Tag Archives: Teachers

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.

Masons of Burbank Host Their Annual Public Schools Recognition Night

Award winners with Masonic Lodge Presenters. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Award winners with Masonic Lodge Presenters. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

On Monday Evening, April 29th, the Masons of Burbank hosted their annual Public Schools Recognition Night at the Burbank Masonic Center (406 Irving Dr.) The event was hosted by the two presiding officers of the lodges; Billy Campbell, Master of Burbank # 406 and Karekin Karazian Master of Magnolia Park # 618. The Master of Ceremonies Duties were shared by Tommy Quiroz and Vartan Shakhgeldyan, Senior Deacons of their respective lodges.

The festivities were kicked off with a medley of songs by the Disney Elementary School Singers, Directed by Robin Kreisberg.

Those recognized were  Jean Spero, Monteray High School.Tiffany Kaloustian, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School,  Luci Bowers, Luther Burbank Middle School. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Those recognized were Jean Spero, Monteray High School.Tiffany Kaloustian, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School, Luci Bowers, Luther Burbank Middle School. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The program continued with a special recognition of three of Burbank’s finest local teachers, who were recommended by their principals and selected for their devotion to their profession and dedication to their students. Those recognized were Tiffany Kaloustian, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School, Luci Bowers, Luther Burbank Middle School, and Jean Spero, Monteray High School.Each teacher was presented with an engraved plaque and a honorarium to commemorate the occasion. The music then continued with a performance by Luther Burbank Middle School Choir, directed by Anthony Redman.

Teacher Awards @ Mason's -1

Photo By Ross A. Benson

Each of the Musical Directors were given a small honorarium to go towards their respective schools program. Also in attendance were Burbank Unified School District Members; Larry Applebaum, President, Dave Kemp, Vice President Ted Bunch, Member, Emilio Urioste, Director of Secondary Education, Kimberly Clark, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Public Information Officer.

The Burbank High Jazz Band preformed. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Burbank High Jazz Band preformed. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The evening concluded with music provided by Burbank High School Jazz Band , conducted by Mike Stanley. After which all in attendance were treated to a barbecue supper prepared by Lodge Members.

 

 

Profiles of the honored teachers:

JEAN SPERO

Jean has taught for Monterey High School for almost 30 years. She has taught science, creating labs and experiments on a shoestring budget. She also teaches computer education, which arose from her own interest in technology and teaching students real-life applications, and she teaches mathematics patiently, working with our students who have tremendous gaps in their basic math skills. Jean also serves as the school’s test coordinator, manages student ID photos, serves as the school’s site technology technician, and assists with a wide variety of student and teacher assignments and activities that require computer formatting. Jean Spero is a great asset to Monterey!

TIFFANY KALOUSTIAN

Tiffany Kaloustian is an excellent 5th grade Language Arts teacher with tests scores among the highest in the District, but she was nominated because of the extra time she dedicates to her students. Each year, Tiffany puts on a “hula show” with the theme that one person can make a difference. She gives up her lunch breaks to teach hula dances and skits to her students, culminating in a performance for parents. She lives this theme and has challenged her students to make a difference every day. Two of her students were inspired to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation by selling lollipops. The entire school joined in and exceeded their goal by raising $5,000 to make wishes come true for two children who are terminally ill. Tiffany has instilled the qualities of compassion and activism in more than 100 fifth-graders at Roosevelt Elementary School.

LUCI BOWERS

Luci was unanimously nominated by her peers. As ASB Director, Luci is the consummate professional! She and her students are the heart and soul of Luther Burbank Middle School. Luci has revived school spirit and doubled the involvement of staff, students, and families in school activities. Luci has recruited the time and resources of multiple business partners. She always thinks outside the box and refuses to believe that something cannot be done. Luci’s teaching shows caring, compassion, and high expectations. She is a team with her students and she doesn’t succeed until they do. She has a loyal following of past students who continue to seek her advice and guidance. Luci is truly a team player. The Luther Burbank colors of green and gold flow through her veins!

 

Jordan Middle School Teachers Serve Up Pancakes to Top Students

By Joyce Rudolph
BurbankNBeyond

Straight-A student Rami Makarem, 11, had three words to say as his fork was poised over two pancakes on the paper plate Friday morning before class.

