School Board Decides Unvaccinated Students Okay For Overnight Trips

Burbank Unified School District has a lively and productive meeting.

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(Photo By Ross Benson)

In what were impassioned pleas from about a dozen fifth grade students and about a half dozen parents at Thursday’s meeting of the Burbank Unified School District at City Hall, it was agreed that only parents need to be vaccinated and not students for overnight trips, including Overnight Science School [OSS], which was canceled for a year.

A full vote on the matter will be held at the next meeting, but in the meantime, fifth graders will be able to attend OSS and other overnight trips without being vaccinated.

One parent suggested that a Parent Advisory Board should be set up for the Report on COVID-19 Protocols and Procedures for Overnight Field Trips for the 2022-2023 academic year, but the board said that matter it will be taken up at the next meeting.

BUSD Board President Charlene Tabet commended all the students who spoke. “It was nice to see those young students standing up and advocating for themselves,” she said.

Also taken up was the Report on the Burbank Unified School District School Satisfaction Survey for Spring 2022.

A slide show was used and here are some of the results: The number of participants for 2022 is 2,740 and it included 1,550 parents, 786 students, 362 staff and 42 community members.

Teaching and Learning: Overall satisfaction with the curriculum remains constant. Students and parents showed little change in their opinions regarding engaging classes, but the staff response declined eight percent.

School Safety: Staff and students report high ratings for what to do in a crisis or disaster. However, there was an overall decline in each group. In addition, students feel less respected by campus supervisors.

School Safety: Bullying – There was not a lot of change in this area. The responses from all respondents remained fairly consistent.

Academic Support: There has been a small negative change in the responses of students, staff and parents over the three years 2022, 2021 and 2020.

Mental Health: Students and parent groups rated questions regarding sufficient resources for students and awareness of the resources positively but staff responses declined significantly.

Student and Family Engagement: Parents and staff opinion of site leadership accessibility and availability remained positive, while there was a decrease with both parents and staff of district office administrators’ availability and accessibility.

Career Technical Education: Ninety-three percent of the staff believe the Career Technical Education program prepares students for post-secondary education and a career in a relevant field. The responses from parents and students remained consistent with little change.

These questions were added to the 2022 School Satisfaction Survey to align with the district work for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

All staff respect my pronouns: 56 percent of the students agree.

LGBTQ+ students are safe and accepted by other students: 48 percent of the students agree.

LGBTQ+ students are safe and included by all school staff: 69 percent of the students agree.

My culture, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation and race are acknowledged and celebrated by the school: 55 percent of the students agree.

My culture, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation and race are represented in textbooks, novels, library books and other instructional materials at my school: 55 percent of the students agree.

My home language is accepted, welcomed and taken into consideration when information is shared with my parents/guardian: 74 percent of the students agree.

My student’s and my pronouns are respected by all staff: 72 percent of the parents agree.

LGBTQ+ students are safe and included by all school staff: 65 percent of the parents agree.

My culture, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and race are acknowledged and celebrated by the school: 64 percent of the parents agree.

All the staff respect my pronouns: 78 percent of the staff agree.

LGBTQ+ staff members are safe and included at my school: 79 percent of the staff agree.

LGBTQ+ students are safe and included by all school staff: 69 percent of the staff agree.

My home language is accepted and welcomed at the school: 87 percent of the staff agree.

My culture, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation and race are acknowledged and celebrated by the school: 67 percent of the staff agree.

My culture, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and race are represented in textbooks, novels, library books and other instructional materials at my school: 71 percent of the staff agree.

The next step will be administering the survey in the spring of 2023.

Align professional development to address the findings of the DEI Survey and the School Satisfaction Survey.

Utilized the spring 2023 School Satisfaction Survey as one of the multiple metrics to measure progress in the District DEI work.

Discuss Survey results in detail with District Administrators to address the overall decline in positive responses.

“I stand behind our LGBTQ+ students,” Tabet said. “We’re here to support our children.”

“We will continue to support our transgender students,” said board member Steve Frintner.

Board member Dr. Armond Aghakhanian also spoke. “Hate has no home here or anywhere else,” he said.

“Our support for our transgender students is unwavering,” said board member Dr. Emily Weisberg.

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