BUSD Meeting: Several Key Topics Talked About

The meeting was relatively short and yielded much information.

(Photo By Ross Benson)

Though school isn’t in session, there was nonetheless a Burbank Unified School District meeting on Thursday night at city hall and four of the five members were present.

They were Dr. Emily Weisberg, president, Dr. Armond Aghakhanian, vice president, Charlene Tabet, member and Abby Pontzer Kamkar, clerk, while Steve Ferguson, member, was absent.

The roughly two-and-a-half-hour session touched on a number of important topics.

One topic discussed was the Report on Excess Reserves.

Some background: Districts that propose to adopt a budget that includes a combined assigned and unassigned ending fund balance in excess of the minimum recommended reserve for economic uncertainties (REU), must provide the following information at the public hearing for their proposed budget prior to budget adoption: The minimum reserve for REU level required in each year identified in the budget.

Plus, the amount of assigned and unassigned ending fund balance that exceeds the REU in each year. Additionally, the reasons for the REU being greater than the minimum district’s required REU level.

Also, the district is required to retain a three percent REU, and the Board of Education recognize their duty to maintain fiscal solvency set by board policy to reserve an additional three percent.

Another important topic discussed was the World Textbook Adoption Plan and it involves the following: During the 2023-2024 school year, the Burbank Unified School District piloted a state-approved world language textbooks for secondary schools.

Moreover, the process began with a group of secondary world language teachers and site administrators attending a textbook preview.

Burbank teachers then narrowed their selection down to Carnegie Learning and Vista Higher Learning.

Teachers also volunteered to pilot the textbooks during the 2023-2024 school year.

There were teacher representatives from each of the high schools and middle schools and all of the teachers piloted Carnegie Learning in the fall, and they all piloted Vista Higher Learning in the spring.

This allowed for a real and authentic evaluation as each teacher experienced the materials from both textbooks.

During the semester, the piloting teachers met regularly to discuss their issues with the textbooks.

Together, Burbank’s teachers were able to share what they believe is best practices to accommodate the new curriculum.

In particular, the new curriculum from both publishers contained many online resources and student applications that required technology.

The goals district wide for 2022-2023 included: That students will be career/college ready via high-quality instruction.

Additionally, every piloting teacher completed an evaluation of both Carnegie Learning and Vista Higher Learning, and the evaluations were tallied, and the data was compiled for the teachers to access.

While both textbooks have strengths and weaknesses, the evaluation scores indicated that they are in favor of the Vista Higher Learning textbook.

At the close of the meeting, Weisberg thanked everyone involved ahead of the August 3 Back To School Book Sale for grades kindergarten through 12th grade and also thanked all the principals for their hard work and dedication.

Tabet mentioned a wonderful breakfast she attended with the Realtors Association and applauded and congratulated 18 Burbank students who won scholarships.

Aghakhanian acknowledged that this year has been a tough one for him personally and mentioned the passing of his father and he wished a belated Father’s Day to all fathers.

Kamkar said that she will not be in town during July, but rather she will be in Minnesota with her family visiting her extended family and friends.

The session adjourned in the memory of Ron Morris, a silver medalist in the pole vault at the 1960 Rome Olympics, who passed away at the age of 89.

Morris, a 1953 graduate of Burroughs High, was a two-time California state record holder and champion in the pole vault.

Morris also attended USC where he broke the school record in the same event.

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