Tag Archives: Burbank Unified School District

Four Burbank Secondary Schools Earn Gold Ribbon Awards

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that 275 middle schools and high schools are being honored under the Gold Ribbon Schools Awards Program.

“These terrific schools are leading the way in embracing our new rigorous academic standards and showing others how to help students succeed on their way to 21st century careers and college,” Torlakson said. “I look forward to travelling the state to honor these schools and to help share the programs, methods, and techniques that are working.”                    

The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor schools in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program, which is on hiatus while California creates new assessment, accountability, and continuous improvement systems. 477 middle schools and high schools applied this year. Schools applied for the award based on a model program or practice their school has adopted that includes standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices that can be replicated by other local educational agencies. The award acknowledged elementary schools last year.

The Gold Ribbon Awards recognize California schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. These include the California Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, California English Language Development Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.

These schools represent examples of not just excellent teaching, learning, and collaborating, but also highly successful school climate efforts, ranging from real time conflict resolution to positive behavior intervention.

Four Burbank secondary schools were among the winners: Burbank High School, David Starr Jordan Middle School, John Muir Middle School, and Luther Burbank Middle School. Superintendent Matt Hill commented on the news, “We are proud of our schools for being recognized by the California Department of Education as exemplar schools. These Gold Ribbon Awards are another example of the amazing work our employees do on behalf of our students every single day. It is truly and honor to work for such an amazing district.” The winning Burbank schools will be honored at the May 18 Board of Education meeting at Burbank City Hall.

Additionally, Gold Ribbon awardees that are also Title I schools were recognized as Academic Achieving Schools and are identified as such on the list. This additional recognition is given only to schools receiving federal Title I funds that assist in meeting the educational needs of students living at or below the poverty line.

The 2017 Gold Ribbon Schools as well as the 2017 Exemplary Program recipients, Title I Academic Achieving Award Schools, 2017 Green Ribbon Schools, 2017 Civic Learning Award Schools, and the National Blue Ribbon Schools from 2016, will be honored in May during regional ceremonies held in Costa Mesa, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Visalia, and Sacramento.

2017 Burbank Gold Ribbon Schools





Los Angeles Burbank Unified School District Burbank High School Dr. Michael Bertram
Los Angeles Burbank Unified School District David Starr Jordan Middle School* Stacy Cashman
Los Angeles Burbank Unified School District John Muir Middle School* Dr. Greg Miller
Los Angeles Burbank Unified School District Luther Burbank Middle School* Dr. Oscar Macias

* These schools received an additional award for being a Title I Academic Achieving School

Burbank Schools Celebrate 90 Years with ‘State of the Schools’ Breakfast

Every year Burbank celebrates their State of the City address with an informative and multi-media presentation.

With the Burbank schools turning 90 this year, the Burbank Educational Foundation decided to hold a “State of the Schools” breakfast with the goal of raising $90,000 that will support Burbank students in both their core and curriculum extra-curricular activities.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

They could not have found a better host than Burbank’s own Tim Conway Jr. who hosts his own popular radio show nightly on KFI AM. Conway not only disclosed his reasons for coming to live in Burbank (schools), but also was fluent in his transitions during the breakfast with some great observations.

Longtime  Roosevelt teacher Linda Walmsey and former Burbank student and now successful developer, Michael Cusumano co-chaired the sold-out event that was successful in raising their goal.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Besides Cusumano who talked about his journey through Burbank schools and why he chose them for his children, others such as 1964 Olympic Pole Vault Gold Medalist Ron Morris in addition to Jay Hawver, Dr. George Pacal, Jamie Keyser, Debbie Kutka, Bob Bowne, Derek Trabilcy, Jon Schafer and Mary Alvord, Jenny Griffin and her daughter Lauren. In all, these   top leaders in town all talked about their experiences going through the school system.

While the present of the District were honored in both Walmsley, who has been with the district since 1971 and Gloria Garcia, who has been serving as a classified employee since 1973, the future of the district were also highlighted in three high school students.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Three students, Sarah Faucheux (Burroughs High) Mathew Khalil (Burbank High) and  Ian Scott (Monterey High), represented the future and each gave a unique presentation of their experiences. All three were excellent speakers in a room that represented the heavyweights of both Burbank schools and business.

Burbank Unified Superintendent Matt Hill ended the two hour breakfast by motivating the attendees to find people to help engage with the district. He stressed volunteerism, counseling or anything that one could do to help not only the schools, but the students who populate them.

Burbank Schools Statement Regarding Presidential Immigration Order

The following is a statement from the Burbank Unified School District:

Recent immigration actions by our President have raised a lot of questions and concerns within our community. This Thursday, the BUSD Board of Education will be discussing and voting on a resolution titled Reaffirming a Safe and Nondiscriminatory School Environment. In the meantime, I felt that it was important for our community to know about some of the key messages from the resolution.

Please know that the Burbank Unified School District has and continues to be committed to fostering safe and healthy environments conducive to learning. In our community, we have strong and unwavering values regarding the humanity and dignity of every person, the importance of showing compassion to each other, and the right of individuals to freedom and safety. The District is also committed to protecting all rights afforded to students under federal and state law and regulations, and in accordance with Burbank Unified School District policies and procedures. In addition, the resolution will reaffirm the following:

  • District personnel shall treat all students equitably in the receipt of all school services, including, but not limited to, the free and reduced lunch program, transportation, and educational instruction.
  • District personnel shall not inquire about a student’s immigration status, including that of family members
  • Any request by Federal immigration officials for information or to access a school site shall be immediately forwarded to the Superintendent for review and a decision on whether to allow access to the site and provision of information ensuring District compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1984 decision in Plyler v. Doe, which requires schools to enroll all eligible children regardless of immigration status, and other applicable laws.

