Tag Archives: 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/.

Nickelodeon Donates Computers And Monitors To BUSD

Burbank-based Nickelodeon Animation Studio donated close to 100 computers and monitors to the Burbank Unified School District earlier this month of March.

On Thursday, March 13, Nickelodeon’s Carson Smith, Omar Haro, Dominique Austin and Rafael Torres loaded up the Nickelodeon truck and their own private vehicles with 43 Mac Pros, 23 iMacs and more than 20 monitors and delivered them to BUSD’s Technology Services Divison.

“We at Nickelodeon think it is extremely important to partner with the community, and since our motto has always been ‘Kids First,’ we thought it was fitting that the gently used computers would benefit children in the area,” commented Smith.

“Additionally, they are in perfect working order, and by donating them we were able to keep them out of a landfill and put them in the hands of someone who could put them to good use,” he added.

Coordinated by BUSD administrators Sharon Cuseo and Charles Poovakan, the district’s technology department received the donation to prepare for disbursement to John Muir Middle School and George Washington Elementary School. Muir and Washington will receive the donated equipment as part of their ongoing partnership with Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon in Burbank donated computers and monitors to Burbank Unified School District in March. (Photo Courtesy of Nickelodeon Animation Studio)

Nickelodeon in Burbank donated computers and monitors to Burbank Unified School District in March. (Photo Courtesy of Nickelodeon Animation Studio)

“This is yet another example of Nickelodeon’s commitment to supporting Burbank Unified schools and students,” said BUSD Arts Coordinator Peggy Flynn.

“Russell Hicks and Carson Smith are visionaries who understand the impact donations like these have on our efforts to meet the needs of our students,” Flynn continued. “Their leadership and the contributions of the entire Nickelodeon team help to ensure we will have the tools our teachers and kids need to develop the twenty-first century skills. We are so fortunate to have such amazing neighbors!”

Nickelodeon in Burbank donated computers and monitors to Burbank Unified School District in March. (Photo Courtesy of Nickelodeon Animation Studio)

Nickelodeon in Burbank donated computers and monitors to Burbank Unified School District in March. (Photo Courtesy of Nickelodeon Animation Studio)

Burbank Unified continues to develop their 21st Century Classroom plan, as the need for additional technology interfaces in the classroom grows. Educators see technology as a way to connect with a wide group of students, as well as a way to prepare young learners for their futures past secondary education.

As professional purveyors of media, Nickelodeon, along with other area studios, often quickly outgrow the abilities of their computers and monitors used for cutting-edge technology and creative services. While not old by consumer and average user standards, the hardware can often find a second life for use in local schools.

Burbank Already Has Performing Arts Centers

By Greg Simay
myBurbank Entertainment Editor

Guess what? In trying to do right by our students, we’ve wound up creating two performing arts centers.

On February 28, I had been to Pop Show 35, presented by the John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association (JBHS VMA.)  And maybe some of you had seen their final performance on Sunday, March 2, and then a few hours later, had watched the Academy Awards.

If so, then maybe you also agree with the following:

1)   The performances ranged from superior-for-high-school all the way to out-and-out professional. To cite just one example: When I heard the VMA soloist belt out Skyfall, I thought she more than held her own with Adele’s version at the 2013 Academy Awards. (I re-listened to Adele on U-Tube and stand by that opinion.)

2)   And speaking of the Academy Awards: If some disaster had befallen the Dolby Theatre in the months leading to the 2014 Academy Awards, the show organizers could do worse than commandeering the JBHS auditorium or, for that matter the one at Burbank High School (BHS.) (I’ll pass on how they would handle the logistics of red carpet hoopla along Clark St.)

Our high school auditoriums have become performing arts centers.  For anyone who has seen performances at either high school, you’ve seen the studio-quality lighting effects, heard the studio-quality sound systems. And above all, amazing young talent inspired by amazing teachers.

This is what happens with real community support that puts soapbox rhetoric to shame.

And now a suggestion from one who admires the amazing things that have been accomplished: Let the stars not only see what you’ve done, but participate. Invite the pros to sing along with the sophomores. Invite Burbank success stories Tim Burton and Ron Howard to tell industry stories with film clips and any bells and whistles they want.

