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COVID-19 Updates

Click HERE for PUSD page with COVID-19 information
Hotline: 626-396-3680
 
Resources for Supporting PUSD Students and Families
 
 

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Pasadena Unified School District
A Message from Superintendent Brian McDonald


July 14, 2020

Dear PUSD Community, 

The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to have a tremendous impact on our lives. In the last several weeks, we have seen an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases. 

Yesterday, Governor Newsom announced modifications to the “Stay at Home” orders and closed indoor activities in Los Angeles and other counties in California due to current public health conditions. Also yesterday, the L.A. County Department of Public Health and the L.A. County Office of Education issued new guidelines and protocols for opening K-12 schools in the new academic year. L.A. County Public Health stated that, given current health data, we must all prepare to remain in a remote learning environment in the new school year. 

From the beginning of the pandemic, every decision that our district has made has been based on science, facts, and the law, with the safety and well-being of our students and staff at the forefront. We have been working in collaboration with the Board of Education, our labor partners, families, and community partners to plan for the safe reopening of our campuses in the new school year. After surveying parents, we had hoped to safely reopen schools in a hybrid model with students attending school on campus on alternate days and an option for 100% online learning. In our online school survey which ended Sunday, we had more than 13,000 responses, a very high completion rate for a survey. We appreciate your engaging with us and sharing your thoughts. 

All of us would like to see students back in school when it’s safe to do so. But Los Angeles County has recorded a surge in new cases in the last week, with a 9% rate of positive cases. 

We cannot and will not take chances with the health and safety of our students and staff. I plan to bring a recommendation to the Board of Education at a special meeting on July 16 that Pasadena Unified open in a 100% distance learning model on August 17.  

We will continue to monitor and evaluate public health conditions and guidelines and will let you know when it is possible to return to in-person learning on campus. 

We have been preparing for the possibility of a full distance learning model. Our school reopening plan is designed to allow us to move seamlessly from a hybrid model to a full distance learning environment and back again as conditions change. 

Distance learning will have a strengthened emphasis on teacher-student engagement, including more live interaction with certificated employees and peers for the purpose of instruction, progress monitoring, and maintaining school connectedness. We will provide specific details in the weeks ahead. 

We will continue planning for a return to in-person learning during the 2020-21 academic year as soon as public health conditions allow and adequate resources are allocated by both the state and federal governments for the safe return to schools.

This ongoing situation is challenging for every one of us. But I know that with the strength, unity, and resolve that PUSD students, staff, and families have demonstrated during these last difficult months, we will get through this time.

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald, Ed.D.
Superintendent


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Pasadena Unified School District
A Message from Superintendent Brian McDonald


July 1, 2020

Dear Pasadena Unified families and community:

I hope you and your family are doing well.  

I would like to congratulate our 2020 graduates and wish them well in their future endeavors.  Those virtual graduations are occurred last week; videos are available at pusd.us/pusdgraduates

Future of PUSD: Opening in the 2020-2021 School Year
Although the situation with COVID-19 continues to rapidly change, as of right now we are planning to reopen our schools on August 17, 2020, using a hybrid model that blends in-person and distance learning. 

While we would rather open schools in person, we are planning to reopen in a way that accounts for the fact that the COVID-19 virus will more than likely still be with us with no vaccine available.  The health and safety of our students and staff is at the forefront of our minds.  If health restrictions are lifted by the appropriate authorities and we deem it safe, we will move into a regular, in-classroom mode.

Based on state and local public health guidelines for school and the results of parent and staff surveys, our Pasadena Unified School District Reopening Task Force has developed plans to create safe learning environments for all students. See the plan at pusd.us/reopening 

Families will continue to be essential partners and we thank you for the feedback you have given so far. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the PUSD team for their hard and excellent work in formulating this plan. 

  • Face coverings will be required on campuses to ensure the safety of our students and staff. We are now designing protocols and policies for exemptions and reinforcement. 
  • We are also designing a fully online learning option. We will send out a survey in the next few days to determine the number of students who plan to enroll in virtual learning. Information on how to register is now being developed and will be shared with you as soon as possible.
  • Childcare during non-classroom days is an urgent matter, and we are working with community partners to provide services to our students and their families.

The plan was presented at the June 25, 2020 Board of Education meeting see the video (scroll to Item I) and incorporate your feedback from surveys and the parent forum.  

Adjustments to the plan will be made as state and local guidelines continue to evolve and as we incorporate feedback from the Board and our stakeholders.

We are pleased to present a plan that, while it does include increased costs, will not face significant budget cuts thanks to the agreement between the Governor and the state legislature which keeps our funding intact except for the loss of the 2% cost of living adjustment.

An outline of the plan is posted on our website at pusd.us/reopening

As plans continue to evolve, we will continue to communicate with you. We expect that the next update will be in late July and then more frequently as August 17 approaches.

Sincerely, 

Brian McDonald
Superintendent


 
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Pasadena Unified School District
May 17, 2020

Dear PUSD Families, Staff, and Community: 

Classified School Employee Week
May 17–23, 2020 is Classified School Employee Week. We celebrate the roles that classified employees have on the lives of students and in support of our schools. Classified employees support our students in food service, technology, as instructional aides, in school and district offices, maintenance and facilities, security, business, human resources, and much more.

Budget Update
Governor Newsom released the state’s revised May budget proposal for 2020-2021 that seeks to avoid permanent cuts to public education while dealing with the impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on the state’s economy. For PUSD this means that instead of facing a projected $35 million in reduction in state funding, we now estimate a $15 million reduction in state funding.   We are examining in detail the revised budget and will continue to advocate on behalf of our students and educators in the coming weeks. Budgets are a reflection of values, and we are asking the state and federal governments to show their commitment to students and the future of this country.

While reductions in PUSD’s budget are all but certain, we are determined to find ways to keep these as far away from classrooms as we possibly can while keeping intact the essential services that our students and families rely on. Our district has faced tough times before and emerged strong each time. 

Each of you is working hard to keep learning and life going during this pandemic. I am so proud of the way PUSD has risen to the challenge during these extraordinary times, and I know that we will weather this storm together, and will be stronger than ever.  

2020 PasadenaLEARNs Summer Exploration Program:  In an effort to keep PUSD students and families safe during the COV-ID 19 pandemic, PasadenaLEARNs will not offer a face-to-face summer program.  Beginning Monday, June 1, 2020 through Thursday, July 2, 2020, students can access daily reading activities, math games, enrichment activities with easy-to-follow instructions using items found around the house, interactive fitness challenges, and computer coding games on our website at www.pusd.us/learns  In addition, students in grades 2-5 enrolled in LEARNs during the 2019-20 school year will continue to have access to Imagine Learning Literacy and Imagine Math online curriculum. 

2020 PasadenaLEARNs Imagine Learning Literacy and Imagine Math Facts: Students in grades 2-5 who participated in 2019-20 PasadenaLEARNs After School Program will continue to have access to their Imagine Learning Literacy and Imagine Math Facts licenses through July 2020. Individualized learning plans allow students to continue to learn at their own pace during summer.   Parent information on how to access licenses is here in English and Spanish and will be available on the LEARNs website at pusd.us/learns beginning Monday, June 1, 2020 through July 2, 2020.

Credit Recovery and Extended School Year (ESY) for eligible students will be offered remotely this summer.  

2020-21 LEARNS Program Application
Pre-enrollment applications for LEARNs for the 2020-2021 school year are currently available on your school's website.  Once the completed application has been received, you will be contacted by the LEARNs Site Coordinator regarding your child's program enrollment status and next steps to complete the enrollment process.  We look forward to seeing your child(ren) in the program!

2020-2021 Online Registration
PUSD is using an online registration for TK-12 grade for the 2020-2021 school year. Details here. To register for preschool, please contact the Early Childhood Education Program here or email earlychildeducation@pusd.us for information.