The Burbank Unified School District will continue to cultivate an environment of acceptance, support, and kindness for all.

Matt Hill
Burbank Unified School District

Burbank School District Seeks Families Input on Special Education Master Plan

This year, the Burbank Unified School District is working on developing a multi-year Special Education Master Plan. The first phase of this process involves collecting data and receiving input from several different stakeholder groups.  As parents and family members of Special Education students, we want to get your input and involve you in the development of a long-term Plan that will be progressive and sustainable, with clear goals and objectives.

To facilitate your active participation in this process, the District is going to begin by holding two parent / family member meetings. These meetings are scheduled for Monday (November 28, 2016) from 6:30-8:00 p.m. and Wednesday (December 14, 2016) from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. They will be held in the District Office Board Room (1900 W. Olive Avenue, Third Floor). The focus of these meetings will be on getting your ideas and suggestions as to what we can do, moving forward, to work most collaboratively and effectively with parents and families of special education students.

The meeting will be facilitated by Connie Jensen, who has been contracted by the District to guide us through the Master Plan development process. Ms. Jensen is a consultant with Pivot Learning, Inc. and has many years of experience with Special Education administration.  Child care and translation (Spanish and Armenian) will be available. Child care will be in the Third Floor Teachers’ Resource Room.

For planning purposes we ask that you please RSVP to Sandi Shearer in the Special Education Department at (818) 729-4449.

Burbank School District Looking for New Logo

In celebration of their 90th Anniversary, BUSD is launching a Logo Design Contest. Please see the attached flyer, entrance form, and rules and regulations. The contest deadline has been extended till 5pm on December 15, 2016.

This contest is open to all community members living or working in the city of Burbank and to all past and present BUSD students.

If you have questions or need more information, please email: logocontest@burbankusd.org


BUSD Chief Matt Hill Releases Statement After Election Wins

After many California propositions were approved by voters, Burbank Unified School District Superintendent Matt Hill released the following statement on Wednesday to all of his district’s teachers and staff:

Given the close election results last night, some students, employees, and families may have questions about how the election will impact our schools. It is important to stress that we live in a democracy that encourages us to discuss and debate our different opinions in a civil manner. When we face times of disagreement, all of us need to engage in productive dialogue to work through our differences.

In regards to the education propositions, last night was a great night for education with the following initiatives passing:

  • Proposition 51, which will authorize the sale of some $9 billion in bonds to support classroom construction and modernization, is winning with 54 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed.
  • Proposition 55, a tax hike extension on individuals earning over $250k and joint filers earning over $500k–is expected to pass with just over 62 percent in favor and almost 38 percent opposed.
  • Proposition 58, which removes a decades-old ban on utilizing bilingual techniques to teach English learners, won overwhelming support with almost 72 percent of voters in favor.

As we receive specific information about how these propositions will impact the District, we will share those details with you.


Best regards,

Matt Hill
Burbank Unified School District

Burbank Unified School District Appoints IT Director

The Burbank Unified School District has appointed Roberto Jurado as Director of Information Technology and Educational Support. Jurado earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UCLA.  He has earned 10 Information Technology Certificates over the past 10 years in Network Engineering, Systems Administration, Desktop Support, and Project Management. The certificates he currently holds are CCNP, CCNA CCENT, MCSA, MCTS, MCP, Project+, Security+, Network+, A+.

Jurado has worked in the Technology Services Department since March of 2008 and has worked as a Technology Support Specialist II, Technology Operations Specialist, Network Analyst, Assistant Director, and, most recently, he stepped in as the Interim Director.

With each promotion he not only rose to the challenge but surpassed expectations.  As Assistant Director he managed multi-million dollar network infrastructure and cabling projects and worked closely to design and implement the new Data Center server equipment and next generation firewall.  He also led a team of five employees to manage the network infrastructure, server infrastructure, and Student Information System (Aeries) for the entire District.

Jurado cares deeply about the department and the employees he works with and says he is looking forward to continuing the great progress the department has made in the last few months.

Walk and Bike to School Day is Wednesday October 5

he 2016 Walk/Bike to School Day is Wednesday, October 5.

The City of Burbank’s Public Information Office has produced a Public Service Announcement  featuring Superintendent Matt Hill which began running on The Burbank Channel on Friday.

A national event can be an amazing impetus for change in communities.  Through annual surveys, local Walk to School Day coordinators across the country have told us how a simple one-day event has led to great changes such as long-term walking and bicycling programs, new sidewalks and pathways, enforcement of unsafe driving behaviors and needed policy changes at schools and in communities.

Improvements that normally take a long time to institute can happen quickly when city officials walk or bicycle to school with students and see firsthand what needs to be done.

The first National Walk to School Day – called Walk Our Children to School Day – was held in 1997. Since then, it’s come a long way.  In May 2012, the first-ever National Bike to School Day was celebrated across the USA.