Tag Archives: Board of Education

School Board Adds Multiple Positions And Programs With LCAP Approval

The Burbank Unified School District Board of Education approved the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) on Thursday, June 26. The LCAP provides a three-year spending plan for the district to address mandates in educational code and put additional funds from the State to use.

The LCAP provides for a full-time curriculum specialist at each of the district’s 11 elementary schools and the addition of two elementary music teachers this coming year plus one more in the third year of the plan.

BUSD LogoOne school nurse will be added to the district rotation every year for the next three years plus one behavior specialist. Year-round programs including summer intervention for English Language Learner students.

After the development of a guidance plan over the coming year, an additional counselor will be added to Burroughs and Burbank High Schools and Muir, Luther and Jordan Middle Schools next year.

Custodial staff will add one position right away, along with two more in the second year of the LCAP plan.

Additional items included in the LCAP are provisions for online learning for high school, including funding for the Independent Learning Academy.

The current ratio of library assistants at all elementary schools will be maintained for the coming years and pull-out programs for GATE students in elementary and middle school will also be funded.

The plan aligns with Common Core standards and provides all students with access to technology at BUSD schools. Part-time media and technology specialists have been funded for the elementary and middle schools.

The LCAP also insures one teacher per middle school for World Language program, starting with Spanish 1, in August.

The sixty-person committee, made up of district administrators, principals, teachers, parents and community members worked on developing the comprehensive plan over the past several months. A survey was conducted to gather additional community stakeholder input as well.

Coordinated by Hani Youssef, BUSD Director of Safety and Student Services, the LCAP committee met weekly to hammer out the three-year plan.

“We believe that the Board approved a plan that really meets the need of students at all levels,” commented Dr. Tom Kissinger, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services for BUSD. “The work done on this plan represents a truly collaborative effort of parents, community members, school site staff and administrators.”

A first draft of the LCAP can be viewed on the BUSD website here. Some minor changes to the language were made after the first hearing of the draft, which was then approved by the school board on June 26. The plan is required to be filed with the Los Angeles County Office of Education by July 1.


School Board Approves Middle School Language Program

The Burbank Unified Board of Education approved a plan to implement one daily class in Spanish at each of the district’s three middle schools for the 2014-15 school year.

After a lengthy discussion, the Board ultimately all voted in favor of the middle school language program, 4-0, at the May 15 meeting. Board member Dave Kemp was absent.

BUSD logoEmilio Urioste, Director II of Secondary Education, presented the plan, which would draw from current high school Spanish teachers to lead the initial year’s classes.

One class, filled with 30-33 students, will be offered at each middle school. At John Muir and Luther Burbank Middle Schools, the class will start at 7:00 a.m. during the non-rotating zero period. Since David Starr Jordan Middle School does not have a zero period, the world language class is slated to begin at 8:00 a.m. for first period, the only non-rotating class of the day schedule.

The additional salary for these classes will cost approximately $120,000. The textbooks are the same Spanish I textbooks used in the high school classes and will cost about $18,000.

The year-long course would satisfy the course credit required for graduation from high school, according to Urioste, which will eventually require Board approval.

“We will see more students, as a result of this, be able to complete the A-G requirement,” explained Urioste.

While Board members agreed the plan was not perfect, after much discussion they agreed to see it as a first step towards complying with California Educational Code requiring foreign language courses be offered from grade seven through grade 12.

Depending on the level of student and parent interest and response to the pilot program, district officials are looking at adding full-time Spanish language teachers at the middle schools the subsequent year.

Many factors are in play to determine the number of full-time teachers and courses able to be offered in schools, including enrollment, availability of credentialed teachers and student/parent interest.

Board members Charlene Tabet and Larry Applebaum didn’t see the offered plan as the best use of funds, while they were very supportive of getting a middle school language program in place.

However, “if we’re going to do it, we have to take the first step or we’ll never do it,” said Board President Dr. Roberta Reynolds.

“It’s not an elective; it’s not a choice,” commented Tabet, referring to state law. “It’s something the kids are going to have to take.”

While a middle school language program hasn’t been offered for more than 10 years, all Board members agreed BUSD must develop the program.

Applebaum commented he’s heard from several parents with great interest in the program. The Board questioned what would happen if 60 kids, enough for two classes, at one school wanted to take the new Spanish I class.

“If we have a lot of interest, we’d bring it back to the Board with a proposal to create an additional class,” answered Superintendent Dr. Jan Britz.

Burbank Teachers Association Endorses Armond Aghakhanian For School Board

 The Burbank Teachers Association has endorsed Armond Aghakhanian for Burbank School Board in the upcoming 2013 election.

“As a new parent and a university professor, Armond can see the perspective of all parents in the community and has a vested interest in the quality of education that we provide for our students,” said Lori Adams, President of the Burbank Teachers Association.

