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March 17 PUSD Update

Dear PUSD Family,

Public schools are part of the bedrock of our community and that’s why during these unprecedented times, PUSD employees are working to continue delivering the essential services that our children and families rely on. At every level, we as a District have stepped up to make sure that students, families, and community are supported --- no matter how long it takes.

In just days before schools closed to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, the PUSD curriculum team used our existing programs to develop quality instructional content so that student learning can be reinforced at home. This curriculum is already gaining recognition by educators in the region for its forethought and readiness. Yesterday, teachers across PUSD participated in online training to deliver remote learning opportunities for our students. Students began accessing online content today via their secure student accounts.

Today, our Food Service Department, with the help of volunteers, served 668 meals for children in our community.  PUSD is also partnering with the City of Pasadena and local organizations to provide services that support our students and families during this national emergency. Information about this partnership is forthcoming.

I want to share with you one example of the way that Team PUSD is working for students. On March 13, when we decided to close schools, everyone worked to make sure that students went home with Chromebooks and chargers so they had the tools to continue learning at home.  With only 45 minutes before the end of the school day, PUSD employees from multiple district offices descended on our warehouse to unpack, sanitize, and deliver chargers to our schools in time for student dismissal. Video

There are many more stories that show the true and generous spirit of the employees who work in schools day in and day out for our students. We will share more of these stories with you in the coming days. 

Please note the information below.

All Pasadena Unified schools and programs are dismissed, with no students on campus, through Friday, April 3. Classes will resume on Monday, April 6.

Reinforcement of Learning

  • General Content for K-12 on PowerSchool at gopusd.com/remote. Login using your child(ren)’s protected PUSD student account.  Detailed parent letter here
    Madison Elementary
    Norma Coombs Elementary
    Eliot Middle School
    Wilson Middle School
    McKinley TK-8 School
    John Muir High School
  • For families not able to access content online, we’re preparing packets of printed information that may be picked up from school sites weekdays from 8 - 11 a.m. 
  • PowerSchool Dinner Break Tonight from 6-8 p.m.: PowerSchool will be down for maintenance from 6-8 p.m. tonight, which means you can take a dinner break and go outdoors for a breath of fresh air.
  • An instructional resource hub has been created for PUSD teachers and we have temporarily opened access for parents to view it at gopusd.com/remoteHUB This Hub is a frequently updated site of optional general resources that have been curated to meet PUSD's criteria for standards-based learning. Sections are posted that include directions on how to login to a Chrome Browser when your student is not using a PUSD-issued Chromebook.
  • About grading: During the transition, or first phase, of remote learning from March 16-27, no grades will be submitted for tasks assigned during this time. Grading guidelines will be updated as our circumstances evolve. Students are still expected to complete assigned tasks to maintain reinforcement of learning. However, due to access concerns, students will not be penalized via grades for incomplete work.

School Meals: The Pasadena Unified School District Food and Nutrition Department is providing an opportunity for families to drive through and pick up free pre-packed breakfasts and lunches for students 18 and younger who need them during the school closure. The meals will be served at seven campuses through March 27, 2020 (9 - 11 a.m. Monday-Friday). Details here

Field Elementary

*drive-through pick-up will be in the parking lot or student drop-off lanes at each school.

Special Education Services: If you have a child who receives any type of special education services, students will have access to the reinforcement of learning remotely. Materials can be accessed at gopusd.com/remote. To the greatest extent possible, the District will be providing some teletherapy services. For more information, contact the Special Education Department 626-396-3600 Ext. 88600

Talking to Kids about Coronavirus
Children and teens may be feeling scared, confused, or anxious as they hear adults talk about the coronavirus. Children and teens react to anxiety and stress differently than adults. Some may react right away; others may show signs much later that they are having a difficult time. The best way to reduce worry and anxiety is by remaining calm and reassuring. Children will react to what you say and how you say it. Make yourself available to listen and talk. For more information, here is the PUSD Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)  For more information, contact  Eric Sahakian, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent, School Support Services, at 626-396-3600, ext. 88230.

The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. 

Volunteers and Donations
The Pasadena Educational Foundation is coordinating student meal volunteers and a response fund to support our neediest families.

For donation of food and other items, please contact Eric Alvarez at the PUSD Center for Student & Family Services at (626) 396-5782 ext. 40511. Donation guidelines

PUSD Website & Hotline
Please visit our website for the latest messages, videos, and other resourcesOr call our hotline at 626.396.3680.

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent