PUSD Update

December 6, 2021

Message from the Superintendent

Dear PUSD Community,

I have to admit that much of what we hear in the news lately is a sad combination of doom and gloom, so this week’s PUSD update might just be music to your ears. We are singing the praises of our outstanding staff. We plan to begin the new year on a high note at the Parade of Roses! As always, we are working in harmony with other community groups to keep our students safe and successful.


Pasadena Unified continues to urge all eligible staff, students, and families to get vaccinated because it is the best way to reduce transmission of the virus and it will allow us to continue in-person learning. I am so proud of District Health Program Director Ria Apodaca and her team as they successfully vaccinated 269 students between ages 5 and 11 at our first three-day pediatric clinic during the Thanksgiving break. Please help us spread the word about more PUSD clinics that are planned for children ages 5 to 11.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2:30 - 4:00 PM, Willard Auditorium, 301 S. Madre St., Pasadena

  • Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2:30 - 4:00 PM, Madison Elementary, 515 Ashtabula St., Pasadena

This month we are also partnering with local pharmacies to offer additional clinics for children ages 5 - 17.

  • Friday, Dec. 17, 3:00 - 7:00 PM, Vons Pharmacy, 2355 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

  • Saturday, Dec. 18, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Vons Pharmacy, 2355 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

To make an appointment for a vaccine or booster, visit myturn.ca.gov. Our goal is to have all eligible students and staff fully vaccinated before returning from Winter break. If you still have questions about the vaccine, please ask a trusted physician or check with the CDC.


If you cannot attend one of our District clinics, there are several other local options for vaccinations and testing. One more note - all 133 tests conducted at PUSD’s drive-through clinic last week came back negative.






More than 200 PUSD educators enjoyed quite a treat at the “drive-through” last week. Pasadena Unified teachers and principals 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 this year. PEF Teacher Grants help our teachers take their creative projects from idea to reality by providing resources to enhance the classroom experience for students. The grants, provided directly to the teachers, benefit thousands of students in Altadena, Pasadena, and Sierra Madre. Congratulations to all of the recipients!

Big picture
(above) PUSD students celebrate our teachers at the PEF "Drive-Through" Teacher Grant Awards.


The Pasadena Unified All Star Band is gearing up and getting in tune for the 2022 Parade of Roses! Under the expert direction of Daniel Adams and music specialist Karen Klages, the talented team is composed of 47 band members, 12 color guards, and 12 dancers from four different PUSD schools. Over the weekend, these young musical artists entertained everyone at a Tournament House event which also celebrated the visual artwork of Pasadena Unified. Elementary and middle school students competed in a District-wide art program, painting and decorating plaster rose vases. Students showed off their creations in a mini-parade as the band played and awards were given out. Congratulations to all of these talented students! The All-Star Band is set to perform at several more events leading up to New Year’s Day and we can’t wait!

Have a great week and thank you for everything you do.


Brian McDonald, Ed.D.


Big picture


Getting the vaccine will help protect our students and employees. COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone ages 5 and over. Get the COVID-19 vaccine to keep our community safe! www.pusd.us/vaccine

#VaccinatePasadena #PUSDproud @CityOfPasadena