GUSD candidates visit La Cañada Flintridge

All five candidates for GUSD school board visited The Lanterman House in La Cañada last Sunday, at the invitation of the local Democratic Club.  Each one shared their position on the proposed territory transfer. Most candidates expressed a desire for a permanent resolution and to end the decades and divisive conflict over school district boundaries, which segregate the western part of LCF from the rest of their LCF schools. Only one candidate opposed the transfer. Some expressed a preference for “open enrollment” but that is not a permanent solution.  We encourage our supporters to continue to outreach to these candidates during the campaign season.

The election is April 7th, 2015.  All registered voters in western LCF should be receiving their ballots in mid-March.  Voting for Sagebrush residents will be in the lobby of Hall and Chambers Realtors, just a few doors east of Ocean View at 2315 Foothill Blvd.

Note:  The two districts met this week to discuss a settlement deal both districts can afford and implement in a fair and reasonable manner.  No news yet on the outcome of their discussions.

Pictured (l to r)
Kevin Cordova-Brookey, La Crescenta
Todd Hunt, Glendale
Jennifer Freemon, Glendale
Nayiri Nahabedian, Glendale
Vahik Satoorian, Glendale
Nalini Lasiewicz, La Cañada Flintridge (moderator)











Judge sides with school board incumbent to have her name on ballot

Glendale News-Press
February 19, 2015

A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge ruled on Thursday in favor of school board member Nayiri Nahabedian in a lawsuit she had filed against the Glendale City Clerk, seeking to put her name on the April 7 ballot.

Earlier this month, Nahabedian, who has been on the school board since 2007, filed the suit against City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian because election officials denied her nomination papers, stating she had missed the Jan. 29 deadline.

In her lawsuit, Nahabedian argued that, based upon an email she received from the City Clerk’s office on Jan. 28, she was told she had until Feb. 3 to turn in her nomination papers.

In court, Judge James C. Chalfant, referred to that email, sent to Nahabedian and three other school board candidates by city employee Lyova Zalyan, as the basis of his ruling in favor of Nahabedian.

“The clerk flat out said, with no qualification, you have until Feb. 3,” Chalfant said. “That was his job – to tell the candidates deadlines… and explain to them what the packet means… he did his job, and he told her what the deadline was…Boy, that’s very strong.”

Nahabedian, as well as candidates Jennifer Freemon; Kevin Cordova-Brookey and Vahik Satoorian were told in the email that the filing deadline had been extended to Feb. 3 only for Glendale Unified candidates because incumbent Sandy Russell was not seeking to run again.

While the law states that any other person except incumbents could have an extended deadline, Chalfant ultimately rested his ruling on the email, which made no clear qualification that Nahabedian’s deadline was Jan. 29.

to read the full article, click here.

Glendale, La Cañada school districts to continue discussion on potential Sagebrush transfer

Superintendent says GUSD proposal is still on the table with La Cañada.

Glendale News-Press
By Kelly Corrigan
February 18, 2015

As Glendale school officials prepare to meet with La Cañada school officials next week over the Sagebrush territory, Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan reminded residents that Glendale’s proposal over the territory is still active during a school board meeting on Tuesday.

“There has not been a lot of movement largely due to the holiday season,” he said. “So, our proposal is still officially on the table with La Cañada, and that will be part of the discussion next week.”

Two La Crescenta residents approached the Glendale school board recently for an update on the Sagebrush territory, an area of 385 acres that is part of La Cañada Flintridge. It has been served for many years by Glendale Unified instead of that city’s school district.

The residents’ inquiry spurred Glendale school board President Greg Krikorian to have the board discuss the matter openly Tuesday night, but board members remained tight-lipped about the upcoming meeting, and instead let Sheehan offer a brief update.

Sheehan said the meeting on Wednesday will bring together the superintendents and chief business officers from both districts as well as two members from each school.

“It’s basically for clarification,” he said. “I’m sure there will be some areas they would like to have further dialogue around the proposal.”
Also during Tuesday’s Glendale school board meeting, Sagebrush resident Tom Smith, who established “Unite LCF” in 2013 to reignite the effort to transfer the territory, suggested that Glendale school officials reconsider including the park and bridge near Mountain Avenue Elementary in the proposal.

Late last year, Glendale school officials, who initially considered selling the park to La Cañada, took the park off the table, in reaction to parents’ concerns about the area serving as a safe drop-off and pick-up zone for students attending the nearby school.

“I think this board was put under a lot of pressure to ‘take it off the table,’ as the phrase became,” Smith said. “And what I’m asking you to do is reconsider that because I really believe that there’s language that can be drafted. Both districts have really competent attorneys who can make sure that that lot and that bridge is accessible so long as Mountain Avenue is a school in the future.”

To read the full article, click here.

Inter District Permit – Sagebrush Residents, 2015-2016 School Year

Applications will be accepted March 9, 2015 – April 30, 2015.

La Cañada Unified School District (LCUSD) will be considering inter district permits for the 2015-2016 school year for residents of the City of La Cañada whose school district of residence is Glendale Unified School District (area known as Sagebrush). Students will be considered for placement only if there is room within their grade level after registration of students who are residents of La Cañada Unified School District. Upon approval of the LCUSD permit, parents will be required to obtain a release from Glendale Unified School District (GUSD). (click here for a link to the required application.)