Student Meals
PUSD Food & Nutrition Services continues to offer free meals to children 18 and younger at seven Grab & Go Food Centers. PUSD serves prepackaged curbside breakfast and lunch weekdays from 9 - 11 a.m. The City of Pasadena offers lunch for students and their families on weekends. More information

Stay Connected
Please continue to check our dedicated website at pusd.us/covid19 for the latest information or call the PUSD Family Hotline at 626.396.3680.

Let's have a great week!  

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent


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Pasadena Unified School District
May 10, 2020

Dear PUSD Families, Staff, and Community: 

Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope that you are having an enjoyable day together with your loved ones and celebrating the caregivers in your lives. These times have shown us how important family, friends, and our community are. 

High School Graduations
This weekend, high seniors picked up their caps and gowns and took photographs in preparation for virtual graduations to celebrate our Class of 2020. In the weeks ahead, please join with us in honoring and celebrating students in PUSD’s Class of 2020.  Ceremonies will be streamed June 24-26. Details on how to watch and participate will be shared with you closer to the dates.

Plans for 2020-2021 School Year
As modifications are being made to the Safer at Home orders, PUSD is moving forward with plans for the new school year, which begins August 17 for students. Although we cannot determine what the public health conditions will be at that time, we are planning along two paths: the resumption of in-person instruction with protocols for physical distancing and safety, and the possibility of a resumption in distance learning with a continuum of learning alternatives for families.  As plans develop, we are committed to making this a collaborative process.   Our decisions will continue to be guided by the local health situation and made in conjunction with local public health authorities. We are committed to keeping our students, staff, and community healthy and safe. 

We will be closely monitoring the Governor’s announcement this week for the May revision of the State’s budget. Details about the impact of COVID-19 on PUSD are in the message shared with you on May 8. Read the message here. We will continue to advocate for actions by the Governor that can mitigate the need for drastic reductions and will keep you informed about any developments.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month
PUSD is joining with mental health organizations to create greater awareness about mental health and to encourage our students to reach out for help if they need it. Check out these resources put together by our Child Welfare, Attendance & Safety team to support you and your family.
Mental Health Awareness Month - Childhood Trauma
Understanding Anxiety in Children (in English and Español
Supporting Students & Families

2020-2021 Online Registration
PUSD is using an online registration for TK-12 grade for the 2020-2021 school year. Details here. To register for preschool, please contact the Early Childhood Education Program here or email earlychildeducation@pusd.us for information.

Student Meals
PUSD Food & Nutrition Services continues to offer free meals to children 18 and younger at seven Grab & Go Food Centers. PUSD serves prepackaged curbside breakfast and lunch weekdays from 9 - 11 a.m. The City of Pasadena offers lunch for students and their families on weekends. More information

P-EBT Cards
Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school will get extra food benefits. These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT benefits. P-EBT benefits help families in California buy food when schools are closed because of the coronavirus emergency. Families will get up to $365 per eligible child on their P-EBT card to use on food and groceries. Families with children who get CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply. Most families will get their P-EBT card from the State of California in the mail during the month of May. Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and who do not get their P-EBT card in the mail, must apply online before June 30, 2020. The online application will launch in late May at at https://ca.p-ebt.org

History/Social Studies Instructional Material Public Review
PUSD is adopting new History/Social Studies instructional materials (textbooks, technology-based materials, other educational materials, and tests) for use by kindergarten through fifth eight (K–5) students. PUSD is piloting and considering TCI's Social Studies Alive! for adoption. Parents/guardians and members of the public are encouraged to review and provide input on the instructional material now being considered for adoption and use in PUSD's K-5 History/Social Studies. TCI's Social Studies Alive! material and public comment form are available in English and Spanish at gopusd.com/historyreview  

Stay Connected
Please continue to check our dedicated website at pusd.us/covid19 for the latest information or call the PUSD Family Hotline at 626.396.3680.

Let's have a great week!  

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent


 
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Pasadena Unified School District
May 3, 2020

Dear PUSD Families, Staff, and Community: 

In May of each year, we recognize the teachers, educators, administrators, certificated, and classified employees of PUSD who work tirelessly to fulfill our mission of providing a caring, engaging, and challenging educational experience for every child, in every classroom, every day. 

Teacher Appreciation Week
May 4 - 8, 2020, is Teacher Appreciation Week. With the physical closure of schools, the impact that teachers have on the lives of children and families is clear. Our teachers are doing great work with distance learning to ensure that students reach their full potential. This week, please join us in recognizing the work of teachers, educators in schools and district offices, and all certificated employees. 

2020-2021 School Year
PUSD is scheduled to begin the school year in mid-August and that has not changed at this time. To maintain social distancing and safety measures in the new school year, we are studying all possibilities and working with legislators to ensure that public schools in California are equipped and funded.  Our decisions will continue to be guided by the local health situation and made in conjunction with local public health authorities. We are committed to keeping our students, staff, and community healthy and safe. We will keep you updated about any changes or modifications to the upcoming school year.  

High School Graduations
Our high school seniors are living a year that none of us ever imagined for them. We know that our seniors and their families/caregivers are feeling the loss of these special times with friends, classmates, and teachers.  We feel that loss with them.  We had hoped that we would be able to hold traditional in-person high school graduation ceremonies as scheduled at the end of May.  But based on the senior survey results and taking into account public health concerns, we have instead planned virtual live-streamed graduation ceremonies in June. We are fully committed to celebrating our seniors with this online ceremony and will plan an in-person event when the Governor and public health authorities determine it is safe to do so.

At this time we are planning celebrations for rising 5th and 8th graders. Although these will not be formal promotions, we will celebrate our students. 

Summer Learning Activities
We will announce plans for summer learning activities this week. 

PUSD COVID-19 Protocols for Entry by Essential Employees to District Sites Effective May 4, 2020
Although this section is directed at PUSD employees, we want to inform families and the general public about the measures that PUSD is taking to keep our community healthy and safe.

To meet the needs of our students while maintaining the safety of all employees, students, families, and our community during COVID-19, PUSD is implementing protocols for entry onto District property by PUSD essential employees effective May 4, 2020.  All District schools and offices remain closed to the public and to non-essential employees and individuals without exception until further notice.   

Schools:  All District school sites are closed to non-essential employees and individuals without exception effective May 4, 2020, and until the Governor’s Executive Order is lifted. Essential school site employees (custodial, food service, maintenance employees) are permitted on campus during work hours.  Non-essential employees and individuals (all other classified, certificated, administrative, principals, vice-principals, volunteers, children, contractors, City of Pasadena employees with the exception of Police and Fire, and the general public) will not be allowed onto any District site at any time without express advance permission. 

  • Non-essential school site employees must request school site access in writing from their principal or site supervisor 24 hours in advance. The principal/site supervisor will review and forward requests to a district-level Designated School Closure Coordinator.
  • If access is granted to non-essential individuals, the access time and location will be identified in writing. Access will be granted to a specific location on the school site for a specific and limited time. 
  • Individuals granted access are required to conform with all CDC, State, County, and City health social distancing guidelines.
  • Individuals granted access must confine themselves to their normal work stations as much as possible.

Education Center, District Service Center, Warehouse: The Education Center, District Service Center (DSC) and the Warehouse remain closed to non-essential employees and individuals without exception effective May 4, 2020, and until the Governor’s Executive Order is lifted. Essential District site employees are defined as custodial, food service, maintenance employees, the Superintendent, Chiefs, and designated classifications on Attachment A. Non-essential employees and individuals (all other classified, certificated, administrative, principals, vice-principals, volunteers, children, contractors, City of Pasadena employees with the exception of Police and Fire, and the general public) will not be allowed onto District sites at any time.

  • Only essential District site employees and individuals with express advance permission are permitted entry to the District’s Education Center 
  • Entry to the District’s Education Center by essential District site employees and those with express permission is limited to Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Individuals granted access to the District’s Education Center are required to sign in and out and must identify exact locations and areas they will visit. They must confine themselves to their normal work stations as much as possible.
  • Individuals granted access are required to conform with all CDC, State, County, and City health social distancing guidelines.

For full details, see the April 20, 2020, MOU between PUSD and Teamsters Local 911 here

2020-2021 Online Registration
PUSD is using an online registration for TK-12 grade for the 2020-2021 school year. Details here. To register for preschool, please contact the Early Childhood Education Program here or email earlychildeducation@pusd.us for information.

