Message from the Superintendent
May 31, 2022
Message from the Superintendent
Dear PUSD Community,
I hope you had a relaxing and safe Memorial Day Weekend. We are days away from the end of the school year and we have much to be thankful for and so much to do before we can take a break. The bright promise of summer threatens to be somewhat overshadowed by tragic events in the news. However, as you’ll see in this week’s update, we are learning from these events, changing to meet the needs of our students, and constantly growing. We hope this summer will be one of transformation, education, and a whole lot of fun with friends and family.
CAPS OFF TO THE CLASS OF 2022
Look for PUSD’s tribute to the Class of 2022 this week! We’ve watched them grow into community-minded skilled problem-solvers with so much potential for greatness. We’re so proud of them and can’t wait to see what they’ll do next. pusd.us/Classof2022
COVID UPDATE - MASK UP!
With high rates of transmission across LA County, it’s important to take multiple measures to keep everyone healthy and safe. The most important steps we can take is to be up-to-date on vaccinations and boosters, wear a mask indoors when around others, and get tested if we feel sick, were exposed, or are gathering with others.
Masks are required indoors and outdoors for visitors who attend a PUSD promotion or graduation through at least June 3. As a reminder, masks are also required for students and staff members who have been exposed for 10 days from the date of exposure.
In the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, school safety is in the national spotlight once again. The safety of students and staff is always a top priority at Pasadena Unified. Every school has a safety plan that is consistently reviewed, evaluated, and practiced with school and districtwide drills. For years now, PUSD has invested in threat assessment and prevention. We’ve created one of the most robust school mental health systems in Los Angeles County. We meet regularly with local law enforcement to develop new strategies on violence prevention. We’ve also enhanced measures to ensure the safety of students online. Our preventative and proactive work is never done.
Our schools have tightened safety protocols including the following:
Schools without a single point of entry are to secure and monitor all entrances so that all visitors are signed in.
District security and the Pasadena Police Department have been asked to increase their presence outside and around campuses at graduations and promotion events.
To further harden our schools’ perimeters, we are expediting the purchase and installation of surveillance systems with access control doors as part of Measure O-funded projects. We are pushing to start installing cables this summer.
We know events like these can impact the physical and mental well-being of our students, staff, and families. Whatever you or your family are experiencing, we want you to know that you are not alone and that support is available at school and in our community. We encourage you to talk to your children but if you don’t know where to start, here are tips for discussing the tragedy with children:
Talking with children about difficult things in the news (Fred Rogers Institute)
Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth After the Recent Shooting (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
Helping Children Cope with Frightening News (Child Mind Institute)
Coping in the Aftermath of a Shooting (American Counseling Association)
15 Tips for Talking with Children about Violence (Colorín Colorado)
If you or a family member would like help finding a mental health care or substance use treatment provider, contact Care Solace or Hazel Health, complementary and confidential coordination services provided by Pasadena Unified.
If you would like to use Care Solace to help you find a provider:
Call 888-515-0595 available 24/7/365 in any language
Visit www.caresolace.com/pasadena, search on your own, or click “Book Appointment” for assistance by video chat, email, or phone.
If you would like to use Hazel Health so your child can speak with a doctor or mental health clinician from home.
SPRING ATHLETES HONORED
PUSD spring sports athletes were honored at the Board of Education meeting May 26.
THINGS TO DO IN THE SUMMER OF ‘22
We hope our students will not utter the words “I’m bored” this summer but just in case, we have some fun suggestions. Reading is, of course, at the top of our list:
Pasadena and Altadena Public Libraries are encouraging students to Read Beyond the Beaten Path with its summer reading programs running from June 4 - July 30, 2022. For more details, visit Pasadena Summer Reading or https://www.altadenalibrary.org/summer/
The Sierra Madre Super Summer Reading Program runs from June 12 - August 31, 2022. For more information, https://www.cityofsierramadre.com/services/library/services/summer_reading_program
If you still haven’t found a page-turner, check out the Recommended Literature List search engine from the California Department of Education. https://www3.cde.ca.gov/reclitlist/search.aspx
Enjoy our local public parks, aquatics, and recreation centers where you can find so much to do. City of Pasadena https://www.cityofpasadena.net/parks-and-rec/ Altadena & LA County https://parks.lacounty.gov/ Sierra Madre https://www.cityofsierramadre.com/services/recreation
We are pleased to present the Pasadena Unified School District 2022 Summer Learning Opportunities for students. Spaces are limited, so please enroll your child as soon as possible. For a full list of PUSD summer programs visit https://www.pusd.us/summer
Pasadena LEARNs Summer School 2022 runs June 7 through July 14, 2022, Mondays-Fridays from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. https://www.pusd.us/learns
The PUSD Summer Enrichment Preschool Program runs June 6 - August 5, 2022. Contact: Early Childhood Education to enroll: 626-396-5762
Summer Academy Summer Bridge - Students who are entering into a 9th grade College & Career Academy will be eligible for a high school summer bridge program. Dates range from July 18 - July 29, 2022. To apply, go to https://tinyurl.com/PUSDBridge2022
Extended School Year (ESY) for students receiving services from Special Education runs from June 9 - July 15, 2022.
PUSD's credit recovery program for high school students who need to earn credits is offered from June 9 - July 14, 2022.
Over the summer, you can count on our PUSD Food Services Team to make sure that children get nutritious meals. Once again, they will offer free breakfasts and lunches for kids ages 18 or younger this summer through the 2022 Summer Food Program. These free meals will be served at schools and other sites throughout Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre. Children do not need to be enrolled in PUSD schools to receive a meal and no pre-registration is required for the program. Participants just need to show up to one of our community sites to receive both breakfast and lunch. For more information visit https://www.pusd.us/foodservices. For a list of sites visit https://www.pusd.us/Page/9916 or call PUSD Food and Nutrition Services at (626) 396-5852.
June 8 - Beginning of Summer School
June 17 - School Holiday
June 20 - School Holiday (Juneteenth observed)
July 1 - School Holiday
July 4 - Independence Day (Schools & Offices Closed)
July 15 - Last Day of Summer School
August 5 - California Admission Day Observed (Schools & Offices Closed)
August 11 - First Day of School for Students
Have a happy and healthy week!
Brian McDonald, Ed.D.