Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

On Thursday, February 25, 2021, the Glendale Elementary School District (GESD) held a meeting to take comments from the public regarding its plan to close 5 elementary schools within its district boundaries. I am providing information about this meeting to keep my Yucca district residents informed. Here is the link to the video of the meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehx1KVJCOik

There is one misconception I would like to clear up. The western boundary of GESD is 83rd Avenue. Some speakers asked what would happen because of the development of Stonehaven, between 83rd and 91st Avenues, Bethany Home Road to Camelback Road. Those 1,365 homes reside in the Pendergast Elementary School District (PESD) and those children will not be attending any schools in the GESD.

One of the speakers was Martin Nowakowski, a Yucca district resident, and my appointee on the Glendale Planning Commission. He spoke from 1:38:50 to 1:43:32. He made several particularly good points that, in my opinion, deserve further exploration and answers from the GESD Board.

  • He stated that the process has been flawed. The proposal to close schools during the COVID pandemic is ill advised. The pandemic has been an impediment to allow full participation by the community and has resulted in little to no parent involvement.
  • He called for a forensic audit of GESD’s budget and contended that community perception is there is a pattern of “top heavy” spending.
  • He questioned what costs for transportation would be incurred because of a realignment of pupil attendance boundaries.
  • He said that the district uses the rationale for closures because of declining student enrollment and asked how many students are learning online.
  • He expressed concern about the possibility of increasing class sizes. He questioned will there continue to be class sizes of less than 30 students per class and if that number increases, how does it affect the quality of education for struggling students?
  • Lastly, he characterized the school board’s actions as discriminatory by focusing on closing schools in more disadvantaged neighborhoods and catering to wealthier neighborhoods by keeping those schools intact. He referred to Isaac Imes as being known as the “Mexican school.”

It appears that the community is genuinely concerned and to date has expressed nothing but opposition to the GESD proposal. Perhaps the Board would be advised to slow its proposal down until it has made a full explanation to its community as to why their actions are necessary. There may be good reasons and then again, there may not be but until the community understands why the Board has chosen this path it will be met with distrust and anger. Just think about all those parents who have no idea what is about to happen to their children…and there will be many.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner