Let’s Talk October 2020


Q.  Can you share the English literature reading lists for the three middle schools and the two high schools? If not, where can we find it?

A. Please see the current list HERE.

Q. If you have a first or second grader that can already add and subtract, does the classroom teacher teach them how to multiply and divide, or do they have to wait until 3rd grade?

A. There are a number of concepts and skills that are related to basic addition and multiplication that lay the foundation towards multiplication and division. Once those foundational pieces are mastered, then it would be an appropriate time to begin laying the foundation towards introducing the multiplication and division. This introduction could be done in a small group setting. A conversation with the child’s teacher is the best way to start the conversation on whether a child is ready for multiplication or division. 

Q. When will you post the instructional calendar for next year?  What date will school begin next August?

A. The start date of school has not been determined yet. The calendar committee will begin meeting soon.

Q. We keep hearing that the students are supposed to have their cameras on [during distance learning] but in high school classes, we are seeing the majority of the classroom with students who do not turn their cameras on. If the policy is that they should have their cameras on, can the teachers be reminded of this?

A. The expectation is for cameras to be on, but students may speak with their teachers if there is a reason why they do not want to turn their camera on.

Q. For Friday assignments, can teachers require students to turn them in at noon or 3pm? The principal says No but the teachers keep doing it. The principal said all assignments are due at 11:59 pm. Is that correct?

A. The students have until 11:59 pm to turn in their Friday assignments. The teacher can extend the due date into the weekend. However, at a minimum, they have until 11:59 pm on Friday.

Q. My child is in 2nd grade and does not like virtual learning.  She didn’t like it last spring, she doesn’t like it now.  I’m worried that she is not learning what she needs to this year.  Are there plans in place to address loss of learning?  Will there be any formal testing once school reopens?  If my child needs tutoring in order to catch up to where she needs to be, will that be provided by the district?  Will there be summer school available?  What are all of the options?

A. Students were tested at the beginning of the school year to determine learning loss from the spring. Teachers used this information to support most students within the classroom. For students who need more assistance, the schools have a Response to Intervention (RTI) program with additional staff to work with students. If the schools are able to open in person, it will be another opportunity for the schools to assess students and provide support. Due to limited funding, there are no plans for summer school at this time.

Q. There’s a lot of chatter within the local Jewish families about BUSD not recognizing the holidays (LAUSD was closed for Yom Kippur). There was testing at our school (not sure if it was district-wide). We are a Jewish family and I reported my girls absent today out of principle. I know this issue is more with the district and not with schools, but is there anything we can do, as a PTA or otherwise to request no major testing on religious holidays, Good Friday included? Just a thought. I don’t expect the district to close on Jewish holidays, but I think there needs to be a bigger push for no testing or big events on these holidays.

A. Special respect and consideration should be made to avoid major testing or major events at a school on religious holidays and holy days. A reminder will be provided to the principals.


Q. When the kids do go back to school, will there be any requirements about the specific type of face covering they have to have? What will be considered acceptable?

A. They will need to wear cloth masks or disposable masks.

Q. As questions for this are due on Wednesday and the School Board meeting is on Thursday, can you provide an update from Thursday’s Board Meeting regarding reopening?

A.  Follow THIS LINK to view the report from the October 15, 2020, Board of Education meeting.

Q. Will BUSD being doing a covid-19 testing program like LAUSD? 

A. No.

Q. Will any BUSD schools be asking for a waiver to reopen? If so, which schools? If no, why not?

A. No, the restrictions are too limited and it does not seem realistic that all of our elementary schools would be approved this semester. Please see THIS REPORT.

Q. I was one parent that had originally thought any time on campus was a WIN and was in favor of the hybrid model. Now that we are living 100% distance learning and seeing how well it’s going for my first grader, I can’t help but think a hybrid model would be incredibly disruptive to the learning environment.  Would there still be recess and lunch time and after school care to accommodate all of the odd dismissal times? Seems like the hybrid model would be unfair to teachers and families. What is the likelihood we will go this route? If we opt to stay home, can we keep our same teacher?

