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Enrollment keeps rising

Glendale Unified officials hopes the surge signals a turnaround from years of declines.

September 13, 2010|By Max Zimbert, max.zimbert@latimes.com

GLENDALE — A surge in enrollment has continued through the first two weeks of school, Glendale Unified officials said.

More than 660 students have enrolled in Glendale Unified schools, and Alex Rojas, who oversees attendance for the district, said this year might mark a turning point in the district's years-long battle to stem and reverse declining enrollment.

"[It] might flatten out this year," he said. "As it is right now, we're almost breaking even with where we were last year. We've been declining, declining, declining, and now we're flat-lining possibly."

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The district will have firmer attendance data next month when it sends its first attendance report to the state Department of Education. Attendance determines the bulk of district revenue.

Before school opened, district officials counted about 60 new students. They said they hoped more families would enroll at their neighborhood school, which is more typical than submitting paperwork through the district offices.

That prediction proved to come true, Rojas said.

"The numbers are continuing to look good both for our specialized Foreign Language Academy of Glendale programs [the dual-language instruction at elementary and middle schools], but also for our comprehensive high schools," Rojas said. "These are parents that are out of district that want to come to Glendale schools, which is good for us."

Among the new arrivals are 261 students from other public school districts, Rojas said. Many are enrolling as freshmen and sophomores at Glendale High School, a departure from Crescenta Valley High School, which has typically been among the most popular campuses, officials said.

"I think Glendale High has really, really, really worked hard in the past three years to provide a safe and secure learning environment for all students," said Deb Rinder, the school's principal.

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