PUSD Update

October 10, 2021

Message from the Superintendent

Dear PUSD Community,

Just like the rain this week, our students, teachers and families continue to shower us with signs of hope. I am so grateful that students have safely returned to the classroom. Teachers are leading the way, undaunted by the many obstacles brought on by the pandemic. We know how hard it is to teach, let alone when the message is masked. Parents provide unending support but we have to ask for your help once again.


We are reminding staff, parents, and guardians to fill out the brief confidential COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Submission Form. Our final deadline is this Friday, October 15th, so district staff can review the information and respond to those who need additional assistance. If you are a staff member, be on the lookout for an email from riskmanagement@pusd.us. If you are a student, look for an email from healthprograms@pusd.us. If you did not see the email, please have your student log into their PUSD account to find a copy or contact your child's school to have your email address updated in Aeries. If your child is under the age of 12, please mark the appropriate option. The system will prompt you to select either the district’s testing program or your personal provider for testing.

This week we have had two campuses with an increased number of asymptomatic positive cases. These cases were discovered as a result of our robust testing program. Once we were notified of the positive results, we directed all potentially exposed students to quarantine which prevented further transmission within the school.


Coming up next month, the District will administer the California Healthy Kids Survey to parent/guardians, staff and selected grade levels. The survey focuses on issues that affect learning. It is voluntary yet highly encouraged so please keep an eye out for consent forms needed to participate.


As a community, we take pride in how we serve our students and we desire a safe and respectable environment for everyone. We are alerting you to an ongoing and disturbing social media trend involving video challenges that glamorize risky behavior. This trend encourages students to participate in illegal activities such as vandalism or assault at school. We encourage our youth to stand up and if you see something, say something. We are also asking you to take an assertive stance to notify us because this behavior will not be tolerated. Please remember to monitor your students’ social media activity. Students often do not realize the serious consequences until it’s too late.


Pasadena Unified students are showcasing their incredible talents on a new website called, Más Puentes / Menos Muros (More Bridges / Less Walls), launched this week during Art Night Pasadena. The site features writings, art, and videos by Blair High School’s International Academy immigrant and refugee students. Participants shared essays, poems and artwork about their home countries as well as about their border crossings into the United States.


Congratulations to Jeannine Briggs, a senior at John Marshall Fundamental High School and to Abigail Griffith, a senior at Pasadena High School! They have been named 2022 Royal Court Princesses. Members of the Royal Court serve as ambassadors of the Tournament of Roses and will each receive a $7500 educational scholarship.

In the coming week I look forward to celebrating even more reasons to be proud and I am always grateful for our PUSD community.

Thank you and have a wonderful week!


Brian McDonald, Ed.D.


Big picture
Above, Marshall's Jeannine Briggs (left) and PHS's Abigail Griffith are named Pasadena Tournament of Roses 2022 Royal Court Princesses.
California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Visits Blair High School


Getting the vaccine will help protect our students and employees. COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone ages 12 and over. Get the COVID-19 vaccine to keep our community safe! www.pusd.us/vaccine

#VaccinatePasadena #PUSDproud @CityOfPasadena