Tag Archives: Burbank Unified School District

Eight Burbank Schools to Receive “Young Sheldon STEM Initiative” Grants

Release from the Burbank Unified School District:

Continuing its commitment to fund innovative efforts in STEM education, The Chuck Lorre Family Foundation (TCLFF) today announced the creation of a new grant program — THE YOUNG SHELDON STEM INITIATIVE — inspired by the hit comedy series Young Sheldon. The program was created to foster excitement for learning in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), specifically in support of our nation’s public schools, teachers and students. An announcement of the program can be viewed here.

Each of the winning schools will be acknowledged as a YOUNG SHELDON STEM INITIATIVE Grant Recipient and will receive a two-year grant from TCLFF, which is specifically to support each school’s STEM teachers and STEM educational programs within their existing in-class curriculum and/or after-school programs. In addition to the direct grant funding to each school, the YOUNG SHELDON STEM INITIATIVE will also fully fund all costs for an annual experiential opportunity for students and teachers in and outside the classroom. Each school will be eligible to submit for continuation grants at the end of the two-year period.

  • Items identified by the teachers to be funded include robotics kits, computers, iPads, Vernier probeware, lab tables, 3-D printers, LEGO Mindstorm educational kits, general lab equipment, curriculum development and teacher training.
  • Each school can apply for limited supplemental grants at the end of each year to fund school science and robotics competitions.
  • The initiative will launch to coincide with the beginning of the 2018–19 academic school year.

The eight Burbank schools selected to be YOUNG SHELDON STEM INITIATIVE grant recipients are:

  • Burbank High School (grades 9–12)
  • John Burroughs High School (9–12)
  • Monterey High School (10–12)
  • Burbank Community Day School (8–12)
  • Independent Learning Academy (7–12)
  • Luther Burbank Middle School (6–8)
  • David Starr Jordan Middle School (6–8)
  • John Muir Middle School (6–8)

The District thanks the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., for their generous support of our schools.

Burbank Unified Students Head Back To School

Burbank Unified School District welcomed students to the first day of school on Monday, August 13. Approximately 12,000 students are enrolled in BUSD schools on 11 different campuses throughout the city.

The District partnered with the Burbank Police Department, the City of Burbank and the Automobile Club of Southern California/AAA at a safety awareness event on August 9 at David Starr Jordan Middle School.

burbank unified

Jordan fifth-grader Lexi Gainer, age 10, demonstrates the proper way to embark from a car along the curb – not from a doubled parked car in the middle of the street. ( Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Superintendent Matt Hill visited several schools throughout the District on the first day of classes. Principals and staff at each school site bustled to help students find their way around campus and begin the 2018-19 school year.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

BUSD and AAA released a list of safety advice for families, caregivers and students.

Driving safety tips:

  1. Slow down. Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling 25 mph is much less likely to be killed than a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster. The difference between 25 mph and 35 mph can save a life.
  2. Eliminate distractions and put down the cell phone. Children often cross the road unexpectedly and may emerge suddenly between two parked cars. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.
  3. Talk to your teen. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and more than one-quarter of fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the after-school hours of 3 to 7 p.m. Get evidence-based guidance and tips at TeenDriving.AAA.com.
  4. Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.
  5. Watch for bicycles. Children on bikes are often inexperienced, unsteady and    unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and the bicycle. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that they wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet on every ride. Find videos, expert advice and safety tips at ShareTheRoad.AAA.com.

Volunteer Linda Walmsley mans the stop sign showing kids the proper way to use a marked crosswalk. ( Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Distracted walking safety tips include:

  • Wait until you get to your destination before calling people, texting, or gaming. If you have to text or make a call while walking, stop and find a safe location.
  • Avoid using hands-free devices while walking – Hang up and walk!
  • Remove your headphones or turn down the volume of your music so you can hear what’s going on around you.
  • Keep watching out for cars while crossing the street. There are a lot of distracted drivers out there so keep looking all around you while in and around crosswalks.
  • Be a role model. Pay attention while you walk and if you see your friends and family distracted while they walk – speak up.

Music Is Instrumental Campaign Exceeds First-Year Goal

The Burbank Unified School District recognized the Music Is Instrumental campaign at the Burbank Board of Education meeting on Thursday, June 7, and lauded the work of its many supporters, which helped the campaign exceed its first-year goal.

Headed by Peggy Flynn, Arts and Career Technical Education Coordinator for BUSD, the Music Is Instrumental campaign and final concert utilized efforts from those in the Burbank and greater Los Angeles community to raise approximately $127,000 during the 2017-18 school year.

