Q: In reading the articles on Ed100 we can find: Ed100 – 8.7: “Under [the Every Student Succeeds Act] ESSA, the Federal education law updated at the end of the Obama administration, school districts are obligated to disclose actual expenditures at the individual school level.” Where can we find these expenditures for our schools?
A: This information will be included in next year’s School Accountability Report Card (SARC). However, you can see high-level per-pupil expenditures in the current SARCs: https://www.burbankusd.org/District/1210-sarc.html
Q: We’ve heard on more than one occasion that when budget cuts will be made, they will start away from the classrooms. Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes are on the chopping block and not any other classes (academy, AP, honors). Why? Also, if/when donations from BEF are received, will they be used to restore CTE classes first because they are classroom cuts?
A: We did start furthest away from the
Q: At the Town hall meeting, we were told that the elimination of three music teachers would save the district $300,000. Is that correct or do we need $250,000 to save those three positions? If so, what is the district going to cut to address that additional $50,000?
A: The amount discussed
Q: Can you give us a list of 4 school districts in Southern California that are similar to Burbank in size, socio-economic status, and ELL population?
A: You can use Ed-Data.org to create comparisons based on the criteria you are interested in comparing. The comparison tool can be found HERE.
Q: My friend’s daughter goes to Providencia and learns the recorder, the violin and the cello. Why isn’t this offered at all of the elementary schools?
A: Providencia uses site funds/donations to provide their program. We do not have enough funding to offer this type of program districtwide. More State funding or a parcel tax would allow us to expand instrumental music instruction at all of our elementary schools.
Q: Why are students learning to play by ear instead of teaching them to read and play music written on a staff? Why aren’t students learning how to read music?
A: This was discussed during the February Let’s Talk: https://www.burbankcouncilpta.org/lets-talk-february-2019/
Q: Who is responsible for evaluating the curriculum for the elementary music program? What criteria is used to determine the effectiveness of the curriculum?
A: At the District level, the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services oversees the curriculum for the elementary music program. The elementary music teachers meet each year to review the curriculum. The elementary music teachers determine if the curriculum is standards-based and reasonable.
Q: Does the Charms [software] Instrument inventory include the condition of the instruments and has that been updated for the BUSD instruments? Is that based on standard criteria that everyone is using across the district? Is this a public document that we can see?
A: The Charms inventory includes a section to rate the condition of the instrument. A draft of standard criteria that ranges from “New” to “Poor” has been developed and shared with the teachers. The document is being refined and is not a public document at this time.
Q: You have talked about music education in the Santa Monica schools in the past. In Santa Monica, they seem to offer instrumental instruction in grades 3-5. Is that taught by a dedicated music teacher or a classroom teacher? Do you know if they offer any specific music education for grades k/1/2 or is it up to the classroom teacher?
A: The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District visual and performing arts programs are detailed on their website HERE.
Q: There has been a lot of effort made to save the elementary music program. I looked at the BUSD curriculum online. For 4th grade, it says “read, write and perform melodic notation for simple songs in major keys using solfege (scales)” and “Use instruments to play melodies.” To get an “E”, students need to “display proficiency in applying standard/s covered.” However, the system prevents students from getting an E because they are not providing instruments and not being taught how to “read, write and perform melodic notation for simple songs in major keys” or giving students grades that they have not met based on the posted curriculum. Will that change with the additional money being raised for music teachers?
A: Students are able to earn a “C”, “S”, or “R” on the report card. The grade is in the performing arts category of the report card and includes music, dance, and drama as one combined grade. The C means consistently demonstrates, the “S” means sometimes demonstrates, and the “R” means rarely demonstrates. We grade students based on the materials/instruments (orbs, etc.) that are provided. The money being raised for music teachers is not additional. The money will enable the District to maintain its current program.
Q: [BUSD School board member] Mr. Ferguson asked for a report explaining the BUSD/BPD procedure that is used when there is a threat on a campus. Can you share that with us?
A: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss directly.
Q: How is it decided how many yard supervisors each school gets?
A: A formula was developed based on student enrollment, the daily schedule by morning minutes, recess minutes, lunch minutes and after school minutes, and school layout. The school receives an annual allocation from which the yard supervision schedule and number of yard supervisors is determined. Schools have the autonomy to use their site funds to hire additional yard supervisors.
Q: When the dual enrollment program is expanded, will it include courses that meet the a-g requirements? Are there classes at GCC and LAVC that students can take during the summer to meet requirements like Health or World History or other classes that students take during the summer to open up their regular schedules? How do we find out which classes meet the requirements for BUSD graduation? Do these dual enrollment programs affect the budget? Are there additional costs for them?
