Superintendent McDonald's Remarks

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    September 27, 2016

    Good evening - Parents, students, community members and PUSD staff.

    Before I begin, I want to thank all the staff involved in making this evening’s event a success. Let me also thank our esteemed panelists, who will guide us in an important discussion on parent engagement and technology.

    And now I would like all PUSD staff members to stand and be acknowledged. Thank you for your service and dedication. The PUSD achievements I will briefly highlight this evening are a direct reflection of the quality and caliber of the teaching, administrative, and support staff we have here in our district.

    I consider it a great honor to serve students, families, and members of the PUSD team and I am proud to serve as your superintendent of schools.

    I want you to know that the decisions we make and how we devote our time in this district are focused on moving our graduate profile forward every day, so that all of our students will have a chance to reach their full potential. When students succeed in our schools and successfully graduate from our system ready for post secondary educational opportunities and careers, our community and local economy thrive.

    Together, in partnership with parents, elected officials, staff, and community members, I believe that we have the intellectual horsepower and resources necessary to transform PUSD into the best school system in the area. This is why, this year, I am convening a diverse group of leaders from all levels of PUSD, along with parents and community thought partners, to come together to identify strategies that will ensure that every single child gets the attention and care he or she needs in order to be successful. This work will center on the development of individualized student plans that will serve as a roadmap for their success in school. If our collective efforts work, and I believe they will, we will learn what to do to ensure that every student will succeed in our schools. You can expect to hear more from me throughout the year on how this is progressing.

    Additionally, I would like to share with you some of our notable achievements in 2016.

    • Pasadena Unified’s Class of 2016 earned $9.5 million in scholarships and awards. Members of this year’s graduating class headed to Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Berkeley, and Cal Poly Pomona this fall. They’ve won top scholarships: Gates Millennium, UC Regents, Linked Learning, and Posse. And, notably, the first group of students graduated from the ground-breaking APP Web Design and Development Academy this year at Pasadena High School.

    • The 2016 Parent survey revealed that 88% of parents surveyed are satisfied with the PUSD school their child attends, including 52% who are “very” satisfied.

    • For two consecutive years, PUSD enrollment has remained flat with just over 17,000 students, bringing the district out of a decade of declining enrollment, despite the continued decline in birth rates, changes in housing, and aging in place taking hold in the region.

    • PUSD completed Measure TT Bond Refinancing saving taxpayers $12.4 million, and we received approval for the 3rd and final issuance of bond funds to be expended on projects over the next three years.

    • We instituted a new budget process that sets a new standard for PUSD. School site budgets reflect each school’s purpose and priorities for this year while supporting the district’s overarching strategic goals, ensuring our graduates are ready for college, career, and life’s challenges.

    In the State of Schools e-newsletter, you can learn more about how each division is working to achieve results intended to move the mission and vision of the district forward. You will also see the full list of accomplishments and info graphics that tell our story on how we are leading the way in K-12 public education.

    Thank you for your attendance here tonight, and for your support of PUSD schools. It is now my pleasure to introduce our Board of Education President Kimberly Kenne, who will provide the 2016 State of Schools Address.