Assistance League Celebrates VIP Middle Schoolers

Photo courtesy Ellen Close
Assistance League of Pasadena’s Very Important Performers include (in alphabetical order) Mark Araniva Ja’Von Black, James Canada (not pictured), Rosalie Cantero (not pictured), Kaiah Catanese, Hazelle Cortez, Kala Crenshaw, Josiah Cox, Maeiko Dorsey, Yasindu Gunawardena, Bernardo Huizar, Jasmine Martinez, Da’Mesha Moore, Thomas Pico, Justin Ramirez, Michelle Rodriguez-Badillo and Alfonso Sanchez, Ketsy Herrera Sanchez, Kassandra Serna, Joshua Tucker and Lily Valdez. ALP representatives are Michelle Chino, left, and Lorraine Schield.

Middle school students from Pasadena Unified School District schools were recently recognized for their achievements by the Assistance League of Pasadena at the “Very Important Performers” celebration. Each of the seven middle schools selected three students who demonstrated dramatic improvements in academics, attendance and citizenship. The goal of the VIP award is to provide encouragement to students who have chosen to get the most out of their middle school experience.
To learn more about the VIP program or Assistance League of Pasadena, visit

New Graduation Requirements at PUSD

To prepare Pasadena Unified high school students to excel in college and life, graduation requirements have changed and now include a senior year portfolio and 40 hours of community service or work-based learning.
Beginning with the class of 2019, all PUSD students must complete three requirements to graduate with a high school diploma:

1. 220 credits of coursework
2. 40 hours of community service or work-based learning
3. A graduate portfolio and defense

PUSD’s Parent University is offering informational sessions:

  •  Friday, Feb. 24, 10-11:30 a.m., Pasadena High School, 2925 E. Sierra Madre Blvd.
  •  Monday, Feb. 27, 6:30–8 p.m., Pasadena High School
  • Thursday, March 9, 6-7:30 p.m., Marshall Fundamental
    Secondary School, 990 N. Allen Ave.
  • Wednesday, March 15, 6-7:30 p.m., John Muir High School, 1905 N. Lincoln Ave.
  • Monday, April 24, 6-7:30 p.m., Blair School, 1201 S. Marengo Ave.

Author Visits Blair Essay Contest Winner

Author Kate DiCamillo and Blair 6th-grader Minal Saldivar

Young-adult author Kate DiCamillo visited Blair Middle and High School recently to meet the first-place winner of a Scholastic Reader essay contest, sign books and speak with students.
“It was amazing to be standing next to a writer whose work I’ve admired for so long,” said Blair 6th-grader Minal Saldivar, who was awarded first place for the Scholastic Reader’s Raymie Nightingale Writing Contest.
Thousands of students participated in the contest, which required them to write an essay about a friendship that changed their lives and was based on DiCamillo’s most recent book, “Raymie Nightingale.” The first-place winner received a special visit from the author, along with copies of “Raymie Nightingale,” T-shirts and a pizza party.
Continue reading “Author Visits Blair Essay Contest Winner”

Alverno Heights Inducts National Honor Society Members

The Daemen Chapter of the National Honor Society at Alverno Heights Academy inducted seven new members into their ranks. They are: juniors Alicia Mercado, Anica Quizon, Evina Wang, and Melody Wu and seniors Catherine Johnson, Allison Joseph, and Arianna Muñoz.
The National Honor Society is an organization that recognizes academic success while encouraging the continued development of character, leadership and community service. Continue reading “Alverno Heights Inducts National Honor Society Members”

Flintridge Sacred Heart Receives Challenge Grant

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy recently received a major boost in its ongoing effort to build a curriculum and environment that meets the ever-changing standards of a 21st-century world. The all-girls college prep school has been awarded a $50,000 challenge grant by the Edward E. Ford Foundation that will support the research and development of an Innovation Lab — an on-campus hub specifically designed to foster collaboration, design thinking and project-based learning. Continue reading “Flintridge Sacred Heart Receives Challenge Grant”