Let’s Talk January 2021


Q. Please provide an update on in-person instruction for special education students in the special day class.

A. We are continuing to monitor health conditions and guidelines. We will reach out to parents when we have an update.

Q. Please provide an update on ESY (summer school) 2021.  Are you planning for in-person instruction or virtual learning?

A. We are planning on multiple scenarios based on health conditions. We will provide an update when we have more information.

Q. Realistically, what are the chances that BUSD will have in-person instruction Fall 2021? If there is in-person instruction, is it anticipated that students will attend a full school day or will it be a hybrid model? Will there be any modifications to in-person instruction?

A. It is too early to give a definitive answer, but with the vaccine rolling out and hopefully a drop in cases, we are optimistic we can return to in-person learning.

Q. If it is anticipated that learning will be virtual, will the same instructional schedule/model be used?  At the secondary level, would BUSD consider a virtual schedule where students attend all classes each day?

A. We would revisit the MOU if we need to remain in virtual learning to see what changes should be made.

Q. Will students, teachers, and parents be sent a survey at the end of the school year for feedback on distance learning?

A. Yes.

Q. What are the school reopening proposals by Gov. Newsom and President Biden and how would they affect schools in our district?

A. At this time, they are only proposals, so it is unclear how they will affect us. Safe Schools For All Hub

Q. Is there going to be an opportunity for outdoor promotion/graduation options in May?

A. It will depend on health conditions and guidelines. We will plan for multiple scenarios.

Q. Since the 5th graders missed out on OSS, is there a possibility of being able to have a camp out on school campuses with tents, fire-pits, smores, pizza, etc.?

A. Depending on health conditions, schools will plan for a variety of end of year activities. A campout does not seem likely.

Q. For next fall, if schools open in a hybrid manner, would you consider the Optimal Engagement and Immersion Pedagogy (OEIP) model that Pasadena is looking at?

A. No. There have been many concerns raised when districts have implemented this model.

Q. If we are in a hybrid situation next fall, will you be using the model that we chose from when we submitted our commitment form? Are we bound to that decision or can we change your minds?

A. We will review and revise our model as necessary and send out a new commitment form.

Q. Can any changes be made to the MOU the district signed?  Can more Friday instruction be added?

A. Either the district or BTA can request to revisit the MOU.


Q. Recently I heard that learning loss/mitigation services (or recovery services) are being planned for summer 2021.  What will these services be called so that parents can be on the lookout for district announcements?  What will these services be like?  Whom will those services be provided to? Will these services be independent from ESY 2021 so that special education students could take part in both programs?

A. We are in the early stages of planning. More details will be forthcoming.

Q. Will the learning loss services address loss of social skills and emotional learning?  What about play-based learning opportunities?

A. We will be putting small groups together to help students who are struggling socially and emotionally. We are definitely look at putting together some end of the year activities (dependent upon health conditions). We are not planning anything specifically for play-based learning.

Q. Is there an optional school funded booster type class(es) for the summer?

A. No, not at the secondary school level. There are Title I bootcamp opportunities that are limited to our middle school students on Free and Reduced Lunch. These opportunities are limited and are for a couple of weeks so the kids retain academic knowledge from the previous year and is focused on addressing gaps in learning.

Q. It appears that there will be an unusually high number of students in need of credit recovery. How is the district planning to address this challenge?

A. The district will provide the normal summer school options. However, it will be larger in scope to accommodate the number of students who need to recover credit. Additionally, we will still allow students to take classes outside the BUSD by petition. Any class taken outside the BUSD must be from an accredited school and be UC approved.

Q. For seniors who failed classes in the fall, how will you help them so that they can pass enough classes to graduate in May?

A.  Any senior who has failed a class in the fall has been placed in a credit recovery class in the spring semester so that they can remediate the credits and they have the potential to graduate in May.

Q. What percent of the students who attend BHS and JBHS received Ds and Fs for the fall semester?   What percent of the students who attend ILA received Ds and Fs for the fall semester?

A. 7% of the students at BHS received D’s. 7% of the students at BHS received F’s. 8% of the students at JBHS received D’s. 8% of the students at JBHS received F’s. 5.3% of the students at the ILA have received D’s. 1.5% of students at the ILA received F’s.

Q. Kindergarten enrollment is down in Los Angeles public schools and elsewhere due to Covid-19 and virtual learning.  Has BUSD experienced a drop in Kindergarten enrollment? How is BUSD prepared to address the learning loss that these students may experience when they are enrolled in first grade next year?

A. BUSD is down about 150 kindergarten students which is similar to other districts who have also seen fewer kindergarten students. There is a possibility that students will return for first grade, but we will not know for certain until enrollment occurs over the next couple of months.  Learning loss is going to be measured by teachers through end of year assessments, beginning of the school year assessments, and articulation meetings between current kindergarten teachers and next year’s first grade lechers.  

Q. We are a district that socially promotes and rarely holds students back. Will that philosophy be applied to the students at the end of this year?

A. The district will continue to follow Board policy when promoting children from one grade to the next.


Q. LAUSD is doing COVID testing for their employees and students.  How did they get funding to do that?  Can BUSD get similar funding?

A. It is unclear what funding they are using. Most likely, they have received more stimulus funding due to the socio-economic needs of their students.

Q. Once a COVID-19 vaccine is available for children, will BUSD require vaccination for students to return to in-person school? Will it be required for teachers to be vaccinated? Based on what we know right now, it seems like it might logistically take too long to have everyone vaccinated to start in-person learning on time for the fall.

A. We will follow health guidelines. Currently, they are not saying it will be mandatory.

Q. With the vaccine being hopefully available for teachers soon, but still not approved for kids under 16, what are you envisioning for the fall?