Family Engagement Services
Please check the Family Engagement PowerSchool page for information about virtual Parent University workshops and scheduled District Parent Group Meetings. Live-streamed and pre-recorded sessions of Parent University workshops feature topics such as social-emotional trauma, vaping, and school safety among others. Workshop topics and district parent group meeting sessions are updated on a weekly basis, allowing users to attend as many virtual sessions as they like. Visit the Family Engagement PowerSchool here.

Stay Connected
Please continue to check our dedicated website at pusd.us/covid19 for the latest information or call the PUSD Family Hotline at 626.396.3680.

We continue to follow Safer at Home public health orders and will communicate with you as information develops. 

Let's have a great week!  

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent


PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
April 26, 2020

Dear PUSD Community,

As we begin our seventh week of remote instruction and learning, I want to thank you all for everything you are doing to support the students of the Pasadena Unified School District. We are fortunate to have a hard-working staff, dedicated students, supportive parents and caregivers, and caring community partners.

I am so proud of the PUSD team! School principals, teachers, and staff at schools are working hard to lift students’ spirits. For example, Altadena Arts Magnet Principal Benita Scheckel hosts Storytime with the Principal on Facebook Live, posts videos regularly, and led a car parade of teachers and administrators to drive by students’ homes.  Blair High School Principal David Ibarra and faculty saluted seniors with a dance video. Marshall Fundamental Principal Mark Anderson and the Marshall Staff Masked Singers also created a fun and engaging video. There are many more stories like these, and I will keep sharing these with you. 

Family Needs Survey
To better understand how PUSD and our community partners can best serve our students, staff, families, and caregivers during the physical closure of our schools, PUSD is conducting a Family Needs Assessment Survey. We invite you to participate in a short 3 to 5-minute confidential survey. The survey ends on May 3, 2020. We appreciate your anticipated participation. 

English survey
Encuesta en español

Below is information for the coming week that I hope will be helpful to you.

Grading Policy
PUSD has altered its grading policy in collaboration with the United Teachers of Pasadena (UTP) to ensure that students and staff are equitably supported for success and in accordance with the California Department of Education’s guidance that “no student should be harmed through grading during COVID-19 and extended distance learning.” Beginning on March 16, 2020, and ending on May 28, 2020, grading will be as follows: 

    • Elementary School: students in grades K-5 will receive Pass/No Pass grades for Trimester 3 grading period only. 
    • Middle and High School: Middle and High School students will receive grades from A-D only during marking periods 7 and 8 and the final semester grade. Student grades marked on March 13, 2020, are the lowest grade any student can receive during this time. Students who received an “F” as of March 13 will be given additional opportunities to increase their grade if afforded access to their classes and teachers. Students will not be assigned “Incomplete,” “F” or “NG” grades if they are unable to increase their grade during the Extended Distance Learning time due to their inability to access their education for technology and/or social emotional reasons.
  • Rose City High School: March 13 was the last day of Quarter 3 at Rose City High School, a model continuation school. Remote learning began on March 16, the same day as the school’s start of Quarter 4. Rose City High School students will receive a grade no lower than “C” for this Quarter and receive five full credits per course.

Graduation Requirements
In support of our seniors in the Class of 2020, the PUSD graduation requirements have been slightly modified for completion of community service/work-based learning hours and the graduate defense.

Please see the letter from PUSD Chief Academic Officer Dr. Elizabeth Blanco for further information about graduation requirements, graduation survey of seniors, Advanced Placement Testing, English Learner reclassification, and more. 

2020-2021 Online Enrollment 
PUSD is moving to an online enrollment process for 2020-2021. District staff is finalizing the new online enrollment process for new students and Open Enrollment second lottery participants for the 2020-2021 school year. The online enrollment process and registration dates for second lottery participants will be shared with you this week. Waitlists for second lottery participants will be maintained until August 7, 2020. Families should periodically sign into their Smart Choice account to determine their waitlist status. If you have specific questions regarding open enrollment, please contact the Office of Enrollment, Permits, and Student Records.

Stay Connected
Please continue to check our dedicated website at pusd.us/covid19 for the latest information or call the PUSD Family Hotline at 626.396.3680.

We continue to follow Safer at Home public health orders and will communicate with you as information develops. 

Let's have a great week!  

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent


 
PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
April 19, 2020

Dear PUSD Community,

I hope that you are staying healthy.

Since schools were dismissed, PUSD has served more than 61,000 meals to children in our community.  The number of meals served has been rising every week and we remain committed to serving our students and families. 

I want to thank PUSD food service workers, volunteers, and all those carrying out essential duties for their work in support of our students and families. I also want to thank all of you for staying at home to flatten the curve and protect our entire community. Your steadfast resolve demonstrates the best of PUSD and the abiding care that we have for each other. It is what makes PUSD remarkable and what will lead us to meeting in person again.

Summer Plans
With the latest information and projections from L.A. County Health authorities, we are planning for PUSD summer activities along two possible paths: in-person and virtual, although it seems more likely that any summer activities will be held in a virtual environment.  Governor Newsom has indicated that schools should plan for remote learning this summer and modified structures in the next school year. We are carefully examining our options and will share with you further information as summer plans are finalized. 

2020-2021 Online Enrollment 
PUSD is moving to an online enrollment process for 2020-2021. District staff is finalizing an online enrollment process for new students and Open Enrollment second lottery participants for the 2020-2021 school year. The online enrollment process and registration dates for second lottery participants will be shared with you shortly. 

Waitlists for second lottery participants will be maintained until August 7, 2020. Families should periodically sign into their Smart Choice account to determine their waitlist status. If you have specific questions regarding open enrollment, please contact the Office of Enrollment, Permits, and Student Records.

Graduation Ceremonies
Students in the graduating Class of 2020 are very much on our minds. We’re pleased to hear the many stories about our students’ college acceptances and plans after graduation. Graduations ceremonies are one of the most memorable rites of passage, and the PUSD team and I are committed to honoring our graduates and their families. The Academics team, along with high school principals, are exploring possible ways to celebrate graduation ceremonies and other traditional senior events, whether through postponement or a different format. We’re calling them “Seniorbrations” and will share details with you as soon as they are finalized. Our plans are of course subject to the latest guidelines and recommendations from the State and public health authorities. 

New PUSD COVID-19 Website
We are pleased to launch pusd.us/covid19, a dedicated website that brings together PUSD’s information and resources about our response to COVID-19. Our main website at pusd.us is still active with information about our academic programs, enrollment, Board meetings, etc. 

Next Phase of Remote Learning
Our remote learning is moving to the next phase, with additional opportunities for live interaction between students and teachers via office hours and virtual meetings. Updated remote learning guidelines, along with tips for families, are posted here

Student Meals
PUSD Food Services offers free meals to children 18 and younger at seven Grab & Go Food Centers. PUSD serves prepackaged curbside breakfast and lunch weekdays from 9 - 11 a.m. The City of Pasadena offers lunch for students and their families on weekends. More information

Social Emotional Well Being
I want to share with you that we continue to be concerned about the social and emotional well-being of our students.  Professional counselors are available to talk with students by calling the PUSD Family Hotline at 626.396.3680. Information about additional support for students and their families is available here. We are working with school principals and staff to identify and address the needs of our students, along with any barriers they may have in accessing learning.

