GlendaleUnified School District

California

Partnerships

One indicator of an excellent school system is the level of support and amount of interaction with business and industry, community groups and other organizations. Glendale Schools are fortunate to have strong and long-lasting partnerships with many segments of the community. These partnerships manifest themselves in many ways. Here are a few examples:

  • The Glendale Educational Foundation is raising funds to support the Visual and Performing Arts, Science and Technology, and Health and Fitness. The Board of Directors represents many business and civic entities of the community. Three major events drive the activities of the Foundation: the State of the Schools Breakfast in October, Dancing with Diamonds gala in February, and the Student Showcase in June at the Alex Theatre.
  • The City of Glendale and the Crescenta Valley Town Council ensure a safe community in order to achieve the highest standards of education in the District.
  • Glendale Unified is fortunate to have a very strong PTA presence, with over 11,000 members across the district, and active units at 24 schools.
  • The Glendale and Foothill Associations of Realtors help to promote the successes of Glendale Unified to potential homebuyers, knowing that successful schools build successful communities.
  • Leaders from business and industry offer their expertise by serving on district task forces, Board and Superintendent advisory committees.
  • Edison Pacific is a model joint use project combining school and city facilities to benefit the entire community. The school and the park each have their own domain, but share the gymnasium, library and the outdoor areas.
  • Law enforcement provides School Resource Officers and special event security, coordinates school crossing guards, and advises on school and traffic safety. Glendale Fire Department supports schools to stress safety at school and at home. Glendale Police and Fire Departments are partnering with the School District in a Police & Fire Academy at Hoover High School.
  • The Glendale, Crescenta Valley, Armenian American and Montrose/ Verdugo City Chambers of Commerce help coordinate awards to outstanding teachers and district programs, education-business partnerships, and with the Verdugo Workforce Investment Board, and the Latino Business Association provide continuing support with various opportunities for students and staff to experience and learn about the modern workplace.
  • Glendale Community College not only receives a large number of graduates each year, but affords students the opportunity to take college courses while in high school, and shares in career path planning for a number of career initiatives.
  • Service, philanthropic and fraternal organizations such as Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, Altrusa, Soroptimists, Masons, Oakmont League, Elks, AAUW, Assistance League, YMCA, YWCA, and others contribute a wealth of volunteers, materials and funding in support of a wide variety of projects from tutoring first-graders to providing scholarships to high school graduates.
  • Long a partner to the District, the Community Foundation of the Verdugos (formerly known as the Glendale Community Foundation) assists with many projects at the schools.
  • Private foundations such as The Gwendolyn Sexton Foundation and the Pearson Foundation have greatly expanded instructional capabilities.
  • Glendale Healthy Kids, a partnership of the three medical centers, the District and a host of medical providers, offers medical and dental services to students whose families have no health insurance.
  • Over the last 10 years, a number of community-wide projects have focused attention on youth and family issues. These have included:
  • The Youth Coalition, focusing on the needs of youth,
  • The Seeds of Peace, promoting understanding and respect,
  • The design of a joint use school/community center project at Pacific Park,
  • The Character and Ethics Project, which stresses basic traits such as integrity and compassion as monthly themes to schools, the city and the business community alike.

Principal for a Day is an annual opportunity for local business and community leaders to spend time on a school campus observing the District´s talented leaders in action and sharing management techniques.

Education-Business Partnerships have occupied a recognized niche in the district´s outreach program for nearly 20 years. The roster is long and distinguished, and includes such notables as the Walt Disney Co., Nestlé USA, Glendale Memorial Hospital, Smith Barney, Washington Mutual, Verdugo Hills Hospital, Keeler Dilbeck Realty, Office Depot, The Gas Company, HP, Intel, Shakey´s Pizza, Ralphs Grocery Co., Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Bank of America, Glendale Area Schools Federal Credit Union, California Credit Union and JCPenney — more than 100 in all. These partnerships allow students and staff members to form a special bond with companies and employees while developing activities tailored to their interests and needs.

 
The sharing of time, skills and friendships is the hallmark of education-business partnerships. Helping students by reading to them, inviting them to “shadow” for a few hours on-the-job, visiting a classroom and making a history lesson come alive — these and other activities with a “personal touch” — are often just as rewarding for the givers as the receivers. Contribution of resources such as equipment, materials and funding may be involved in a partnership, but this is usually not the initial focus. Partnerships are two-way relationships. Students and staff understand the need to “give back” to their partners. Students often become very creative in expressing their appreciation to their partners — through personal notes and letters, banners, artwork, singing for employees on special occasions, and a host of other ideas.
 

Strong community connections contribute to the adage “It takes a whole village to educate a child.” From nationally known corporations to family-operated neighborhood stores, businesses support teaching and learning in the Glendale Schools, from a single event in one classroom to activities that encompass an entire campus and continue throughout the year.
 

* “Inviting the children from our partner school to sing at our employee holiday party was the best program we’ve ever had,” a corporate vice president said. “At the end, everyone was in tears.”

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