School Board Votes On Map And Rescinds COVID-19 Vaccination For BUSD Employees

The more than four-hour meeting recognized student board members Ever Huerta and Serineh Ter-Petrossyan for all their hard work.

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(Photo By Ross Benson)

There were several important topics discussed and voted upon at Thursday’s Burbank School Board Meeting at City Hall and they included the fifth and final public hearing regarding a preferred draft map and election sequencing for transition from at-large to by trustee area elections, pursuant to election code section 10010, subdivision (a)(1) and the rescission of resolution 7 requiring COVID-19 vaccinations of all Burbank Unified School District Employees.

In both, a vote was taken by the board members and it was a unanimous 5-0 count.

There were about 15 maps offered and the one that the members chose was Map 104, which all members believe to be the fairest for all.

Board President Steve Ferguson said of the approved map.

“We want a block and not a gerrymandered district. We want to give sizable communities representation. We want everybody to have a patch. We’re trying to answer complicated governance questions quickly.”

Board member Charlene Tabot agreed with Ferguson.

“This works really well. Our goal was to bridge districts,” she said. “We want as diversified a population as possible.”    

Board member Abby Pontzer Kamkar concurred with her colleagues. “Nothing looks gerrymandered,” she said.

Vice President Dr. Emily Weisberg said of the map. “We try to do the best we can. This is as close to right as possible. It feels right to me.”

With respect to all Burbank Unified School employees having to be vaccinated, on June 30, 2023, this will no longer be the case given that the state of emergency have been lifted at the city, county and state level.

It was also noted that a mandatory vaccination could be brought back if it was deemed needed.

Early in the more than four-hour meeting, the board recognized the student board members, Burroughs High’s Ever Huerta, who is also the ASB President and Burbank’s Serineh Ter-Petrosstan.

Each spoke about their year as student members and what this past year meant to them and also spoke about what is going on at their respective school.

Huerta said he will attend Cal State University Northridge and will major in history with the hope of becoming a teacher.

Ter-Petrossyan, who became emotional at times, will attend Pierce College and major in veterinary medicine and hopes to transfer to UC Davis.

The members also voted 5-0 that May 21 through May 27 will be Classified Employee Week.

Longtime Burbank High track and field and cross-country coach and teacher Frank Kallem passed away last month after 38 years of service.

One of the speakers, who was greatly impacted by him, wants to honor Kallem by having a memorial plaque at the school to honor the man.