Ranchel Moran, education specialist, and Jerry DeLaurie, physical education teacher, flip pancakes early Friday morning for students who earned an A's on their report cards at Jordan Middle School in Burbank. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

Ranchel Moran, education specialist, and Jerry DeLaurie, physical education teacher, flip pancakes early Friday morning for students who earned an A’s on their report cards at Jordan Middle School in Burbank. (Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

“They taste delicious,” said the Jordan Middle School sixth-grader.

The event was the annual “A’s Breakfast” and every student who earned an A on their report card was treated to a pancake breakfast beginning at 6:45 a.m., said Principal Stacy Cashman.

Administrators, teachers, secretaries, instructional assistants and custodians all did their part to make the students feel special.

“Students love watching their teachers flip pancakes,” Cashman said. “They feel appreciated and honored for their academic achievements.”

Jordan Middle School students, who earned A's on their report cards, wait in line for their pancakes.(Photo By Joyce Rudolph)

Jordan Middle School students, who earned A’s on their report cards, wait in line for their pancakes.(Photo By Joyce Rudolph)

The estimate of pancakes served was 1,500, said culinary arts teacher Doreen Wydra, who stepped in to run the event for teacher Terri Kim who is on maternity leave.

Students appreciated the recognition.

“It’s fun!” said eighth-grader Ariel Ramirez, 13, who earned three A’s. “They make good pancakes and it’s free.”

Nathalie Celio, 12, a seventh-grader, earned four A’s on her report card in English, science, physical education and art, she said.

“The kids who got an A deserve the pancakes,” she said.

Sixth-grader Rami Makarem, 11, left, who achieved straight A's and sixth-grader David Miller II, also 11, who earned three A's, enjoy their pancake breakfast Friday morning at Jordan Middle School in Burbank.(Photo By Joyce Rudolph)

Sixth-grader Rami Makarem, 11, left, who achieved straight A’s and sixth-grader David Miller II, also 11, who earned three A’s, enjoy their pancake breakfast Friday morning at Jordan Middle School in Burbank.(Photo By Joyce Rudolph)

“It’s cool!” said Collin Johnson, 11. He received A’s in physical education and in his computer class. “You never see this at other schools.”

The students display a lot of pride during the breakfast, said custodian Gary Rapp, who attended Jordan in the 1970s.

“The kids absolutely love this breakfast and we love doing it for them!” he said. “They come in with their shoulders back. This is just a fantastic event.”

The A’s Breakfast tradition started about 30 years ago and was the brainchild of former guidance counselor Marv Cira, said Karla Buffington, physical science teacher. Funds for the breakfast are raised during the PITS (Parents Interested Teachers and Students) Talent Show, Cashman said.

Jordan Middle School students, who earned A's on their report cards, wait in line for their pancakes.(Photo By Joyce Rudolph)

Jordan Middle School students, who earned A’s on their report cards, wait in line for their pancakes.(Photo By Joyce Rudolph)

Burbank Masons Honor Public School Teachers

Photo By Ross A. Benson

On Thursday evening April 28, the Masons of Burbank hosted a Public Schools Recognition Night at the Burbank Masonic Center (406 Irving Dr.). The event was hosted by the two presiding officers of the Lodges; Al Moen, Master of Burbank #406 and Michael Strand, Master of Magnolia Park #618. The Master of Ceremonies duties were shared by Erik Adams and Mike Campbell, Senior Deacons of their respective Lodges.

The festivities were kicked off with a musical presentation by solo vocalist, Talin Silva of Providencia Elementary School. The music then continued with a performance by “Clef Hangers”, an all Boy Choir from David Starr Jordan Middle School, conducted by Christine DeMore , with accompanist, Judie Stroh.

The program continued with a special recognition of three of Burbank’s Finest (local teachers that is), who were recommended by their Principals and selected for their devotion to their profession and dedication to their students. Those recognized were: Kay Cee Mills, Burbank High School; Ted DeVirgilis, John Muir Middle School; and Tyson Colt , Edison Elementary School.

Each teacher was presented with a framed Certificate of Appreciation, an engraved commemorative the occasion and a small Honorarium. Each of the musical presenters were given a small Honorarium to go toward their respective school’s program.

The evening concluded with music provided by the Burbank High School Jazz Band, conducted by Mike Stanley. After which all in attendance were treated to a Bar B-Q supper prepared by the Lodge members.

Photo By Ross A. Benson

Photo By Ross A. Benson