A. We will follow health guidelines. We are hopeful to return to in-person learning.

Q. Will the state prioritize teachers and school staff when giving out the vaccine?

A. Education sector is in Phase 1B. http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/vaccine/


Q. An article in EdSource said, “An uneven recession savaging low-income Californians, but a surprisingly fast economic rebound advantaging higher-income Californians, will create a huge unexpected state budget surplus that will provide an unexpected $13.1 billion in one-time revenue for K-12 schools and community colleges in the fiscal year starting July 1, 2021, the Legislative Analyst’s Office reported on Wednesday.” How much of this might BUSD receive?

A. This month (January 2021), the LAO upped their estimate of the amount of the windfall to $15.5 billion. School and community college spending is excluded from this figure because it is constitutionally required and, therefore, not discretionary. Guaranteed Prop 98 funding was positively affected by the State’s positive economic outcome.  It is important to point out the windfall occurred because of the dire economic projections due to COVID for 2020-21; the State continues its pattern of structural deficits starting in 2022-23.  (https://lao.ca.gov/reports/2021/4309/budget-overview-2021.pdf). 

Q. With campuses being mostly empty, can you use the opportunity this semester to acquire some income by letting crews film on campuses?

A. At this time, we are not allowed to do joint use agreements.

Q. Based on the Investments in Education section in California State PTA’s Update For Members on Proposed 2021-2022 California Budget (Found Here), will BUSD get significant additional funding or is it like LCAP where the additional funding will go to the most needy districts?

A. BUSD will likely not apply for the $2 billion In-Person Instruction Grant at the first response deadline (February 1 currently) – there are many requirements to meet before districts qualify, including having bargaining unit reopening agreements in place and providing student testing; we are still evaluating whether it makes sense to apply at the later deadline (currently March 1). The LAO has stated the Governor’s school reopening timelines are likely unfeasible.

Burbank is projected to receive $9.6 million of the $4.6 billion of the Expanded Learning Time Grant.  These funds would be allocated to districts based on the numbers of vulnerable students within a district’s student population, with the balance allocated to districts in proportion to their LCFF entitlement. A cautionary note:  This is only the Governor’s proposal and as we saw last year, is subject to change as the proposals go through the legislative process.

Q. When is the next LCAP Meeting and/or report to the school board?

A. The first LCAP meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 27. The list of meeting dates is posted on the district LCAP website. All meetings will be held online through Zoom. They will be translated into Armenian and Spanish. All power points will be posted for each meeting. All meetings will be recorded.  https://www.burbankusd.org/lcap

Q. What is the situation with the HVAC systems in BUSD?  What kind of filters do we have? Do we have the money to upgrade?

A. We have purchased MERV13 filters for placement in all our HVAC units; currently we are using MERV8s, which are the commercial standard.  The filters were on backorder, but delivery is expected on January 29, at which time staff will begin replacement. We have a new round of federal ESSER funding, ESSER II, which will fund these improvements. Our Facilities Director is working on a cost proposal to identify/service/replace HVAC units that are not operating effectively, funded from the ESSER II moneys.


Q. After Winter Break at the secondary level, my child was told by a teacher that the state of California was requiring more assignments and proof of assignments in the grade book for asynchronous learning. Is this true? My child feels like the assignments are busy work just to have a grade in the grade book.

A. What is required by the state of California is that we must prove we are meeting instructional minutes and students are engaged. Because asynchronous work is a component of how we account for instructional time, we need to have a log of that work. Therefore, whatever the teacher is requiring during asynchronous time must be accounted for. The work assigned during asynchronous time should be authentic, not busy work. Therefore, reading 20 pages in a novel is legitimate asynchronous work and should be assigned in the grade book, even if it is not graded. That will account for our instructional time.

Q. What are the responsibilities of the College and Career Centers at the High Schools?  There seems to be a disparity between the help, services and level of communication offered.  One parent commented, “I’ve started using the Burroughs Career Center because they provide an email, they have helped with registering for a dual enrollment at GCC for a class not offered in our high schools.  I just couldn’t get the help I was looking for at our home high school, Burbank High.”  How can we level the playing field so all our Juniors and Seniors at all our high schools are getting the help they need to be college ready?

A. The job responsibilities and the services provided are the same for both high schools. Therefore, the principal should be contacted if you are not receiving the help you need as it pertains to college and career services. The primary contact for dual enrollment at both high schools is the College and Career Counselor for the district, Diana Dysthe. dianadysthe@burbankusd.org.

Q. When we are speaking during public comment, can you work out a system so that we can see the School Board members when we are addressing them?

A. With our current technology, no, but we will continue to explore options.

Q. One of the reasons the district gave for not applying for the TK-2 waiver is that it would not be equitable because we couldn’t get waivers for all 11 elementary schools. Only two of our elementary schools offer a dual immersion language program. That is not equitable for all. How do you determine when you apply the equitable standard and when you do not?

A. Equality treats everyone the same regardless of need, while equity achieves treats people differently dependent on need. What was stated about the waiver was that we did not think all schools would receive approval in a timely fashion. We would not reopen until all schools could reopen since each school has students who would benefit from in-person instruction. Disney and McKinley were selected for the DI program because they had declining enrollment, high socio-economic needs, high English learning populations, and both fed into Jordan Middle School; therefore, it was a good match to start the program at those sites.

Q. Thank you for switching the schedule during the week of Veteran’s Day.  There are 2 Monday holidays during the spring semester.  Will one of those weeks be adjusted so that the students are not always missing their Period 1 – 3 classes?

A. Yes, the week of 2/15 will be adjusted.