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Superintendent's Update - April 23, 2021

From the Office of the Superintendent:

Board of Education calendars are tentative until formally posted the Friday before meetings. The tentative calendar can be found HERE.

Focused efforts are in motion for the 2021-22 school year. Top on the list, are efforts to prepare all students to read at or above grade-level before entering 4th grade. A Districtwide commitment to early literacy will include revisions to reading instruction, universal training for staff, and clear metrics to monitor achievement. Detailed information will be provided to all families prior to the end of the school year.

Our high school principals and activities directors met on Thursday, April 21, to discuss proposed activities for the end of the school year. School sites will communicate with their stakeholders about the status of each proposed event. We appreciate the time and thought that went into making decisions that align with our Public Health Department. Future questions regarding specific activities should be directed to the school sites.

At the April 19 Santa Clara County Superintendents Meeting, we were told that there is no pending legislation to extend relaxed rules regarding distance learning, independent study, or instructional minutes. As we all understand by now, things can change. At this point, the 10% cap for independent study will remain in place. We will plan to return to previous (pre-pandemic) instructional minute requirements. Following the governor's recent comments, we will also continue planning for five days per week in-person instruction at all levels. We will provide updates as available.


PAUSD has been selected as one of the first districts in the country to pilot a new school lunch menu addition: plant-based dishes made with Impossible Foods. On Friday, April 30, students at JLS Middle School will be able to try Taco Salads with Impossible™ Meat Made from Plants as part of the school lunch program.

Some history on the Impossible Burger...
The Impossible Burger debuted in 2016 at celebrity chef David Chang's restaurant Momofuku in New York, and since then the plant-based burgers and Impossible™ Sausage Made from Plants have been added to menus across the country from Burger King (sold as the Impossible™ Whopper®) to Starbucks (sold as the Impossible™ Breakfast Sandwich), and Impossible Burgers can now also be found in grocery stores including Safeway, Costco, Trader Jose, and Walmart. Named the "Preferred Plant-Based Burger" of Walt Disney World, the burger was also named top plant-based burger by the New York Times and received the Food and Beverage (FABI) Award from the National Restaurant Association.

Ingredients and health...
Created to mimic the taste, nutrition, and experience of meat from animals, plant-based meats from Impossible Foods are packed with nutrients and have a fraction of the environmental impact. Impossible Burger has as much bioavailable iron and protein as a comparable serving of 80/20 ground beef from cows, and includes macronutrients like fiber and micronutrients like folate, B12, thiamin, and iron. The quarter-pound patty has 0 mg cholesterol, 14 grams of total fat, and 8 grams of saturated fat. Full ingredients can be found here.

Packed with Nutrients for our kids...
Mixing up the menu throughout the week by choosing a variety of plant-based proteins and including Impossible Foods products as part of the rotation, is a great way to get a variety of protein-rich foods into kids' diets. Impossible Burger is nutrient-dense, with essential vitamins and minerals, protein, and fiber. Serving Impossible products in schools also makes plant-based foods accessible to kids regardless of socioeconomic status, ensuring kids are able to access nutrient-dense foods needed for a healthy dietary pattern early in life.

Burgers can save the planet?
There are clear environmental benefits to replacing conventional ground beef with Impossible Burger. Compared to conventional ground beef, the Impossible Burger uses 87% less water, 96% less land, generates 89% less GHG emissions, making it a much better choice for those concerned about climate change and protecting natural resources. In 2020, the United Nations awarded Impossible Foods a Global Climate Action Award in the "Planetary Health" Category as a company providing one of the most practical, effective examples to combat climate change at a global scale.