Since October 2017, Music Is Instrumental has been working to raise 1.2 million dollars, at a pace of $120,000 per year over 10 years, to repair and replace musical instruments used by students at the District’s three middle schools and two high schools.

music is instrumental

Burbank Unified All District Symphonic Orchestra and Choir and professional mentors from Musicians at Play Foundation amazed the audience at Burbank’s Wolfson Auditorium for the Music Is Instrumental fund-raising concert. (Photo By Ross Benson)

The campaign culminated in a powerful performance on Friday, May 11, combining the efforts of Burbank Unified’s vocal and instrumental high school music groups and their professional musician mentors from the Musicians At Play Foundation.

The performance set a standard for future collaborations between the high school students and their mentors.

“Between ticket sales, donations and auction items, the event by itself raised approximately $13,000,” explained Cindy Pease, Managing Director of Musicians at Play Foundation. “Some of that was donations made to directly purchase instruments.”

Michael Hastings, Peggy Flynn, April Williams, Don Williams, Roberta Reynolds, Matt Hill, Trena Pitchford, Linda Walmsley, Tom Vice and Cindy Pease. (Photo Courtesy Burbank Unified School District)

“Don and April [Williams, of Musicians At Play] spent many hours recruiting the musicians and coordinating the schedules, auditions and getting the music donated,” Pease added.

“With BUSD, MAP is establishing protocols and a working model to perpetuate this program in order to establish ongoing performances and to create sustainable revenue for music education in schools. This would include vocal programs and more training for middle schools that feed into high school.”

“Peggy Flynn from BUSD worked tirelessly to make this happen as she works nonstop to build career training programs in the arts to also include theater tech, film and animation,” Pease also said. “This partnership prepare students for careers in the entertainment industry which is a big part of the Burbank community.”

music is instrumental

L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger presents a check for $25,000 for the Music Is Instrumental campaign to Burbank Board of Education President Dr. Roberta Reynolds and Burbank Unified Superintendent Dr. Matt Hill. (Photo Courtesy Burbank Unified School District)

L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger donated $25,000 to the Music Is Instrumental campaign, which was also supported by the L.A. County Arts Commission and the Burbank Arts For All Foundation.

The 1000 for $100 Committee, led by teacher Linda Walmsley and local businessmen Michael Hastings and Michael Cusumano, raised a large amount of money through direct donations.

“I am once again in awe of the support we receive from our community for the arts,” commented Superintendent Dr. Matt Hill. “This campaign has shown the power of individuals working together to support our students.”

With a new school year beginning in a few short months, the Music Is Instrumental campaign is focused on the future and resetting anew for 2018-19.

Conductor Anthony Parnther leads the BUSD All District Orchestra in a rousing performance of music from film and television. (Photo By Ross Benson)

Burbank Adult School Holds Graduation Ceremonies

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Burbank Unified School District announced the following have graduated from their Adult School program in 2018.

Photographed by Ross A. Benson

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Cinthya Almeyda

Elizabeth Alvarado

Angeles Amado

Hakop Jack Arganyan

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Elise Bliss

Isaias Bonilla

Jaelan Bowlby

Gloria Bui

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Leticia Camarena

Alexandra Canaan

Andrew Cardiel

Erika Carnegie

Brandon Castro

William Clay

Devon Cobos

Marilyn Coss

Anapaula Cristerna

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Ricardo De La Torre

David Delgado

Victoria Delgado

Ricardo Duran

Lidia Duron

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Kevin Flores

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Ryan Garcia

Emin Ghahramanians

Danny Giaba

Aaron Gillett

Abel Gonzalez Urquiza

Juan Gutierrez

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Zachary Haas

Weston Hayes

Barbie Herrera

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Armen Injyan

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Ashlie Jones

Christopher Jones

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Cindy Lemus

Ruth Lira

Arlene Lopez

Olivia Lynn

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Taylor Maclachlan

Lianna Manukyan

Micaela McGuire

Ryan Monette

Eric Montalvo

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Najee Packard

Diego Perez

Jeremiah Pineda

Daisy Poschin

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Anthony Ramirez

Rosa Ramirez

Kasra Rashidian

Armando Robles

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Cristian Salinas

Paulina Silva

Eric Solorio

Daniel Sosa

Juan Sosa

Kyle St. Marie

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Christian Terranova

Aram Terteryan

Christopher Tilton

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Alyssa Urteaga

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Toribio Velasco

Nadia Vielma

Leslie Villegas

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Karolina Zepeda

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian


Superintendent Hosts BUSD Student Mental Health Forum For Parents

Burbank Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Matt Hill leads a presentation and panel discussion about support for the mental health needs of students in District schools on Thursday evening, May 31. The BUSD Student Mental Health Forum features an expert panel who will talk about “coping with anxiety, street and other mental health issues affecting our students,” according to a press release.