“Armond brings many new ideas to the table as well as the perspective of newcomers to our community and various political representatives.” Adams continued.  “We look forward to working with Armond on many new projects that will enhance our curriculum as well as the finances of the District in the future.”

Armond Aghakhanian is a professor at Burbank’s Woodbury University.  For the past five years he has taught courses in business, management, organizational leadership and government.  Armond also serves the community on the Burbank and Greater East Valley Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors, the City of Burbank’s Community Development Goals Committee and as a member of Burbank Noon Kiwanis Club.  In 2010 Aghakhanian was honored with “President’s Volunteer Service  Award.”

“I am honored to have the support of Burbank’s classroom teachers in this election,” said Aghakhanian. “I know that working together we can meet the challenges facing our school district and ensure that every child who attends Burbank’s schools receives the education they need to obtain the skills they need to pursue their dreams and succeed in life.”

 Aghakhanian earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from California State University Northridge and a Master’s of Business Administration from Burbank’s Woodbury University.  He is currently a Doctoral candidate at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology.

Burbank School Board candidate Armond Aghakhanian and is wife, Dr. Gayane Gasamanyan, with their son.

 Armond Aghakhanian and his wife, Dr. Gayane Gasamanyan are residents of Burbank.  Their son just celebrated his first birthday.

You can learn more about Armond’s campaign by visiting: www.armond2013.com/

Ferguson Begins to Lineup Important Endorsements From Elected Officials

In an email to supporters, Burbank School Board Candidate Steve Ferguson announced Tuesday that he has received the endorsement of Burbank City Council Member Dr. David Gordon.

“I endorse Steve Ferguson because he will bring a new and vital perspective that will energize our students by addressing the challenges faced by our district as a whole.” Said Dr. Gordon, who continued “Steve will bring the experience and dedication necessary to successfully guide our schools through these troubled economic times ”

Steve Ferguson

Mr. Ferguson also recently received the endorsement of Burbank Board of Education Clerk Dr. Roberta Reynolds.

“I’m looking for a different perspective on the board than the ones we already have. There is one candidate who not only has a strong commitment to our community and the experience in city government to hit the ground running, but who can also understand the students in our classrooms today. Mr. Steve Ferguson is that candidate.” Said Dr. Reynolds of her endorsement for the Ferguson campaign.

These recent endorsements add to an already broad and growing coalition of parents, community members, and local leaders who have signed on to support Steve Ferguson for School Board and are rapidly propagating a community-wide conversation about the need for new leadership to preserve and enhance public education through local participation.

Steve Ferguson Announces Campaign for Burbank School Board Seat

Steve Ferguson announced on Wednesday that he will seek election to the Burbank Unified School District Board of Education. Ferguson, if elected, will become both the youngest and the first openly LGBT person to serve the board in Burbank history.

Steve Ferguson

Steve Ferguson has already earned several strong endorsements from community members as well as current and former Burbank Officials. Ferguson’s endorsements include former Burbank Mayors Mary Lou Howard and Marsha Ramos, as well as Burbank Police Commission Chair Elise Stearns-Niesen.

“I am supporting Steve Ferguson for school board because he believes in the Burbank standard and has the commitment to work for our students and our community.” Said former Mayor Mary Lou Howard, who continued “Steve Ferguson will bring desperately needed new ideas to the Burbank School District that better meet the needs of our children and our community.”

Steve Ferguson’s campaign announcement has been much anticipated since a controversial August 5 School Board meeting where Burbank Police Lt. John Dilibert narrowly won appointment to fill a recently vacated seat, after an initial vote tied. Board President Larry Applebaum broke the tie by withdrawing support for Ferguson and voting for his second choice, Dilibert. President Applebaum noted earlier in the meeting that Dilibert had indicated he would not run for election to the seat in the spring, citing the Lieutenant’s first sworn duty to the police department as being too time consuming.

“Like many school districts, our schools here in Burbank will face disastrous deficits if we don’t work to find a new, innovative, and collaborative approach to our district’s budget problems. This is a community that is proud of our public schools and I will fight to preserve the Burbank standard of education. I have the experience to hit the ground running, and I will provide a new perspective as part of the next generation of leadership here in our hometown.” Mr. Ferguson said during the official announcement of the formation of his campaign committee.

A familiar face in Burbank government, 23 year-old Steve Ferguson has served on 18 civic and non-profit boards since the age of 12, including notable service as Chairman of the Burbank Parks Recreation and Community Services Board where Mr. Ferguson lead the fight to prevent cuts to senior meals, youth programming and maintain overnight park patrol services.

More information about Steve Ferguson can be found online at www.FergusonForSchoolBoard.com