Parents filled in on Sagebrush transfer

Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan is making the rounds to three elementary schools that could be affected if the Sagebrush area of La Cañada is transferred to that city's school district.

During a PTA meeting on Tuesday at Mountain Avenue Elementary, Sheehan recapped the events that have taken place over the past year, in which school officials from both districts have been in negotiations over potentially transferring the territory.

He also plans to visit Fremont and Monte Vista elementary schools, though no dates have been announced.

Most recently, the Glendale school board met behind closed doors to discuss the issue, and board members intend to discuss it again in closed session on Sept. 2, Sheehan said.

However, the matter won't be up for public discussion at that time. Still, he encouraged residents to address the board with any questions during the school board meeting, and vowed that any upcoming decision would be transparent.

"Any potential decision one way or another will be discussed in open session with a following meeting to allow for input from the community," Sheehan said. "It's not going to be a discussion, and a decision made, and it's over."

Glendale school officials also collected forms on Tuesday with residents' questions about the potential transfer, and promised to email each person answers.

During the most recent discussions, Glendale school officials have said they could lose about 350 students who live in the Sagebrush area, according to the district's analysis. If the transfer is approved, the students would phase into La Cañada schools over a six-year period.

With the loss of the 350 students districtwide, Glendale stands to lose about $2.5 million because the district currently receives about $7,200 for each student under the state's funding method.

To make up for the loss in student enrollment at Mountain Avenue Elementary, officials said they would create "permissible boundaries" for Monte Vista and Fremont elementary parents, giving residents near those schools a choice to send their children to their local school or Mountain Avenue.

If the territory were to transfer to La Cañada, Glendale students would not start trickling into La Cañada schools until the 2016-17 school year.

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