Pasadena School Board President, Superintendent Address Community

Published : Friday, October 11, 2019 | 6:46 AM

Left to Right: Pasadena Board of Education President Lawrence Torres and PUSD Superintendent Dr. Brian McDonald

This morning, Pasadena Board of Education President Lawrence Torres joined PUSD Superintendent Dr. Brian McDonald in issuing a joint letter to the public school community:

Dear Pasadena Unified Community,

Last night, the Board of Education discussed alternatives to consolidate middle and high schools in the Pasadena Unified School District. The Board will schedule one or more Community Forums next week and vote on middle and high school consolidations on October 24, 2019. We will send out information on the dates, times, and locations of the Community Forums as soon as they are finalized this weekend.

The Board also discussed an Open Enrollment process for students affected by the closure of schools in the 2020-2021 school year. Last month, the Board of Education authorized the consolidation of three elementary schools at the end of the school year, in June 2020.

Our goal in these very difficult decisions before the Board of Education is to fulfill a vision for PUSD that delivers high quality academic and supportive experiences for all students. Every student in PUSD will have access to challenging and engaging academics and life-enhancing enrichment opportunities.

PUSD is adjusting to demographic changes and the resulting economic impact on public school funding. Even as the district is operating in response to looming budget reductions, we must still focus on providing the best possible educational opportunities to the children of this community in a sustained way. To help achieve this, we need to change so there are fewer combination classes in elementary grades and middle and high school students have access to more electives.

School consolidations are some of the most heartbreaking decisions that the community of any school district can ever face. All these actions are taken to ensure that PUSD is fiscally balanced. Our ultimate goal is that with our human and financial resources more efficiently concentrated, our core programs can be strengthened and innovative programs that are igniting a love for learning among our students will be more equitably distributed across the District.

Our community is going through a very difficult time. But because of the remarkable community that we are and our commitment to a shared mission of providing a caring, engaging, and challenging education for every student, in every classroom, every day, we will emerge from this with stronger and more vibrant schools.

Lawrence Torres
Board of Education

Brian McDonald

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