Image Courtesy Burbank Unified School District

“We encourage all parents to attend the forum to learn more about the resources we have available for parents and students,” commented Hill.

“We will also have a panel that will be able to answer questions that parents have about supporting their children.”

“This forum is geared towards adults so parents may not want to bring children, especially young ones,” added Kimberley Clark, Public Information Officer for Burbank Unified.

The BUSD Student Mental Health Forum begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Burbank Adult School Auditorium, located at 3811 W. Allan Avenue in Burbank.

School District / Teacher Contracts Talk Heating Up

The glare of the white signs could be seen from a block away, the commotion bubbling on an otherwise unassuming intersection. Dozens of Burbank teachers formed outside the offices of the Burbank Unified School District (BUSD) last Friday on the corner of Olive Avenue and Parish Place. Their demands were loudly displayed on signs that read “Respect Burbank Teachers” and “Fair Settlement Now!”. Several cars honked their approval towards the swelling crowd of Burbank educators.

The Burbank Teacher’s Association (BTA) is in the midst of negotiations with the BUSD and have made several efforts to make their case for an increase in wages. In addition to the late afternoon visit on Friday there has been a lunch lockout and other rallying efforts including fundraisers at local businesses.

For many teachers a raise in wages is needed to reflect the ever-growing cost of living in California as well as the evolving needs of students. Several educators offer free time before and after class to help support extra-curricular activities for students.

A visit on the Facebook page of the BTA compares their wages to that of other educators in southern California districts in an effort to call for collective solidarity.

Teachers protest at Muir Middle School recently

About an hour into their spirited rally came the the news that the BUSD had submitted an offer of a  1% increase (the BTA was asking for 8%). 

According to Superintendent Matt Hill, this offer was arrived at by “analyzing how the State’s budget impacts the district’s budget. We determine our offer by including the percentage increase into our three-year budget. The proposal promises a 1% on-schedule salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2017 and a 1% off-schedule salary payment for the 2017-2018 school year.”

The 1% offer represents progress for the teachers, who felt that the BUSD had been engaging in delay tactics. However, Superintendent Hill says negotiations tend to take place in March and lasts through May and June. 

This proposal will be funded by ceasing contributions to the Retiree Health Benefit trust.

Superintendent Hill also mentions the possibility of an extra off-schedule salary payment that will go into effect pending the passing of a parcel tax up in November of this year.

Satisfied with the promise of dialogue, the majority of the attendees had left several minutes before the rally was scheduled to end, their objective accomplished at the moment.

The BTA has until April 20 to either accept the offer or submit a counter proposal.

Editors Note: There will be a Public Hearing (Approx. 7.30 p.m.) of the District’s 2018-2019 Initial Bargaining Proposal to the Burbank Teachers Association tonight at the School Board Meeting held at City Hall’s Council Chambers

Music Is Instrumental Campaign Raises Funds For Public School Instrumental Music Programs

Since October, the Burbank Unified School District has been working towards raising 1.2 million dollars to repair and replace musical instruments in all five of the secondary schools’ Instrumental Music programs. Naming the campaign “Music Is Instrumental,” the BUSD Arts For All program aims to raise 10%, or $120,000, of that need by the end of the 2017-18 school year.

Many members of the Burbank community, and the larger Los Angeles community, have been working towards raising these funds, including Musicians at Play Foundation, the Burbank Arts for All Foundation, the Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective, the Burbank Education Foundation, Burbank Music Academy, Music Junction, Logix Credit Union, Nickelodeon and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 47, according to BUSD Arts & CTE Coordinator Peggy Flynn.

Music Is Instrumental Campaign logo. (Image Courtesy BUSD Arts For All)

Each of the five secondary schools’ Instrumental Music Association booster organizations, parents, District staff and community members, along with local corporate and small businesses, have also joined in the Music Is Instrumental campaign.

One of the larger campaigns, 1000 For $100, is chaired by local businesspeople Michael Cusumano and Michael Hastings, along with elementary school teacher Linda Walmsley.

1000 For $100 began with an outreach to over 60 community leaders asking for their support in getting 1000 people to donate $100 for instrument repair and replacement in the middle and high schools in Burbank, explained Walmsley.

An anonymous donor has pledged a matching grant of up to $20,000 towards the campaign in an effort to  inspire more community members to contribute. If the campaign raises the $20,000 match, it will yield an additional $40,000 to the overall effort.

Since October 2017, the campaign has raised over $79,000 towards the BUSD Arts For All goal of $100,000.

“I am honored to be able to work with Mr. Cusumano and Mr. Hastings to support the Music Is Instrumental Campaign,” commented Walmsley. “Knowing that we are working to support the goal of instrument repair and replacement is such a worthy cause.”

