COVID-19 Response, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Reports Updated

Burbank Board of Education Meeting receives the progress on two important issues.

Students set to graduate in the Class of 2020 from Burbank High School stop by the school for photos. (Photo By Ross Benson)

Two important reports were discussed and updated at the Burbank Board of Education Meeting at City Hall on Thursday night.

They were the Burbank Unified School District’s COVID-19 Response which Dr. Matthew Hill addressed and the Report on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, which Stephanie McCoy spoke about and updated.

Hill showed a slide presentation which had a summary of COVID-19 testing for the BUSD during the week of January 24.

These were the numbers: 2,857 tests were administered across 2,837 individuals [2,591 students and 246 staff].

There were 2,796 negative results and 41 positive tests [38 students and three staff]. The tests were given to approximately 18 percent of BUSD’s students.

Hill also showed how many students were absent from Burbank High, which has 2,420 students over a stretch this past month.

Four hundred and one students were absent six to 10 days. Twenty students were absent between 11 and 14 days.

At Burroughs, which has 2,339 students, over that same period, 149 students missed six to 10 days and eight students were absent 11 to 14 days.

The total of students for Burbank High, Burroughs High, Community Day School, Dolores Huerta Middle School, the Independent Learning Academy, John Muir Middle School, Luther Burbank Middle School, Magnolia Park High and Monterey High is 8,436.

Of those students, 1,045 were absent six to 10 days while 78 students were absent for 11 to 14 days.

With regard for the elementary schools that include Bret Harte, Disney, Edison, Emerson, Jefferson, McKinley, Miller, Providencia, Roosevelt, Stevenson and Washington, there are 5,986 students.

Of those, 815 students were absent for six to 10 days and 183 students were absent 11 to 14 days.

McCoy also used a slide show and it said as follows: McCoy has finalized DEI surveys for classified staff, faculty, and teachers. Surveys will be distributed to all employees.

McCoy is finalizing student and parent draft surveys that will be ready on February 4.

Surveys will be distributed to students and parents by February 15, and McCoy will send the draft [student and parent] surveys to the board subcommittee for review by February 4.

Additionally, McCoy will organize student and parent focus groups to receive feedback on both surveys by February 8, before finalizing the surveys.

By March 15th, present and review all survey results and will discuss the next steps.

With regard to post survey implementation, McCoy will be auditing classrooms to better understand classroom engagement and climate.

McCoy is working with the DEI Engagement Committee to host a student-led panel event this month.

Hill and McCoy collaborated with both the Black Student Union groups from Burroughs High and Burbank High to record a tribute for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The discussion included how both high schools and the school district worked towards King’s dream and mission with their work and with the DEI. It was a student-led production with both schools’ media teams.

McCoy will also be working with the Providencia Elementary and Burbank High’s intervention team and yard staff to help develop tools when having difficult conversations about race and gender equality issues with elementary and secondary students.

McCoy will work with the policy team to develop a Hate Crime Policy and will also work with instructors and teachers to help develop supplementary materials, ethnic studies courses, a new list of novels, and ongoing professional development for teachers, staff and faculty.