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Pasadena Unified Renews Superintendents Emergency Powers, Reaches Agreement With Distance Learning Provider During Marathon Meeting

Published on Saturday, August 1, 2020 | 4:15 am
Dr. Brian McDonald, Superintendent of the Pasadena Unified School District

Pasadena Unified School District leaders took several significant actions in preparation for the upcoming school year during a seven-and-a-half-hour-long meeting on Thursday.

In addition to hearing a report on the district’s reopening plan, the Board of Education voted to reinstate the superintendent’s previously rescinded emergency powers and enter into an agreement with Arizona State University to provide online learning resources.

Superintendent Brian McDonald had been granted emergency authority at the start of the pandemic in March, but it was rescinded by the board two months later. With the school year fast approaching and COVID-19 still representing a serious public health threat, “We returned emergency authority to the superintendent,” PUSD Board Member Scott Phelps said.

The Board also voted to enter into a memorandum of understanding with ASU Prep Digital to provide distance learning resources to the district for the 2020-2021 school year, at a price tag of about $4 million.

“We did approve that supplementary resource, which I think is probably going to be a really good thing,” Phelps said.

The bulk of Thursday’s meeting was taken up by a large presentation outlining the district’s latest plans for moving forward.

“It was a really comprehensive and well done presentation on reopening and increasing the childcare options for working parents,” Phelps said. “I was glad to see that.”

The Board also rejected a proposed ballot initiative to expand voting in district elections to all parents, regardless of immigration status, through a city charter amendment.

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