The Burbank Unified School District gave an online presentation for State of the Schools 2021, releasing a video on the Burbank Arts & Education Foundation YouTube channel on Monday, March 15.
Interspersed with excerpts from the elementary, middle and high school performing arts programs and comments and introductions from members of the Burbank Unified community including students, parents and teachers, Superintendent Matt Hill talked about the past year of challenges and bright spots that students, teachers and their families have experienced.
He acknowledged most of the Burbank community has experienced hardships and losses over the past year of the coronavirus pandemic. He also thanked the employees of Burbank Unified for their ongoing work and local elected officials for their efforts in listening to the concerns and needs of BUSD and advocating for the district.
Hill explained what DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) means in BUSD, talked about the ongoing financial problems the district faces in coming years and discussed the goals of the district in bringing students back in the afternoons for the last two months of the school year. He noted that all employees who have wanted a vaccine have been offered their first dose and talked about the reopening process.
BUSD is primarily bringing students in grades TK-12 back in the afternoons, now that health conditions allow, Hill said, to provide academic support and reteaching for students struggling with distance learning, small group work and for student mental health, to provide social-emotional interaction.
“The future is unknown but the future is bright in Burbank,” Hill concluded.
Burbank Board of Education President Steve Frintner also made comments and discussed some of the main efforts of the Board over the past year, including the creation of an Anti-Racist Statement, the renaming of Jordan Middle School to Dolores Huerta Middle School and the broad inclusion of many marginalized groups under DEI focus. He also talked about the challenges of distance learning.
The last part of the State of the Schools 2021 address focused on California Teacher of the Year finalist, second-grade Joaquin Miller Elementary teacher Ericca Dent and featured a Spectrum News profile on Dent that examined her background and work in the classroom.
More information about the Burbank Arts & Education Foundation, which raises funds to support Burbank Unified programs and teachers through grants, can be found on their website.
The 41-minute-long State of the Schools 2021 program can be seen below