Families can explore the advanced academics, personalized learning, music, arts, technology in the classroom and elite athletics available at Pasadena Unified schools during the district’s annual First Choice Festival Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 from 4:30 – 7 p.m. at the Pasadena Convention Center. Admission is free.

“Pasadena Unified today is increasingly the first choice in education for many families because of the quality and diversity of our innovative academic programs, the opportunities for enrichment and exploration, and the strong sense of community on our campuses,” said Superintendent Brian McDonald. “We invite families to attend the First Choice Festival to select the perfect educational option for their children. This is also a great opportunity for residents of the communities served by PUSD to come and learn first-hand about the innovative and exciting programs happening in our schools.”

The First Choice Festival highlights the preK-12 pathway for the whole child, from academic rigor, enhanced enrichment and afterschool programs to support services for students and families. The First Choice Festival brings together all PUSD preschool, elementary, middle and high schools, programs and partners in one space so that families can gather information, meet teachers, principals and other parents.

Featured exhibits include PUSD’s much sought-after Dual Language Immersion Programs in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese; K-12 International Baccalaureate programs; STEM, arts and music programs; magnet and neighborhood schools; college and career academies; early education opportunities; athletics, parent engagement opportunities, and more.

The festival also features four 30-minute presentations:

5:00 p.m. Make PUSD Your First Choice! Presented by Shawn Bird, Chief Academic Officer .  In this session, you will learn about the many exciting educational options available to your children. You will also receive an overview of what is happening in the district to ensure that our students are prepared for a bright tomorrow.

5:30 p.m. School’s Out. Now What? Presented by Julianne Reynoso, Assistant Superintendent, Elementary. Come learn about the variety of options that each site hosts when the school day is over.

6:00 p.m. What Can I Expect in Middle School? Presented by Marisa Sarian, Assistant Superintendent, Secondary. A student panel will share a day in the life of a PUSD middle school student and participate in a Q & A with the audience.

6:30 p.m. What Can I Expect in High School? A student panel will share a day in the life of a PUSD high school student and participate in a Q&A with the audience. Moderated by Marisa Sarian, Assistant Superintendent, Secondary

The First Choice Festival launches the annual enrollment period for the 2017-2018 school year which begins with school tours offered this fall at PUSD campuses. Tour schedules are available at pusd.us. The district’s annual Open Enrollment School Choice period begins October 31 with priority registration for siblings and students in specific programs. General Open Enrollment online applications will be accepted January 12 – February 3, 2017. Information sessions on the district’s Open Enrollment process are planned for November and December.

Fourth Annual PUSD First Choice Festival will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, 4:30 – 7 p.m. at Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena.

Parking: $12 parking is available at the Pasadena Convention Center.
Shuttles: Free shuttle buses will be available from the Jackie Robinson Park (Hammond at Morton Ave.) and Victory Park (Paloma at Altadena Dr.) at 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. Return shuttles depart the Pasadena Convention Center at 6:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.

For more information about the First Choice Festival, visit gopusd.com/firstchoice or please contact the Office of Enrollment, Permits and Records at (626) 396-3639.