There are all kinds of possibilities, and they boil down to this: The high schools, with strong community support, have created a supportive, professional-quality space in which talent can blossom. I think there are a lot of industry pros that would love to visit that space and interact with the students that have been shaped by it.

Burbank community and educators: You’ve created a success greater than maybe even you had imagined. Time to embrace it fully.

Recent Burroughs Pop Show (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Recent Burroughs Pop Show (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

BAFA Forum Examines Arts, Sciences And Technology Future

Burbank Arts For All Foundation (BAFA) presented another in its series of Creative Circles Forums with “Arts Education + Technology: Experts Explore Innovation In Burbank Schools” on Monday, February 24. The BAFA forum discussed the importance of Art and Design as crucial aspects of education, to be included along with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM.)

The advent of the nationwide Common Core standards will support the recent emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art + Design, Mathematics.) Art and design concepts add innovation to the STEM subjects and many experts point to creativity as the way to keep America and its economy growing.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Tom Vice, Amy Heibel, Joe Reed and Dr. Ewan Branda converse. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The BAFA forum brought together Fotokem Senior Vice President Tom Vice, Luther Middle School science teacher Joe Reed. LACMA’s VP of Techonology, Web and Digital Media Amy Heibel and Woodbury University’s Associate Professor of Architecture and Coordinator of History-Theory Curriculum Dr. Ewan Branda.

Falcon Theatre owner Garry Marshall kicked off the conversation and welcomed the audience with a humorous opener. Moderated by Steven Mallory, Director of Ideation at Edelman Public Relations, the goal of the forum was to create conversation between educators and organizations and businesses from throughout the city about the connection of the arts and technology in the schools.

Falcon owner Garry Marshall welcomed all to his theatre prior to the panel talk. ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Falcon owner Garry Marshall welcomed all to his theatre prior to the panel talk. ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The panel discussed the major changes in art, science, business, education and culture in general brought about by widespread use of technology.

“We’re seeing a huge shift in people as makers of culture, not just consumers of culture,” commented Heibel, who is working on an arts and technology lab installation to be unveiled at LACMA in the coming year. “We are seeing artists who are technologists or who collaborate with technologists.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Vice mentioned the major changes in image and movie technology over the past eight years, switching the industry standard from film to digital media, and shifting the services Fotokem offers from film finishing and development to include software creation for the production community.

The changes Fotokem has undergone mirrors the creative and artistic changes happening throughout in K-12 and post-secondary education. The skills and talents young people must possess for entry into the contemporary business and creative worlds go hand-in-hand with the continuing advances in technology.

Reed mentioned the successful Luther Mobile project from 2013, built by students in his Exploring Technology elective class at the local middle school. The lab class uses concepts from applied physics, microbiology and robotics, among other fields, along with technology and creative skills to rebuild an engine-based project every year.

The computer interaction along with the hands-on work inspires kids to innovate, Reed said. He went on to describe one student’s persistence in outfitting an old BMX bike with a motor and making the contraption work.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Tom Vice, Amy Heibel, Joe Reed, Dr. Ewan Brands, BAFA Director of Development Trena Pitchford and moderator Steven Mallory. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

While technology has provided labor-saving help with calculations and digital drawing, on the creative side of things, the digital tools also help determine the building’s ultimate design based on plugged-in factors including dimensions and needs, said Branda.

All four panelists agreed that whatever the advancements may be in creating and technology, the ability to work with other people and differing personalities has become paramount. Reed pointed to the building of executive functioning skills – determining the end goal and then planning the steps to achieve that goal – as something he’s working on with his middle school students.

Branda mentioned testing early and failing early as hallmarks in any process, be it in building, science, production or art. He also talked about the recent rise in design-your-own games and the distinction between being a passive consumer of media and using technology to create something new.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

John Muir Middle School Principal Dr. Greg Miller speaks with forum attendees.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

While STEAM has become the new buzzword to move America forward, in education and business, the innovative and creative aspects of technology also help engage students in science, math and engineering fields. An artistic approach and application can make the technical fields a lot more fun, the panelists agreed.

