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Message from Superintendent David Haglund

Message from Superintendent David Haglund

Dear PUSD Community,

I want to congratulate Nimarta Grewal, who was approved by the Board of Trustees last night as our Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.

We are fortunate to have a strong, dynamic leader with such a breadth of experience within our PUSD community as a teacher, site administrator, and district leader. I have observed her work in many of these roles and have every confidence that she is the right person to take on this critical role in PUSD.

At last night’s board meeting, we had multiple interconnected discussions that reflect our commitment to recruiting and retaining highly qualified staff while maintaining our obligation to the community to remain fiscally solvent and deliver the highest quality education for their children.

This is not easy, given the volatility of state revenues, which are expected to continue declining even as our expenditures increase. This includes increases in the cost of materials and services, as well as the costs of employee salaries and benefits which represent a significant majority of our budget.

The difficult reality is that without new revenue sources, we will struggle to provide everything that we may believe to be fair and equitable. We look forward to engaging with our labor partners and other members of the community to strengthen trust and collaborate in identifying workable solutions.

To that end, I will be engaging a small group of individuals to participate in a Budget Advisory Committee that will help us think “outside of the box”, as well as make recommendations for budget planning in the coming year.

While I was not at the March 28 board meeting, I wanted to acknowledge the parents and community members who spoke during public comment regarding our African American students’ experience with racist remarks, specifically the use of the ‘n’ word. This is completely inappropriate and angering to hear that it continues despite efforts to teach tolerance and sensitivity.

As a community, we can and must do better by these students — children who have been historically marginalized in this country and community.

I want those who spoke last month to know that we have already begun to act by reviewing our policies and regulations and will work with site leaders to support staff intervening when any form of racist behavior materializes on campus. Soon, the team will bring the issue to a public board meeting so that the entire community is clear about the rationale, as well as how the policies are implemented in classrooms and on our school campuses.

Finally, I want to remind everyone that our PTA Council will soon host the Annual Excellence in Education Awards. Each year, students, families, and community members use this opportunity to give a special shoutout to a PUSD employee who has made a difference in the life of a child. This could be a teacher, a classroom aide, a custodian, a librarian, a site administrator, or anyone who is a PUSD employee.

The nominations are currently being accepted and the form can be accessed by visiting the PTA Council’s webpage. The nominating window closes at midnight this Sunday, April 14. I hope you will take a moment to nominate someone who has made a difference for your family.


David Haglund, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools