The Panther Pulse

Pershing Middle Community Newsletter (Vol. 1, Issue 31)

Principal's Message

Dear Pershing Families,

This weekend I had the pleasure of being invited to the Robotics Showcase Extravaganza at the San Carlos Libary. While I was there I met some amazing students from Dailard Elementary's robotics club. We have some very talented students in the Henry Cluster and I am excited many of them will be future Panthers!

Also congratulations to our Pershing Foundation Challenge Course T-Shirt design winner Mira Sandquist. Her design will be featured on this year's t-shirt. And congratulations to Ryan Behne our runner up. His design will be turned into a sticker that the Foundation will provide to participants. Congrats Mira and Ryan!

“There are better starters than me but I’m a strong finisher.” ~ Usain Bolt

As we enter the final quarter of the school year the quote above from Olympic Gold Medalist and World Record Holder Usain Bolt really resonates with me. We want our students to be strong finishers. Even if the semester didn't start the way a student hoped for if they finish strong there is still plenty of time to improve grades and end the year successfully. For our many students who are already on track and doing well, it is important that they too finish strong. This is an especially busy time of the year and it is important for all students to to keep working hard.

Melanie Kray

Important Announcements for the Week of April 17th


Student and staff safety is always our top priority and we continually review our current practices and policies with an eye toward student safety. Recently several staff members and families reached out to express a potential safety concern with the sixth grade turnaround area.

In the afternoons the gate to the turnaround area has to be opened early but there is no interior gate to prevent people from gaining access to the rest of the campus. This cannot continue as it could pose a safety risk.

We have been in communication with the district regarding potential solutions but unfortunately there are no quick fixes. As a result, beginning Thursday, April 20th, the 6th grade turnaround area will no longer be available for families to access for pick up after school. Families may still use the turnaround area in the mornings for drop off as there is adequate supervision and the gates are closed as soon as school begins.

We did not reach this decision lightly and we fully understand that this will create a significant inconvenience for families and likely increase traffic congestion in the community but we take our responsiblity for students' safety seriously and we appreciate your understanding and support as we do what we think is best to keep our campus safe and secure. We wanted to provide our families who utilize the turnaround a few days advance notice so they have time to work with their children to establish alternate pick up locations after school.


We want to remind all families that the P4 grading windows ends on April 21. The Parent Portal in Power School will be closed April 24-27 in order for grades to be processed and families will be able to view P4 grades in PowerSchool on Friday, April 28th.


Students have been working hard and an important benchmark, P4 grades, is fast approaching. CLICK HERE to see the 8th grade expectations that were shared with students to participate in end of the year activities.


The Pershing Middle School faculty would like to cordially invite all families to attend our second semester open house which we are calling Spring Fest on APRIL 27th @5:30-7:00 PM. The evening begins with a brief presentation in the theater from 5:30-5:45 PM and then families will have the opportunity to informally tour the campus and different learning centers. Stop by and play carnival games created by our advanced engineering students, engage in a Science 7 activity in Ms. Tayco's classroom, and try several English 6 learning centers in Ms. Tucker's class. There will also be food for sale in the lunch arbor area.

We hope you will be able to attend and future Panthers from our feeder elementary schools: Benchley-Weinberger, Dailard, Gage, and Green are also welcome.


Each year the State of California has all 6-8th graders take the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). These tests are used by the state to measure student progress across the state in English and Math. We are required to have at least 95% of our students take these state exams so we wanted to make sure families have these dates early so vacations and medical appointments are not scheduled during this time window.

  • May 1-5: ELA CAASPP Testing through English classes (ALL STUDENTS)
  • May 8-12: Math CAASPP Testing through Math classes (ALL STUDENTS)
  • May 15-19: CAST Testing through science classes (8TH GRADE ONLY)


There a lots of a ways to stay involved and support Pershing Middle School starting with our fabulous Pershing Parent Foundation. Be sure to check out their website: and visit them on facebook @parentsofpershingpanthers. On their facebook page they have information on how to sign up for Amazon Smile so that a portion of your amazon purchases support our school.


Do you have suggestions for our school website? CLICK HERE to complete our website feedback survey.

Students in Ms. Tucker's English 6 class had a chance to make their reading come alive when they experimented with creating "rafts" like the ones they just read about in the novel. Ms. Tucker found innovative ways to simulate high winds and rain as students tested their design.

Panthers will be participating in The Challenge Course very soon!

The Pershing Foundation is promoting The Challenge Course as its main fundraiser for the year. Funds raised will support teacher stipends, teacher appreciation and wellness throughout the year, campus beautification projects, educational classroom and teaching enhancements, supplemental supplies for engineering, physical education and the library, and so much more!

We need your help!

  1. We are in need of prize donations. As students earn donations via the donation website, they will earn a raffle ticket for each $5 raised. Those tickets will then be used as a chance to win prizes. If you are able to donate items, tickets to events, gift cards, or anything a middle schooler might like as a prize, please contact Diana Smith at to coordinate.
  2. We need business sponsors!
    1. Business sponsors will have their business name and logo printed on the event T shirts, displayed on the donation website, and printed in the 8th grade promotion program! There are several different levels available for sponsorship.