LCAP Surveys Close April 21 at 2 p.m.
Complete your LCAP Survey by 2 p.m. on April 21! PUSD is conducting a series of surveys to gather input from students, parents, staff, and community members as part of the development of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). LCAP Surveys

Student Tech Support 
PUSD’s ITS is now providing direct support for PUSD-managed devices and applications for students. Students can now submit their own support tickets by visiting gopusd.com/helpdesk while logged in to their PUSD accounts. Families can also reach the ITS HelpDesk at 626-396-3699 in order to get real time support. Please visit the following URLs for support regarding other student needs:

  • If you are experiencing issues with Powerschool learning, please visit status.powerschool.com for updates. 
  • Students who need support with lost or stolen devices, please submit tickets at gopusd.com/helpdesk
  • Please continue to submit requests for Hotspots at gopusd.com/helpdesk. However, we are currently out of hotspots but waiting to receive more. Hotspots will be checked out on a first come first serve basis based on when tickets are submitted. 
  • For weekly ITS updates, please check your student’s email every Tuesday for our Tech Bytes newsletter, and visit pusd.us/its

Census 2020  #PUSDCounts
Now more than ever, the PUSD community needs you. And you can make a BIG difference without even leaving the house. Visit my2020census.gov and complete your census form -- and make sure that every child is counted. You can complete the Census online or by phone in multiple languages. Please visit our website for more information:  pusd.us/census

Family Engagement Page
PUSD’s Office of Family and Community Engagement is launching the Family Engagement PowerSchool page. Parents and Community members will have access to join virtual Parent University workshops and scheduled District Parent Group Meetings. The PowerSchool page, which launches April 20, offers live streamed and pre-recorded sessions of Parent University workshops with topics from social-emotional trauma, vaping, and school safety, among others. Workshop topics and district parent group meeting sessions will be updated on a weekly basis, allowing users to attend as many virtual sessions as they like. Mark your calendars! Family Engagement PowerSchool page will launch Monday, April 20 at https://bit.ly/pusdparent 

Stay Connected
Please check our website at pusd.us for the latest news and information or call the PUSD Family Hotline at 626.396.3680.

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent


 
PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
April 5, 2020

Dear PUSD Community,

As we return from Spring Break, I hope that you and your family are safe and healthy. In just a matter of weeks, life has changed in so many ways but we have all, as one great community, come together to support each other. I want to thank our teachers, principals, and the staff from school and central offices who are working so hard to continue teaching, learning, and supporting our students and families.  I also want to thank our students, parents, and caregivers for the patience and support you’ve demonstrated during these trying, rapidly changing times.

There is no question that this is hard, but I know that together we will do our very best every day not only to adjust to our new circumstances but to emerge from this stronger and with a clear vision of our future. With our response to this crisis, we must continue to model the 21st century skills that we are teaching our students: to be creative problem-solvers, to communicate effectively, to apply critical thinking, and to collaborate. We are confident that our District’s response, in partnership with you, will help our students come out of this strong, healthy, and ready to thrive. 

Stage 2: Remote Learning - April 6 - 20
Our District moves to Stage 2 of remote learning from April 6 - 20.  In this phase, teacher-provided content intended for ongoing use will be available via PowerSchool Learning at gopusd.com/remote. The next phase begins April 20; we will send you detailed information in the coming days.

Goals for remote learning

  • To maintain relationships within our learning community
  • To reinforce learning and minimize skill regression
  • To connect all students to the most essential learning

Guiding Principles

  • We are in this together. We prioritize the relationships and mental well-being of all members of our learning community. Much of this is as new to teachers as it is to families and students, so we encourage patience and flexibility as we navigate this unusual setting together. 
  • Less is more. When covering new content, we have asked teachers to focus on only the most essential topics.  Anticipate covering significantly less content than would normally be accomplished in an in-person setting. All students are facing this situation and schools will make future adjustments. 
  • Students should be able to participate in learning. We will prioritize asynchronous lessons and assignments that can be accessed at times convenient to the family. If you have trouble accessing, please contact your child's teacher first. 

Updates

  • Teachers will set up routine times for communication and posting of lessons and assignments. Families are also urged to set up routines that are predictable for students.
  • PUSD will prioritize asynchronous lessons and assignments that can be accessed at times convenient to the family. However, live office hours or meetings may be offered at pre-scheduled times.
  • Time spent on tasks in remote learning are not the same as in-person classes. Students are encouraged to explore, play, and have personal balance. The following guidelines have been provided:

Grade Level

Total Instructional Time 
(Recommended Minutes, Total All Learning Activities)

Length of Sustained Attention 
(Recommended Minutes, Each Learning Activity)

TK-1

40 - 70 minutes

3 - 5 minutes

2-3

80 - 100 minutes

5 - 10 minutes

4-5

120 - 140 minutes

8 - 12 minutes

6-8

160 - 200 minutes

12 - 30 minutes

9-12

220 - 280 minutes

12 - 45 minutes


  • Teachers will provide feedback to guide student learning. Per Education Code, grading will continue to be at the discretion of the teacher during this time.
  • PUSD asks that students use our secure web tools, such as PUSD email accounts, PowerSchool Learning, and live meetings on Google Hangout Meet.

From the Innovative Technology Services (ITS) Department
Scheduled maintenance on PowerSchool Learning and Unified Classroom pages was completed this weekend. PowerSchool continues to work on improving performance. We thank you for your patience as we work to improve our services. 

Student Meal Service
Student meal service by PUSD Food & Nutrition Services will continue with nutritious “Grab and Go” meals for children 18 and younger weekdays from 9-11 a.m. at seven schools. The City of Pasadena is also providing meals on weekends.  

We are pleased to report that COVID-19 test results were negative for the PUSD cafeteria worker who was tested a week ago. PUSD has taken additional safety measures such as sanitizing District kitchens and facilities and requiring masks or face coverings for all workers. Food Service workers wear gloves regularly to comply with food safety guidelines.

Student & Family Resources
PUSD has developed a list of resources to support students and their families: PUSD Student & Family Resources

Census 2020  #PUSDCounts
Now more than ever, the PUSD community needs you. And you can make a BIG difference without even leaving the house. Visit my2020census.gov and complete your census form -- and make sure that every child is counted. You can complete the Census online or by phone in multiple languages. Please visit our website for more information:  pusd.us/census

Stay Connected
Please check our website at pusd.us for the latest news and information or call the PUSD Family Hotline at 626.396.3680.

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent


PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
April 1, 2020

Dear PUSD Community,

Based on recommendations from state and local health and education authorities, the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) will extend remote learning through May 28, the last day of school for students. School facilities will not reopen before the end of the academic year due to the coronavirus crisis, but classes will remain in session via remote learning. To be clear, the 2019-2020 school year is not over; it has just transitioned from classroom instruction into distance learning through May 28, 2020, the last day of school for PUSD students. 

This is not a decision the Board of Education and I take lightly, but the safety of our students, staff, and families comes first. Public health leaders have made it clear that the peak of this pandemic is yet to come, and physical distancing practices remain vital. Therefore, in accordance with the emergency authorization conferred upon me by the Board of Education and after consulting with each Board member, I have decided to keep campuses physically closed for the remainder of the school year. This allows us to focus on delivering learning in a remote environment.

PUSD had already taken steps in planning for this contingency to make sure that distance learning and essential services continue through the end of the school year.

Stage 2: Remote Learning
After spring break, our District will move to Stage 2 of remote learning from April 6 through April 20.  In this phase, teacher-provided content intended for ongoing use will be available via PowerSchool Learning at gopusd.com/remote. We’re modifying content to make sure it’s achievable by our students given the new remote environment.  During this time, teachers will be connecting with students via posted video, discussion and/or assignments in their online classrooms. Students will connect with their teacher’s online classroom to view and complete assigned material.  

After April 20, PUSD will move to Stage 3, when synchronous learning will occur. Students will be checking in with their teachers routinely, participating in lessons, completing and submitting assignments and tasks.

Social Emotional Well-Being of Students
We are also very concerned about the social and emotional well-being of all of our students and have set up ways for them to connect with mental health resources. 

Graduation & Promotion Ceremonies
We also know that many students, especially our seniors, have been looking forward to celebrating promotion and graduation ceremonies. Please know that district leaders will be planning for ways to celebrate these momentous events in different formats and/or at a later date. 

In the coming days and weeks, PUSD will provide families with information regarding how grades, graduation requirements, graduation ceremonies, transcripts, and continued distance learning instruction will be handled.