Monday evening’s event was sponsored by Fotokem and held in front of a full house, with members of the BUSD School Board, BAFA, City government, BUSD teachers and administrators, parents and students present. Members of the local business community and creative media industry were also in attendance. At a post-discussion reception in the Falcon Theatre lobby, panelists and attendees continued to talk about the future of technology and the arts in Burbank schools.

BAFA Board Members and Guest Panelist . ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

BAFA Board Members and guest panelists. ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Creative Circles Forum Discusses Technology And The Arts In Schools

Burbank Arts For All Foundation (BAFA) presents the first Creative Circles Forum of the year on Monday, February 24,  with Art + Technology: Experts Explore Innovation in Burbank Schools. Experts in the fields of science, the arts and technology will discuss the ways in which artistic perspective and approach helps develop greater scientific and technical applications for many businesses and creative endeavors.

Panelists include FotoKem’s Senior Vice President Tom Vice, Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Vice President of Technology, Web and Digital Media Amy Heibel, Woodbury University’s Associate Professor of Architecture and Coordinator of History-Theory Curriculum Dr. Ewan Branda and Luther Middle School science teacher Joe Reed, a recent Grantee of BAFA for the “Luther Mobile” project.

Photo Courtesy Burbank Arts For All Foundation

Photo Courtesy Burbank Arts For All Foundation

“In post-production, we use software and hardware to paint images and create worlds that truly defy the imagination. As technology becomes more accessible and the artists become more adept in its application, an amazing deluge of art and innovation fuels modern storytelling,” commented Vice, Senior Vice President of FotoKem.

“We are continually inspired by what technology can bring to the creative table and the ways it can enhance and elevate the audience experience,” Vice added. “Burbank Arts for All Foundation is embracing this wave by collaborating with professionals from many walks of life to engage in a creative conversation at the Creative Circle Forum. I look forward to an open and eventful dialogue.”

“We are seeing the presence of advanced technologies in nearly every aspect of our lives. What does that mean for our Burbank students? CEO’s are now requiring knowledge and skills in both the arts and the sciences,” stated Trena Pitchford, Director of Development for Burbank Arts for All Foundation.

“We are thrilled to present this prestigious panel of experts from a cross section of industries influenced by innovation,” Pitchford continued. “The evening allows for an open discussion between guests and panelists to explore how we can create a truly comprehensive education that prepares students for life where everything is increasingly interconnected in the 21st century.”

Art + Technology: Experts Explore Innovation in Burbank Schools will be held Monday, February 24, from 7:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. The evening is sponsored by FotoKem, a post-production facility located in Burbank, and is open to the public. General admission tickets are $20.

Following the discussion there will be a hosted wine and cheese reception with the expert panel and attendees in the theatre’s lobby. All proceeds from the Creative Circles Forum will benefit Burbank Arts For All Foundation, a nonprofit organization funding arts programs in Burbank public schools.  For more information regarding speakers and tickets visit: http://www.burbankartsforall.org/creative-circles-forum/.


Parents Are Crazy

Burbank Review
By Stan Lynch

Elementary school parents are crazy — at least some of them are when it comes to dropping off and picking up their children from school.

Each morning when I take my granddaughter to school and pick her up in the afternoon, I am amazed at how many parents appear to turn off their brains as they enter the school zone. I’m sure this happens at elementary schools all over town, and not just at her school, Thomas Edison Elementary.

I’ve observed parents park at the red curb, stop in the middle of the street and wait, block the crosswalks and handicap ramps, and block driveways.  Apparently they forgot, or don’t care, that a red curb means no parking or STOPPING.  Red curbs are near corners to allow drivers to better see pedestrians crossing the street.  Apparently their child not having to walk far to the car is more important to them than someone else’s child getting run over because a driver didn’t see them step into the crosswalk.


In the past week I have seen one mom park in the middle of an intersection, blocking one lane of traffic on the cross street.  She got out of her car and walked across the street to wait for her child to get out of school, oblivious to the cars backed up behind her car.  Another parent parked so that everyone had to walk around their car because it was blocking the crosswalk.

