#TeamPUSD Newsletter

March/April 2021 Family Edition

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PUSD's Final Reopening Stages for 2020-2021

PUSD's current on-campus schedules (4 full days-a-week for secondary and 5 expanded days-a-week for elementary) will remain in place through the end of the 2020-21 school year. At the April 8 meeting, the Board approved an updated plan to reopen PUSD schools to the fullest extend possible, and encouraged in-person graduations and promotions in June.
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Additional COVID Funds and Expanded Learning Opportunities Meeting

If you would like to learn more about how PUSD will be utilizing our additional COVID funding and our plans for expanded learning opportunities over the summer and next school year, we will be holding a community meeting tonight, Thursday, April 29 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm via Zoom Webinar. RSVP here to receive the Zoom code. If you cannot attend, the meeting will be recorded.

Due to additional COVID funding from both the state and federal governments, we are able to fund additional priorities. We are happy to share that for 2021-22, we are planning to:

  • Keep the X-ploration program to provide art, music, STEM, and P.E. for all elementary students
  • Expand Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Science, Technology, Engineering, Math curriculum, TK-12
  • Hire additional/expand hours for counselors, social workers, psychologists, and student support specialists
  • Temporarily decrease class sizes for 4th grade and above, to ensure physical distancing as we fully reopen next school year
  • Offer summer school options K-12, and free summer enrichment opportunities for students
  • Continue providing high-quality professional development and support for teachers and staff in inclusive practices, blended learning, differentiated instruction, and racial equity

You can also add your thoughts and feedback on "Additional strategies you would like to see implemented or expanded to support student learning and well-being next year" by going to the survey here until Tuesday, May 5 at 11:59pm.


District Announcements

Don't lose your spot for the 2021-2022 school year!

PUSD 2021-2022 Continuing Student Registration closes tomorrow, April 30! All continuing students must have this completed! Here's what you need to know:
  • Families will be requested to select the Learning Model desired for each child (see article below)
  • This process allows a family to complete one single "family" packet instead of one packet per student
  • Families can access technical help for usernames and passwords by emailing (pusdithelp@powayusd.com).
We must receive a completed digital packet for all returning students, to allow for proper placement of your student(s) for the 2021-2022 year. Questions? Contact your individual school site.

2021-2022 Learning Options for Families

When you register your child(ren), you will be asked to select a learning option for next year. Poway Unified will be offering five different learning options to families starting Fall 2021. The options are:
  1. In-Person Instruction (Full-Day, TK-12)
  2. Connect Academy (Virtual School, K-8)
  3. Poway Virtual Courses (9-12)
  4. PHEP (Homeschool, TK-8)
  5. New Directions (Independent Study, 6-12)

Please click the video below to watch an overview of each option.

Poway Unified 21-22 Learning Options

Learning Options Webinar

For a link to a more in-depth informational webinar describing the five learning options that will be available, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), go to our website here.

Intra-District Transfer Window Closed

The window to submit an intra-district transfer request (for students who live in the Poway Unified School District boundaries and would like to attend another PUSD school) is now closed as of March 31 at 5PM. Per Board policy, we cannot accept any more applications at this time.

Preschool Registration is Open

Do you or someone you know have a 3 or 4-year-old student who is ready for preschool? Interested families are invited to submit a registration request for the 2021-22 program year (Tuition-based and State-funded). With a variety of program types available at 25 sites throughout the District, we meet #PowayUnified families with what they need.

Questions? Email our Preschool Department at preschool@powayusd.com or visit our website.

PUSD Preschool Registration is NOW OPEN
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FREE* Summer Youth Enrichment Program - Registration opens May 4th!

Due to additional COVID funding, our annual youth enrichment programs will be free for PUSD students, *with a $29 registration fee. This is a rare opportunity - classes normally cost $150 and up per student! Sessions include cooking, art, photography, programming and web design, intro to band, and more! Registration opens May 4 - check out the catalogue of course offerings here.

Mark your calendars for May 4, 2021 and visit www.powayadultschool.com to enroll. Camps are open to all PUSD students in grades 1st-8th, with the option to attend one or all three weeks. For more info, email (ereg@powayusd.com).


District News

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PUSD Announces New Student Board Member for 2021-2022 Year

It is with great pride the #PowayUnified School District announces the appointment of Westview High School junior Winnie Xu as the Student Board Member for 2021-2022 👏 She was appointed at the April 8 Board of Education meeting.