Student Meals
Meals are now available seven days a week for students. PUSD continues to provide nutritious “Grab and Go” meals for children 18 and younger at seven schools weekdays from 9-11 a.m.  The City of Pasadena is offering lunch to students and families on weekends from 9-11 a.m. at the same sites. School locations

Continue Physical Distancing
While we recognize this extension of school facility closures poses challenges and hardship to many families in PUSD, the most effective way to slow and disrupt the transmission of this pandemic is by continuing to implement physical distancing practices. We are grateful to community members throughout our community for their tremendous prevention efforts during this unique and difficult time.

School & District Personnel
For the remainder of the school year, only school and district personnel who perform essential functions — such as feeding children, maintaining facilities, and providing operational continuity as identified by the District— are required to come physically to work using Los Angeles County’s guidelines outlined in its “Safer at Home” Public Health Order.

Stay Connected
Please check our website at pusd.us for the latest news and information or call the PUSD Family Hotline is 626.396.3680.

We’re In This Together
While we continue putting into effect the public health orders to “Stay Safer Home,” I want to assure our students, families, and staff that PUSD will continue to provide vital services such as distance learning, student meals, and social-emotional support for our students. We are ready to serve you and help keep you healthy and safe. 

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent

 

PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
March 30, 2020 

Dear PUSD Community,

I am pleased to inform you that student meal service at PUSD “Grab and Go Food Centers” resumes Tuesday, March 31 and continues weekdays from 9-11 a.m. at seven schools. Using social distancing and public health guidelines, meals will be provided by an outside vendor with the assistance of City of Pasadena volunteers.

In an abundance of caution, we temporarily suspended meal service for today, March 30 after we received a report of a possible COVID-19 case involving a PUSD employee who worked in one of our central kitchens. At this time, the case has not been confirmed.

Following the guidance of the Pasadena Public Health Department, deep cleaning and sanitizing of kitchens and facilities will be conducted, and employee’s co-workers were advised of possible exposure.  We plan to resume regular meal service by PUSD staff on April 14.

Although we regret the hardship involved with the temporary suspension, we are fully committed to the health and safety of our students, staff, and community. The PUSD team is dedicated to creating solutions on issues affecting students, families and staff.

I am so grateful for the strength and commitment demonstrated every day by the employees of PUSD.  In times of crises such as the one we are living through now, it’s clear that heroes don’t always wear capes. Instead, they use computers and telephones to teach, answer phones and emails to keep our operations functioning, and prepare meals so that our students and their families continue to receive the essential services that they rely on to get through this crisis.

Since yesterday’s announcement, offers of help have poured in from civic partners, community organizations, restaurants, and individuals. I am deeply moved and grateful for these offers, and so very proud to be part of this great community. 

Please continue to check our website at pusd.us and social media for the latest developments.

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent

 

 
PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
March 29, 2020 

Dear PUSD Community,

We have received a report that there is a possibility that a PUSD employee at one of our central kitchens may be diagnosed with COVID-19.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Pasadena Unified School District’s (PUSD) “Grab and Go” student meal service provided at seven school sites is suspended starting Monday, March 30 until later this week. We know that this may cause hardship to  our families and are working with neighboring school districts to provide meals to PUSD students. We will send you more information as soon as we have confirmation. 

The health and safety of our students and staff is our first priority. When we learn of a suspected case in our operations, we follow CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines, inform other staff who may have come into close contact with the staff member, and consult with the local health department to determine appropriate measures. 

We are conducting extensive cleaning and sanitizing of our kitchens and facilities to minimize any risk of surface transmission.  As soon as the kitchen and facilities have been fully sanitized, we plan to reopen and provide our students with meals. 

We have consulted with the Pasadena Public Health Department, which has advised that the distribution of meals can continue once sanitizing and disinfection is completed.

We share this information in the spirit of transparency, however, we also understand this can cause heightened anxiety among our families. We want you to know that we have taken immediate action according to our planning, and will adjust operations as needed. 

While the diagnosis of COVID-19 is not confirmed at this time, our hearts are with our PUSD team member and their family during this very difficult time.

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent


PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
March 27, 2020 

Dear PUSD Community,

Superintendent Brian McDonald’s video message

I want to give you an update on PUSD’s response to the Coronavirus public health emergency as we all honor the “safer at home” public health orders. PUSD is committed to providing the vital services that our students and community rely on  for as long as this crisis continues and in often rapidly changing conditions.

Schools have been closed for two weeks now, with a probable return date of May 5. Until that time, all non-essential personnel must honor the “Safer at Home” public health orders. No one is allowed on school sites except for maintenance and operations, custodial staff, and essential personnel as identified by the District during designated times. We will reopen schools  based on recommendations from Public Health authorities to make sure that it is safe for students, staff, and families. All sites will have undergone deep cleaning before students and staff return to class.

With broad community transmission of COVID-19, on March 25, the L.A. County Department of Public Health issued new public health orders for individuals diagnosed or likely to have COVID-19. To keep our community safe, we must all do our part by staying safer at home.

Stage 2 Remote Learning
After spring break, our District will move to Stage 2 of remote learning from April 6 - 20.  In this phase, teacher-provided content intended for ongoing use will be available via PowerSchool Learning at gopusd.com/remote. We’re modifying content to make sure it’s achievable by our students given the new remote environment.  During this time, teachers will be connecting with students via posted video, discussion and/or assignments in their online classrooms. Students will connect with their teacher’s online classroom to view and complete assigned material.  

To support students and families, PUSD is pushing out a translation extension on our Chromebooks. This will allow words and webpages on PowerSchool Learning to be translated into Spanish and other languages as well. Watch this video to see how it works 

Visual arts and music learning activities are loaded to PowerSchool for elementary students. These include lessons for individual instruments for band and orchestra. Videos by our partners at the Pasadena Symphony and Oakwood Brass are being developed for practicing each instrument. These will be posted soon. 

GATE Enrichment activities and resources have been added for grades Kindergarten-eighth grade and can be accessed directly by students and parents on their Powerschool student account. 

See the attached letter from the Special Education Department.

2020-2021 Open Enrollment Update
Results of the second lottery of Open Enrollment for 2020-2021 were released today. Parents will need to accept or decline offers by May 1, 2020. Registration will occur once we have more information about reopening school sites. As spots become available, students currently on the waitlist for a school will be automatically advanced based upon their waitlist number. Staff in the Enrollment Office is working remotely but is available to answer your questions or concerns. The best way to reach them is by using the email addresses on the website. Phone messages will be checked each hour and phone calls will be returned as soon as possible.

Activities During Spring Break
For spring break, March 30 through April 3, we have developed virtual field trips with global and STEM themes. I encourage you to take time to explore and learn more about the world around us -- virtually. PUSD Virtual field trips are posted on our website.

Technology Resources
Thanks to our 1:1 Tech Equity initiative launched in 2018, we were able to quickly provide devices to students at all grade levels.  While we were able to meet the needs of most students, we are working to ensure that every student is able to connect to distance learning.

In the meantime, if you have a PUSD wifi hotspot that you are not using, we ask that you please return it so that we can assign it to a student who does need it.

  • Charter Communications will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Please be patient during the signup process as I understand the demand is very high. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395 Details
  • AT&T is offering low-cost wireline home Internet service. Details

Meals Now 7 Days a Week
Meals are now available seven days a week for students. PUSD continues to provide nutritious “Grab and Go” meals for children 18 and younger at seven schools weekdays from 9-11 a.m.  I’m pleased to share that we will continue this service during the upcoming spring break and until schools reopen. The City of Pasadena is offering lunch to students and families on weekends from 9-11 a.m. at the same sites. School locations

Thanks to Our Community Partners
PUSD is working with community partners to help families access essential services such as food, shelter, mental health support, and more.  I want to especially thank the Pasadena Educational Foundation, Collaborate PASadena, STARS, and PACTL for supporting our students and families.  

During challenging times, we see just how much stronger we are together. I am proud to be a part of the Pasadena area community that cares so deeply about one another.

