Tag Archives: Elementary Schools

Discover the International School of Los Angeles at Pasadena

Considering a bilingual program for your child? Ever wondered how preschoolers can learn two languages at the same time? Wonder no more!

Come and meet the International School of Los Angeles community and find out what a French-English bilingual curriculum looks like.

The Discover the International School of Los Angeles event on Saturday, October 26 from 9:30am-11:30am offers families an opportunity to meet the Campus Director, teachers, students, and parents, and to learn more about the School’s unique programs and nurturing community.

For free registration, please visit https://ps-discover-lila.eventbrite.com/.

Discover the International School of Los Angeles at West Valley

Considering a bilingual program for your child? Ever wondered how preschoolers can learn two languages at the same time? Wonder no more!

Come and meet the International School of Los Angeles community and find out what a French-English bilingual curriculum looks like.

The Discover the International School of Los Angeles event on Saturday, October 26 from 9:30am-11:30am offers families an opportunity to meet the Campus Director, teachers, students, and parents, and to learn more about the School’s unique programs and nurturing community.

For free registration, please visit https://wv-discover-lila.eventbrite.com/.

Shakespeare Exploration Day Engages And Entertains

Burbank Unified School District recently held a Shakespeare Exploration Day for 200 students in the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program from every elementary school in the district. The Burbank Adult School opened its doors to the students as they attended various classes and demonstrations throughout the full school day program.

Caroline Solberg, a Jefferson parent and volunteer, organized the grant funding effort which made the Exploration Day possible. The students also celebrated the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth with slices of cake.

Penelope White and Nova McNally, Roosevelt fourth-graders, spar with foils.  (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Penelope White and Nova McNally, Roosevelt fourth-graders, spar with foils. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“This GATE event was an excellent example of what can happen when parents, teachers and administrators all work together to put together a high quality learning experience for students,” commented Dr. Tom Kissinger, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services. “I was just thrilled to see almost two hundred fourth- and fifth-graders, from all eleven elementary schools, participating.”

Student learned about Shakespeare’s biographical details and life in England during the later part of the 16th century and early 17th century, including manners, language and other aspects of the culture at that time.

They listened to performances of and acted out scenes from Romeo and Juliet. Students also practiced sword fighting and stage combat skills with instructors from Swordplay and participated in team building exercises.

Jefferson parent and Shakespeare Exploration Day organizer Caroline Solberg hands fourth-grader Kaylee Hirsch from Roosevelt a slice of cake to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday. (Photo Courtesy of Colleen Matlock)

Jefferson parent and Shakespeare Exploration Day organizer Caroline Solberg hands fourth-grader Kaylee Hirsch from Roosevelt a slice of cake to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday. (Photo Courtesy of Colleen Matlock)

“I really enjoyed learning about Shakespeare as well as practicing my sword fighting skills in preparation for my scene from Romeo and Juliet,” said Rhett Hemingway, a fourth-grader from Brett Harte Elementary. “I have to admit I was a little surprised by how interesting Shakespeare was.”

Kelly Matlock, a fourth-grader from Roosevelt Elementary, thought the Shakespeare Exploration Day “was super fabulous amazing. I wish I could do it again.”

“My favorite part was everything, but if I had to pick something, I’d say the acting part,” she added.

Students learn to properly bow and curtsy, in a class taught by Lisa Dyson. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Students learn to properly bow and curtsy, in a class taught by Lisa Dyson. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Shakespeare Exploration Day was the first day program of its kind for GATE students in BUSD, with three to four more planned for the 2014-15 school year. The district also plans to expand with similar programs at the middle school level in the near future, according to Kissinger.

Youngsters age 9 to 15 with an interest in acting and learning more about Shakespeare may be interested in joining the Burbank Youth Summer Theatre Institute’s annual summer camp. Families can register via the Burbank Parks and Rec website. The camp runs for three weeks in June and will be taught by actor/artists Lisa Dyson, David Prather, Beth Morrison and Crystal Robbins.

Students practice stage combat and fencing basics at Shakespeare Exploration Day. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Students practice stage combat and fencing basics at Shakespeare Exploration Day. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

BUSD Plans To Add 21 Elementary Teachers In Six Years

In a report to the Burbank Unified School District School Board earlier this month, Dr. Tom Kissinger, the district’s Director of Elementary Education and Categorical Programs, outlined the administration’s plan to add an anticipated 21 elementary teachers over the coming six years. The hiring of additional teachers for grades K-3 will ensure the district meets the State mandate on class size reduction ahead of the 2020 deadline.

From 1996 through 2006, grades K-3 throughout the state had a 20:1 student to teacher ratio. Then the funding cuts began and class sizes ballooned. In Burbank alone during the 2009-10 school year, grades K-3 all had 30:1 class sizes. The negative effects of larger class sizes have been roundly documented and discussed, in the Burbank community and throughout the state in recent years.

“The objective is to improve reading and math skills for primary grades in smaller classes,” Kissinger said about the California Department of Education (CDE)’s effort to institute smaller class sizes statewide.

While Kissinger stresses that the numbers and needs are expected to change from year to year, due to enrollment shifts and other factors, the plan demonstrates BUSD’s commitment to meeting the State guidelines.

“The district is required to make progress every year, at every school site, to work towards the State goals,” commented Kissinger. He noted the administration will make annual adjustments to the plan for reducing the ratio of students per teacher for school years beginning in 2013-2014 and running through 2020-2021.

BUSD must show this effort annually as part of their application to the State to receive funds from the Class Size Reduction (CSR) fund through the CDE. The money received every year from the CSR/CDE funds covers the cost of hiring the additional teachers, according to Kissnger.

The State mandate says that class sizes for primary grades of Kindergarten through grade three must be at a 24:1 student to teacher ratio by the year 2020. According to BUSD’s plan, all elementary schools are anticipated to reach the 24:1 ratio by the 2019-20 school year.

Currently, in the 2013-14 school year, Kindergarten classes are at a 28:1 ratio and grades 1-3 are at a 30:1 ratio. In the coming 2014-15 school year, Kindergarten classes will be at a 26:1 ratio and first grade classes will drop to a 28:1 ratio. By 2016-17, Kindergarten classes are expected to be at the mandated 24:1 ratio. First grade is planned to be at 25:1, with second grade at 26:1 and third grade at 28 students per teacher.

Since the district has already hired two full year and one half year teachers for the 2013-14 school year, and the plan calls for an anticipated need of 23.5 teachers, BUSD can expect to hire 21 K-3 teachers in the coming years. The district is planning to have hired a net total of more than 15 additional teachers by the 2016-17 school year.

In the immediate future, BUSD is looking at possibly adding one Kindergarten to Bret Harte Elementary, one Kindergarten to Jefferson Elementary, one first grade class to Stevenson Elementary and one first grade class to McKinley Elementary, for the 2014-15 school year.

Leadership Burbank Presents Donation to Burbank Schools

On Thursday, August 15 the Leadership Burbank Class of 2013 proudly presented Washington Elementary School’s principal, Brandi Young and the Burbank Unified School Board a check for over $11,000 to be used in support of a new K-5 music program.

This donation is in addition to the 31 violins and 40 music stands also donated by the Leadership Burbank Class of 2013 to support music programs at Providencia Elementary School and Roosevelt Elementary School.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)