Let’s Talk February 2017

Q: I would like to know his thoughts on the redevelopment of the ‘old’ IKEA space, and how the additional homes could affect our schools.

A: We monitor all potential development projects closely and include them in our demographic forecasts. In addition, we factor these estimates into how many inter-district permits we offer (currently 1,200). Finally, given the location of each planned development, we will need to work with the City/Developers to plan appropriately if additional classrooms will need to be built.

Q: There was an art meeting with the Board of Education on February 9. At this meeting was there a discussion about instruments as part of the district music program at the elementary level? What was the outcome of that discussion?

A: The Board asked staff to look into what it would cost to provide ukuleles at each of our elementary schools for 4th and 5th grade music instruction. During budget development (May/June), the Board will make a determination if there is funding available to add them to our schools next year

Q: Though they set aside an hour each day for homework, most days she unable to do it due to lack of books.  ASES has stated they only get the leftovers the school didn’t hand out, and they aware there aren’t enough books for homework.

A: Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are working with site personnel to provide a copy of each of the core textbooks for each grade level to the ASES program so that students are able to complete homework.

Q: Our Booster Club has learned that there is a new policy in place requiring a school administrator to be present anytime students are away on an overnight field trip, such as Outdoor Science School.  It is my understanding that the Principal is the only employee at a typical elementary school that is required to have an administrative credential.  With this in mind, does the district have a plan in place to help elementary school principals who need to both cover OSS trips and take care of their normal administrative duties at their school site?

A: We have worked with our principals to give them options for appropriate administrative coverage: 1. We have given them a list of Outdoor Science Schools (OSS) that have staff with an administrator credential; 2. We have given them a list of BUSD employees with an administrator credential who can go on the OSS trip or cover their site while they are on the trip.

Q: Does the District intend to provide funding for field trips in the foreseeable future? If not, will it be up to each individual school site to raise those funds and if so, what would that plan look like?

A: It is a site by site decision on how much each site spends on field trips.

Q: I have discovered that the district’s policy on informing parents when there are lice found in a classroom seems troubling. Not only was this student allowed to stay in the classroom until the end of the day, none of the class parents were notified of the discovery.

A: Our lice policy is based on the California School Boards Association policy and the California Department of Health guidelines http://gamutonline.net/district/burbank/displayPolicy/831615/

Q: Some years we have the Friday before President’s Day off and some year’s we have the previous Monday off.  How does the district choose between that Monday or that Friday?

A: The calendar committee has agreed to pick the day that is closest to Lincoln’s birthday.

Q: You mentioned in the last Let’s Talk that there would be less money this year than last year in the budget.  If we ever get to a year where we have more money, where would your priorities be to spend that money?

A: To clarify, I said, “The Governor’s January’s budget proposed less funding for 2017-18 than he forecasted in June.” Our 2017-18 budget will be higher than the 2016-17 budget, but the increase is not enough to cover our rising expenses. If we have additional funding, our priorities will be based on the district’s goals and the priorities identified via the LCAP process.

Q: Are there any areas that you would like to grow that they have not been discussing in the LCAP meetings?

A: No. We use the LCAP process to review our goals and priorities. The LCAP serves as the strategic plan for the district.

Q: Do you have any questions for us?

A: Yes. Those questions are embedded in the school climate survey. Please complete the survey when it is released later this spring.

Q: The topic of yard duty employees not being trained in CPR has come up before. The parent was asking if the PTA could pay to educate the yard duty at our school. How can we me make this change as a district towards a safer school environment? How can the PTA help?

A: We are looking into providing optional CPR/First Aid classes for our yard duty employees. We will need to change the job description if this training will be mandatory.

Q: Congratulations on your contract extension! I was very happy to hear about this!  What areas do you think our district needs to focus on improving?  What changes might we see in 2017/18?

A: We use the LCAP process to review our goals and priorities. The LCAP serves as the strategic plan for the district.