Mental Health Support
I know how stressful this situation is for our students, parents, staff and community. I want to talk directly to the students of PUSD: 

I know that this time is not easy for you, and that you’re probably missing the face-to-face time and activities with your friends and teachers at school. Schools are the places where we connect with learning and with each other.  I want you to know that even though you can’t see your teachers or fellow students in person, we’ve set up ways to support you. Everyone here at PUSD is here to help you and continue to prepare you for the future. 

We have help with mental health resources through PUSD’s extensive mental health programs.

For support, call our PUSD Family Hotline at (626) 396-3680. It will connect students with professionals who will link them to the appropriate services and support. 

Please check our website at pusd.us for updates and new information as changes happen very quickly. 

Finally, please remember to follow the “Safer at Home” public health orders for social distancing and other guidance.  Pasadena Public Health Department  L.A. County Public Health Department

From classroom teachers and school site staff to central office employees, we’re all working hard to support our students and their families. All of us working together will get through this as we unite to keep our community healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent


PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
March 26, 2020
 

City of Pasadena & Pasadena Unified Partner To Provide Meals for Students 7 Days a Week

Pasadena, CA --- “Grab and Go” breakfast and lunch service for children 18 and younger will extend to weekends starting March 28, thanks to the continuing partnership between the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) and the City of Pasadena.  Pre-packed meals are available for pick up at seven PUSD schools from 9 - 11 a.m. Meal service will continue during PUSD’s spring recess March 30-April 3, 2020. 

PUSD began offering the weekday meal service to all children after schools closed to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Since the meal service started on March 17, PUSD has served more than 7,000 pre-packaged breakfast and lunches. “Grab and Go” Food Centers are staffed by PUSD Food Service workers and community volunteers. 

Weekend meals are provided through special one-time funding by the Pasadena City Council to address unforeseen and unmet food needs for our PUSD students.  The Rose Bowl Operating Company and Pasadena Convention Operating Company are instrumental in supporting with logistical and staff support.

Weekend meal service will be provided by the City of Pasadena at the same seven school sites until classes resume.  Meals will follow the same nutritional guidelines as PUSD meals offered during the week.

“I am pleased to partner with the City of Pasadena to extend vital support to our students and families during this time when we are all staying home to protect our community.” said Superintendent Brian McDonald. “We appreciate our continuing productive relationship with the city, and we are united in our commitment to serving students and their families.”

The seven PUSD Grab and Go Food Centers are:

Eliot Arts Magnet Academy
2184 N. Lake Ave.
Altadena, CA 91101

Field Elementary
3600 E Sierra Madre Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91107

John Muir Early College Magnet High School
1905 Lincoln Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103

Madison Elementary
515 Ashtabula St. 
Pasadena, CA 91104

McKinley K-8 School
325 S Oak Knoll Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101

Norma Coombs Elementary
2600 Paloma St.
Pasadena, CA 91107

Wilson Middle School
300 S. Madre St.
Pasadena, CA 91107

This program is solely for the pick-up of meals as meals cannot be consumed on site. Families are encouraged to continue to be proactive in reducing the risk of COVID-19 by not congregating at the school site once meals have been distributed, continuing to wash their hands often, sneeze or cough into a tissue or their sleeve and stay home if they are sick.

Community-based organizations Collaborate PASadenaSTARS and the Pasadena/Altadena Coalition of Transformative Leaders (PACTL)  are delivering student meals to homes of children whose parents/caregivers are working, have no transportation or are sick.

Information about PUSD’s Food Services is available at pusd.us or via the PUSD Family Hotline at 626.396.3606


 
PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
March 20, 2020

 


Dear PUSD Community:

Based on recommendations from the L.A. County Office of Education, Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) schools will remain closed until May 5. PUSD has already taken steps in planning for this contingency, and is engaged in planning for the closure to be extended. 

To prevent the spread of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and comply with the State’s “Stay Home” and Los Angeles County “Safer at Home” public health orders, the PUSD Educational Center offices will close effective today.

While we put into effect the public health order to Stay Home and extend the likely date of return,  I want to assure our students, families, and staff that PUSD will continue to provide the vital services such as distance learning, student meals, and social-emotional support -- no matter how long it takes. We are ready to serve you and help keep you healthy and safe. 

Pending the approval of a federal waiver, it is likely that all California school districts will be ordered to cancel all required assessments for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.  The College Board has canceled the May 2, 2020, SAT and SAT Subject Test administration.

As essential service providers, District and school staff will work remotely, except for identified employees, and continue serving the students and families of PUSD.  Teachers and all other non-essential site personnel were released to work remotely earlier this week, in addition to those over 65 years of age and employees with underlying health conditions. 

Services will continue with the following modifications:

  • All PUSD schools will remain closed through May 5, pending any changes.
  • School principals and school site personnel will work remotely to support students. School principals will stay in communication with parents regarding learning and technology needs.  School Directory

Central Office Services

  • The PUSD Education Center is closed to the public but staff is available to assist students, staff, and families by phone and email. 626.396.3600
  • The Academics Division will continue to support distance learning at gopusd.com/remote with curriculum and professional development, arts education, and English learner and special education services. Academics Division employees are working remotely. 626.396.3600 ext. 88087. PreK-12 Instructional Services 626.396.3600 ext. 88216. 
  • The Food & Nutrition Services Division will continue to offer “grab and go” pre-packaged breakfast and lunch meals for all children 18 and younger weekdays from 9 - 11 a.m. at seven campuses. Details
  • The School Support Services Division will continue serving students with health and wellness, parent support and education, school safety, enrollment, mental health services, and via telephone, email and online. 626.396.3600 ext. 88238
  • The Facilities Division will serve school sites, with custodians, facilities workers, and other essential personnel deep cleaning school and district sites and completing work orders. 626.396.5850
  • The Enrollment, Permits & Student Records office will continue with Open Enrollment for the 2020-21 school year. New requests for student records and transcripts cannot be accepted at this time. 626.396.3639 
  • The Human Resources Department is closed, but job opportunities continue to be posted online, and the department is accepting online applications. Further, Human Resources Department employees are able to serve employees via phone (626.396.3600 ext. 88700) and email at humanresources@pusd.us 
  • Information Technology Services (ITS) will serve District students and staff via email and phone  (626) 396-3600 ext. 88900 and helpdesk@pusd.us 
  • The Business Services Department will continue to process payroll, accounts payable, and develop budgets via phone and email. 626.396.3600 ext. 88151 
  • Board of Education meetings will continue as scheduled. Agendas and livestream links.

The latest information on PUSD’s response to COVID-19 is posted on our website

Sincerely, 

Brian McDonald
Superintendent


PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
March 17, 2020

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
  • 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
Madison Elementary
Norma Coombs Elementary
Eliot Middle School
Wilson Middle School
McKinley TK-8 School
John Muir High School

*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


PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
March 15, 2020

Starting March 16, Pasadena Unified schools will be closed to students through Friday, April 3. Classes resume April 6. 

Dear Families, 

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we respond to rapid changes related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s a stressful time for everyone and I want to encourage you to take care of yourself, your families, and each other during these unprecedented times. Our goal is to ensure the safety of our students, families, staff, and community staff by limiting contact and helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

We have more details following Friday’s announcement. Not every question will be answered here, but we will continue providing additional information in the following days as key points are worked out. Information will be sent to you via email, phone and/or text and will be posted on our website and social media. You may also call our hotline at 626.396.3680.

Starting Monday, March 16, all Pasadena Unified schools and programs will be dismissed, with no students on campus, through Friday, April 3. Classes will resume on Monday, April 6.

On Monday, March 16, teachers, administrators, and all other staff are reporting to their assigned work location to prepare for remote learning and to continue to support our students and their families.

Family needs

School Meals: The Pasadena Unified School District Food and Nutrition Department will be providing an opportunity for families to drive through and pick up free pre-packed breakfast and lunch for students 18 and younger who need them during the school closure. The meals will be at seven campuses starting March 17 - March 27, 2020 (9 - 11 a.m. Monday-Friday). Details here

Field Elementary
Madison Elementary
Norma Coombs Elementary
Eliot Middle School
Wilson Middle School
McKinley TK-8 School
John Muir High School

*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. There will be more information to come from the Special Education Department.