“So many students connect to school through music,” she added. “Seeing the support we have had from so many people in Burbank tells me that they value the program and the youth of our city.”

100% of all donated funds will be used to repair and replace musical instruments for students. Donations are 100% tax deductible and can be made on the BUSD site here or by visiting Musicians At Play here.

Specific donations to the 1000 For $100 campaign can also be made on the Burbank Arts For All Foundation site, noting “BUSD INSTRUMENTAL,” with the donation. The 1000 For $100 campaign ends March 30.

An awareness campaign, “You’ve Been Noted,” begins today, February 28, with colorful musical notes and symbols popping up on lawns throughout Burbank. Another awareness effort, “Random Acts of Music,” spreads word of the Music Is Instrumental campaign with impromptu music performances by Burbank students around town.

 All of the recent months’ fundraising and awareness efforts culminate with a Music Is Instrumental concert at Burbank High School on Friday evening, May 11. The “Music From Film & Television” concert will feature Burroughs and Burbank High School IMAs, Burroughs VMA, professional musicians from the Musicians at Play Foundation and the BUSD All District Symphonic Orchestra.

Burbank National Merit Scholarship Finalists Announced

Five Burbank Unified School District seniors have advanced as Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program, school officials recently announced.

Four Burbank High School seniors have advanced to become National Merit Scholarship Finalists (pictured from left to right): John S. Yee, Melissa Yang, Adam James Czeranko, and Aaron Nhan. (Photo Courtesy Burbank High School)

Four Burbank High School students – John S. Yee, Melissa Yang, Adam James Czeranko and Aaron Nhan – and one student from John Burroughs High School – Prajwal Tumkur Mahesh – are now eligible to compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered in 2018.

As juniors, approximately 1.6 million students take the PSAT/NMSQT, or Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Of those, many receive Letters of Commendation or are recognized as Semi-Finalists. About 15,000 are announced as Finalists each year, and half are awarded scholarships of $2500 that can be renewed each year they attend college, for up to four years.

According to the National Merit Scholarship Program website, “All winners of Merit Scholarship® awards (Merit Scholar® designees) are chosen from the Finalist group based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments—without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.”

John Burroughs High School senior Prajwal Tumkur Mahesh is a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. (Photo Courtesy John Burroughs High School)

“A variety of information is available for NMSC selectors to evaluate: the Finalist’s academic record, information about the school’s curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official’s written recommendation, information about the student’s activities and leadership, and the Finalist’s own essay.”

Burbank High School officials also added that Yee is one of only 511 students worldwide who earned every point possible on an AP Exam last spring.

He answered every multiple-choice question correctly and earned full points on each of the essays in the free-response section of his AP Computer Science A Exam, and has been recognized for Superior Performance on an AP Exam by The College Board.



Threat to Burbank High School Deemed “Nonviable”

A threat that has been passed around on social media that was reported to officials on Thursday, Feb. 22 has been deemed to be nonviable by Burbank Police.

This picture was taken from someone’s phone screen of the threat being sent around. We have blacked out the offensive words as well as other nonrelated areas

According to Burbank Police Sergeant Derek Green, “Burbank High School is NOT on any lockdown.  There appears to be a generic, anonymous screenshot which has been passed along to multiple people in different cities referencing a shooting threat to “B.H.S.” 

There is no source information at this time and it is still being investigated. Extra patrol has been assigned to Burbank schools as a precaution.

Again, there is nothing to suggest this social media threat (which was second hand at the very least) has anything to do with Burbank Schools.” Green emphasized.

A call placed to the Superintendent’s Office of the Burbank Unified School District also said it was a nonviable threat and Burbank police are at both high schools on extra patrol.

The threat was also broadcast to all California Highway Patrol units to be advised of the situation but no further action was being taken.

While the person who sent the threat said “BHS”, they did not specify Burbank High School. There are several other high schools in the area with the same initials of BHS.

Burbank School Superintendent Comments on Florida School Shooting

Following is a statement from Burbank Unified School Superintendent Matt Hill regarding the Florida school shooting that occurred Feb. 14, 2018

In one of the deadliest shootings in modern U.S. history, 17 children and adults were gunned down yesterday at a high school in Florida. This senseless and tragic event, and the other school shootings that have occurred this year, have shaken all of us to our core. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. At this point in time, however, words of condolence seem hollow. Many of us feel the frustration of what seems to be a hopeless epidemic of violence in our nation. This is not a partisan political issue. Now more than ever, we need to unite together to find solutions that will prevent these types of tragedies.


Matt Hill
Burbank Unified School District