August 8, 2021
A Message from the Superintendent
Dear PUSD Community,
Our schools will open for students on August 12, 2021, for full in-person instruction five days a week. We’re excited to start the 2021-2022 school year with an emphasis on safety, acceleration of learning, and the social-emotional wellbeing of our students and staff.
The health and welfare of our students are foremost on our minds and we are checking and double-checking our safety plans. The key question is: what are the best ways to keep our students and staff safe? We believe that first and foremost, everyone must wear a mask while at school except for students under age two. We also believe that physical distancing must be practiced wherever possible, and a robust testing protocol must be in place to detect especially those who may have contracted the virus and are asymptomatic. We also believe that the school environment must be cleaned and sanitized regularly. Lastly, we believe that all students and staff who are eligible should be vaccinated.
There has been much discussion about vaccines and testing in the last few days. To bring you up to date, here is where we stand:
Estimated 96% of PUSD employees vaccinated for COVID-19
1,320 vaccinated through PUSD-operated clinics, and an estimated 800 through Huntington Hospital, thanks to PUSD/Pasadena Public Health partnership
Employees will be required to attest to their vaccination status. Once data is gathered, information will be presented to the Board of Education for any further deliberation. Mandating vaccinations is a complicated issue in the public school system as the effects of any such decision must be negotiated and can result in many issues and complications that would affect the instructional process.
Random COVID-19 tests
Weekly random tests of representative samples of employees and students (with informed consent from their parents/guardians). We are also considering weekly testing of all teachers and staff who interact with elementary-age children since these students are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination which therefore requires more vigilance on our part.
The testing plan will be presented to the Board later this month, with information for parents to follow.
In the meantime, PUSD’s testing program continues:
Student-athletes get tested, with parent/guardian consent
Get tested before school starts! Voluntary COVID-19 tests are offered on campus and at the district’s primary clinic for all students and staff.
Get vaccinated! We strongly encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated to help schools safely return to in-person learning by reducing transmission risk. Learn more at www.pusd.us/vaccine #VaccinatePasadena
We can’t wait to see welcome students back to school!
Brian McDonald, Ed.D.
Getting the vaccine will help protect our staff and students as schools return to in-person learning. COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone age 12+ Get the COVID-19 vaccine to keep our community safe! www.pusd.us/vaccine
#VaccinatePasadena #PUSDproud @CityOfPasadena
School Meals 2021-2022
School meals will be served on campus, with distancing or outdoors as much as possible
The Pasadena Unified School District is participating in a Free Breakfast and Lunch Program for the current school year 2021-2022. This alternative is referred to as the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). All students enrolled at the District may participate in the breakfast and lunch program at no charge. Household applications for free and reduced-price meals will not be collected.
The school breakfast and lunch that we serve follow U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines for healthy school meals. The Free Breakfast and Lunch Program cannot succeed without your support. Please encourage your children to participate in the school meal programs. Breakfast and lunch will be available to all students at no charge. PUSD Food Services