A. The District is planning for reopening and schedules. If health conditions allow for it, we are proposing a hybrid learning model with a morning session and an afternoon session of classes.  Plans are being made to allow for a movement break, which is a modified recess. Lunch would not be provided at school except for a few special education students who may attend school for a longer day. Additionally, distance learning will still be offered. There is no guarantee that the child will keep the same teacher when schools reopen.

Q. Second semester is quickly approaching, along with it comes the hope that sports will return.  Is there any chance that sports teams practices can start soon?

A. The district is working closely with site staff to put in place procedures, protocols, training and waiver materials with the hope that we can start conditioning. However, all of this is dependent on health conditions and guidelines. 

Q. Assuming that sports are able to return, CIF issued a statement that for dual sport athletes they can only have 18hrs per week of sports, split among the two sports, with 3 hours allotted to each game.  So if they participate in 2 games per week for each sport, that uses up 12 hours, leaving only 6 hours per week to divide among the two sports for practicing.  How can we keep the kids from getting caught in a tug of war between 2 sports?

A. In most cases, coaches are amenable to athletes that compete in two sports. It would be prudent to work with the athletic director and the assistant principal of athletics at your school site to ensure that your student is able to compete in both sports without any negative impact to his time or his commitment to each sport.

Q. Is the district ready to re-open to a hybrid learning system if the county and health organizations give the go ahead to return to in person learning and if so, what are the specific guidelines regarding safety on campus? How many students are allowed in a classroom? What is the difference in non-traditional classrooms such as choir, band, dance, and drama? How are common areas being supervised and what measures are being taken to keep the students and staff in compliance? Will each campus have a trained designated COVID-19 compliance supervisor responsible for safety compliance and enforcement, who will be accessible to staff and students at all times campus is populated, to ensure that safety protocols are being followed? Will there be consequences for not following Covid Protocol? How will sanitizing be handled? Will there be an outside company or will janitorial and teaching staff be required to sanitize? Are there added resources for students who will struggle with returning to in person instruction? Will every member of the staff and student body be required to test before their first day on campus to ensure that they are not actively infected with the novel coronavirus that causes Covid 19? Will students and staff be required to have a negative test result 48 hours prior to returning? Is the district asking that students and staff self quarantine when not on campus? Are there sanitation stations provided throughout the campus? Will restrooms be cleaned more frequently? Will everyone be asked to wear an N95 or KN95 mask, face shields, or are cloth masks, disposable paper masks, gaiters, and other types of face coverings being considered acceptable? What PPE is the district providing to staff and students? If a students or staff test positive how will contact tracing be handled? What number of cases would determine if it is necessary to shut down again? Is there a Covid-19 Compliance Officer at the district level? Is there a complete guide to Covid compliance and instructions for returning to in person instruction being considered? What will you send to staff and families prior to returning?

A. BUSD is following the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Los Angeles County Office of Education Reopening Protocols for School K-12. The District has a Covid Compliance Team that is working with sites to ensure schools are following the Covid Compliance and Response Plan and a School Exposure Management Plan per public health guidelines. Each site has a Covid Compliance team that is working to ensure schools and district facilities have public health guidelines in place for reopening. The District Covid Compliance and Response Plan includes specific information regarding cleaning products and procedures, health and safety guidelines and requirements like the requirement of screenings, temperature taking, and face coverings. The District has purchased additional hand sanitizing stations as well as other protective equipment to ensure the safety of students and staff. A detailed plan and information regarding reopening protocols is being prepared for parents, staff and students.



Q. Where do we stand with respect to the number of Covid cases and possibly opening up our schools – have we even reached the threshold of even opening yet anyway.  When we do open, are we looking at a “Blended” approach?

A. We are still in the Purple Tier following the Los Angeles Department of Public Health guidelines. The County must reach the next tier (Red) before all schools have the option of reopening. When we reopen, we will follow a “hybrid” model and will provide a choice of a distance learning model.

Q. In the case the schools reopen in hybrid mode, I understand that means that the 100% online will still be available for people who desire staying in this mode. I understand also that as a consequence, some students might change teachers in secondary schools. How will the impacts of changing teachers in the middle of the school year be minimized?