Winnie is a dedicated student with a strong moral character, whose passion for civic engagement and peer support embodies what it means to be the voice of students. We are confident Winnie will excel in this role, and are excited to welcome her to the Board. Her term of office will be the entirety of her senior year. Read more about her by clicking here.

Seniors: Academic Opportunity

The application period for a CA Seal of Civic Engagement is open until April 23 for seniors who are engaged in democratic government at the local/state/national level! Does your student want to take political action on real-world issues? This prestigious seal would be affixed to student transcripts, diplomas, or certificates of completion. Apply: http://bit.ly/pusd-ssce

Contact your school's Counseling Department with questions.

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Open to students, staff, and families!

Did you know PUSD has career pathways in media, business, medical, engineering, public service, and more? Discover our award-winning career pathways at the upcoming CTE virtual expo! This event is especially helpful for current 7th through 9th graders thinking about future high school courses. Pre-register for this virtual event by going to: www.bit.ly/pusdexpo21 and you can learn more about the different CTE courses offered at each high school here.


Achievements and Recognitions: Students, Staff, Schools & District

AVID Standouts

AVID stands for “Advancement Via Individual Determination.” AVID’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. Each year, one 8th grader from each middle school and one senior from each high school is selected as an AVID Standout. These outstanding students are chosen for their strong academic performance and commitment to their community. Take a look at our standouts below:

Black Mountain Middle School Named CA Distinguished School

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond recently announced that Black Mountain Middle School in the Poway Unified School District is one of only nine schools in San Diego and 100 schools in California that are being honored as part of the 2021 California Distinguished Schools Program.

“It’s amazing, but no surprise to me,” said Principal Scott Corso. “This is because of our bright students, our incredibly supportive families, and our talented, dedicated staff and educators. When times have been at their toughest, Black Mountain Middle School has been at our best.”

Read more by clicking here or watching the video below.

Breaking News for BMMS on March 18, 2021

Adobe Bluffs Elementary Receives Innovation Award for Mandarin Programs

Adobe Bluffs Elementary School (ABES) has been selected as the 2021 “Impact Award” recipient for the Innovation in Education Awards by Classroom of the Future. ABES was chosen for their Mandarin Programs (Foreign Language in Elementary School and Mandarin Immersion), and will receive a grant for $10,000 to support future program development. ABES will be formally congratulated in September, at the 18th Annual Innovation in Education Awards reception at SeaWorld.

Read more by clicking here.

Two PUSD Middle School Orchestras in Running for National Honor

The advanced orchestras at Bernardo Heights and Twin Peaks Middle Schools are National Semi-Finalists in the American Prize performing arts competition. Additionally, PUSD Orchestra Director Ulli Reiner was named a National Semi-Finalist in the Conducting division. Congratulations to our students and Ms. Reiner! Read the full Union-Tribune story by clicking here.

PUSD CyberAegis Teams Win Big at National Championships

For the second year in a row, PUSD's Cybersecurity teams "CyberAegis" swept the CyberPatriot National Championships and took home eight national titles out of 3,387 middle and high schools. CyberAegis is comprised of students from Del Norte High School, Oak Valley Middle School and Design39Campus. They competed in three national challenges, and took top spots in all. Congratulations on these big wins!

Read: bit.ly/pusd-cyb

Abraxas High School Honors December Grads

After having to postpone back in December, we were finally able to celebrate our mid-year graduates at Abraxas High School March 24 with a mini drive-thru parade. To our students: We are so proud of you. Congratulations on this momentous day!

Poway Adult School Grad Earns Scholarship from ACSA

Recent Poway Adult School graduate Ian Eusebio was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 18 for his academic success. Ian's instructors at PAS say his motivation to earn his high school diploma was evident in his ability to grasp challenging concepts, and apply the knowledge to real-world issues. His next goal is to apply to both UCSD and SDSU to pursue his interests in the Sciences and Business, and said the scholarship funds will go toward tuition.

PUSD Schools Designated as No Place for Hate (2020-2021)

PUSD is excited to share that 37 schools throughout the District were designated as No Place for Hate by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). This is 37 out of the 38 PUSD schools that were registered. Click on the image to the right to view. We are proud to continue to work alongside our staff and students in combating bias, bullying, and the escalation of hate.

No Place for Hate is a self-directed program helping all members of the school community create a more equitable and inclusive climate.

