Published : Friday, August 15, 2014 | 9:18 PM
“The start of the new school year is a time of great promise and excitement for students, teachers and district staff,” said PUSD Interim Superintendent Brian McDonald, Ed.D. “As a PUSD parent, resident and educator, I have witnessed first-hand the quality of our schools and the amazing potential of our students. Together with the teachers and staff of PUSD, I am excited to welcome students and families to the start of the new academic year.”
Under Dr. McDonald’s leadership this year, PUSD will focus on:
• Providing equitable and high functioning schools for all students
• Ensuring that PUSD is an effective and efficient organization
• Making sure that PUSD is an adaptable organization focused on improvement
• Promoting the district so that PUSD schools are the first choice of Pasadena area residents
• Fostering a positive culture and climate for staff
To continue preparing students for college, careers and life beyond graduation, ninth grade students at PUSD’s four high schools will be able to earn high school graduation and transferable four-year college credits through the district’s dual enrollment partnership with Pasadena City College starting this fall.
The new school year also marks the beginning of full implementation of the Common Core Standards that will alter the expectations for student learning. To support the Common Core, teachers have been provided with newly-aligned curriculum, completed extensive professional development and schools have been equipped with technology to support the new learning standards.
As families get ready for the start of school, here are some tips to make sure students are ready for the first day of school:
1) Be at school on time and ready to learn Monday, August 18. PUSD families are reminded that when it comes to school attendance, every day really does count—starting with the first day of school. Every day absent is lost classroom time, a lost opportunity to learn and lost funding for PUSD. Children suffer academically if they miss school and, according to state law, a child with three unexcused absences in a school year is classified as truant. Parents and guardians have a legal responsibility to get their children to school.
2) Be sure children are ready for the first day of school with required vaccinations. In order to attend school, state law requires that all students entering school to be up to date with their immunizations and that seventh grade students have proof of a TDAP (Whooping Cough) vaccination. Visit www.shotsforschool.org for information on immunization requirements. PUSD’s Primary Health Clinic is offering immunizations for students who are uninsured or on Medi-Cal beginning August 18. For more information, contact the Clinic at (626) 396-3600 ext. 88180.
3) Have a nutritious breakfast and lunch. PUSD Food Services serves healthy and nutritious meals including fresh fruit and vegetables at every PUSD campus. Families can now apply online for school meal benefits at applyforlunch.com. Whether applying online or on paper, please complete one form per family and be sure to list all adults and children living in your home. Remember, families must apply for meal benefits each year.
4) Learn about transportation options to get to school. PUSD offers bus transportation to select schools. Click here to see the 2014-2015 PUSD bus routes. High school students can check with their school office to obtain an application for a TAP card. To plan your trip using the Pasadena ARTS Bus or the Metro Gold Line visit metro.net. Also remind students to be extra cautious on their way to and from school next week as Monday is the first day back to school for drivers as well.
Families should check with their school to verify the start time of school on Monday.