Tiger Tidbits Newsletter – 04.09.2023



This was a sorrowful week for SPMS and our South Pas community as we learned the news of the sudden loss of a student, Trent Tozer. Our hearts go out to the Tozer family and to everyone impacted by this tragedy. Dr. Yantz and Principal Busick sent out information to inform parents about how the crisis and intervention team is responding to this event and to provide guidance on how to talk to your children about it.

Principal Busick’s messages may be viewed here and here.

Superintendent Yantz’s message to SPUSD may be viewed here.

SPMS PTA believes we are a community and you are a part of that. If you ever have questions or need help, please reach out. We will do whatever we can to connect you to the resources you need.

Megan Gardner

SPMS PTA President




“The Language of Behaviors: Understanding Challenging Behaviors”

THIS MONDAY! How do we evaluate what a child’s behavior is trying to communicate? Behavior is a form of communication which is especially important because children have limited means of expressing themselves or have neither the developmental level nor psychological capacities to “tell us” how they are doing and how we are doing with them. This workshop develops the ability to appreciate and understand the relevance and messaging of children’s behavior. Presented by Jennifer Fightlin.



“Grieving Together”

This week we experienced the unthinkable and heartbreaking loss of a valuable member of our SPMS and South Pasadena community. As our community grieves, we may struggle with how to talk to and answer the questions our children have about death, grief and loss. We may struggle with our own grief, which can lead to additional challenges in processing and supporting our children. Some caregivers may have never engaged in discussions about death with their children, while others may have had to discuss painful losses.

Here are some things to consider when supporting children in processing grief and loss:

  1. Grief can look different for everyone. Not everyone cries but some do, and not everyone wants to talk about their feelings but others may. So, allow conversations and emotions to flow without ideas about how it “should” be or how it “should” look.
  2. Remind your child that you are there to listen and support, even if they don’t take you up on the offer.  Remind them regularly that you are there, if they want to talk.
  3. It’s okay to cry in front of and with our children.  My general rule of thumb is that I don’t want to cry louder or harder than them, so that I can stay in the role of supporting them and not the reverse.
  4. There is no timeline when it comes to grieving. A special occasion or a memory can trigger sudden feelings of grief and loss. This can happen after two days, two months, or at any time in life.
  5. Grief and loss are not something that we “get over.”  It is a process that we work through, often over and over again, as we continue to experience life while adjusting to a life without our loved one. We may become accustomed to life without that person over time, but the pain of that loss never leaves us.
  6. Experiencing death can uncover old wounds around grief and loss. If this is the case, a child may need to process past losses, too.
  7. Experiencing death can uncover a child’s old or new fears around their mortality and that of their loved ones. Allow them to speak openly of those fears and validate their feelings.
  8. There is no need to have all the answers surrounding death. Part of coping with grief and loss is learning to accept that life has many uncertainties and death is perhaps the biggest uncertainty of all, which is why it’s so important to allow for open and honest communication rather than dismissing fears.
  9. When it feels right, allow space for recalling the good moments and encourage conversations that recall happy times and favorite memories of the deceased. Create a memory box, write a letter or play a favorite song. We want the positive memories to be the ones that last.
  10. If you are concerned about your child’s mental health at any point in the grieving process, seek professional help.

As the school social worker at SPMS, I have been deeply moved by the love, connection and commitment to supporting each other. Let’s please continue to keep our hearts open.

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Principal Cheryl Busick, our PTA and the DUDES for being essential supporters of our Wellness Center, which made it possible for us to have a space to support our students at SPMS this week. Thank you also to Toby Banger and her therapy dogs, River, Cody and Ember, in providing emotional support to our students all year and especially this week.

For more resources on the topic of grief and loss, please visit the links below. If your child needs counseling support, please contact me at nstebbins@spusd.net, your child’s counselor, or an administrator.  Please also encourage your child to visit our Wellness Center at SPMS to access support, if needed, during the school day.

Additional Resources:

4/14 (FRI) Nominations Due

Every year, SPMS PTA honors people who have gone above and beyond to serve our school community. This year, our ceremony and luncheon will take pace on May 15th. If you know someone who you think deserves to be recognized for their service to SPMS, we ask you to please let us know by April 14th (THIS FRIDAY) by submitting nominations on this form.


5/13 (SAT) 7:00PM

The Follies PTA fundraiser has been rescheduled to Saturday, May 13th. Stay tuned for more information this week.




SPMS Athletic Boosters & Music Boosters are working together to recruit volunteers for the Pasadena Showcase House. The Athletic Boosters and Music Boosters will receive a $40 donation for each shift completed by each volunteer.  Volunteers will earn one free House Tour ticket for every two shifts they complete. Volunteers will direct traffic from different assigned parts of the ouse.

We would like to gauge how many parents would be interest in volunteering. The Volunteer Form provides more info and gives interested parents the opportunity to sign up for the event.

Thank you for your support!
Kristin Wingard and Crystal Tees, SPMS Athletic Boosters
Tammy Cheng Selden and Lihong Shen, SPMS Music Boosters
Pasadena Showcase House Volunteer Group Liaisons 



April is National Poetry Month! And the library has quite the selection on display for everyone to check out and read.   From the “teenage angst ridden poetry” of The Pain Tree, to the creepy classics of Edgar Allen Poe, there is something for everybody!




THIS THURSDAY! The SPMS Music Boosters needs to call a special virtual General Meeting on Thursday, 4/13/2023 @ 6:00 – 6:15pm to vote on some unbudgeted items at the beginning of this school year of 2022-23.  This should only take 5-15 minutes at the most. We will need your vote to please join us via:

Zoom https://csueb.zoom.us/j/85681172214
Meeting ID 856 8117 2214

We will be voting on purchasing a PA system and funding the Disneyland trip bus fare. Hope to see you @ 6:00-6:15pm on Thursday, 4/13/2023.

Upcoming events:

  • Wed 4/12 Orchestra Concert 6:30pm
  • Wed 5/17 Choir Concert 6:30pm
  • Wed 5/24 Outdoor Music Festival in Quad (Doors open 5pm, Concert 6pm)
Check out the Music Boosters Website for the latest news.



Check out the Athletic Boosters Website for game schedules and information about intramurals.

Current Schedule:
INTRAMURALS (open to all 6th-8th graders): Ultimate Frisbee (3/13 – 4/12)
Mon/Wed 3:00-4:30pm

COMPETITIVE: Boys Volleyball and Co-Ed Track & Field



Email your photos from school events to media@spmspta.org



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