PUSD Update

November 8, 2021

Message from the Superintendent

Dear PUSD Community,

Keeping our kids safe, allowing them to tell their stories, and celebrating creativity -- those are the prevailing themes of this week’s update. Although we just turned our clocks back, there is much to look forward to and much to be grateful for in our community. I am honored to be a small part of your children’s busy lives.


Pasadena Unified is striving to make it easier for eligible students to be vaccinated.The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) announced this week that it recommends the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old. This expands vaccination coverage to about 28 million children in the United States and allows providers to begin inoculating newly eligible children as soon as possible. Following the recommendation, we would also like families to know we have finalized plans with the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) for District vaccination clinics. PUSD Vaccination clinics for 5 - 11 year olds only are planned for November 22, 23, and 24, from 9:00am - 11:00am at the PUSD Education Center. Appointments for these dates are limited and can be made through myturn.ca.gov. Please use the same site to find a community vaccination clinic for students who are 12 and older. It is our goal to offer opportunities for the first dose before Thanksgiving and the second dose three weeks later which will allow our students to be fully vaccinated before they return from winter break.


The California Healthy Kids Survey is on our website now and we’d love to get your opinions. The District is asking parents, guardians, PUSD staff and students in grades 6, 7, 9 and 11 to take part in the survey to gather information on key elements that affect learning. Topics include school safety and health issues such as nutrition, drug use, and risk of depression. Please go to www.pusd.us/survey and follow the instructions. Depending on your child's age, parent consent is due by November 10 but the survey is open for parent and staff participation until November 19. The survey is anonymous, confidential, and voluntary but it is highly encouraged because your voice is valuable!


Left: PHS student Aaliyah Sevajian and her gorgeous creations.

Pasadena High School student Aaliyah Sevajian is a budding artist whose work is in full bloom. Her exquisite artwork won first place at the Tournament of Roses Día de los Muertos art competition. Other PUSD winners include:

Avery Cardella, (Second Place, Sierra Madre Elementary)

Sebastian Tejada (Honorable Mention, Blair High School)

Karla Marquez (Honorable Mention, Jackson Elementary)

Paxton Lee (Honorable Mention, Eugene Field Elementary School)

Sergei Megrikyan (Honorable Mention, Don Benito School)

More than $5,000 in scholarships and cash awards were presented. Congratulations to all the winners!


Pasadena High School’s Creative Arts Media and Design students will join hundreds of local artisans for the Jackalope Fair November 21 and 22, 2021. The fair will include a Pasadena High School booth and will feature one-of-a-kind artwork, accessories, jewelry, housewares, fashion, food and more. All PUSD staff and students will receive a $5 coupon to spend at any booth (bring ID to receive your coupon).


If you’ve ever considered sharing your gifts with children by becoming a substitute teacher, now is the time. Pasadena Unified is looking for qualified subs. Please go to www.pusd.us/page/214 for more information.


First Aid is not just for scrapes and bruises but it can also be applied to unseen sources of pain. Pasadena Unified is teaming up with the National Council for Mental Well-being to sponsor a free Youth Mental Health First Aid training series. It is designed to help teachers, parents and others render aid to young people in a whole new way. Participants will learn how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health challenges among children ages 6-18. The certification requires independent pre-work prior to the first session on Monday, November 29, 2021. To register, https://YMHFA_PUSD_2021.

Thank you for all that you do, stay healthy, and have a great week!


Brian McDonald, Ed.D.



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