After 13 months of being shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Burbank Unified School District is set to reopen its doors to all of its students for limited in-person instruction on Monday.
“We’re ready to go,” a relieved Matt Hill, BUSD superintendent, told the Leader on Thursday. “I’m excited. This is the next step.”
Though it is not the actual first day of school, Hill plans to continue his tradition of visiting every single school site.
“I’ll probably start at an elementary school at around 11:30 a.m. It’s going to take me all week to get to every single one.”
Every BUSD school will open with a hybrid schedule that will have distance learning in the morning and in-person instruction for students who elected to return to campus. The model has half of students going to campus for two days of in-person learning and the other half attending on the other two days.
“It took some planning just to make sure we get cohorts small and have all the safety protocols,” Hill said. “This is going to be good for us for the next seven weeks. It’s not full time yet, but we’ll be able to start planning for the fall. We’re starting to see that light at the end of the tunnel.”
The district is also planning end-of-the-year celebrations for its seniors and 8th-graders.
“We want our students to be able to have meaningful celebrations of what they’ve accomplished this past year. This has been a most challenging year for all our students. Right after that, then it’s summer school and building momentum into a fully reopened fall.”
Hill was also thankful for BUSD employees and their willingness to return to campuses.
“First of all, I am thrilled of all the work our employees have done throughout the year, whether it’s distance learning, hybrid or in person,” he said. “The resilience and creativity of our employees in Burbank has just been outstanding. To be able to get to a level where we can demonstrate that the safety precautions are going to be in place and we’re going to keep our employees and students safe, that’s been the main sticking point. We want to make sure we did our due diligence and worked with them to put in all the safeguards.”