In attendance board members: Michelle Richardson Bailey, Jennifer Hall Lee, Yarma Velazquez, Patrick Cahalan, Patrice Marshall McKenzie, Tina Fredricks, Kimberly Kenne, Superintendent Brian McDonald.
By Billy Malone
Because March is Arts Education month, the PUSD regular board meeting on Thursday began with cast members from the PUSD and Pasadena Playhouse “Into the Woods” production.
Karen Anderson “Coordinator, Arts Enrichment” reminded the board that PUSD was the first district in our area to adopt the Equity in Arts initiative. Everyone in attendance was treated by an emotional student performance of “Children Will Listen” and words from Broadway actress and PUSD graduate Grace Porter.
Resolutions included National Nutrition Month and Women’s History Month. The resolution to honor Women’s History Month was presented by PUSD principal Lori Touloumian, who announced two keynotes for the March 22 assembly: Byllye Avery (virtual) and Dolores Huerta (live).
Teacher Union President Jonathon Gardener gave comments from UTP and mentioned that “there was no adopted textbook for high school English.” Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Services Helen Hill stated that they had been engaged in a pilot for new textbooks, but the materials were rejected by teachers. They are in a new pilot study, and will have a presentation by April for the board.
Altadena Arts Magnet elementary school has solar panels that need to be removed and placed elsewhere to make room for portables. In an interesting discussion about the enrollment at Altadena Arts, Dr. Elizabeth Blanco, the Chief Academic Officer, said that Altadena Arts is a success and the enrollment is large. The board approved moving the portables with Tina Fredricks asking, “Is there a rush for this?” followed by Blanco saying, “The enrollment is going to keep growing. We can’t move the French program because it is part of the Magnet Grant at Altadena.” The item to move the portables so that they are ready for inspection by the start of school year in August 2023 was approved. Board members, Patrick Cahalan and Tina Fredericks voted not to approve.
Thirty-nine routine items were presented to the board for approval with the possibility that all could have been voted on together as one group. They were listed under the following categories: minutes, academics, policy, business, facilities, human resources and special education. Several were pulled for discussion, including one about a security guard for Pasadena High School. That item was approved with one abstention, by board member Yarma Velasquez.
> View the entire Feb. 23, 2023, PUSD Board meeting at this link.
Billy Malone is a PUSD parent and an Altadena Town Councilmember.
We hope you appreciated this article. Before you move on, please consider supporting the Colorado Boulevard’s journalism.
Billionaires, hedge fund owners and local imposters have a powerful hold on the information that reaches the public. Colorado Boulevard stands to serve the public interest – not profit motives.
While fairness guides everything we do, we know there is a right and a wrong position in the fight against racism and climate crisis while supporting reproductive rights and social justice. We provide a fresh perspective on local politics – one so often missing from so-called ‘local’ journalism.
You can access Colorado Boulevard’s paywall-free journalism because of our unique reader-supported model. People like you, informed readers, keep us independent, beholden to no outside influence, and accessible to everyone.
Please consider supporting Colorado Boulevard today. Thank you. (Click to Support)