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Glendale School District Recognizes Pride Month, Eyes LCAP Update

The Glendale Unified School District’s Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution proclaiming June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month during a peaceful board meeting on Tuesday, a stark contrast to the massive public uproar following a vote on the same action presented just one year ago.

Protests in 2023 in the district building parking lot gained national attention and resulted in four arrests related to violence. Demonstrations on June 6, 2023 and June 20, 2023 garnered hundreds of participants both for and against the board’s decision to recognize Pride Month.

“It is imperative that students in our community, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or gender expression, feel welcomed, valued, safe, empowered and supported by their peers and school community,” a board report stated.

“By recognizing Pride Month, we reaffirm our commitment to support policies, practices and curricula that honor and respect LGBTQ+ students, employees, family members and all people in our community,” the report continued. 

This time around, however, not a single person spoke out against Pride Month with the resolution only receiving positive feedback including from Glendale Teachers Association President Taline Arsenian.

“This month is a time to recognize and uplift our LGBTQ+ students, staff and families. Our school community thrives on diversity and it is our duty to create inclusive environments where everyone feels welcomed, valued and respected,” Arsenian said. “… I want to wholeheartedly thank the [board] for your commitment to inclusivity and for celebrating Pride Month.”


The district’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) draft for 2024-2025 was also at the center of Tuesday’s board meeting. LCAPs are three-year plans, and this year marks the starting point for a new cycle.

Brian Landisi, interim administrator for innovation, instruction, assessment and accountability, explained that the LCAP prioritizes instructional materials, parental involvement and engagement, school climate, pupil achievement and engagement, and more. 

“The LCAP cycle is truly a cycle,” Landisi said. “We begin by defining our goals and actions and services. We measure them, we learn about how we’ve done and we use all that to improve. As we are entering our new, three-year cycle, we’re excited about the opportunity to take what we’ve learned from the last three years and really grow.”

Landisi identified three main goals for this LCAP draft, the first being to maximize student achievement. Of the myriad of actions to promote this goal outlined by Landisi, one included ensuring students are reaching literacy by third grade. 

“This is especially important for closing the achievement gap for English Learners, low-income and foster youth,” the board report said. 

Based on 2023 California School Dashboard data, GUSD foster youth performed one level below the overall averages of GUSD students in both English Language Arts and Math. English learners performed two levels below in these categories and one level below in chronic absenteeism.

Prioritizing individualized support and continuing efforts to reduce the teacher-student ratio are key to achieving this literacy goal. The district also believes the transition to full-day kindergarten will work to increase literacy.

Board President Shant Sahakian asked staff to examine how student literacy differs for students who transfer into GUSD versus those who started out in the district in transitional kindergarten.

Another aspect of the achievement goal is tiered-intervention support aimed at addressing the specific needs of students showing a gap in academic achievement, specifically for English learners, low-income students and foster youth. Students will have access to evidence-based intervention programs, including the Sonday reading and Swun math intervention programs, as well as access to additional support from instructional assistants.

“Instructional assistants provide academic and primary language support to help increase access to the curriculum and provide targeted and supplemental instructional support as needed,” the board report stated.

The next goal Landisi discussed was fostering a positive culture of learning. One thing the district will focus on is addressing attendance issues and implementing targeted interventions to support students who are at greater risk of chronic absenteeism.

Utilizing new features from the system which tracks attendance, schools will see more robust reporting and analytics to track attendance data through the At-Risk Dashboard.

“District staff will guide and support schools in conducting a root cause analysis, looking for patterns and determining the supports needed at an early stage,” the report said. On a case-to-case basis, the district may conduct targeted home visits to assess how a student’s home life may be impacting attendance. 

A similar analysis and action plan will take place for students exhibiting behavioral issues and high rates of suspension.

Parent and family engagement was also addressed in the second goal. Landisi provided further detail about the district’s Welcome Center, which is designed to help new GUSD parents learn and adapt to the school system.

Deeming the center “a hub for newly enrolled multilingual families,” the board report highlighted Welcome Center staff’s fluency in Armenian, Arabic, Korean, Russian and Spanish.

Board Vice President Ingrid Gunnell asked staff to consider creating parent and family engagement targeted toward parents of Black students, similar to what has been done for other groups.

The final goal discussed was ensuring the health and safety of students and employees. Aspects of this goal include providing students with credentialed and qualified staff, prioritizing physical safety and offering effective health services.

Discussion of the LCAP draft will continue at the next Board of Education meeting scheduled for June 25.

First published in the June 15 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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