Platinum $1000

Gold $500

Silver $250

Partner $100

We thank you in advance for any donation to this worthy organization. Your donation would be tax deductible, as the Foundation is a 501c3 Checks can be mailed to:

Shawna McCarthy

C/O Pershing Middle School

8204 San Carlos Drive

San Diego, CA 92119

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions to the event organizer, Diana Smith at (702) 286-9107 or

Important Challenge Course Dates:

Donation website launch - April 24th (more details to come)

Cutoff for donations to count toward prizes - May 14th

Raffle ticket distribution - May 17th

Raffle winners drawn - May 19th

Stay tuned for a list of available prizes!

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Tickets for our evening performances April 19-21 are on sale now (click on the link to purchase tickets):

  • Wednesday, April 19 @6:00 PM
  • Thursday, April 20 @6:00 PM
  • Friday, April 21 @6:00 PM


This was the dream of former Principal Susan Levy over ten years ago as her own love of musical theater and her knowledge of the power of performing arts motivated her to bring a full scale production to a public middle school. With an unparalleled passion she created a middle school drama program from nothing to something that has become the model and envy of not only other public schools in the area but local theater companies as well. The productions served not only current students but the community as well as local elementary schools were often welcomed on field trips to expand younger students' minds to the power of the performing arts.

While Mrs. Levy had a long and exhaustive career and was certainly worthy of retirement; the majority of the lament came from (already) dramatic students about the future of this beloved program. While we were able to pull together an amazing team this year, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could ensure that Pershing Middle School would forever have a FUNDED drama department to be able to offer their students?

It costs roughly $5,000 to put on our production each year. This pays for the rights to the show that is chosen, scripts, props, and most importantly a Director and Choreographer. As you know, Mrs. Levy faithfully directed each production on her own time with no additional payment. That number does not include the hundreds of volunteer hours from parents willing to provide their time and skills to volunteer from organization to costumes to set design. It is a huge undertaking that Mrs. Levy shouldered mostly on her own. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have the funds in place for years to come so that a production could be guaranteed by the assurance that the school could hire an outside resource to bring a show to life? Wouldn’t it be even more amazing to honor Mrs. Levy’s legacy with a named endowment in her honor?

If you are interested in contributing to this worthy case you can donate online to:

Spring Semester Scholastic Book Fair

Click on the grey bar above for more details and to order books online! We also need parent volunteers for this event. Click on the link:

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Congratulations to our Girl's Flag Football Team for their victories over Dana Middle and Taft Middle School. It was a great way to kick off the season.

Also a big congratulations to our Boy's Flag Football Team for their two victories over Millenial Tech Middle and Longfellow K-8. And a shout out to Nico Giusti for being named Player of the Game!


Does your child need help with Spanish? Mr. Barry is offering tutoring support on Tuesdays in Rm. 104 afterschool.


If you were not able to attend the meeting CLICK HERE to see the slide deck the Henry team presented.

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COVID Health and Safety Updates

Pro-Tip: Click on the grey bar to visit the District's COVID Updates Page

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in our area, with San Diego County recently entering the Medium COVID-19 Community Level. Other illnesses such as the influenza virus (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and the common cold also remain highly prevalent and easily transmissible. Practicing good health hygiene habits – washing hands, staying home when sick, and considering wearing a mask indoors and in crowded areas – can help prevent the spread of illness and is especially important during this time when many will be traveling or gathering with family and friends.

The district is providing all students and staff with at-home COVID-19 test kits to help our school communities have greater peace of mind about returning to school safely on Tuesday, Jan. 3 after the winter break.

The California Department of Public Health now recommends self testing for COVID-19 the day before coming back to school and two or three days after returning. We encourage students and staff to test on Monday, Jan. 2 and again on either Wednesday, Jan 4 or Thursday, Jan 5.

Testing before returning to school is recommended but not required. Additional test kits for students and staff are available at the Ed Center COVID-19 testing facility. If you test positive for COVID-19, please do not attend school and report your illness here.

Please do not send your child to school if they are feeling sick or experiencing symptoms of any cold-like virus, until those symptoms start to improve and there is no fever for 24 hours (without use of fever-reducing medication). Keeping your sick child home will be a great benefit for the health and wellness of our students and staff.

What Symptoms to Look For

  • The flu and COVID-19 are both spread from person-to-person, especially indoors and in crowded places. Symptoms for both viruses can include nasal congestion, fever, headache, and muscle and joint pain, as well as a sore throat and coughing.
  • RSV is a respiratory virus that has been detected in previous cold and flu seasons. Symptoms of RSV include cough, runny nose, and fever. Treatment consists of managing symptoms.

Tips to Avoid Getting Sick [English | Español)
Public health officials offer these tips to prevent getting sick:

  • Consider wearing a well-fitting, good-quality mask, especially indoors or in crowded spaces
  • Wash hands thoroughly and often
  • Use hand sanitizers, if unable to wash hands
  • Stay away from sick people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces and/or wash/sanitize your hands after using them.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 and flu vaccines
Review Previous Community Newsletters

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Apr 19, 20, 21: Seussical School Play @6:00 PM

Apr 21: P4 Grading Window Ends

Apr 27: Spring Fest @5:30-7:00 PM

May 1-18: CAASPP School-wide testing

May 19: Pershing Foundation Challenge Course

Jun 8: 8th Grade Evening Awards Assembly

Jun 9: 8th Grade Dance

Jun 12: 8th Grade Promotion Practice

June 13: 8th Grade Promotion Practice & Dave & Buster's Trip

Jun 14: 8th Grade Promotion