March 13, 2023
MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
Dear PUSD Community,
Our annual student art exhibit that kicked off with ArtNight Pasadena on Friday is very impressive to say the least! No Boundaries 18 clearly illustrates the boundless creativity of students across the district. We are sharing some photos (below) but I highly recommend seeing it in person as it continues throughout the week.
In this week’s Update, we are not only sharing our students’ artistic achievements but also accomplishments in science and math, along with events that ultimately add up to future success in college and career for our graduates.
We have several learning opportunities offered in our LEARNs catalog and enrollment for next year is well underway. Please take a few minutes to enjoy the latest PUSD news and have a great week!
Brian McDonald, Ed.D.
MARSHALL MAKES THE GRADE
Congratulations to Marshall Fundamental School for getting a six-year stamp of approval from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The WASC Accrediting Commission for Schools granted the six-year accreditation status following an intense evaluation of the school for grades 6 through 12. Special thanks to Principal Lori Touloumian for her leadership and to Leslie Stotlar, Marshall’s WASC Chair, for her incredible work with the report. The accreditation status will be in place through June 30, 2029 with a mid-cycle visit during the 2025-2026 school year.
Mock interviews and real resume tips are just some of the bonuses of Business Week going on now through Friday for about 350 students of John Muir High’s Business and Entrepreneurship (BE) Academy. Students will also get a “Bite of Reality” – a hands-on money management simulation in a fun, interactive setting. Students visit fake merchants and receive a fictional occupation, salary, spouse, children, student loan and credit card debt. Then, the Pasadena Service Federal Credit Union shows them how to sort out expenses and become better at budgeting in the future. We are grateful to all of the Pasadena business professionals who have volunteered to help mentor students throughout the week. To learn more about John Muir High, visit pusd.us/muir.
MATH POWER HOUR
A program designed to improve the math skills of PUSD’s Black first and second graders is beginning to grow exponentially. PUSD’s African American Parent Council debuted Math Power Hour in 2019 and it now has volunteers at six campuses supporting daily math instruction with small group or one-on-one assistance. Factor in a recent Education Grant from Pasadena Community Foundation, and the program will soon serve two additional schools and 100 additional children. The program is growing in numbers because it’s been very successful in growing students’ confidence. Learn more about Math Power Hour (in minutes) with this synopsis
Second-grade students at Norma Coombs Elementary School count coins during a Math Power Hour session.
Our annual district-wide student art exhibit saturated the senses on Friday with music, dancing and, of course, amazing artwork at ArtNight Pasadena. The event showcased hundreds of works by students from all district schools. The free exhibit continues through March 19. Gallery hours are Monday - Friday: 3-6 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday 1-4 p.m. For more information, go to www.pusd.us/arts
The second lottery of open enrollment has just ended but neighborhood school enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year continues for:
TK-12 students who live within PUSD and are entering PUSD schools for the first time.
Current PUSD students who are advancing to 6th or 9th grades and plan to attend their neighborhood school
Families who live outside of PUSD may request an interdistrict permit starting March 27, 2023. Please visit www.pusd.us/enroll for more information.
NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH
We all know a balanced diet can protect our health, but did you know your food choices can also help protect the planet? March 2023 is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme, "Fuel for the Future,” reminds us that food and exercise keep your body running smoothly throughout your life. Also, by “eating with the environment in mind” – incorporating more plant-based foods and purchasing foods with minimal packaging when possible – we can nourish future generations. We encourage families to set meal plans, create grocery lists together and involve others in cooking your meals. Find more helpful suggestions at: https://www.eatright.org/national-nutrition-month-2023.
SCIENCE FICTION FEST
You’re invited to celebrate science fiction at the Octavia E. Butler Science Fiction Festival on March 23, 2023 from 3-6 p.m. Winners of the essay and art contests will be announced. The annual event will also feature writers, scientists, and creators from many local organizations, sci-fi demos, book giveaways, and more. The community can register to attend at this link: gopusd.com/oebfest23
LET US HELP YOU HELP YOUR CHILD
Does your student break out in hives when they hear the word test or quiz? PUSD would like to help you help your children overcome those fears and become more confident test takers. Students in K-8th grades take the iReady Math and Reading Diagnostics three times per year. Students in 9th - 12th grades are assessed two times per year. To learn more about the diagnostic and how you can support your student’s growth, please see this recording for caregivers (with Spanish translation). It was put together by the Office of Parent and Community Engagement which offers Parent University workshops, classes, and many ways to have a positive impact on your child’s education.
From cooking to coding, summer fun is a click away at PUSD. The 2023 Summer Learning Opportunities Catalog is out now and lists more than 15 programs for students of all ages.
One of those programs is cheer and all are invited to the Pasadena LEARNs Cheer & Dance Competition on Saturday, March 25, 2023 at John Muir High School.
The next regular meeting of the PUSD Board of Education will take place on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. in the Elbie J. Hickambottom Board Room (Room 236), 351 S. Hudson Ave, Pasadena. Agenda at www.pusd.us/Page/639