» Sharon Raghavachary

The Status of Our Students

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Before I get into the subject of my first column, I’d like to thank publisher Robin Goldsworthy for inviting me to write for the CV Weekly. I am honored to be in the esteemed company of CV Town Council President Robbyn Battles, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, and Congressman Adam Schiff.

The Glendale Unified School District held a forum last week regarding the potential transfer of students who live in the Sagebrush area of La Cañada away from Mountain Avenue Elementary School, Rosemont Middle School and Crescenta Valley High School and into La Cañada schools.

Our children attend Mountain Avenue and in the past five years I’ve never heard any parent complain about our school or say they wanted to take their children elsewhere. Our school has always prided itself on the amount of parental involvement and the sense of community we have. Then suddenly last fall we started hearing about the potential split, which was started by a resident of La Cañada who has no school age children of his own. Were our parents happy until someone told them they weren’t?

At the meetings I’ve attended, I’ve not heard any Sagebrush parent express concern over what will happen at Mountain Avenue when we lose up to a third of our students. All the comments seemed to involve the timeline and how quickly they could run for the district exit.

Given that the standardized test scores for Mountain Avenue, Rosemont and CVHS are comparable with scores in La Cañada, I have to conclude that it’s not really about the education their children will receive. Some talk about being united with the rest of La Cañada, but I feel there is something else that makes this move so desirable. Could it be that homes in La Cañada within the school district boundaries are worth up to 20% more than homes in Sagebrush?

So it seems likely that the Glendale school board will approve the transfer. What will that mean for Mountain Avenue? A few options have been brought forward.

First would be to expand the boundaries to include students from the Monte Vista school area. This would keep the neighborhood feel of the school and be the least disruptive. I hope the district chooses to go in this direction.

Two other options presented were to make the school another FLAG (foreign language academy) school or to create a magnet school. Both of these options would allow enrollment from students in other parts of the district, and possibly from outside the district. Mountain Avenue would no longer be a neighborhood school.

Unless the Glendale school board decides to oppose the transfer, which seems highly unlikely, changes are coming to Mountain Avenue. My children will probably have moved on to Rosemont or even CV High by the time the changes are fully implemented, so we won’t see the affects directly. They will undoubtedly, though, miss some of their friends who won’t be moving on with them.

Sharon Raghavachary is a founder of the Crescenta Valley Community Association. She served for seven years on the Crescenta Valley Town Council, during which time she was a member of the Foothill Design Committee, which wrote design standards for Foothill Boulevard, and a member of Supervisor Antonovich’s Library Committee. She can be reached at sharonchary@gmail.com.

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