Glendale Unified School District
United States
District information
GradesPre K-12
SuperintendentDr. Darneika Watson (interim)
Budget$296.22 million
Students and staff
Other information

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

The school district serves the city of Glendale, portions of the city of La Cañada Flintridge and the unincorporated communities of Montrose and La Crescenta.[1] It consists of 20 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 4 high schools and 3 facilities for homeschoolers and special-needs students.[2]

In the 2008–2009 school year, the district served 26,744 students and expects enrollment to decline 1–2% in each of the next three years. As of 2002, it was the third-largest district in Los Angeles County and among the thirty-largest in the State of California. It is the 254th largest in the nation by student population.[3]

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

Beginning in the 2016–2017 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.[4]


Early history (1879-1935)

In 1879, the now-defunct Sepulveda School District was formed to educate all children residing within the area of the former Rancho San Rafael.[5]

The Glendale Union High School District was formed in 1901.[6]

Glendale Junior College was founded in 1927 to serve the Glendale Union High School District.[7]

Formation (1936)

Glendale schools reorganized as the Glendale Unified School District in 1936.[8]

21st Century (2000-Present)

Term limits

School Board member Shant Sahakian first proposed term limits for elected School Board members in May 2018, proposing that School Board members can serve a maximum of three, four-year terms, for a total of twelve years of service on the Board of Education. The Board of Education unanimously approved the proposal at a January 2022 meeting.[9]

Anti-LGBTQ+ protests

See also: Anti-LGBT curriculum laws in the United States and 2020s anti-LGBT movement in the United States

In 2021, Tammy Tiber, a Glendale elementary school teacher, showed a video about celebrating LGBT pride to her third-grade class. This largely went unnoticed until Jordan Henry, a candidate for the Glendale City Council in 2022, received 1,300 pages of documents, including an email sent by Tiber regarding the lesson, he had requested under public records law. After receiving threats, Tiber was involuntarily transferred from her classroom for safety reasons.[10]

In May 2023, in response to a series of anti-LGBTQ+ protests in Glendale Unified School District and neighboring Los Angeles Unified School District, GALAS LGBTQ+ Armenian Society, glendaleOUT and Somos Familia Valle released a joint statement denouncing efforts by some parents to undermine LGBTQ+ content within school programming and curricula.[11] Following a June 2023 Glendale Unified School District Board of Education meeting, GALAS, Armenian-American Action Network, and Southern California Armenian Democrats released a joint statement "calling attention to the collective safety of LGBTQ+ Armenians, the need for active allyship, and the dangers of alarmist and racist narratives about the Armenian immigrant population."[12]


See also: History of the Armenian Americans in Los Angeles

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.[13] 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.[14] As of 1990, the largest immigrant group speaking an ethnic home language in the GUSD was the Armenians.[15] By 2004, over 33% of the Glendale district students were Armenian. That year, due to high levels of student absence around the Armenian Christmas (January 6) and the anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide (Red Sunday, April 24), the district considered making Armenian holidays school holidays,[16] eventually, starting in the 2016 year, the district started having April 24 off.[17]


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).

The current board of education is as follows:

Election results

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)

Middle schools (Grade 7 – Grade 8)

High schools (Grade 9 – Grade 12)

Other schools


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

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.[18]

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."[18][19]


  1. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Los Angeles County, CA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. pp. 6, 10 (PDF pp. 7, 11/19). Retrieved 2024-01-16.
  2. ^ "Overview & Accolades / District Overview". Retrieved 2023-01-02.
  3. ^ "Characteristics of the 100 Largest Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts in the United States: 2008–09" (PDF). National Center for Education Statistics. November 2010. Retrieved 2023-01-01.
  4. ^ Mikailian, Arin (March 16, 2016). "Glendale Unified officially adds day off to commemorate Armenian Genocide". Glendale News-Press. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  5. ^ Los Angeles County Committe On School District Organization (2016-12-21). "Petitioners' Brief in Support of Petition for Territory Transfer Including Conditions Affecting Reorganization Proposals" (PDF). Retrieved 2023-06-14.
  6. ^ "The History of Our School and City - Our Glendale". 1977. Retrieved 2023-06-14.
  7. ^ "history". Retrieved 2023-06-14.
  8. ^ Arroyo, Juliet (2005). Early Glendale. Arcadia Publishing. p. 103. ISBN 0-7385-2990-7.
  9. ^ "GUSD School Board President Shant Sahakian's Term Limits Proposal Approved by Board of Education". Asbarez. 2022-01-25. Retrieved 2023-06-14.
  10. ^ Blume, Howard; Gomez, Melissa (May 11, 2022). "Glendale third-grade teacher showed gay pride videos. A year later, furious debate erupts". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  11. ^ "Expressing Our Collective Concern with Local Spread of Anti-LGBTQ+ Sentiment". May 30, 2023. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  12. ^ "In Response to the Recent Events in Los Angeles Area Schools". June 8, 2023. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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 1-4128-2593-8, 9781412825931. Cited: p. 250-251.
  16. ^ Pang, Kevin. "Glendale Unified May Add Armenian Holiday." Los Angeles Times. February 8, 2004. Retrieved on July 2, 2014.
  17. ^ "GUSD Becomes First District in US to Close Schools in Observance of April 24". The California Courier. 2016-03-22. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  18. ^ a b Ceasar, Stephen (September 14, 2013). "Glendale district says social media monitoring is for student safety". Los Angeles Times.
  19. ^ "Calif. School District Monitors Kids' Social Media". ABC News. September 16, 2013.

Further reading