Let’s Talk October 2018

Q:  Dress Code Policy Review and Discussion

A:  Dr. Hill presented the draft of the new BUSD Board policy for student dress and grooming (BP 5132). Forum attendees offered feedback.

Q:  Parents who have attended this BHS presentation in the past have reported that this is basically a one-hour sales pitch for the presenter’s book. What is the criteria for determining which for-profit companies are eligible to use BUSD parent contact emails? With no option to unsubscribe to such emails, are they CAN-SPAM compliant?

A:  We shared your feedback with Dr. Bertram and based on the information shared, BHS will not promote that event again.

Q:  What is the process and who decides what community flyers are approved for distribution in the schools? Why does BUSD use the schools to send these flyers home to parents for community events and programs that do not have anything to do with the individual schools?

A: Flyers are reviewed by the Superintendent’s Office according to Administrative Regulation 1325 http://gamutonline.net/district/burbank/DisplayPolicy/477259/  If you have any concerns about an approved flyer, please email rosegarcia@burbankusd.org

Q:  How can we build more active play into the day if:

  • kids get to school before the bell, they’re supposed to “walk and talk” or “stand and chat”.
  • kids at 25-minute club are kept in the lobby of the auditorium versus on the play yard
  • kids have 20 mins for a snack and play then 40 mins for lunch and play (not enough time if they go to the cafeteria, need to use the restroom, etc.)

We have implemented a behavior intervention programs because we have kids that can’t sit still or are too impulsive yet we’re missing a key factor—kids need to move their bodies and some kids actually learn this way.

A: Taking a brain break, such as physical activity or movement within the classroom is a good way to keep students engaged and attentive. This message will be sent along to our principals as students (and the teacher) could benefit.

Q:  Is there anything that can be done about the school lunches? Even the kids don’t want to eat it and use improving the food in the cafeteria as a campaign promise for student council elections. The parents are unhappy with the choices as well and would prefer not to have their kids eat it. In a place like California, and all the fresh options here, it is crazy that something like Nachos is a Bag which is Fritos covered with processed nacho cheese and some meat dumped into the bag is what is served. Fruit is a container of processed strawberries with sugar and snack time is limited to things like boxes of processed cereal. Fresh fruit is rare. As we promote health and try to convince the kids to “eat the rainbow” as part of the curriculum, you would think that it would be promoted in what is served right after the lesson.

A: We encourage you to learn more and/or participate in the Wellness for Physical Activity and Nutrition (PAN) Committee that discuss these topics.


We are continually looking at ways to raise the standard above national guidelines.

We promote, encourage, and serve healthy choices. We successfully provide our students with whole grain, low sodium, and low fat products, in addition to a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. None of our products are fried or contain Trans fats. All of the snacks we serve are Smart Snack compliant and meet or exceed the guidelines set forth by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

For the last 4 years the Food Service department has been procuring fresh fruits and vegetables from our local farms located north of Los Angeles. We get deliveries of these items twice a week. Since the beginning of this school year we have been serving a seasonal variety of fresh honeydew, peaches, plums, watermelon, nectarines and cantaloupe on a daily basis. We also offer frozen strawberry and peach cups as well, but not on a daily basis. The frozen fruit cups are USDA Grade A fruits packed in extra light syrup. Our seasonal fresh vegetable selection this school year has been carrots, cucumber, broccoli, celery, romaine lettuce, corn on the cob, and shredded cabbage. We must adhere to serving a rainbow of colors on a weekly basis including legumes. We try to avoid serving canned fruits and vegetables as much as possible. When we do, we only use products packed in water, natural juices or extra light syrup. All of our nutritionals can be found on the district website under the Food Service Department.

Our student participation has greatly increased over the last three years and we currently serve approximately 6,000 meals per day. We meet or exceed all of the state and federal nutritional guidelines and work closely with our dietician and vendors to ensure we are providing quality products to our students.

The line of cereals we currently offer are Kellogg’s Raisin Bran and Rice Krispies and General Mills Rice Chex and Cheerios.

We currently offer an entrée twice a month called the Tostitos Bag O’ Nachos. This entrée consists of low sodium Tostitos, 100% ground turkey meat with low sodium taco seasoning and Land O’ Lakes low sodium reduced fat cheddar cheese sauce.

Q:  When someone is remodeling a home and adding square footage to their home, there is a School Facilities Fee that goes to the Burbank Unified School District. For example, a residential home is undergoing a home remodel and adding 837 new square feet.  The total amount for the School Facilities Fee that they need to pay for the Building Permit is $3,172.23 or $3.79/per new square foot.  Where does this money go specifically?

A: These funds are restricted to the construction and reconstruction of classrooms and are known as Developer Fees, or Growth Funds. In order to use those funds at a school site, there must be a nexus of growth in student population at a school site, even if it is one child.  In the last few years, these funds have mostly been used to add additional classrooms at Stevenson. In addition, we have used funds to add additional classroom equipment for new growth classrooms, like at Disney and McKinley.

Q:  What are the “requirements” for elementary school promotion? This is what the Board Policy says but it’s not clear. https://www.burbankusd.org/files/user/2/file/6003%20Board%20Policy.pdf

The elementary school is deemed to include kindergarten and grades one through five. When the requirements of the elementary schools are completed by a pupil, the pupil shall be promoted to the sixth grade of a middle school, and this promotion shall be indicated on the pupil’s progress report.

A:  Following are links to Board Policy and Administrative Regulation regarding promotion, acceleration, and retention:

BP 5123 http://gamutonline.net/district/burbank/DisplayPolicy/477679/ 

AR 5123  http://gamutonline.net/district/burbank/displayPolicy/477680/

Calls for “students to progress through each grade, kindergarten through twelfth grade, within one school year.  Students shall progress through the grade levels by demonstrating growth in learning and meeting grade-level academic standards of expected student performance. Toward this end, instruction shall be designed to accommodate the variety of ways that students learn and provide strategies for addressing academic deficiencies as needed.  Additionally, student progress can be further defined as follows: “The district’s academic standards which define what students must know and be able to do are aligned with rigorous Common Core State Standards. Regular assessment of student progress towards meeting these standards must occur in order to determine which programs, services, and strategies are effective in helping students meet these standards, identify needed improvements, and determine the degree to which students and staff are meeting their responsibilities.”  Specific to promotion from fifth grade to middle school is noted in the Policy as follows: “Between fourth grade and fifth grade, and between the end of the intermediate grades and the beginning of middle school, fifth grade and sixth grade, and between the end of the middle school grades and the beginning of high school, eighth grade and ninth grade on the basis of the student’s level of proficiency in reading, English language arts, and/or mathematics.”

Q:  Are 180 school days required by the state of California? If not, could we lessen the number of school days to decrease the budget?

A: Yes, it is required by State law (Ed Code).

Q:  I have heard that when the schools in Burbank were built, they play areas were installed by the City Parks and Recreation because the ‘play areas’ were considered ‘parks’ and there was no fencing around the schools. Are there any ‘play areas’ left in the city at are original?  Are there any schools in the city that still have ‘parks and rec’ play areas?

A: We have a joint use agreement with our City that utilizes most green spaces on campuses as “parks and rec” play areas after hours and weekends.

Q:  What are the District’s retention and acquisition rates of students and where can they be found on the BUSD website? Basically, from 1st grade through 11th grade, how many students do we lose each year and how many do we gain?

A: Here is a link to last year’s enrollment report. There are 68 resident Burbank students who have received a permit to go to another district. 1,305 non-Burbank resident students are on a permit to attend BUSD schools.