A: The District is working to expand the dual enrollment program. The priorities are to offer classes that are transferable to a four- year university and to offer Career Technical Education courses that lead to a certificate program at the community college. In order for a college course to satisfy the UC a-g requirement, it has to be transferable and apply to the specific discipline. A long-term goal is for the District is to offer courses that could be used to satisfy UC a-g requirements. This is also a function of funding, although the District shares the cost of the dual enrollment courses with the colleges.
Q: You explained that whatever is raised to save the things that are scheduled to be cut this year, will need to be raised again next year. You also explained that in order to give teachers a cost of living raise, you would need to make an additional $3 million in cuts. During the 2019-2020 school year, when will you let us know what those cuts will be so we have more time to do fundraising?
A: Additional cuts will be identified by the first budget update in December.
Q: The state assemblywoman spoke at the school board meeting but the numbers that she referred to regarding per-pupil spending seem to be different than the numbers that we have been hearing. Can you share with us your understanding of those discrepancies?
A: Our charts have been from Ed-Data.org. I do not know what source the Assemblymember used.
Q: Why is there a test in PE in 5th grade? Is it required by the California Department of Education? In which grades are children required to do State Testing in PE?
A: It is required by the California Department of Education in grades 5, 7 and 9. You can find more information here:
Q: Are there rules about hanging banners on school fences? Where are those rules?
A: Yes, the Burbank Unified School District policy, AR 1325 has been updated recently with the latest rules.
Q: I am reaching out to you to ask for some clarification regarding some questions I have with the Parent / Student High School Guide 2018-2019. I was on the Burroughs website and searching for
A: The course description guide is currently being updated as there have been many changes over the last couple of years. Some of the course titles have been renamed or replaced. There are also instances where a course could now be available to multiple grade levels. Lastly, there are some courses that are only available at one high school and not the other due to staffing or interest. It is a process that involves district staff, site administrators, department chairs and teachers. The expectation is to have a new course description guide for the fall.
Q: First, I wanted to say that I am excited to hear that Burroughs / the district is exploring the idea of possible scheduling changes to help our students. I am sorry that this question is due prior to the presentation that will be given on Wednesday night at Open House and I wish I had more information about the current proposal for the academic excellence/tutorial period. I feel that that is a wonderful opportunity to revisit the BASIC California State higher education schools MINIMUM requirements for acceptance and an opportunity to help our college-bound students to meet these requirements without having to take summer school, zero
A: John Burroughs High School has been exploring an intervention period based on
Q: How much did the district pay to outside consultants during the 2017-2018 school year and the 2018-2019 school year to date? Where does that funding come from and how can the district continue paying outside consultants given the 3.5 million budget deficit projected for the 2019-2020 school year? Also, what are these consultants offering, what expertise are they bringing to our students?
A: The District spent $6,195,008 in 2017-18 and has spent $3,944,976 in 2018-19 to date. The funding comes from General fund unrestricted and restricted dollars (i.e., federal funding, Special Ed, and gifts). The services include legal, professional development, translation, etc.
Q: I am concerned regarding the Boosters dissolving and what that means in regards to each school’s finance person taking over each area such as instrumental music committees as it will be now. How will one FT person have time to help with finances for every booster such as this? It seems like at one school you are adding a minimum of a PT position into the staff; I just don’t think it’s realistic for her to have to handle so much more. It seems like the Booster board that’s dissolving should be paid positions continue to create over site or at least hire the extra staff at each school to help handle the overburden of extra work. I came from an elementary school that I believe had corruption previously on its booster finances prior to the district booster creation. This might be fine if they figure out a way to handle it with oversight, but it also concerns me.
A: The District does not have the budget to hire a separate employee to help with the finances and manage site-based fundraising. However, current District staff will be involved in assisting schools with oversight and guidance during the transition from BSBA to the site-based “Fundraising Committee” model.
At the secondary level, much of the in-place current processes and procedures will not change significantly. We will work with the site finance managers and ASBs to manage finances and monetary transactions. Fundraising Committees will operate similarly, but through Club Trust accounts.
At the elementary level, organizations that were under BSBA will be replaced by site-based fundraising committees, which will operate under the guidance and support of principals. Office managers would be involved with collecting funds raised and depositing them into site-based District gift accounts.
If you are aware or concerned about fraud, please contact the BUSD Fraud Hotline at 1-888-372-8325