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PUSD Student Artwork Featured in San Diego Museum of Art, on Power Boxes Downtown

Two Mesa Verde MS Art students and three Westview HS art students were chosen to have their artworks reinterpreted by local San Diego muralists to cover utility boxes in East Village. Above: The top image is the mural and the original inspiration art by Sasha Levy. The bottom image is the mural and the original inspiration art by Zoey Lestyk. The three Westview students are listed below with their artwork. Click here to see the walking/biking map of these boxes.

Additionally, the following students will have their artwork on display at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park for "Young Art 2021: My World, Our Planet," which explores the environment and sustainability: Alex Auyon (10), Emily Auyon (12), Anjolie Ly (12), Max Walpole (11), and Alice Zhu (12).

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Six PUSD Students Awarded NMSC Scholarships

Congratulations to our six National Merit finalists for 2021 👏🎉 Each were awarded a Corporate Scholarship to be used at a college or university of their choice. The #PowayUnified finalists are:

- Amita Ram (MCHS)
- Kaitlyn Chan (PHS)
- Kate Ahn (RBHS)
- Adam Khoja (RBHS)
- Gary Lin (WVHS)
- Allen Zhang (WVHS)

Read more about the program and our finalists here: bit.ly/pusd-nmsc21

Poway High School Robotics Brings Home Regional, State Awards

Congratulations to our 2021 National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspiration in Computing Affiliate Award Winners from Team Spyder1622! Award recipients are selected based on their aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing, as well as leadership in STEM-related activities.


Fun Photos and Videos

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Secondary Reopening

We moved forward in our reopening plans, and welcomed secondary students of ALL GRADES back on campus in March. Campuses are open for the four days-per-week A/B concurrent learning schedule. As part of this approach, on-campus students are able to interact with teachers and peers while virtual students learn simultaneously at home.

We so enjoyed seeing our students back on campus and appreciate the members of #TeamPUSD who made the expansion of in-person learning possible. We couldn’t have done it without their efforts.

Westwood Elementary Time Capsule is Opened

Around 1976, students at Westwood Elementary School buried a time capsule. During a campus renovation in the early 2000s, the time capsule was unearthed and, after adding more memories from the last few decades, put into storage and never touched. On March 23, it was opened by former students who were there for its initial burial.

It was just as Ken and Suzie remembered: photos of close friends and favorite teachers, letters from classmates about future technology, first edition prints of the “Westwood Press,” memories from school plays, artwork and more. It was a joy to see memories through the eyes of those who experienced them.

Eagle Scout Donates to PUSD Youth in Transition

Garrett is a #PowayUnified student and an Eagle Scout who organized a donation of 200 personal protection kits containing a face mask, hand sanitizer, gloves, hand soap and a personal note. He also donated Walmart gift cards and handmade face masks. We are so grateful for Garrett for spearheading this project that will benefit so many students! Thank you!
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Ability Awareness Day at Adobe Bluffs

Kindness in action March 29 was Ability Awareness Day at Adobe Bluffs Elementary School. Aztecs heard from students with differing abilities, including Autism, Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy, learned about the Best Buddies program, and learned why inclusion in friendships is important. Thank you ABES for demonstrating how respect and kindness can positively impact the lives of others.

Women in Stem Day

Did you know April 8, 2021 is #PowayUnified Women in STEM Day? Approved at the last Board meeting, this day affirms the important work our Women in STEM (WiSTEM) clubs do to close the gender gap in this field. Students, staff and the community were invited the join virtual forums on April 7 and 8 to hear from influential women in the field. Superintendent Marian Kim Phelps and Board Clerk Dr. Darshana Patel also made guest appearances.
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MCHS Senior Revamps Sunset Hills Outdoor Space

Gus Zane, a Senior at Mt. Carmel HS, recently created this beautiful outdoor space for Sunset Hills Elementary as part of his Eagle Scout project. In addition to $5,000 in existing funds, Gus raised an additional ~$12,000 in cash and in-kind donations to cover entire cost of the project, which was about $17,000. Gus’ brother and sister attend Sunset Hills, so they get to enjoy it for next few years as well. Thank you, Gus, for your work on this beautification project.
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Westwood Elementary Sends Encouragement to COVID-19 ICU

Love to see the acts of kindness our students and staff are doing throughout #PowayUnified during this time. This comes to us from Westwood Elementary: Fifth graders in Mrs. Gravin's class recently sent hand-written notes of encouragement and appreciation to ICU staff at UCSD. Such a great way to show gratitude for #heathcareworkers, Westwood. And thank you, UCSD #healthcareheroes, for taking care of San Diego County.

