Students Return to School

Students at Crescenta Valley High School were welcomed by the school’s cheer squad to the new academic year.
Photo by Charly SHELTON

Whether in elementary school, middle school or high school, kids returned to local campuses.


The students who are starting the 2023-24 school year in kindergarten will be graduating as part of the Class of 2036. According to Quantumrun, by the year 2036 bionic eyes with high resolution will be commercially available, the world population will reach 8,904,177,000 (as of Sunday the world population was 8,054,207,613) and world sales of electric vehicles will reach 17,126,667 (as of today there are over 10 million).

By 2036 it is expected that the world will be quite different and yet many of the trends we see now will continue into the future. Climate change will continue to cause extreme weather and, depending on what science future report you read, there is about a 10% to 15% chance society will see transformative AI (Artificial Intelligence). Like the Industrial Revolution transformed society, transformative AI means a future influenced by the advances of artificial intelligence in day-to-day life.

But none of these future predictions matter to parents on that first day, and in fact that first week, of school as they watch their little ones walk across that threshold into their academic future, which may involve a few tears [mostly from parents].

Students across Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, Burbank, LA Unified and many other districts returned to school this week, which means lots of increased traffic as parents find that school drop-off/pick-up rhythm.

Many schools within the Glendale Unified School District (GUSD) will be under construction for at least part of the year as Measure S funds are spent to improve campuses.

One of the most anticipated changes will be at Crescenta Valley High School with the beginning of the installation of new seating at the school’s track and field. This construction was a long time coming for the school.

The campus of Crescenta Valley High School was originally the Andrew W. Clark Junior High in 1938; then in 1961 it became Crescenta Valley High School (CVHS), according to the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley.

There was talk even then about bringing stands to the track and field but that was put off as construction of classroom buildings took priority. CVHS students got used to traveling to other locations to play their games, including football being played on the field at Glendale High School. For years, students at CVHS didn’t walk across the commencement stage at their school but instead went to Stengel Field or Glendale Community College. Then in 2013 for the first time graduating students were able to have their commencement celebration at their own campus. Bleachers, at great expense, were rented for the event.

People in the stands at CVHS sporting events, like soccer and track and field, really meant fans standing up or bringing their own lawn chairs to cheer on their sporting team. But this year, after many starts and stops, construction began on lighting and seating at the field.

As reported earlier in CVW, back in 2017 when the project was first proposed, neighbors and community members rallied together to support the project with everyone from a coalition of former principals to the captain of the cheer squad to the chamber of commerce uniting in support.

Alex Stupakis, a longtime neighborhood resident, organized a letter writing campaign by local residents in support of the project.

“Some might think this would be of concern to the immediate neighbors – [more] traffic, more lights, all that. But as someone who lives less than half a block from the school, I’m here to say that the positives outweigh the negatives,” he wrote. “The field will be magically transformed for our young people into a field of dreams, a field of community unity, for everyone to enjoy together, a stronger more unified school district.”

The construction was approved last week by the GUSD school board and construction should conclude in time for 2024 graduation ceremony.

Another change coming to CVHS is the school’s open lunch policy. For years all students were able to leave campus during lunch but this year that has changed and now only juniors and seniors will be allowed to leave campus during lunchtime.

“We have brought in more seating and more kiosks [lunch stands] throughout the campus,” said Principal Christine Benitez of accommodating the expected increase in the number of students staying on campus during lunch.

Benitez said additional safety measures, including fencing and alarms on doors, have been added to the campus as well. These extra safety measures were installed due in part to the reality that schools need to be more proactive against the possibility of an intruder coming onto campus. These measures were also put in place in response to the lockdown of CVHS last year when a suspicious person was on campus for about an hour in the early morning school hours.

Clark Magnet High School is having an extra level of excitement as the school is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

“Clark opened in 1998, so we’re thrilled about achieving this milestone,” said Principal Brian Landisi.

This year the Clark student body will number 1,150 students. The science-based magnet school has two new AP classes including AP pre-calculus and AP African American studies.

“Increasing access to college-level curriculum and opening students’ minds to new ideas and experiences is key to our mission,” Landisi said.

Anyone who travels near Clark Magnet during the beginning and end of the school day knows that buses play an important role in getting students to and from school. There are 14 buses that transport 75% of the student population, which comes from all over Glendale. Some students drive to school and a few parents drop off/pick up their student.
“We encourage everyone to give themselves plenty of time, drive safely and be respectful neighbors,” Landisi said.

At Rosemont Middle School, incoming students shared fears of not being able to find classes and being overwhelmed by the size of the school. Overall, though, most were excited to be on the middle school campus.

“I got advanced math,” said Katie Robinson, 12, who is attending Rosemont as an incoming seventh grader. “I’m super excited.”