Published : Wednesday, August 12, 2015 | 7:11 PM
Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) students will head back to school Tuesday, August 18 as the 2015-2016 academic year kicks off at the district’s 29 schools.
“The excitement and the energy of the first day of school is usually a reminder of the potential of every one of our students and prospect that great things will happen during the year,” said Superintendent Brian McDonald, Ed.D. “We welcome students, parents and staff to the new school year with great enthusiasm and a clear vision for providing a caring, engaging and challenging educational experience for every student, every day, in partnership with our families and communities.”
Under Superintendent McDonald’s leadership, PUSD will focus on five strategic directions in 2015-2016 as its students and schools continue to gain momentum:
• Dynamic Instruction – Preparing, inspiring and supporting students through engaging, relevant and differentiated instruction.
• Outstanding Staff – Supporting employees who exemplify our values by empowering, retaining and fairly compensating staff in recognition of their outstanding work.
• Quality Learning Environment – Providing facilities that are functional, clean, safe, and welcoming for students, staff and the community.
• High-Performing, Accountable Organization – Developing clear expectations and tools for employees so they can deliver top-notch customer service to our patrons, instruction to our students and fiscal stewardship for the taxpayers.
• Meaningful Collaboration and Partnerships with Students, Families and Our Communities Based on our Shared Values and Vision – Using the abundant resources in the Pasadena area to support student achievement.
As families get ready for the start of school, PUSD offers some tips to make sure students are ready for the first day of school:
1. Be at school on time and ready to learn Tuesday, Aug. 18. PUSD families are reminded that when it comes to school attendance, every day really does count—starting with the first day of school. 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 17. 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 www.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. 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 visit www.cityofpasadena.net/artsbus or the Metro Gold Line visit www.metro.net. Also remind students to be extra cautious on their way to and from school next week as Tuesday is the first day back to school for drivers too.
5. Make plans for after school programs. Pasadena LEARNs offers after school enrichment at 23 PUSD campuses. Activities complement the school day, and include homework help, leadership, visual and performing arts classes, structured recreation, academic enrichment activities and literacy development. Apply online here or at your child’s school.
Families should check with their school to verify the start time of school Tuesday.
Pasadena Unified School District, 351 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena, (626) 396-3600 or visit www.pusd.us/pages/PasadenaUSD.