Pasadena Unified Will See 16,000 Students Coming Back to School on Monday

Published : Thursday, August 8, 2019 | 4:41 AM

The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) will welcome an estimated 16,000 pre-kindergarten to 12th-grade students to schools within the District on Monday, August 12, as it looks forward to “providing a caring, engaging, and challenging educational experience for every student, every day in partnership with our families and communities,” PUSD Superintendent Brian McDonald said.

“With the start of the new school year, we have new opportunities and challenges to continue improving the student experience in PUSD,” McDonald said in a statement. “In 2019-2020, we will continue to focus on excellence through equity so that every student succeeds. We will continue our efforts around increasing the effectiveness of the systems that serve our students and schools. Finally, we will work to ensure that every member of the PUSD community understands our district’s mission and how they connect to it.”

McDonald is currently on medical leave after surgery, and Dr. David Verdugo will guide PUSD as Interim Superintendent during school opening and over the next few weeks that follow.

PUSD said the District’s schools are ready to receive students on Monday, with such improvements as the newly renovated auditorium at John Muir High School, upgraded air conditioning systems and numerous other projects. PUSD’s Facilities and Maintenance teams have been working over the   summer to prepare these schools for Monday.

Parents should take note that schools within the PUSD will be hosting registration days and events to welcome new and returning students. Registration dates and times are listed in a School Directory on the PUSD website, www.pusd.us.

PUSD also has made available a Parent Portal, where any PUSD parent can have access to after a short registration process. Through the Parent Portal account, parents/guardians can access student report cards, California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) scores, grades, attendance and more. To activate your account, visit your school. For more information, visit www.pusd.us/parentportal.

PUSD also issues an annual Parent/Student Handbook, which contains important guidelines and periodic notifications. The 2019-2020 Parent/Student Handbook and important annual forms are posted at www.gopusd.com/handbook, where parents can fill out the forms online through your Parent Portal account. Computers with guest accounts are available for parents at school offices. Parents without internet access may contact the school office to view the Handbook and print copies of forms.

Parents are advised to monitor their children’s school attendance. Missing school – even excused absences – can directly impact a student’s academic achievement. Every absence means that children lose time when they could be learning – and schools lose funding. PUSD is launching a new email and text alert system to keep parents informed whenever students have three or more unexcused absences or are more than 30 minutes tardy to middle and high school periods. For more information, please contact the Child Welfare, Attendance and Safety office at (626) 396-3600 ext. 88230.

Parents should also make sure immunizations are up to date. In California, children cannot be enrolled in school unless their parents can provide proof that their children have been vaccinated against certain diseases. An immunization record should be presented and immunizations should be up-to-date. To learn more about immunization requirements, visit www.shotsforschool.org.

Immunizations are available at your physician’s office and at the City of Pasadena Public Health at low or no cost. The PUSD Health clinic is offering a Back-to-School Immunization Clinic on Monday, August 7, from 1 to 3 p.m. for eligible students. The PUSD Health Clinic, which serves students who are uninsured, underinsured, or Medi-Cal recipients, opens for regular business on Monday, August 12. For more information, contact the PUSD Health Clinic at (626) 396-3600 ext. 88180.

PUSD Food Services serves nutritious meals every school day under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. From July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals if the household income is less than or equal to the federal guidelines. For more information about these programs, visit this link.

Students may also avail of several after-school and summer enrichment programs under PasadenaLEARNs, which offer engaging enrichment, leadership, youth development, and learning opportunities for K-12 students. Activities are designed to expand students’ horizons and include academic support, visual and performing arts, STEM/STEAM, cultural and career exploration, sports, and health and fitness. Low/no cost programs operate until at least 6 p.m. every regular school day and during summer breaks at many PUSD following schools. For details, visit www.gopusd.com/learns.

Parents are also advised to make plans for their kids’ travel to and from school, and to check walking, driving, or public transportation routes to get children to school on time every day. For City of Pasadena bus routes, schedules, and fares, check www.pasadenatransit.net and LA Metro at www.metro.net.

The City of Pasadena now offers new $10 youth/student (K-12) monthly passes for Pasadena Transit. For more information, visit www.pasadenatransit.net/fares.  

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