Glendale Unified School District

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The Glendale Unified School District is a school district based in Glendale, California, United States in Greater Los Angeles.

The school district serves the city of Glendale, portions of the city of La Cañada and the unincorporated communities of Montrose and La Crescenta, it consists of 20 Elementary Schools, 4 Middle Schools, 5 High Schools and 2 Facilities for homeschoolers and special-needs students.

In the 2008-9 school year the District served 26,809 students and expects enrollment to decline 1-2% in each of the next three years; as of 2002, was the third-largest district in Los Angeles County and among the thirty-largest in the State of California. It is the 157th largest in the nation.[1]

In 2009 the GUSD had 2,620 employees of which about half are classroom teachers.

Beginning in the 2016-17 school year GUSD started officially commemorating the Armenian Genocide, having April 24 off as a holiday, they are the first school district in the nation to do so.[2]


In 2013 the district hired the company Geo Listening to monitor social media accounts of students enrolled in the district. Richard Sheehan, the superintendent of Glendale Unified, said "The whole purpose is student safety."[3]


In the GUSD, by 1988 Armenians along with students from the Middle East had become the largest ethnic group in the public schools, now having a larger number than the Latinos. Alice Petrossian, the GUSD director of intercultural education, stated that Burbank lies within the middle of other Armenian communities, so it attracted Armenians.[4] In 1987 the district had eight Armenian-speaking teachers and teaching aides, and that year had hired five additional Armenian-speaking teachers and teacher aides;[5] as of 1990, the largest immigrant group speaking an ethnic home language in the GUSD was the Armenians.[6] By 2004 over 33% of the Glendale district students were Armenian; that year, due to high levels of student absence around the Armenian Christmas the Glendale district considered making Armenian holidays school holidays.[7] In 2016 it also began having no school on April 24, known as the anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide (Red Sunday); it was the first American school district to do this.[8]


The District is governed by a Board of Education consisting of five trustees who are elected to four-year terms; the Board of Education also appoints a Superintendent to oversee day-to-day operations of the district, as well as a non-voting student representative who serves during the school year. Effective with the April 2017 election, Board of Education members are elected by geographical district instead of at-large. Starting with the 2020 California Primary election, Glendale Unified School District Board of Education election is being held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March to comply with the statewide election law (Senate Bill 415).

    Superintendent Dr. Winfred B. Roberson on January 29, 2019, was dismissed from being superintendent without completing the third year of a four-year contract; no cause was given yet; the change was immediately effected; the vote by the Board of Education was 3-2. [9] 

The current Board of Education is as follows:

  • Dr. Winfred B. Roberson - Superintendent
  • Dr. Armina Gharpetian - President
  • Mrs. Nayiri Nahabedian - Vice President
  • Mr. Gregory Krikorian - Clerk
  • Mrs. Jennifer Freemon - Member
  • Mr. Shant Sahakian - Member

Election Results[edit]

3 April 2007 Elections to the Board of Education
Candidate # of Votes % of Vote Elected
Todd Hunt
Naira Khachatrian
Elizabeth Manasserian
Nayiri Nahabedian
Hasmig Aslanian
Mary Boger

Source: City Clerk, City of Glendale


Elementary Schools (Kindergarten – Grade 6)[edit]

  • Balboa Elementary School
  • Cerritos Elementary School
  • Columbus Elementary School (K-5th)
  • Dunsmore Elementary School
  • Thomas A. Edison Elementary School
  • Benjamin Franklin Elementary School
  • John C. Fremont Elementary School
  • Glenoaks Elementary School
  • Thomas Jefferson Elementary School
  • Mark Keppel Elementary School (K-5th)
  • La Crescenta Elementary School
  • Abraham Lincoln Elementary School
  • Horace Mann Elementary School
  • John Marshall Elementary School
  • Monte Vista Elementary School
  • Mountain Avenue Elementary School
  • John Muir Elementary School
  • Verdugo Woodlands Elementary School
  • Valley View Elementary School
  • Richardson D. White Elementary School

Middle Schools (Grade 7 – Grade 8)[edit]

  • Theodore Roosevelt Middle School (Grade 6 through Grade 8)
  • Rosemont Middle School (Grade 7 and Grade 8)
  • Eleanor J. Toll Middle School (Grade 6 through Grade 8)
  • Woodrow Wilson Middle School (Grade 6 through Grade 8)

High Schools (Grade 9 – Grade 12)[edit]

Other Schools[edit]

  • College View School - Special-Needs Students
  • Verdugo Academy - Independent/Homeschool Students


The District contracts with the Glendale Police Department for schools within Glendale and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for schools within Montrose and La Crescenta.

Cybersurveillance of students[edit]

In 2012 the District hired Geo Listening for a pilot program to monitor public online activity of students at the Crescenta Valley, Glendale, and Hoover High Schools. While the School District has claimed that the program, now expanded to all of the District's schools, is meant to detect cyberbullying, critics have questioned whether it violates the privacy rights of students and whether the $40,500 spent on the program so far is well spent.[10]

Analysts working for Geo Listening comb through posts students from Glendale Unified School District schools make on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, reporting daily to school administrators. Reports include the student's user names, screen captures of their posts, and details on where they were when they made the post. An attorney with the ACLU characterized the program as "sweeping and far afield of what is necessary to ensure student safety."[11][10]


  1. ^ "Appendix B.-Alphabetical list and rank (by size) of the 500 largest public school districts in the United States: School year 1999-2000 - E-I". Retrieved 2016-05-20.
  2. ^ Mikailian, Arin (March 16, 2016). "Glendale Unified officially adds day off to commemorate Armenian Genocide". Retrieved May 20, 2016 – via Web.
  3. ^ Matyszczyk, Chris. "School district hires company to follow kids' Facebook, Twitter." CNET. August 27, 2013. Retrieved on August 27, 2013.
  4. ^ Clifford, Frank and Anne C. Roark. "Racial Lines in County Blur but Could Return : Population: Times study of census finds communities far more mixed. Some experts fear new ethnic divisions." Los Angeles Times. May 6, 1991. p. 2. Retrieved on March 24, 2014.
  5. ^ Arax, Mark and Esther Schrader. "County Braces for Sudden Influx of Soviet Armenians." Los Angeles Times. March 8, 1988. online page 2. Print: Vol.107, p.1. Available from Cengage Learning, Inc. Retrieved on July 2, 2014.
  6. ^ Der-Martirosian, Claudia, Georges Sabagh, and Mehdi Bozorgmehr. "Subethnicity: Armenians in Los Angeles" (Chapter 11). In: Light, Ivan Huberta and Parminder Bhachu. Immigration and Entrepreneurship: Culture, Capital, and Ethnic Networks. Transaction Publishers, year unstated. Start page: 243. ISBN 1412825938, 9781412825931. Cited: p. 250-251.
  7. ^ Pang, Kevin. "Glendale Unified May Add Armenian Holiday." Los Angeles Times. February 8, 2004. Retrieved on July 2, 2014.
  8. ^ "GUSD Becomes First District in US to Close Schools in Observance of April 24". The California Courier. 2016-03-22. Retrieved 2019-06-15. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Ceasar, Stephen (September 14, 2013). "Glendale district says social media monitoring is for student safety". Los Angeles Times.
  11. ^ "Calif. School District Monitors Kids' Social Media". ABC News. September 16, 2013.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]