40% of the district's student population.
Out of the 29,625 students who attend Glendale schools, 10,697 are
in English-language learner programs. Glendale's English- learner
population is substantially larger than neighboring districts.
About 20% of Burbank Unified School District's students are
English-language learners enrolled in its English Language
Development program, said Alexis Sheehy, assistant superintendent of
educational services for the district.
Spanish is the most prevalent primary language, with Armenian and
Korean the second and third most common at Burbank schools.
The district does not have a Welcome Center, so school officials
handle all testing, assessment and placement of incoming English
"I wish we did have a Welcome Center," Sheehy said. "It would
enable us to streamline the testing process. And I think it makes
parents feel more welcome, and they're not quite as hesitant. It
would be nice."
When translation services are needed at a Burbank school site,
officials ask staff members who are fluent to step in. If no one is
available or capable, the district pays for outside services.
The district's immigrant and non-English speaking student
population has been decreasing for the past three years, and
officials attribute the decline to rising real estate and rental
costs in Burbank.
La Canada Unified School District's English-language learner
population makes up less than 8% of its total student population,
said Lindi Dreibelbis Arthur, director of assessments, research and
consolidated programs for the district.
Korean is the most common primary language of the district's
English learners, with Armenian a distant second. Some La Canada
school sites have no English learners at all, Arthur said.
"I think in some ways it's harder to serve their individual needs
when you have a smaller program," Arthur said. "We have fewer staff,
more inclusion and multiple skill levels in the classroom, especially
at the high school level."
Reduced state funding and declining enrollment probably will be