Some of the worst offenders are the parents who park across the street and motion for their child to go between the parked cars and run across the street.  Others just drive by, stop in the traffic lane, and holler (or honk) for the child to run and jump in the car.  Impeding traffic like that is a moving violation.

Like a lot of parents, I discovered if you park down the street from the school and walk a block to the school, you avoid all the hassles and dangers around the front of the school.  Besides, walking is supposed to be healthy for you and your child.

At Edison (and I’m sure at other schools) we have a “Safe Delivery” program in place.  Older students supervised by adults, stand at the curb in a designated area, and assist students getting out of cars.  Parents simply pull into the coned off delivery lane, let their child out of the car at the curb, then continue on their way.  It’s fast, efficient, and safe.  The students participating in the program receive safety training from the Burbank Police Department.

Still there are parents who just don’t get it.  I saw one man try to squeeze his car between the drop-off area exit sign and the curb so he could park in the red zone. He knocked over the sign, but at least the sign scratched his car as it fell.  (There is some justice in the world.)  Another parent pulled their SUV into the driveway of one of the homes across the street from school, then got out and ran across the street, heading towards the school office.   Talk about the nerve of some people.

Complaints to the Burbank Police Department’s Traffic Bureau have resulted in Parking Enforcement Officers coming by and citing illegally parked cars.   One officer told me the other morning that she had written over 30 red curb tickets, but had observed many more that she couldn’t get to.   Perhaps getting a ticket will make them change their ways, but I doubt it.

What is really needed is for police motorcycle officers to cruise by each school in town and write some tickets.  The appearance of a police officer seems to have a positive effect on people’s driving habits.  An expensive ticket is a real incentive to not do something illegal again.  I know those officers are busy, but isn’t our children’s safety more important?

Unfortunately, it will take a child being injured or killed before some parents wake up and realize that they need to start obeying the law and watching out for the safety of every student.

Burbank Arts For All Thanks Donors After Gala

The media capital of the world enjoyed another celebratory evening when Burbank Arts For All Foundation threw its second annual Party on the Plaza Gala extravaganza on Friday, April 26, 2013 at the Networks Garden Café Plaza. The evening brought in more than $150,000 benefiting the Burbank Arts For All Foundation, whose mission is to ensure a quality arts education for every Burbank student.

NBC4 Southern California Weathercaster, Fritz Coleman, served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies to a sold out crowd of over 300 who were on hand to help honor Warren Stein (Chief Operating Officer of Deluxe), Peggy Flynn (Burbank Unified School District’s Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator) and Lisa Dyson (Parent/Volunteer) for their invaluable contributions to both the Foundation and arts education programs throughout Burbank public schools.

“With the generous support of our many sponsors and gala attendees, the evening surpassed our expectations and we wish to thank everyone who contributed to this worthy cause,” jointly stated Alexandra Helfrich and Craig Murray, Co-Chairs of Burbank Arts for All Foundation. “However, there is still a lot of work to be done in order to ensure that not only students in the classroom today… but future students as well…will be guaranteed a quality arts education.”

The Walt Disney Company’s Joan McCarthy and Telepictures Productions’ Bob Mohler were Gala Co-Chairs; and two-time Emmy-award nominee and star of “Glee,” Dot-Marie Jones, represented the Honorary Dinner Chairs who also included Tim Burton, Dick Cook, Don Hahn, Ron Howard, Garry Marshall and Melissa McCarthy. “Arts education is a vital component in all of our schools and it’s comforting to know that the Burbank Arts for All Foundation has our kids’ backs. The gala was not only a lot of fun…but really inspirational. In fact, I was so inspired…I actually auctioned myself off,” laughed Ms. Jones.

Burbank Arts For All Foundation’s Director of Development, Trena Pitchford, added, “Burbank is the best! With the support of all of our donors, guests and sponsors, the Foundation will be able to directly affect the lives of thousands of Burbank students in the coming year as well as contribute to the Foundation’s daily existence. We’ve just begun to share our impact on students and teachers and we have many more plans ahead for 2013 including our inspirational, one-of-a-kind Creative Circles Forums and engaging community gatherings. The invitation is open to join the movement!”

