Message from the Superintendent

February 28, 2022

Message from the Superintendent

Dear PUSD Community,

Governor Newsom announced today that starting late next week, masks will no longer be required but “strongly recommended” indoors at California schools. We are reviewing this state policy and working closely with local public health authorities to determine how PUSD will update safety measures but for now, our indoor mask requirements remain in place at PUSD.


Until further notice, everyone on PUSD campuses must wear a mask indoors. Students are still required to wear a mask upon entering buildings, while in classrooms and other indoor spaces, and while using transportation services. Wearing masks outdoors is optional, but still recommended when social distancing cannot be maintained while outdoors at TK-12 schools, youth sports, or childcare settings. Masking is still highly recommended at crowded outdoor events.

Types of masks required indoors at PUSD:

  • Employees must wear surgical-grade masks

  • Students are required to wear upgraded masks which at a minimum are well-fitting, non-cloth masks of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire.


Getting vaccinated and boosted is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death. PUSD has several upcoming vaccination clinics.

Mondays at the PUSD Education Center 8:00 am - 3:30 pm

351 South Hudson Ave, Pasadena, CA 91109, South Parking Lot off Oak Knoll

Wednesday, March 16, 2022, 2:30 - 4 pm

Madison Elementary Auditorium

515 E Ashtabula St, Pasadena, CA 91104

Wednesday, March 9, 2022, 2:30 - 4 pm

Longfellow Elementary

1065 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104

Registration link based on age of patient:

COVID vaccines and boosters are widely available. For more vaccination sites near you, go to

Vaccine Video/Art Contest

PUSD students have a little more time to get their entries in for the Pasadena Public Health Department’s vaccination video contest, now extended to March 15. Students can win up to $1500 through a video and art competition highlighting the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine. All students ages 4-24 currently enrolled in grades TK-college in Pasadena schools are eligible to enter the #VaccinatePasadena Video Contest. Deadline for entries is March 15, 2022. View complete contest details and official rules.

Open enrollment is continuing and there is still time to find the right school for your child. If you missed the first phases of the Open Enrollment lotteries, you can apply during the second lottery in March.

Second Lottery Dates:

  • Apply: March 7, 2022, 9am - March 11, 2022, 4 pm

  • Results available online: March 18, 2022 by 11:59 pm

  • Register: March 21, 2022, 9am - March 25, 2022, 4 pm

We invite you to visit any PUSD campus and see how we are accelerating achievement for all students.The process is easy. All applications and forms are available online at To request email updates and reminders, sign up for Open Enrollment reminders and notifications.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, I am happy to announce that the keynote speaker, Hillary Rodham Clinton, will present a virtual address to Pasadena Unified at 6pm on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at Marshall Fundamental Secondary School, 990 Allen Ave., Pasadena. The annual assembly will honor the Women’s Movement: Suffrage and Women’s Liberation and all are invited to attend in person or watch the KLRN live stream. Women making history will be the theme of poignant student essays and art presentations at the event. The PUSD Women’s History Month assembly is now in its fifth year.


Washington Steam Multilingual Academy will now be known as Octavia E. Butler Magnet, following the Board of Education’s unanimous approval last week. Octavia E. Butler, a renowned science fiction author, began her writing career at a young age at Washington Elementary School, and then continued at Washington Junior High School and John Muir High School, Class of 1965. By integrating her love of science with her love of writing, she achieved the highest honors in the field of science fiction writing, including Hugo and Nebula Awards as well as the Macarthur Fellowship prize. Ms. Butler earned the honors of being inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She was raised by her widowed mother and struggled with a learning disability, but with sheer resilience and self-discipline, she became the embodiment of excellence in her career.


High School Academies

An important question we hear often from students is "When am I ever going to use this?" This question is central to our mission for our College and Career Academies where students learn the skills, attributes, and experiences that will prepare them for college, career, and life. Student, faculty, business, and community involvement create a vital and stimulating learning environment where students get real-world experience that puts classroom learning into action. Academies are located at PUSD high school campuses. Each academy prepares students for college and career and are aligned with college entrance requirements, industry needs, and career projections. Discover more about PUSD’s academies:

Academy for Creative Industries (Marshall Fundamental)

App Academy (Pasadena High School)

Arts, Entertainment and Media (John Muir Early College Magnet High School)

Business and Entrepreneurship (John Muir Early College Magnet High School)

Creative Arts, Media, and Design (Pasadena High School)

Engineering & Environmental Science Academy (John Muir Early College Magnet High School)

Health Careers Academy (Blair School)

Law and Public Service (Pasadena High School)

To enroll, each College and Career Academy is located within a school of residence with an attendance area of families who have the privilege of enrolling based on their home address. Families not residing within the school's attendance boundaries may apply through the District's annual OPEN ENROLLMENT process.

After two years of the challenges we faced during the COVID pandemic, the war in Ukraine presents a new hurdle for educators and families as we help our students cope with troubling news and images in the news and on social media.

What’s going on in the world can be frightening and upsetting to anyone, especially children. To help students better understand this event and to place it in a broader context, we've gathered social and emotional learning resources to support teachers and families in helping students process these current events.

Resources for Families & Educators to Support Students

Mental Health Support

Expert Advice for Parents and Families

Thank you and have a great week!


Brian McDonald, Ed.D.