PUSD State of the District meeting reflects on 2020 and reveals visions for 2021


Pleasanton Unified School District

School superintendent Dr. David Haglund urged for donations toward the We Are Pleasanton group to help them in their goal of improving PUSD campuses

Elyssa Lieu, Senior Editor

PUSD’s second annual State of the District webinar took place Wednesday, January 27. Hosted by Coordinator of Communications and Community Engagement Patrick Gannon, the meeting reviewed the school district’s actions in 2020 and what lessons would be applied for future decisions.

PPIE Executive Director Steve McCoy-Thompson started off by explaining PPIE’s various funded programs, including DECA, the high school mock interview program, and emphasized increased focus this year on student wellness support. McCoy-Thompson also announced that the annual Run for Education would be held virtually from April 11 to April 18 in order to inspire participants to remain active and help out the PUSD community.

Superintendent Dr. David Haglund spoke next. With occasional intermissions to encourage people to donate to the newly-founded “We Are Pleasanton” group, he reviewed the school district’s year of 2020, remembering Measure M’s defeat on March 3 and the shift to online learning on March 15. Throughout the pandemic, an impressive over 300,000 meals were delivered by Child Nutrition Services workers and volunteers, and over 10,000 devices were delivered to students in need, Dr. Haglund reported.

He emphasized other ways the district pressed on, including the effort teachers made to keep their classrooms connected with videos, notably from the music department and physical education educators. To commemorate the class of 2020 seniors as best as possible, lawn signs, banners, fireworks, and ribbons around town were purchased to celebrate their graduation. Athletics and music camps commenced for a brief time back in June. Boy Scout groups and other volunteers donated copious amounts of protective equipment. Collaborations between the group CareSolace and PUSD connected over 2,000 individuals to mental help services. The traditional Fairlands outdoor camp experience was recreated virtually, with teachers packing bags of materials for students to take home and experiment with in a virtual science camp instead. Construction on a new Amador science building and a new Foothill Career & Tech building started in 2020 as well.

Mayor Karla Brown concentrated upon how Pleasanton’s government worked with the school board, referring to the taped board meetings along with liaison meetings as examples of inter-communication. Brown drew attention to both the SRO (school resource officers) police on school campuses and the continuation of the D.A.R.E. program as part of the government’s plan to educate and keep students safe from drug and other harmful situations.

Later Brown talked about the annual Youth and Government Day, where high school students learn about local governance matters. Pleasanton’s Youth Commission branched out this year to consider different sectors like energy and environment, parks and recreation, human services, civic arts, and more. The Student Success Initiative was also launched to allow student ID cards function as library cards, giving over 7000 students access to digital resources. Brown applauded the Pleasanton Library for its multiple programs, including BrainFocus, a free ACT/SAT prep service, drive-by book pick-ups, and an upcoming launch of Flipgrid to offer virtual field trips.

Lastly, the meeting ended by hinting at an upcoming spring program for teens to learn how participate in civic service and awarding various local businesses for their dedication and commitment toward improving the schools.

To watch the recorded meeting, click here.