The Glendale Educational Foundation presented Glendale school officials with a $60,000 check Thursday morning during the ninth annual State of the Schools breakfast.
During the breakfast catered by Glendale High students in the school's bistro program, Glendale Unified Supt. Richard Sheehan highlighted the district's overall success on the Academic Performance Index, scores based on how well students perform on state standardized exams.
But those particular exams will no longer be part of students' end-of-year tasks as the state ushers in the new Common Core State Standards and switches to timed tests students will take on computers.
“The Common Core State Standards is what is right for education.... The rigor is much greater and the expectation on student learning has increased, which I personally applaud,” Sheehan said.
But he also cautioned that students' test scores would likely drop during the next few years as students and teachers get used to the new system.
Crescenta Valley High School teacher Kristen Milano spoke on her own experience delving into the new standards, which aim to make students competitive in the global workforce.
“I have to say, I'm overjoyed by the conversations and level of thinking that's going on in the classroom,” she said.
The annual breakfast at the Pacific Community Center is one of two major fundraising events hosted by the organization, including the Dancing with Diamonds Gala.
Since its establishment in 2005, the group has donated $1.5 million to Glendale Unified to support art, technology, instrumental programs and other enrichment activities, said President Lynn Miyamoto.
A $250,000 donation made by the foundation earlier this year supplied 269 musical instruments to Glendale students.
Sheehan also made a plea to businesses across Glendale to partner with the district by providing internships to students.
“We are willing to experiment and look at things in different ways,” he said. “But I truly believe our partnership with businesses throughout the community is what's going to continue to make us one of the most successful districts in the state.”
Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.