$14.5 Million Grant Awarded to PUSD

PUSD Superintendent Brian McDonald
PUSD Superintendent
Brian McDonald

The Pasadena Unified School District has been awarded a $14.5 million Magnet School Assistance Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support programs that promote diversity and increase student achievement at three schools located in the district’s northwest neighborhoods: Altadena Elementary, Washington STEAM Magnet and John Muir High School. The grant supports programs that draw diverse students from throughout the community and expands public school choices for parents.
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PUSD Community Beats Heat to Achieve Musical Excellence

The following was written by Max Zeronian, special to the Outlook.

Photo by Max Zeronian / OUTLOOK Leo Sanchez, Samantha Romero, Ivan Tovalin, Christian Robles and Mali Rodriguez of Pasadena High School play the last song after a full day rehearsing.
Photo by Max Zeronian / OUTLOOK
Leo Sanchez, Samantha Romero, Ivan Tovalin, Christian Robles and Mali Rodriguez of Pasadena High School play the last song after a full day rehearsing.

Although the first week of school has just begun, Pasadena Unified School District high school bands have already been bearing the summer heat during band camp at Marshall Fundamental, John Muir and Pasadena High schools, gearing up for the football and marching band competition seasons.
Band camp is a long-standing tradition in PUSD, but new leaders at Marshall and PHS are hoping to ramp up the somewhat dated music programs. Corey Whitt of Marshall and Bill Benson of PHS as well as veteran director Philip Topping of Muir will lead their school bands in the new school year.
With an East Coast and Midwest background, Whitt’s move to Pasadena has been a challenge, but one that he has taken on readily.
“The biggest difference between the bands back East and here is the size,” said Whitt, a Harvard graduate. “Here, we have many smaller bands, as opposed to a few large bands.”
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PEF Helps Students Avoid the Summer Slide

By Max Zeronian
The Outlook

Photo by Max Zeronian / Outlook Kim Enriquez has students raise their hands to pay attention to her next instructions in the Introduction to First Grade course.
Photo by Max Zeronian / Outlook
Kim Enriquez has students raise their hands to pay attention to her next instructions in the Introduction to First Grade course.

Pasadena Unified School District is committed to helping students avoid summertime slipping.
The district offers a Summer Enrichment Program to stimulate more than 1,300 students academically. Known as SEP, the program gives students in grades pre-K-12 opportunities to gain experience for the coming school year.
SEP is run by the Pasadena Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has been supporting PUSD for the past 14 years.
“We have what’s called the summer slide,” PEF Executive Director Patrick Conyers said. “Students fall behind in the summer when they don’t have any academic activity.”
PEF’s goal is to give students the opportunity to continue their education during the summer.
To provide tuition assistance to those in need, the foundation fundraises in the community. About 40% of SEP students receive some form of tuition assistance. For the past seven years, PEF has partnered with local businesses to provide students with the best experience possible.
Teaching these programs are a combination of industry experts and Pasadena teachers.
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Realtors’ Books Drive Kids’ Summer Reading Success

Photo courtesy Pasadena Unified School District Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek reads at Hamilton Elementary School at last spring’s Realtors Read Across PASadena event.
Photo courtesy Pasadena Unified School District
Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek reads at Hamilton Elementary School at last spring’s Realtors Read Across PASadena event.

The other day, children’s librarian AnnMarie Hurtado was driving down Walnut Avenue when she spotted a little girl walking, proudly carrying her reading log, a few blocks away from the library.
“I thought, ‘She’s going to the library to get her prize!’” Hurtado said, warmly recalling the moment. “This is kind of like our summer Christmas; it’s our chance to give away books and get kids excited about coming to the library and excited about reading.”
The Pasadena Public Library’s Kids Summer Reading program has steadily gained elementary-age school readership over the years, but it got a big boost in 2016 when local Realtors initiated a massive book drive for 2nd-graders, giving away more than 1,700 books to Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre public schools. In the inset of each book, there is a sticker with a list of each public library location, phone number and hours, so that families have a go-to reference for more summer reading.
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Lake Avenue Community Foundation Honors Local Couple

Photo courtesy LACF Mandy and Mike DiMarcangelo (center), recipients of the Lake Avenue Community Foundation’s Volunteer of the Year Award, are pictured with (from left) LACF Associate Director Sol Pineda, Volunteer Program Manager Beth Winton and Executive Director Nancy Stiles.
Photo courtesy LACF
Mandy and Mike DiMarcangelo (center), recipients of the Lake Avenue Community Foundation’s Volunteer of the Year Award, are pictured with (from left) LACF Associate Director Sol Pineda, Volunteer Program Manager Beth Winton and Executive Director Nancy Stiles.

Pasadena residents Mike and Mandy DiMarcangelo, who have donated hundreds of hours helping Pasadena Unified School District students during the past several years, received the Lake Avenue Community Foundation’s Volunteer of the Year Award, it was announced this past week.
“Mike and Mandy have gone above and beyond as volunteers in the STARS After-School Program and group mentoring,” said Beth Winton, LACF’s volunteer program manager.
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K-1 French Dual Immersion to Open in PUSD

Altadena Elementary School Principal Ana Maria Apodaca will welcome students in the French Dual Language Immersion program in 2017-18.A new French-English dual immersion language program for kindergarten-1st-grade students will open in the 2017-18 academic year at the Pasadena Unified School District’s Altadena Elementary School. Applications for enrollment are accepted through Friday, April 7. The program will expand to upper grades each year and feed into the district’s International Baccalaureate programs.
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PUSD Preschool Fairs Scheduled Throughout April

Preschools in Pasadena Unified include STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning.

Pasadena Unified School District’s preschools are holding fairs in April for prospective families to tour classrooms, register and learn about the preschool curriculum that is developing creative and confident learners.
Full-day preschools are offered at Pasadena Unified Children’s Centers, where the curriculum features opportunities for hands-on exploration and discovery to help build enduring critical thinking skills — and foster confidence so that young children are well-prepared for kindergarten.
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PUSD Young Musicians Shine at Festivals

Pasadena Unified All District Music Festival showcased performances by middle and high school musicians.

The two-day All-District Secondary Music Festivals brought together more than 1,000 6-12th grade students in bands, orchestras, and choirs from schools across the district recently. Demonstrating that performing and visual arts education is thriving in Pasadena, students awed audiences with their talent and creativity. Performances were conducted by Pasadena Unified School District music teachers and staff, with Lauren Buckley of the Pasadena Master Chorale serving as guest conductor.

Lauren Buckley of the Pasadena Master Chorale was guest conductor of
Pasadena Unified All-District Choral Festival.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours of Huntington Gardens

Kids at the Huntington Gardens

Pasadena Unified School District 2nd-graders are getting special behind-the-scenes access to orchards, nurseries and other areas of the Huntington Library and its gardens. Thanks to a unique partnership between the Huntington and the district’s Farm to School program, 2nd-grade field trips this spring focus on the seed-to-table cycle that is part of the district’s garden curriculum. The field trips bring to life classroom lessons on plant life cycles and the cultivation and harvesting of food. Students learn about edible gardens, herbs, orchards, and the connection between the land and farming.
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