GlendaleUnified School District

California

General Info | Enhancing Cultural Understanding

A continuing goal in the Glendale Schools is students and staff working together in a positive, harmonious relationship. Glendale Schools 2015, the District's strategic plan, calls for "a nurturing environment that fosters democratic ideals and promotes cross-cultural understanding and respect."

In less than two decades, Glendale has become one of the most culturally diverse cities in California. In nearly two of three homes, a primary language other than English is spoken. More than 65 languages and dialects are represented among the students who attend the Glendale Schools. Amid these significant changes, the District has become a model of intercultural acceptance.

Perhaps students explain it best. A Glendale High senior in a recent class assignment wrote, "Growing up and going to school here is preparing me for the world, which is a very diverse place." In a Los Angeles Times feature, a Glendale police officer said of the District, "The educators are very aggressive about introducing cultures to one another. The lines of communication stay wide open and establish that we have one thing in common, and that's education. That helps overcome differences like skin color and the difficult barrier of language."

Exceptional programs and communitywide cooperation have created a "respect-for- others" environment in the schools that fosters the overcoming of differences. Staff has received extensive training in several programs. This is a continuing process as revisions are made and new programs added. Among programs being implemented are:

 

Character Education

Instills in students universally accepted classic values such as justice, tolerance and honor, while also teaching young people to think before acting and recognize the consequences of positive and negative behavior.

The District has become a national leader in the teaching of Conflict Resolution training to students of all ages, as well as to District staff and parents. In addition, a growing number of parents are participating in MegaSkills workshops which help them in the teaching of values, attitudes and positive behaviors that their children need to succeed in school and in life.

Beyond the District level, individual schools add their own unique perspectives to activities that address cultural diversity and sensitivity. Such events as International Days and Friendship Weeks are well attended. Essay, poetry and art competitions offer immigrant students the opportunity to share their experiences and insights, as well as communicate the contributions of various cultures. In these and many other ways, the Glendale Schools are committed to promoting cultural awareness and understanding on campus and in the community.

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