Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 28, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:9



Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 28, 2018 




With enrollments down and county officials breathing 
down their necks, the Pasadena Unified School Board 
took the first big steps toward financial recovery by 
voting 5-1 on hefty budget cuts back in February 2018, 
and by March identified a whopping $14.3 million in 
potential slashes for the 2018-19 school year. 

 The district’s initial approach was to grab the bull 
by the horns and assemble a committee to tackle the 
arduous, enigmatic task of finding ways to save money 
without upsetting the balance of bringing excellent 
educational resources to the many students from 
Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre. 

 In March, the District approved Resolution 2444, 
allowing for the cuts of over 100 certified positions, but 
hope to save some positions now by offering attractive 
early retirement options to long-term teachers.

 The theme for the Pasadena Unified School District 
(PUSD) for 2018 and beyond will be refocusing on 
the “instructional core,” or the important interactions 
between students and teachers, the quality content 
being consumed, policies leading to improvement and 
implementing applicable ways to fund it all. 

 In addition to a decline in enrollment, benefits 
and health care costs for staff has gone up to add to 
an already $5.7 million deficit PUSD schools found 
themselves with to start the 2017-2018 school year. 
Though cuts have already been announced, and 
parents and teachers alike have raised many fears 
and concerns in what seems to be a grim situation, 
hope blooms as educators, administrators and the 
community are doing their part to keep schools 

 Lawrence Torres is a long-time educator and 
current vice president of District 6 in PUSD. He 
represents that area that includes Sierra Madre. Torres 
has confidence in the school board, teachers, students, 
volunteers and the Pasadena community as a whole 
to come together and make it work. But right now, he 
knows there is a tough, uphill road ahead. “California 
is 47th in education. I can’t stress that enough,” Torres 
directly points out. “Back in the 60s, and 70s, we were 
number one.” 

 Unlike most states, California and Hawaii rely on 
their state capitals to pay for schools, while the rest 
of the country receives funding from local property 
taxes. Torres, who will become school board president 
of his District in May, says Pasadena’s predicament 
came as a result of a “triple whammy” which includes 
declined enrollment, pension obligations, which has 
climbed from 12% just eight years ago to 20% this year, 
and lastly, how special education is funded. 

 “Certain kids cost more to educate because you need 
more resources,” Torres noted singling out programs 
such as dual-language and special education. “The 
state changed the way they fund these programs and 
PUSD ended up losing money because they use to pay 
per student and now [the state] assumes you have 
so many students [in these programs] and they’ll 
provide them so much money, when we actually have 
more students than the assumed amount,” according 
to Torres. 

 The “triple whammy,” Torres describes, in the long 
run just can’t be sustained. The District, as a result has 
to take a good look at how it does business, and be 
ready to change. “The real frustration is that every 
school district is doing the best it can, with the money 
they are given, but we’re making choices between 
librarians and special Ed aides,” Torres said. “And it’s 
not like we can do without either…we need it all and 

Cuts in staff leave the District with even more 
dilemmas to deal with, for example what to do 
when spikes in enrollment occur in classes such as 
kindergarten, or adding additional responsibilities on 
the shoulders of current teachers to make up for cuts 
in aides and librarians. And we haven’t mentioned 
that these teachers need raises too. 

 This year, PUSD let go over 50 special education 
aides, gave layoff notices to over 65 teachers, and 
cut programs such as ETK (Early Transitional 
Kindergarten), and culinary arts, and career and 
technical education in some schools. Eighty percent of 
school budgets are people and PUSD will be left with 
less people to do the task of teaching area students. 
Furthermore, there were cuts in transportation 
availability (buses) and even talks earlier in the year of 
closing schools, which Torres hopes can be avoided. 
“I’ve spoken to several board members and I think 
we need to really look at it and come up with a master 
strategy…it’s an agonizing decision,” Torres stresses. 

 Torres hopes to see an improvement in school 
financing in years to come and praises the public for 
pushing through various school funding measures. 
He also praises the school workforce. “They have 
been doing a spectacular job. The Sierra Madre 
schools have been doing a wonderful job with the 
resources we’ve been able to give them. We are just 
trying to be the best stewards of the public’s money 
that we can be,” Torres said. In fact, parents in Sierra 
Madre have come together to create a popular Math 
club for afterschool for students excelling in math. 
Kids are preparing for high school by tackling 
algebra, geometry and, yes, even calculus by 8th 
grade. Luckily, PUSD was able to get a grant to keep 
this program going. So there are bright spots in this 

 The District hopes that facing this fiscal challenge 
will allow the PUSD team to work together, address 
the ‘root causes’ of pending issues and make 
fundamental changes that will benefit all. 


Alverno Heights Academy

200 N. Michillinda Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-3463 Head of School: Julia V. Fanara

E-mail address:

Arcadia High School

180 Campus Drive Arcadia, CA 91007

Phone: (626) 821-8370, Principal: Brent Forsee

Arroyo Pacific Academy

41 W. Santa Clara St. Arcadia, Ca, 

(626) 294-0661 Principal: Phil Clarke

E-mail address:

Barnhart School

240 W. Colorado Blvd Arcadia, Ca. 91007

(626) 446-5588 

Head of School: Ethan Williamson

Kindergarten - 8th grade


Bethany Christian School

93 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-3527 

Preschool-TK-8th Grade

Principal: Dr. William Walner

website: www.