Addressing Worries About Coronavirus: Children and teens may be feeling scared, confused, or anxious as they hear adults talk about the coronavirus. It’s important during these turbulent times to support their wellness. PUSD’s School Support Services has prepared the Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) 

Childcare: we are actively exploring ways to partner with other agencies and provide childcare and supervision for PUSD families during this time. We will let you know as soon as something is final.

REINFORCEMENT OF LEARNING

In keeping with our core value of equity in learning, PUSD will provide reinforcement of learning remotely for all students, including students with disabilities. They will have access to materials at gopusd.com/remote by Monday, March 16.  Detailed parent letter here

Stage 1 March 16-27

  • General Content for K-12 on PowerSchool at gopusd.com/remote. Site goes live March 16. Login using your child(ren)’s protected PUSD student account.
  • K-12 students went home with Chromebooks and chargers on Friday. 
  • K-5 students who need Chromebooks or chargers can pick them up from their elementary schools on Monday.  
  • A limited number of printed packets will be available at school sites on Monday.

March 30 - April 3 Spring Recess

Stage 2 If necessary beyond April 3
Teacher-provided Content intended for ongoing use via PowerSchool

Stage 3 Distance Learning may become necessary in the event of prolonged remote learning. Details will be provided as the situation evolves.

Technology Resources
We want to advise our families that:

  • Charter Communications will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.To enroll call 1-844-488-8395 Details
  • AT&T is offering low-cost wireline home Internet service. Details

 Cleaning & Preparing 

  • During this time, we are conducting a deep cleaning of schools so that everyone will have a safe environment when classes resume for students.  
  • School and district staff will be working to support the delivery of remote reinforcement of learning and students and their families. We will also be preparing for students to return to school.

I fully understand that you are experiencing a major disruption in your lives, and I want you to know that we are here to support you in any way we can. The Pasadena Unified community is remarkable for its strength and resilience, and I know that acting together with compassion and understanding, we will get through this.

HOW TO HELP
We are heartened by the many offers of help from our exceptional Pasadena area community. Organizations and individuals are coming forward with offers of donations, supplies, and support for our most vulnerable students.  We sincerely thank you and want you to know that we’re setting up systems so that we can provide avenues for your incredible generosity to make the best use of donations. We will share information with you soon.

Sincerely, 

Brian McDonald
Superintendent

 

 
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Pasadena Unified School District
March 16, 2020

Dear Pasadena Unified staff, families, and community,

In an abundance of caution and in response to widening concerns about COVID-19, all Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) students will be dismissed from attending school on Monday, March 16, 2020; staff will report on Monday, March 16, but no students will be present. This includes all schools and programs in Pasadena Unified including children’s centers, preschools, grades TK-12, and our adult school. Staff will receive additional instructions from your school administrator or director later today. 

Schools remain closed with no students on any campuses from Tuesday, March 17 through April 5, 2020. Schools will reopen for students on April 6, 2020 barring any further developments. Schools will undergo a deep cleaning during the closure period.  Staff will continue to report to their assigned work location until notified otherwise by the District.

Instruction will continue during the closure period of March 17 - April 5, and accommodations are being made for students with disabilities. We are preparing instruction in three phases: 

  1. Standards-based general content packets via Powerschool that will be live on Monday. We will send further details this weekend;
  2. Digital push-out with additional content using Powerschool Online Classrooms, and
  3. Distance learning with two-way flow of work between students and teachers is in development in case it is needed.

We will be providing additional information about services for students with disabilities.

School meals will continue to be provided for students starting Tuesday, March 17. Information and locations is posted here

We are taking this proactive step to protect our students, staff, families, and communities.

We will continue our frequent communications with you.

Please visit our dedicated Coronavirus webpage for all of our previous communication or call our hotline at 626-396-3680.

Please stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent

 

PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
March 12, 2020

Dear PUSD families,

I want to take this opportunity to update you on our ongoing response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). I know this is a very unsettling time, especially since the situation changes day by day. 

I have already shared that we took action this week to implement proactive measures to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. It included postponing or cancelling large events and field trips and restricting visitors and volunteers to our campuses. We have our staff do self-checking before interacting with students and are beginning to stagger recess and lunch times at schools. 

Because the Centers for Disease Control has recently broadened the criteria for testing for COVID-19, more and more individuals will be recommended by their physicians to be tested. When people are being tested, this does not mean they have the COVID-19 infection,so there is no need for immediate concern. If there are people who are confirmed to have COVID-19, this will be communicated quickly and appropriate action will be taken.

It is important to remember that Influenza Types A and B are circulating in the general population so people more are being tested for either the flu or coronavirus. 

We have reports of testing of several PUSD staff and are in ongoing communication with the City of Pasadena Public Health and L.A. County Public Health. As of this point, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in PUSD.

The Board of Education is considering an emergency resolution at its meeting tonight. This action is being taken as a proactive and precautionary measure to allow PUSD quicker access to resources, provide greater flexibility in preparing and responding, and ease coordination with other agencies.

PUSD schools remain open. At this time, Public Health does not recommend proactively closing schools. Per the L.A. County Department of Public Health, because closing schools disrupts so many lives and may put vulnerable children at risk, significant efforts need to be made to create safe school environments. Many of our students’ parents are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. 

School closures also create concerns about child care and possibly exposing at-risk caregivers. There would also be financial impacts to the district if schools were closed without the direction of the Public Health Department. By keeping our doors open, we help ensure that our community stays safe. 

However, should one or more students or school staff members test positive for COVID-19 and they expose others at school, the school will need to close. 

In the event school closures would be ordered, we will ways to continue instruction and ensure that accommodations are made for students with disabilities. We are preparing standards-based general content packets, digital push-out with additional content using appropriate an learning management system, and distance learning with two-way flow of work between students and teachers. We are also making sure that students get school meals, and that staff remain healthy and safe.

We are fully committed to sharing information with our community and are establishing a phone hotline that will open beginning March 13 from 8-5 on weekdays and weekends. The phone number will be published tomorrow at pusd.us. We may expand those hours as needed. All information will also be on our website at pusd.us 

We are working daily with the Pasadena and Los Angeles County Public Health Departments to stay on top of developments and ensure the safety of our students, families, and community, 

We will keep you informed as the situation changes. We deeply appreciate your support and understanding as we all navigate this crisis.

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent



PUSD seal

Pasadena Unified School District

March 11, 2020


Dear PUSD Families & Staff,

The City of Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) has confirmed the first case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a Pasadena resident. The first confirmed case is not a community transmission and has no known contact with PUSD. We were also informed that the Caltech graduate student mentioned in our message of yesterday is not sick with COVID-19. 

We are already implementing proactive measures, initiated yesterday, to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community.  This includes postponing or canceling large events and field trips, limiting visitors and volunteers on our campuses, self-checking by employees before interacting with students each morning, and staggering recess times at schools. We expect these measures to be completed by the end of the week. 

See the video. Learn more about our COVID-19 response on our website.

Because of the immediacy in scheduling, a pre-planned event tonight at one school will be allowed to proceed  with modifications for social distancing, including hand sanitizer stations. Good hygiene habits are being urged for all guests including staying home if they are sick or have underlying conditions that could be complicated by COVID-19.  

Beyond the SAT student testing on Saturday, March 14, where we will implement social distancing, all other events are cancelled or postponed.

At the Board of Education special meeting on Thursday, March 12, the Board will consider the declaration of a state of emergency related to the COVID-19 virus. This action is being taken as a proactive and precautionary measure to allow PUSD quicker access to resources, provide greater flexibility in preparing and responding responding, and ease coordination with other agencies. 

At this time, Public Health does not recommend proactively closing schools. Beyond providing education for our students, public schools are the access point for critical social services for thousands of families. Many of our students’ parents are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. School closures also create concerns about child care and possibly exposing at-risk caregivers. By keeping our doors open, we help ensure that our community stays safe.

We remain vigilant and are working in close cooperation with Pasadena and L.A. County Public Health to ensure the safety of our students, staff, families, and community. Our primary concern is and remains the health and safety of our students, staff, and families in the Pasadena Unified School District. 