Permits will be approved in accordance with priorities established in the La Cañada Unified School District Policies and Administrative Regulations. Priority categories are as follows:

1. Full-time LCUSD employees.
2. Siblings of continuing permit students already enrolled in LCUSD.
3. Students of part-time LCUSD employees.
4. Residents of the western part of the City of La Canada whose district of residence is GUSD (Sagebrush). (Ranked via a lottery).
5. Out of district students whose parents physically work within the LCUSD school boundaries (Allen Bill). (Ranked via a lottery).
6. Students applying under Open Enrollment (Romero Act). (Ranked via a lottery).

Important Dates:

March 9, 2015: Begin acceptance of applications.
April 30, 2015: Application Deadline. Applications will NOT be accepted after April 30, 2015.
August 2015: Families will be notified as soon as possible but notifications could be delivered as late as the first week of August.

For more information, click here.

District to offer Sagebrush students transfer priority

La Cañada Valley Sun
By Sara Cardine
February 12, 2015

La Cañada school officials made it easier for families living in the city’s western “Sagebrush” territory to seek transfers into La Cañada Unified from Glendale Unified, agreeing those students should have priority in the district’s transfer process over children whose parents are not employed by La Cañada Unified but work full time within its boundaries.

Supt. Wendy Sinnette brought the matter before the school board Tuesday as an item for discussion, though no vote or further action was required. Given that the district is still in talks with Glendale Unified over a possible transfer of Sagebrush families, it seemed appropriate to discuss the matter publicly, she said.


Since the district currently caps the number of transfer students at 15% districtwide, there was some discussion over whether an influx of Sagebrush students would unfairly push district workers’ children out of the pool.

Sinnette said she didn’t want to do anything to alienate those students, and Board President Andrew Blumenfeld agreed.

“When it comes to the children of employees and also the children who are residents of La Cañada, wherever in La Cañada they live, they are a part of this community. They have rights to our schools, so I would not consider them permits. I would not include them in the current cap,” he said.

As a result of Tuesday’s meeting, the district’s cap calculation will no longer include Sagebrush students or children whose parents are LCUSD employees.

To read the full article, click here.

District Officials to Meet

Crescenta Valley Weekly
By: Jason Kurosu
February 11, 2015

The school districts of Glendale and La Cañada continue to debate the terms of transfer of the Sagebrush territory and have agreed to meet on Feb. 25 to discuss the proposal GUSD offered last November.

At a November board meeting, the GUSD Board of Education approved a proposal which would have LCUSD paying GUSD $23 million over a 12-year span as repayment for losses of students upon transfer to the La Cañada Unified School District.

La Cañada Unified officials balked at the figure, with Superintendent Wendy Sinnette saying in a statement at the time that the amount “far exceeds the capabilities of the LCUSD budget.” Talks between the two districts stalled until the plan to meet this month.

“There has been an ongoing positive dialogue with the La Cañada school district,” said GUSD board of education member Greg Krikorian. “The communication slowed down during the holiday season. We are hoping to bring clarity to any outstanding questions in regard to our proposal and any other questions by either side.”

The Feb. 25 meeting will have two board members from each school district, both district’s superintendents and financial district officials present. Among the board members scheduled to attend are Christine Walters and Armine Gharpetian from GUSD and Ellen Multari and David Sagal from LCUSD.

GUSD Board Vice President Christine Walters said, “The meetings are just an effort to make sure that they clearly understand the offer we made and the concerns we have with the possible transition. They are also helping us to better understand their board’s issues and concerns. These are still exploratory meetings as this is a complicated issue.”

To see the full article, click here.

Glendale, La Cañada school districts to meet again on Sagebrush transfer

Glendale News-Press
By: Kelly Corrigan

La Cañada and Glendale school officials will meet later this month to discuss the proposal Glendale Unified officials delivered late last year laying out terms for transferring the Sagebrush area of La Cañada Flintridge into the La Cañada Unified School District.

The 385-acre area that has always been served by Glendale schools has long been debated by Glendale school officials and citizens of La Cañada who have sought to have the La Cañada territory be part of their city’s school district as well.

“We just want to know what’s going on with the deal on Sagebrush,” said Harry Leon, a member of the Crescenta Valley Town Council, when he addressed the Glendale Unified school board on Tuesday. “Still, it’s a cloud that lingers above us and we want to know what is going on.”

Public discussion by Glendale school officials took a hiatus after Glendale Unified delivered its proposal to La Cañada in November asking for La Cañada Unified to pay $6.8 million in debt connected to two Glendale school bonds over 23 years and $16 million over 12 years in expected reductions in state funding due to decreased enrollment.

The plan assumes a 3% increase in state per-pupil funding each year and asks for half of the compensation that Glendale officials calculate would have been paid by the state to serve the Sagebrush students — a total of about $32 million.

School officials said the lack of discussion over Sagebrush in recent weeks has been due to the holiday break with school resuming in January, and they’re working out when to next meet over the proposal, said Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan.

A meeting scheduled for Feb. 25 will have two school board members from each school district, as well as both superintendents and district finance employees meet to review the proposal.

full article, click here.