PUSD Superintendent Offers Update to Families

Brian McDonald

By Brian McDonald
Superintendent, Pasadena Unified School District

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. Gov. 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.

2020-21 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. Graduation 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.

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.

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. 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 – 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).

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.

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 launched 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.

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