Senator Portantino Joins State Superintendent Thurmond on Tour of Blair Middle & High School

Thursday, September 30 2021

For Immediate Release: September 30, 2021

Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400


Senator Portantino Joins State Superintendent Thurmond on Tour of Blair Middle & High School

Sacramento, California – Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) joined State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today on tour of Blair Middle and High School in Pasadena. The visit comes at a crucial time for our schools, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our students and families.

“I appreciated Superintendent Thurmond’s visit to Blair today and I was happy to be part of an important discussion about what the state can do to support the wellbeing of our youth,” stated Senator Portantino. “While students are transitioning back to in-person instruction, they are faced with multiple challenges, including those surrounding mental health. It’s important that we take time to address these issues and provide our students with the tools they need to succeed. It was also impressive to learn more about the multiple programs offered at Blair, including the dual literacy program, which provides students an opportunity to build a strong academic foundation.”

The tour included three of Blair's signature programs. The first visit was to the Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program (DLIP) 6th grade class, which is offered at the middle school and high school levels with the goal of teaching students the linguistic skills and cultural knowledge of two of the most frequently spoken languages in the world. Blair is the only high school Spanish DLIP program in PUSD. The tour also included a visit to the International Academy, a specialized literacy program for students in grades 6- 12 whose primary language is not English and have been in the United States twelve months or less.  The final visit was to the International Baccalaureate (IBDP) class, where students explore human creativity, learn through real world experiences, and develop intercultural understanding and respect.

Also In attendance were Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education Members Patrick Cahlan and Michelle Richardson Bailey, PUSD Chief Academic Officer Elizabeth Blanco, and Blair Middle and High School Principal David Ibarra.