BUSD to Host DEI Discussion

The Burbank Unified School District will host a panel discussion to inform the community about its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiative on Tuesday, May 4, at 7 p.m.
In an effort to be more transparent with stakeholders, members of the DEI Committee will gather virtually to share their thoughts, the work the district has done so far and what DEI means for students, staff and families.
“We have a diverse group of students, parents and employees working on DEI over this past year, so we want to set up a panel so people can share their experiences and perspectives on DEI,” said Superintendent Matt Hill.
Board of Education members Armond Aghakhanian, who helped launch the committee in 2019, and Emily Weisberg will be part of the event, as well as state teacher of the year finalist Ericca Dent, Luther Middle School Principal Oscar Macias, school intervention specialist Juan Avila, Burbank High School student Emily Hasunuma, Walt Disney Elementary technology specialist Rosemary Morrison and BUSD parent Africa Turner.
“The main focus is to start to create these spaces and conversations throughout the district,” Hill said. “This panel will give everyone a different perspective.”
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BUSD, Teachers Tentatively Agree on Distance Learning Hours

The Burbank Unified School District has reached a tentative agreement on a memorandum of understanding with the local teachers union regarding distance learning during the fall, district Superintendent Matt Hill said in his weekly update.
Burbank Teachers Association members will vote on the MOU within the next week and the board of education will discuss and vote on it during a meeting on Thursday, Aug. 6.
The MOU states that Google Classroom will be the primary platform used for distance learning, and live virtual instruction will be recorded and posted, if requested by a student or parent, for at least 72 hours. Zoom can also be used by teachers to interact with their students.
Remote learning at the high school level includes three 50-minute classes per day, Monday through Thursday, and students will be assigned 90 minutes’ worth of at-home assignments each day with live teacher monitoring and support, according to the memorandum.

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BUSD Releases Initial Plans for Fall Instruction

The Burbank Unified School District’s Reopening Committee remained hard at work before and after the July 4 holiday and has unveiled its overview for the upcoming school year.
The committee comprising board of education members, district staff, teachers and administrators released a detailed plan of its much-discussed hybrid model, which calls for students’ instruction to be partly on site and partly distance learning. Families will also have the option of full distance learning if they have health safety concerns. In fact, the hybrid model could be shelved and distance learning for all students could be instituted if COVID-19 pandemic conditions so dictate.
Guidelines from the state, Los Angeles County and Centers for Disease Control were taken into consideration during development of the reopening plan. School is scheduled to open on Monday, Aug. 17.
Four areas on which the committee focused were instruction, social and emotional learning, operations, and family and community engagement.
In a survey released in June, nearly 75% of parents at all levels were interested in a hybrid model, but the results also revealed that most were concerned about appropriate education and enrichment, balancing work and supporting a child and safety.
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Budget, Schools’ Reopening Are on BUSD Leaders’ Minds

Though no public meetings were on the Burbank Unified School District’s agenda this week, Superintendent Matt Hill updated the community on the state of the budget and the reopening of school for the 2020-21 year — issues that have prompted keen interest among residents in recent weeks.
No agreement had been made between Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature as of Friday regarding the state budget, which is supposed to be ready by June 15. Suspension of operations because of health concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic gave lawmakers less time to negotiate.
The May budget revise from the governor proposed drastic cuts in school funding, a big concern for small districts such as Burbank’s. BUSD would have to cut more than $13 million, and Hill urges parents and guardians to continue writing to political leaders.
“We need to continue your advocating and email the governor and the legislature,” Hill wrote in his weekly update. “Without the support of the governor and legislature, BUSD will be forced to adopt the governor’s May revise.”
The BUSD staff will have a study session on Wednesday, June 17, and the Board of Education will convene the following day for a regular virtual meeting at 7 p.m.
Hill also notified parents that the Reopening Committee — which is separated into four subgroups and takes into consideration guidelines provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and California Department of Education — will work with the Burbank Teachers Association and California School Employees Association and is expected to share proposed instruction models on July 2. Continue reading “Budget, Schools’ Reopening Are on BUSD Leaders’ Minds”