A. Teachers in the core content areas are using the same pacing guides. Therefore, the students should not be negatively affected in terms of being behind in a course. However, the teachers will have to begin the semester as if it were the first day of school. The students will be given the new teacher’s guidelines and expectations. The teacher will review with the class, and that will become the new standard.

Q. If we have to come back to 100% distance learning mode due to the increase of cases, how will BUSD minimize the impacts of potential change of teachers again?

A. If we move to a hybrid model, and have to move back to distance learning because of an increase in COVID cases, everything will stay the same in terms of teacher assignments. The only difference will be that the teachers will start to do everything for class virtually.

Q. What will be the process for moving to hybrid or in-person school, and how long would you estimate that would take once we get the go ahead to do so?

A. In order to be prepared for a hybrid model in the spring, we would need to be working on the master schedule of classes in early November. In order to do that, we would need to know from parents how they would like their child/children to access their education. Therefore,  parent commitment to either distance learning or hybrid is essential in early November. The determination of moving to hybrid would be based on health conditions.

Q. At our PTA meeting, our Principal said that plans are being made to open in January. As he explained it, it sounded like schools will probably open in January.  Is that likely to happen?

A. It depends on health conditions.

Q. Some school districts are starting to share what their campuses will look like and what safety protocols will be in place when their districts return.   When BUSD  returns  “back to school,” what will that look like?  What will the physical environment look like?  Will students be separated by plexi-glass dividers? Will the teacher be able to roam the classroom?  What will the bathroom protocols be (will someone be sanitizing toilets and sinks after each use)?

A. Here is a presentation: https://www.burbankusd.org/cms/lib/CA50000426/Centricity/Domain/4/BUSD%20Reopening%20Update_102120_English.pdf and a video https://youtu.be/cQyqRXKdCa4

Q. Parents will soon be making a decision about whether or not to send their children back to school for hybrid learning.  Is there any way that a video of a typical campus and classroom could be shared with parents before making this decision?

A. Here is a presentation? https://www.burbankusd.org/cms/lib/CA50000426/Centricity/Domain/4/BUSD%20Reopening%20Update_102120_English.pdf and a video https://youtu.be/cQyqRXKdCa4

Q. What should parents be preparing for after the holidays, in the spring for school reopening

A. It will depend on health conditions.


Q. Parks are open and we have the joint use agreement with the city. Would it be possible to open the tracks and the tennis courts at the two high schools so that people can use them like they used to use them after 3 pm and on weekends?

A. Not at this time according to health guidelines, “Use of school facilities for non-school purposes (community meeting or events, on-site clinic visits by people who are neither students nor staff, etc.) is not permitted.” http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/docs/protocols/Reopening_K12Schools.pdf

Q. Would like to understand more about the BUSD initiative related to making school programming more equitable among all Burbank schools. I am not sure I understand how this makes sense practically speaking. All schools’ needs are resourced differently, some raise their own funds, some receive Title I funding, and in general school needs are very site specific, so what might be a relevant assembly or program at one school may not make sense at another. How can we learn more about this?

A. The district is trying to ensure that schools who do not have the same fundraising capacities as other schools are not missing out on opportunities that benefit kids. At the moment, the district is not moving forward with NEW programs at any of our schools. However, existing programs can continue as usual. Recently, the Board of Education has identified district-wide goals that will focus our attention on what is the post critical for the district at this time. If you have any further questions, you can contact Dr. Paramo at johnparamo@burbankusd.org

Q. With the entertainment industry coming back to life (with strict Covid guidelines) are we able to take advantage of the empty campuses to book filming? This has always been an excellent source of revenue and, with production companies being hyper diligent in their Covid practices, it would be easy money for the district with the added benefit of the areas utilized by the crew being super clean and sanitized after filming is completed. With no students on campus there would be no disruption to instruction. I know the district has been trying to fundraise. Thousands of dollars in revenue are out there for the taking. Easy money. A. Not at this time according to health guidelines, “Use of school facilities for non-school purposes (community meeting or events, on-site clinic visits by people who are neither students nor staff, etc.) is not permitted.”