The Burbank Board of Education discussed the 2021-22 District-Wide Goals, recognized several student and community member efforts and gifts, and covered a lot of ground during the nearly four-hour-long public portion of the regular meeting held on Thursday, June 3.
The Board recognized outgoing School Facilities Oversight Committee members Brian Smith and Elena Hubbell for their years of service.
The Dolores Huerta Middle School Activism Club was also highlighted for its multi-year work raising funds for a recently completed water well built for students in Sudan. Teacher and club advisor Lori Pacino explained that the club was formed nearly four years ago, after students in her class read about the ongoing water crisis in Africa and the book A Long Walk To Water.
Pacino’s students insisted on finding a way to help, so the Huerta Activism Club was formed. The club recently received photos of the newly built well and thanks to the school community for providing the funds to build it.
Burbank Human Relations Council President Marsha Ramos recognized the efforts of John Burroughs High School Associated Student Body and its President Nadaly Jones for months-long work in the changing the JBHS mascot from an “Indian” to a Bear.
Burroughs Principal Deborah Madrigal also honored and thanked community member Linda Bessin, who donated $29,670 for new uniforms for all of the school’s Girls Varsity teams reflecting the new mascot. The uniforms will be purchased for the 2021-22 school year.
The Board also heard the first reading of the District-Wide Goals for 2021-22. The text for the first draft and report to the Board is available here.
“Each year the Board of Education meets to review the current–year District–Wide Goals,” explained Hill in his report to the Board. “With the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), the state of California requires an annual adoption of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) which includes the District’s goals. The LCAP is the accountability tool that describes for the District the goals—and specific actions to achieve the goals—and is aligned with the District–adopted budget.”
Burbank Unified senior staff met in a special study session on Saturday, May 15, to discuss the goals for 2021-22 and presented their first draft to the Board for discussion. After a short discussion amongst Board members who then gave notes, Superintendent Matt Hill and BUSD staff will prepare a final draft for approval at a future Board meeting.
Hill gave his monthly report on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. He talked about the Employee Resource Group, which includes members from every BUSD employee group and meets every few weeks and will continue to meet over the summer. He also discussed Professional Development and Communications subgroups’ goals.
The Engagement subcommittee has been discussing the coming school year and ways to include students and parents in learning more about the efforts of the DEI Committee. Instruction and Policy subgroups are also continuing their work.
“As mentioned in Public Comment and throughout [the meeting], I have a wide open door, email, phone, so anyone that has questions or thoughts or wants to chat about the work we are doing on DEI, please reach out to me,” Hill commented.
The Board also approved a number of staff employment – related items, including the acceptance of a $180,000 grant from the Chuck Lorre Foundation to help support the salary of the BUSD Arts and Career Technical Education Coordinator, who oversees a range of Arts and CTE programs for all schools and grades. Four BUSD schools – Luther, Huerta, Burroughs and Burbank – were recognized by the State Superintendent Tony Thurmond as Exemplary Arts Education Schools, out of 33 honored statewide, in April.
Several Board members also expressed their happiness at being able to attend in person graduation ceremonies at the various BUSD schools during the final days of the Spring semester, which ended Thursday, May 27.
“Graduation is the highlight of a Board person’s year,” commented Board Vice President Charlene Tabet. “It is the best of times. The celebration, the excitement, the ‘we did it’ feeling that the students have, but it takes so much dedication from many people: the principals, the assistant principals, the custodians, the grounds crew, IT techs, teachers who take on roles as sound check engineers, photographers, videographers… It was extraordinary and beautiful and I’m so, so, so glad we were able to do it for the students this year.”
The Burbank Board of Education is comprised of President Steve Frintner, Vice President Charlene Tabet, Clerk Steve Ferguson and members Dr. Armond Aghakhanian and Dr. Emily Weisberg. More information on the Board can be found online on their webpage.