Letter | Pasadena Unified Superintendent Brian McDonald Messages the Community

Published : Thursday, April 25, 2019 | 4:59 AM

Dear Pasadena Unified Families, Staff, and Community:

In the past few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of seeing 12th grade students present their senior portfolios. It is incredibly moving and affirming to see our students become the academically-prepared critical thinkers, articulate communicators, and innovative problem-solvers that we envisioned when we put together the District’s Educational Master Plan and Graduate Profile. I’m so proud of our students.

As part of the implementation of the Educational Master Plan, we are focusing on continuous improvement, an ongoing effort to improve services and processes at the district and school site levels. A team is developing a toolkit that incorporates existing resources, fosters a culture of learning, and helps district staff embed a cycle of “plan, do, study, and act” in everything we do. The toolkit and training will begin rolling out in August.

We’re also strengthening how we support our students’ learning and social-emotional needs. PUSD is partnering with LA County to establish a multi-tiered system of support that addresses student academic, behavior, and social-emotional needs while making the most of our existing programs and resources. As part of the CA SUMS Initiative Grant, 10 PUSD schools are participating in the pilot this year.

In terms of our budget, we have come a long way in just one year. In March, we filed a second positive financial report with LA County. This was the result of tough financial decisions, including those made last fall that reduced our spending by $10.1 million. While the reductions are painful, we are committed to staying disciplined in how we spend so that our fiscal standing stays strong.

We are now working with our labor partners to make sure that our teachers and staff are supported. We welcome Dr. Allison Steppes as the new president of the United Teachers of Pasadena and thank outgoing president Alvin Nash for his years of service.

Together, we’ve done important work for the future of our students and our schools. Let’s finish the year strong!

Best,

Brian McDonald

Superintendent

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