November 14, 2022
MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
Dear PUSD Community,
As we head into the Thanksgiving break, there is much to be thankful for -- the boundless curiosity and energy of children in our schools, the unflagging commitment of our teachers, administrators, and employees, and the generosity with which families, neighbors, and community embrace our schools. With all that is going on in the world, we are fortunate to be part of this community. It is indeed a great place to be.
In the past weeks, parents and community members participated in Parent Cafés and a community workshop on making PUSD schools stronger. This is part of our multifaceted work to develop a roadmap to the future that reflects the rich diversity of our school communities and is inclusive of the voices of our students, teachers, administrators, families, and community members. Watch the video
Brian McDonald, Ed.D.
Schools will be closed for the Thanksgiving break from Nov. 21 - Nov. 25, 2022. The PUSD Update will also be on a break on Nov. 21 and will resume on Nov. 28. Have a relaxing and enjoyable week off!
Superintendent Brian McDonald joined leading national and local experts for a discussion on public education with a Pasadena perspective at an Ed Talk, hosted by KPCC’s Larry Mantle and sponsored by the Pasadena Educational Foundation at Caltech. The talk focused on post-pandemic issues, community schools, and the work ahead to further excellence and equity in public schools. Along with Dr. McDonald, the panelists included PHS student Mya Hernandez, Octavia E. Butler teacher Reyna Uka, PTA Council President Scott Harden, community schools policy advocate Dr. Hayin Kimner, and USC’s Dr. Pedro Noguera, one of the nation’s leading scholars on issues related to race, equality, and education.
COMMUNITY SURVEY - WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
PUSD is reaching out to our community via workshops, focus groups, parent cafés, and more to develop a roadmap to the future. Take this brief survey and tell us about your experience with schools and the school district. It's your turn to be the teacher. Your feedback will help us build a stronger, more connected PUSD. Take the Survey pusd.us/survey
The tradition continues on Thanksgiving Day this year with the 5th Annual Rose Bowl Turkey Trot! It doesn’t matter if you trot, walk, run, or skip around the 5K recreational loop at “America’s Stadium” – it’s all for a good cause. This year, PUSD has been selected as the recipient of the Turkey Trot’s donations. Funds will help pay for equipment, uniforms, referees, and officials for athletic programs at four PUSD high schools - Blair, John Muir, Marshall, and PHS. To sign up for the 2022 Rose Bowl Turkey Trot, please visit www.rosebowlturkeytrot.com. Tickets for children ages 9 and under are free. The Rose Bowl Stadium is partnering with PUSD to provide our high school students with complimentary tickets. PUSD high school students should contact their schools for more information.
PUSD STUDENT IN THE SPOTLIGHT
PHS senior Zen Glick is a violinist and concertmaster of the Pasadena High School Orchestra. He has guest-conducted for the Pasadena Symphony in front of 5,000 people and even played Carnegie Hall! As if that’s not enough, he has also survived cancer twice, undergone multiple surgeries, six rounds of chemotherapy, 40 days of radiation, and a bone marrow transplant. The PUSD Board of Education recently presented Zen and fellow Bulldog Ruby Chu ’24 with Leadership Awards. But Zen isn’t just an outstanding student leader, he’s using his talent to give back and help others. So far, he’s raised over $8,000 in donations for neuroblastoma research at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. For more on his story, click here and/or donate to his CHLA fundraising page here.
BEST OF PASADENA
Pasadena High School was named the Best Public School by Pasadena Weekly for its championship-level athletic programs “which help students develop leadership and teamwork skills.” Alumni include the Van Halen brothers, General George S. Patton, Mayor Victor Gordo, and Assemblymember Chris Holden. Congratulations Bulldogs!
WATER POLO CHAMPS!
Congratulations to John Muir’s Boys Varsity Water Polo team who are now CIF Southern Section Division 6 champions! This is the first varsity-level boys water polo team at Muir in over 15 years and the first time ever making it to the CIF final which took place in Irvine over the weekend. The athletes and coaches say they are grateful for all the love and support from the Muir family, alumni, staff, students and the entire community. Well done, Mustangs! We are so very #PUSDProud!
NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL ENROLLMENT FOR 2023-24
Neighborhood school registrations begin December 1, 2022 for:
New to PUSD TK-12 students who prefer their neighborhood school.
Current PUSD students who are advancing to 6th or 9th grades and prefer to attend their neighborhood school.
Note: Lottery applications are required for all dual-language programs. PUSD school locator
NAVIGATING OPEN ENROLLMENT
Considering a signature program like dual language or a PUSD school other than your school of residence? PEN (Pasadena Education Network) presents a detailed overview of the District's Open Enrollment process. Get all your questions answered! This program will be offered virtually, with Spanish interpretation available on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, from 7 - 8 p.m.
FINDING THE RIGHT FIT FOR HIGH SCHOOL
Attention middle school families: we would like to help as you are trying to find the “right fit” in a PUSD high school! Join us on Zoom to meet high school principals, hear about our Academies, and discover resources to help you pinpoint the perfect school for your unique child. December 8, 2022 at 6 p.m. Register here.
“OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!”
College applications are due soon and PUSD seniors are busy filling them out, polishing their essays, and awaiting acceptances. CSU and UC college applications are due November 30, and here you can find other Top college application deadlines. We can’t wait to see the places you’ll go!
To make sure everyone is healthy after Thanksgiving Break, all students and staff are strongly encouraged to test on the evening of November 27, 2022, or the morning of November 28, 2022, before returning to school. Students, parents/guardians, and staff can pick up an at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen test kit at their school the week of November 14, 2022. Test kits can also be picked up at the Health Programs Department office located at 351 S. Hudson Ave, Room 126, November 14-November 18, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
If your student tests positive, please notify your school principal and firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your help in keeping our school community healthy.
COPING WITH THE HOLIDAY BLUES
We’re looking forward to Thanksgiving next week but sometimes the holidays bring hardships and stress.
PUSD Mental Health Services and THRIVE: School Mental Health provide a spectrum of comprehensive, integrated, culturally sensitive services that support the well-being of students, staff, and their family members. Care Solace can also help you find a provider and can support you in any language.
Call 888-515-0595 available 24/7/365
Visit www.caresolace.com/pasadena and either search on your own OR click “Book Appointment” for assistance by video chat, email, or phone.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call or text: 988 or call (800) 273-8255 (TALK)