BUSD Plans Online Summer School; Aug. 17 School Start

In a letter published to its website this week, Superintendent Matt Hill tempered expectations floated by Gov. Gavin Newsom of an earlier calendar start for schools, and stressed that Burbank Unified School District officials remain busy planning for the 2020-21 school year.
Earlier this week, Newsom suggested that the state’s school districts could potentially reopen to students earlier than scheduled as part of the effort to ease out of the distance learning and make up for any learning loss that has occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Please know this was not a mandate, just an idea that he suggested,” Hill wrote in the letter. “We will work locally to discuss the best time to reopen schools. This discussion will be based on health and governmental guidelines that focus on the safety of students and employees. We are planning for multiple scenarios, but we do not have plans to open before our agreed upon start date of Aug. 17.”
The superintendent also said that they will move summer school to a virtual-only program for BUSD students. The program is scheduled to run from June 1 through July 2, and more information is forthcoming on the specific schedules.
At the elementary level, applicable families will receive invitations to participate in the English learners program. Unfortunately, Hill said, the Learn, Grow, Thrive Program and the district’s dual immersion programs had to be canceled for the summer session.
At the secondary level, applicable families there also will receive invitations to participate in the English learners program. Additionally, incoming freshman students will be offered their initial health class in the summer program, and the Independent Learning Academy, or ILA, will be offered as it regularly is.
Outside of freshman health, the district is unable to provide a credit recovery program or other initial credit courses. However, students may petition to make up courses or take an initial credit course through an outside program. These courses need to be approved ahead of time by the John Paramo, the assistant superintendent of educational services, Hill said, adding that students should work with school counselors to complete the petition.
Hill noted in his update that he and other officials are still awaiting guidance on whether the district can host in-person events for the customary end-of-year celebrations.
“While we still want to have in-person end-of-year events, we will need to wait and see when we are allowed to have those events and what the restrictions will be for our students and families,” the superintendent wrote. “In the meantime, school sites are working on creating virtual end-of-year events to celebrate the accomplishments of our students. Please know that our principals are collecting all suggestions and are looking at various options. By continuing to work together, we will build a stronger BUSD.”
The next district update is expected on Thursday, May 7.
For more information on these elementary programs, email Peter Knapik, director of elementary education, at peterknapik@burbankusd.org. Families with students in special education will be contacted within the next two weeks, but questions can also be sent to Tamara Schiern, director of special education, at tamaraschiern@burbankusd.org.
For more information on the secondary school programs, email Paramo at johnparamo@burbankusd.org.

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