the remainder of your summer break! πŸ‰


Melanie Kray



All students, regardless of their family's income or school of attendance, have the option to eat school meals free of charge in the 2022-23 school year. I am also please to report Pershing will be resuming our breakfast service before school for the upcoming year. Breakfast will also be free for all students.


As a public school, Pershing is required to provide any school supplies that are required for a student's academic program (i.e. paper, pencil, etc.). Teachers will also typically provide a suggested supply list in their class syllabus the first week of school.

That being said, many students prefer to purchase their own personalized supplies. Below is a list of SUGGESTED school supplies that will work for all grade levels and aligns with our AVID program:

  • Backpack
  • 1 1/2" 3-ring binder with subject dividers
  • pencil pouch
  • pencils
  • pens (blue & black ink preferred)
  • highlighter
  • scissors
  • calculator
  • glue stick
  • colored pencils
  • lined paper
  • college-rule single subject spiral notebooks (one for each core subject)


We would like to cordially invite all our incoming 6th grade students and families and students and families new to Pershing Middle School to our orientation taking place on Thursday, August 25th from 8:00-10:00 AM in the Pershing Middle School Theater.


School begins daily at 8:00 AM (first bell rings at 7:55 AM) and ends at 2:50 PM. Beginning the second week of September, Wednesdays shift to our minimum day schedule - school begins at 8:00 AM and students are released at 1:45 PM so teachers can participate in Professional Learning Communities (PLC). The bell schedules are available for review on our school website.


Students will receive their schedules on the first day of school. Posters will be up around the campus telling students where to go for their first period class and students will receive their class schedule in first period.


Over the next month I am going to be working with IT staff to update and streamline our school website to make it more user friendly. The website still remains a good place to find important information about the school but other good sources of information about the upcoming school year can be found in these weekly newsletters and please follow us on Instagram @pershing_sdusd or follow me on Twitter @melanie_kray for the latest information.


Several families have reached out with questions about whether or not masks and COVID vaccinations will be required for the start of school. The district has stated COVID vaccinations are NOT required for students to attend school in 2022-23.

With regard to masking, in July, mandatory masking indoors was triggered for SDUSD students and staff when San Diego County moved into the highest COVID risk level. We are awaiting further guidance from the district now that San Diego County has moved back to the medium risk level. When the district shares their health and safety guidance around masking for the new school year I will share with the community. Thank you in advance for your patience as we await this guidance.

Parents As Partners: Pershing Cell Phone Policy πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦

As we prepare for the start of the new school year I wanted to share with families that Pershing MIddle School will be enforcing the SDUSD Cell Phone Policy. Under District Board Policy H-6980 all middle school students must have their cell phones turned off and in their backpacks during the school day and may only used their phones before and after school hours. Cell phones that are not turned off and in students' backpacks during the school day may be confiscated and the phone would be returned to a parent or guardian.

This decision was not reached lightly. I hear frequently from parents that they enjoy the convenience of communicating with their child by cell phone, especially if there was an emergency. There is also no denying the many benefits and conveniences that cell phones have brought. The research, however, is increasingly showing that for adolescents & schools there are many negative side effects that come with cell phone and social media use during the school day. These negative side affects include: distractabiilty in the classroom, anxiety, negative self-image, feelings of isolation, loss of sleep and cyberbullying just to name a few. We want Pershing to be a place were students "unplug" from their cell phones and social media and focus on reconnecting with their peers and avoid distractions that make learning more challenging.

We hope families will speak with their middle schoolers about the cell phone policy and the reasons behind the shift. Below are some additional articles about the impact of cell phones and social media on adolescents and their learning.

Negative Health Review of Cell Phones and Social Media

Are Smart Phones and Social Media Hurting our Kids?

5 Reasons to Ban Smart Phones in School

Calendar Heads-Up πŸ—“

August Dates for Your Calendar

Aug 16: Main Office Re-opens

Aug 22: Meet the New Principal - 6:00 PM @Pershing Middle Library (masks required). For planning purposes, if you have not done so, please RSVP πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦

Aug 25: 6th Grade & New Student Orientation - 8:00-10:00 AM @Pershing AuditoriumπŸ“†

August 29: First Day of School 🏫

A Principal's Life (in Summer!) 😎

"'Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August." - Jenny Han