Glendale: Chamlian Wins Approval To Increase Enrollment


Glendale News Press, CA
April 18 2014

School plans to bus students to school, implement carpooling program
with incentive to all families.

April 17, 2014|By Kelly Corrigan, [email protected]

Morning traffic ebbs and flows as children arrive at Chamlian… (File
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Vahan & Anoush Chamlian Armenian School won approval from the Glendale
Planning Commission to increase its current enrollment cap from 500
to 700 students, reversing an earlier city-mandated cap of 500.

The City Council created the cap in 2012 as a condition of its approval
of a 9,345-square-foot gym, overturning the planning commission’s
denial of the project amid concerns from neighbors about traffic.

About 20 people spoke during the hearing. As before, a main concern
was traffic.

Don Fiske, a resident who lives on nearby Abella Street, said the
increase could mean “major trouble” to the area.

Nearby resident Karen Keene Zimmerman, who sits on the Sunland-Tujunga
Neighborhood Town Council and lives about 500 feet from the campus,
said Chamlian offers a “great quality education.”

“We have no exception with that,” she said, turning to Chamlian’s
principal, Vazken Madenlian.

“But I do agree that I think you have outgrown this space,” she said.

But supporters for expanding enrollment — many of them parents —
spoke to the value of the school’s nurturing environment and strong
academic curriculum.

Madenlian said about 45 kids currently sit on the school’s wait list.

Aline Babaian, who had two children graduate from Chamlian, said that
wait list is hard on parents and students.

“Families should not have to face that issue when it comes to sending
a child to school,” she said.

Commissioner Chang Lee, following statements from neighbors about
traffic accidents, asked Glendale police Lt. Scott Bickle whether
the area sees an unusually high number of incidents.

“It’s really no different than any other school,” Bickle said, but
added traffic on Lowell Avenue sometimes backs up nearly to Honolulu
Avenue during the morning and evening pick-up and drop-off times.

Even so, he said the traffic plan that comes with increasing the
school’s enrollment would help.

Under the plan, the school will bus many students to the La Crescenta
campus from St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church in central Glendale
where a majority of the students reside.

The school will require new students to take the bus to campus or
carpool with others.

The school also started a carpool program, Madenlian said, with 25
parents signing up. In exchange, he said, $50 was knocked off of
those families’ tuition fees.

Commissioner Greg Astorian suggested that Madenlian consider boosting
the carpooling incentive rate that will be available to all families.

“In my opinion, we need to be a little bit more generous. Think about
it,” he told the principal. “But your minimum should be 50 [dollars]
and no less than that.”

Fellow commissioner Erik Yesayan said the worries regarding traffic
were legitimate, but felt the school was addressing those concerns.

“[T]here is a potential in actually decreasing the traffic there,
which I think is a goal for all of us.”

From: A. Papazian

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