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Pasadena Unified Awarded Grant to Expand Social and Emotional Supports

For Immediate Release
May 22, 2018

Pasadena Unified Awarded Grant to Expand Social and Emotional Supports

Pasadena, CA -- The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) has been awarded a $1.76 million Learning Communities for School Success program grant from the California Department of Education to provide social and emotional supports that lead to student success in and out of school. The three-year grant supports practices and activities that improve attendance and academic outcomes for the district’s most vulnerable students, including foster youth and those at risk of dropping out of school.

“This grant enhances our district’s organized array of social-emotional support programs that nurture the whole child’s behavioral, emotional, and academic success,” said Eric Sahakian, Assistant Superintendent of School Support Services. “Feeling connected, safe, and engaged in school shapes a child’s learning and development, and this grant expands our capacity to provide essential social and emotional supports for our most vulnerable students.”

PUSD’s Learning Communities for School Success program is designed to improve student outcomes by enhancing school climates, reducing truancy and chronic absenteeism, and preventing and addressing disciplinary incidents.

Funding from the state grant will be used to fill key positions that directly support the district’s most vulnerable students through foster and homeless youth services, attendance, mental health, mentoring, parent/guardian outreach and education, and school support. Positions include the addition of a foster youth liaison to support foster and homeless youth; parent/guardian education and outreach workers who will conduct home visits and work closely with chronically absent K-12 students and their families; a mentoring specialist to expand the Mentors for L.I.F.E. program; an attendance coordinator who will work with schools to boost attendance; mental health workers to provide therapeutic mental health counseling for at-risk students; and a coach who will support schools in building positive climates.

The School Support Services Division and Child Welfare, Attendance, and Safety department promote student success through programs and services that strategically address academic, social, emotional, or physical barriers to learning and achievement. To learn more about Pasadena Unified’s organized network of social and emotional supports, visit

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