Clairbourn School

8400 Huntington Drive

San Gabriel, CA 91775

Phone: 626-286-3108 ext. 172

FAX: 626-286-1528


Foothill Oaks Academy

822 Bradbourne Ave., Duarte, CA 91010

(626) 301-9809 

Co-Principals Nancy Lopez and Diane Kieffaber

Frostig School

971 N. Altadena Drive Pasadena, CA 91107

(626) 791-1255

Head of School: Jenny Janetzke


The Gooden School

192 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-2410 

Head of School, Carl Parke 


High Point Academy

1720 Kinneloa Canyon Road 

Pasadena, Ca. 91107 

Head of School: Gary Stern 626-798-8989


La Salle High School

3880 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 

(626) 351-8951 website:

Principal Mrs. Courtney Kassakhian

Monrovia High School

325 East Huntington Drive, Monrovia, CA 91016 

(626) 471-2800 Principal Darvin Jackson


Odyssey Charter School

725 W. Altadena Dr. Altadena, Ca. 91001

(626) 229-0993 Head of School: Lauren O’Neill


Pasadena High School

2925 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 

(626) 396-5880 Principal: Roberto Hernandez


St. Rita Catholic School

322 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

Principal Joan Harabedian (626) 355-9028 


Sierra Madre Elementary School

141 W. Highland Ave, Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-1428 Principal: Lindsay Lewis

E-mail address:

Sierra Madre Middle School 

160 N. Canon Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 836-2947 Principal: Garrett Newsom

E-mail address:

Walden School

74 S San Gabriel Blvd

Pasadena, CA 91107 (626) 792-6166

Weizmann Day School

1434 N. Altadena Dr. Pasadena, Ca. 91107

(626) 797-0204

Lisa Feldman: Head of School

Wilson Middle School

300 S. Madre St. Pasadena, Ca. 91107

(626) 449-7390 Principal: Ruth Esseln

E-mail address:

Pasadena Unified School District

351 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena, Ca. 91109

(626) 396-3600 Website:

Arcadia Unified School District

234 Campus Dr., Arcadia, Ca. 91007

(626) 821-8300 Website:

Monrovia Unified School District

325 E. Huntington Dr., Monrovia, Ca. 91016

(626) 471-2000 


Duarte Unified School District

1620 Huntington Dr., Duarte, Ca. 91010




Family-friendly event to raise funds for foster youth

(Altadena, Calif., April 25, 2018) — Hathaway-Sycamores’ 
El Nido Residential Campus in Altadena will be the site 
of the 2nd Annual BBQ Bash 4 the Boys event on Friday, 
May 18, 2018 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Local band, Mid-City 
Ramblers will provide the music at the casual twilight 
affair while guests enjoy tasty local BBQ, craft beer, 
outdoor games, face painting, a silent auction and raffle 

 In addition to the great food and fun, guests will have 
the opportunity to tour the El Nido campus, nestled in the 
foothills of Altadena, and learn more about the programs 
for the foster youth who live there. Bring the kids to this 
fun family-friendly event. Tickets are just $75 for adults 
and $50 for children. 100% of the proceeds from the event 
will be used to enhance the living environment for the 50 
foster youth living on campus.

 Adjacent to JPL, Hathaway-Sycamores’ El Nido 
residential campus is home to some 50 boys from 6 to 
18 years old at any given time. The programs on campus 
include Foster Care and Adoption Services, Shelter Care 
and out-of- home care for boys with severe challenges that 
prevent them from living safely at home. The youth who 
come to El Nido are at a critical crisis point in their lives, 
many have suffered from trauma, abuse or neglect in the 
past. The caring staff at El Nido is dedicated to helping the 
youth turn the situation around to create more promising 
futures. The boys live in cottages on a 5-acre campus, 
where relatives, clinicians and case workers work together 
to reunite them with family. 

 Event sponsors include Craft Beer Cellar Eagle Rock, 
Nestle USA, Inc. and Wells Fargo Bank. To purchase BBQ 
Bash 4 the Boys tickets, or to be a corporate sponsor, visit or contact Jeff Catania at 
(626) 395-7100 ext. 7205 or email


(left to right): Stella Francoallen (Eliot Arts Magnet Academy), Michelle Chino (Assistance League of 
Pasadena), Lorraine Schield (Assistance League of Pasadena), Maricela Borough (Washington STEAM 
Magnet Academy) School Supplies for Success Program Launched by Assistance League of Pasadena

Assistance League of Pasadena further extends its partnership 
with the Pasadena Unified School District with the 
Operation School Bell: School Supplies for Success Program. 
After meeting with middle school representatives, it became 
clear that there is great need to provide school supplies to 
financially underserved students during the second semester.

 To that end, Assistance League of Pasadena delivered 
school supply kits to two Pasadena Unified Middle Schools 
this spring -- Washington STEAM Magnet Academy and 
Eliot Arts Magnet Academy. Both of these schools were 
determined by the district to have students with the greatest 
need. Each school supply kit contained over $20 worth of 
needed school supplies for a middle school student.


 To learn more about Operation School Bell, please 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: