Armenian Dual-Language Program approved for a Pasadena school

In a 4-3 split vote, the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) Board Thursday conditionally approved a new Armenian Dual Language Immersion Program (DLIP ) to be instituted at Blair High School, Pasadena Now reports.

The intra-PUSD “academy” program at Blair—covering grades 9 through 12—replaces the Melkonian High School, a planned bilingual Armenian Charter School which was previously advocated by leaders of the Armenian community.

In her presentation to the board, PUSD Chief Academic Officer Elizabeth Blanco called the new program a “hybrid” of current academy and DLIP programs, and said the PUSD tried to be “innovative” in their development of the new Armenian program.

“We looked at various LAUSD programs, and realized that that would take us several years to negotiate, and we might lose a window of opportunity,” said Blanco, of the program, tentatively proposed to begin in the fall 2020 semester.

Blanco also pointed out that the program has already drawn interest from more than the projected 150 new PUSD students, a number which would generate $2 million in new State revenue for a District that has been losing students at a steadily increasing rate over the last ten years. The initial estimated cost of the program is $1.5 million, according to a PUSD staff report.

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