2013 Support Our Schools Award Competition Wants Your Vote

Burbank Business Partners’ 2013 Support Our Schools Award competition, which launched last week, continues to foster community awareness
concerning the myriad programs and partnerships at the Burbank schools. The award is intended to provide essential recognition of the induring efforts made by teachers, parents, and community partners, as well as to generate further support of local schools.

BPPBBP has chosen eight finalists for the competition, each representing extraordinary efforts and collaborations across the city. All eight nominees are featured on BBP’s web site, www.burbankbusinesspartners.com, which includes a video highlighting the many and varied ways in which the community – both businesses and individuals – can become more involved with local schools.

Members of the Burbank community are encouraged to participate in the contest by visiting the site, learning about each of the eight finalists, and voting for one to win the award. Voting is active now through March 31, and the winner will be announced on April 3.

Through its Support Our Schools Award competition, BBP extends to its surrounding community the unique opportunity to reward these outstanding achievements while coming together in support of Burbank schools.

Creative Arts Center Gallery to Host Youth Art Expo

The City of Burbank Creative Arts Center Gallery and the Fine Arts Federation will host the annual Youth Art Expo. This annual exhibit represents student artwork (K – 12) from Burbank public and private schools.

YouthArt Expo April 2013The exhibit will be on display at the Creative Arts Center Gallery, 1100 West Clark Avenue, in Burbank from April 11 – 25. Opening reception and awards ceremony for Middle School and High School is on Thursday, April 11, 5:30 – 7:00 pm. Opening reception and awards ceremony for Elementary School is on Friday, April 12, 5:30 – 7:00 pm. Awards presentations for both events will be at 6:15 pm. Please contact the gallery for additional information.

The Creative Arts Center Gallery is located at 1100 West Clark Avenue, Burbank, California.  Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Gallery is closed on Sunday.  Please contact the Gallery at 818.238.5397 for additional information.

Dare I Say It: Merry Christmas

Burbank Review

By Stan Lynch

At this most joyous time of the year, when everyone is supposed to be filled with the “spirit of Christmas,” I have to stop and wonder why there is this attack on Christmas.  And it’s not just Christmas. it is really an attack on our “American Culture” by liberals.

Whether it is that fool in the White House calling Christmas Trees “Holiday Trees” or the fact that we have to call Christmas Vacation “Winter Break” in our public schools, there seems to be an effort to eliminate the word “Christmas” from our vocabulary.   Is anyone, other than some liberal extremists, really offended by someone wishing them a Merry Christmas?  I doubt it.

My friends of the Jewish faith don’t seem to be offended by it, and I certainly wouldn’t be offended if they wished me a happy Hanukah (or is it Chanukah. I’m never quite sure how to spell it.). I don’t find a menorah displayed in public as a threat to my own religious beliefs.  A manger scene isn’t a threat to anyone else’s belief’s either.

Let’s face it, Christmas in America is hardly just a religious holiday celebrated by Christians.  Our American customs have been borrowed from many different countries and cultures.  Christmas is about as secularized as a religious holiday can get.  If nothing else, it is an excuse to give gifts to our family and friends, and a great motivator to get kids to be on Santa’s Good List.

So this morning when I took my granddaughter to Edison Elementary School, I put on my hat (not a Santa Hat) as chairman of the PTA’s sign committee, and set about my job of changing the message in the sign out in front of school.  It contains important information, like “Winter Break Begins Dec. 21,” and “School resumes Monday, Jan. 7.”

As a joke, I told Principal Laura Flosi that since I could not put up “Merry Christmas” on the sign, I put up “Happy Birthday Jesus.”    After she recovered from the shock, I told her that I had actually put up “Happy New Year From Edison.”

I wonder how long before some left-wing hate group decides that “Happy New Year” is as evil as Merry Christmas?  After all, some religions and cultures celebrate their new year at different times than we do in America.   So just in case, all of you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year while the politically correct nuts allow me to say it.