Celebrating Seniors Across the District

Sports teams throughout PUSD sent their seniors off with heartfelt Senior Nights. News 8’s Abbie Alford attended and captured the special moment in the video below.
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Superintendent's Student Advisory Council puts on 'Week of Wellness"

During the week of April 19-23, the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council (SSAC) held a virtual Week of Wellness conference for students in elementary, middle and high school. Families were also welcome to join. SSAC covered topics such as staying healthy online, advocating for oneself, tips for age-appropriate self-care, physical health, and more.

A Sweet Donation

Every year, Oak Valley Music Boosters sells Julian Apple Pies to OVMS families as one of the main fundraisers. This year, they wanted to give back and help the Healthcare Heroes at Kaiser SoCal. Thanks to their generosity, 58 pies were donated to frontline workers. OVMS was also able to raise enough funds to support students in orchestra, band and choir. Thank you to our Falcons for their acts of kindness during this time.

Community Drive for Feminine Hygiene Supplies

At the end of March, the combined 3-day efforts of Del Norte, Oak Valley, and Design39 Campus collected 2,500 feminine hygiene supplies for the local organization "4 Community Care." The organization will deliver the supplies to families in the PUSD area who are in need. Thank you all!

Monterey Ridge's 5th Grade Project

Thank You to RCP Block & Brick in Escondido for donating 400lbs of Rocks to Monterey Ridge Elementary for the Foundation’s 5th Grade campus beautification art project. Each 5th grader at MRES will have the opportunity to leave their mark by decorating a rock that will be placed at the school.

Studio 701 "Excellence in Education Series"

For April, PUSD’s Studio 701 video interns focus on the challenges and successes of reopening secondary schools. Watch by clicking the video below:
Poway Unified "Excellence in Education" series: middle and high school reopening
For their March piece, the interns highlighted the collaboration among students, staff, and families to address racial equity and inclusion across PUSD. Click on the video below:
Poway Unified "Excellence in Education" series: Racial Equity & Inclusion Plan


Celebrations and Resolutions

April is Autism Acceptance Month

April 2 is recognized internationally as World #AutismAwarenessDay, and April is Autism Acceptance Month Our mission is to support each and every student, each and every day, to see them as individuals first and provide the opportunity to thrive in a supportive learning environment. Join us this month in #CelebratingDifferences and igniting change for a more inclusive society.

Westwood Elementary celebrated on April 2 by wearing blue, often seen as the color of Autism Awareness,

Holocaust Remembrance Day

April 8 is #YomHaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. While today is a solemn look at the past, it is also a call to action for combatting hate in the present. We remember the 6 million Jews who were murdered, and honor the memory of the survivors. #NeverAgain

See Something, Say Something Week (March 1-5)

Staff and students around #PowayUnified join Sandy Hook Promise in learning the warning signs of violence, and the importance of speaking up to get help. Pictured are Monterey Ridge students tying ribbons to the fence that represent the acts of kindness they completed, and Mt. Carmel high school students are doing to raise awareness.

Poway Unified School District

The Poway Unified School District is located in northern San Diego County, California. PUSD operates 25 elementary schools (K-5), one elementary & middle school combination (TK-8th), six middle schools (6-8), one continuation high school, five comprehensive high schools (9-12), and one adult school. 24 schools are located in the city of San Diego; 11 schools in the city of Poway; and 3 in the County of San Diego. The District serves approximately 36,000 students and is the third largest school district in the county.

Register for Poway Unified's CTE Expo May 26!

Don't miss the CTE Expo next month, featuring the District's award-winning career pathways and CTE Specialists! Participants must pre-register at this link or scan the QR code prior to the virtual event hosted by Whova. After postponing this popular event in 2020, we are excited to bring it back in a virtual capacity!

ESS is Hiring!

PUSD is now hiring Program Aides for ESS. Our ESS Program provides for the academic and social needs of our students in the hours before and after school (6:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.) at 26 sites throughout the District. We're looking for engaging staff to work with us over summer and into fall 2021. Click here to learn more and apply: http://bit.ly/pusd-ess-21