We will continue to keep you informed as circumstances change.  The latest updates and information are posted on our website at pusd.us.

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent


PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
March 10, 2020

Dear PUSD Families,

As of this morning, we now understand from Caltech that a graduate student was tested for the Coronavirus, COVID-19. The student, who showed mild symptoms, is currently self-isolating in off-campus housing pending test results. 

According to the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD), because the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recently broadened the criteria for testing for COVID-19, more and more individuals will be recommended by their physicians to be tested. When people are being tested, this does not mean they have the COVID-19 infection, therefore, there is no need for alarm. If there are people who are confirmed to have COVID-19, this will be communicated quickly.

PPHD advised us that we are now in Scenario II of the California Department of Public Health’s guidance for schools. This involves taking more immediate and proactive steps to ensure the safety of our students.  

There are no cases of COVID-19 at PUSD at this time. Even though this case at Caltech has yet to be confirmed, we want to advise you that we are working closely with our Board of Education and PPHD to take the needed actions to help protect our school community if a COVID-19 case is diagnosed. Our first priority is the health and safety of PUSD students, faculty, staff, and community members, including those who may have a greater risk of complications from COVID-19. We will take all precautions recommended by PPHD, L.A. County Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control to prevent or contain the disease from spreading at our schools.

PUSD has been proactively planning for the different scenarios that can develop to protect our students, staff, families, and community members, and we are taking the following immediate steps:

  • Effective Tuesday, March 10 through April 10, PUSD is postponing or canceling all public events that bring large groups of students, adults, and community members together. Canceled or postponed events may be conducted online. Child care and extended day learning programs are still running to support working parents. This decision was made out of concern for the health of our community as a social distancing measure in light of COVID-19. We will assess and reevaluate extending this decision early in the week of April 6.  These actions include:
    • School assemblies and performances
    • No Boundaries 15 (scheduled to begin March 13)
    • Pasadena LEARNS Cheer competition (March 14)
    • Math Field Day (scheduled March 20)
    • All District and school level parent/community advisory committee meetings, including PTA events
    • School Open House events through April 10. These may move to an online sharing of student work
    • PUSD’s staff Professional Development will continue on March 20 with the format to be developed
  • At this time the SAT testing scheduled this weekend will proceed with precautions and social distancing. If this changes, we will notify you as soon as possible. 
  • Effective immediately, we are limiting visitors to PUSD schools, including volunteers. We look forward to welcoming our dedicated volunteers back to our campus later this spring. 
  • We are moving our schools to schedules that stagger recess and lunch times to limit the number of students who are together. 
  • Teachers and staff with any fever or respiratory infection symptoms should not come to work. Teachers and staff will self-screen (i.e. check themselves for fever 100F or higher and/or respiratory systems such as a productive cough) for respiratory infection symptoms each morning before interacting with students.
  • All District sponsored out-of-state travel scheduled through April 10 is postponed or canceled.
  • All school field trips scheduled through April 10 are postponed or canceled. 
  • Athletics will continue to be evaluated in consultation with CIF. We will have a determination soon.

We are working with community groups that use our facilities during non-school hours to evaluate if these events will proceed as normal. 

At this time, Public Health does not recommend proactively closing schools. Beyond providing education for our students, public schools are the access point for critical social services for thousands of families. Many of our students’ parents are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. School closures also create concerns about child care and possibly exposing at risk caregivers. By keeping our doors open, we help ensure that our community stays safe.

We have strong emergency procedures in place in the event of a school or district closure, including providing lunches to students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Please continue to take all possible precautions to help reduce the risk of spreading germs to others. These include the following recommendations from public health officials:

  • Keep children who are sick at home  and away from others if they have a fever of 100°F or above.
  • #1 prevention method is frequent handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used. Use of soap and water is best.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Face masks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and people who are sick.
  • Clean frequently used surfaces.
  • Get the flu vaccine if you have not done so this season. It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine. Being protected against the flu will decrease the number of people using healthcare resources and allow resources to be available for people who may have COVID-19.
  • Practicing simple steps that limit your exposure to others who may be ill (such as verbal salutations instead of handshakes and hugs, not sharing utensils, cups and linens).

You can learn more about our COVID-19 response on our website.

Our primary concern is the health and safety of our students, staff and families in the Pasadena Unified School District. We continue to be in daily contact with the Public Health Department, and will share information on how we will all be meeting the challenges this quickly changing situation presents for PUSD.

These are very fluid circumstances which we are monitoring very closely and prepared to take appropriate action as needed. Thank you for your support and understanding as we all work through this evolving situation. We will continue to provide you regular updates.

Sincerely,

 

Brian McDonald
Superintendent

Patrick Cahalan
Board of Education President  


PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
March 5, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian:

The health and wellbeing of students and staff are always my top priorities.

Both Los Angeles County and Pasadena have declared a local health emergency in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). At the time of this writing, there are 11 known cases of the coronavirus in the county. There are no known significant exposures to the general public. 

According to the LA County Department of Public Health (DPH), we can expect more confirmed cases in the near future. The focus continues to be on preventing the spread of the illness by following basic sanitary practices.

It’s a good time for all of us to become prepared, but not to panic.

At PUSD, we’re monitoring the situation on a daily basis and have taken precautionary measures. Please know that we are taking additional steps to support prevention through ongoing review of health and handwashing protocols with students and cleaning of surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as bathrooms, countertops, doorknobs, and faucet handles.

There currently are no school closures. DPH will work with schools to assess and determine, on a case by case basis, if a school needs to dismiss or close. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in an individual who has been at school, it is not an automatic reason for school dismissal or closure. DPH will make the determination.

Please continue to take all possible precautions to help reduce the risk of spreading germs to others. These include the following recommendations from public health officials:

  • Stay home and away from others if you have a mild illness (with a fever of 100°F or above).
  • #1 prevention method is frequent handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used. Use of soap and water is best.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Face masks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and people who are sick.
  • Get the flu vaccine if you have not done so this season. It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine. Being protected against the flu will decrease the number of people using healthcare resources and allow resources to be available for people who may have COVID-19.

DPH states there is no current need for significant “social distancing” measures in LA County and the individual risk for contracting COVID-19 remains low for most individuals. However, DPH encourages everyone to make personal preparations now that include:

  • Having an ample supply of essentials at home (including water, food, hygiene, medications, and pet food).
  • Practicing simple strategies that limit your exposure to others who may be ill (such as verbal salutations in place of handshakes and hugs, not sharing utensils, cups and linens).

Lastly, it is important that we do not act out of fear, but rather focus on treating everyone in our community with kindness. Kindness is a part of our school culture and I know that we will continue to support an environment in which all students, staff, and families feel welcome. Be aware of misinformation surrounding the coronavirus.

You can get the most accurate information on the DPH website here and at the Pasadena Public Health Department here.

Thank you for your support of our school community.

 Sincerely,

Brian McDonald, Ed.D
Superintendent

 
 
PUSD seal 
Pasadena Unified School District
March 4, 2020

Dear Pasadena Unified Community,

The City of Pasadena Public Health Department has declared a local public health emergency as a proactive step to more effectively prepare our community to respond to COVID-19 (previously referred to as the “coronavirus”) and prepare for community spread. There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pasadena. 

The Pasadena Unified School District will continue to work closely with Pasadena Public Health in a coordinated effort to address the many issues that COVID-19 presents. PUSD is updating protocols and preparing plans for virtual learning in the event of a prolonged emergency of any kind, including COVID-19.

The well-being of PUSD students and staff is our top priority.  Our Health Programs personnel will remain in constant ongoing communication with Public Health to stay current on all of the many developing aspects of the flu and COVID-19.

We will share with you any developments that affect our students, staff, families, schools, and our district. The most current information on PUSD’s response to COVID-19 is posted at pusd.us

In the meantime, as a reminder, the most important thing we can all do is to practice good hygiene habits, including staying home if you feel sick – and the best prevention against any virus is to wash our hands often.

Sincerely,

Brian McDonald
Superintendent