"The lockers at the high school are always problematic," said Alexis Sheehy, assistant superintendent of instructional services. "They break, they don't work, they always need a replacement."
Lockers can also be a storage area for contraband items, Sheehy said, and they can make walking through hallways difficult and crowded.
When two sets of text books are available, not having the lockers has not posed a problem, she said.
But budget cuts and increases in student numbers could change the availability of books, as recently happened at John Burroughs High School, when new enrollment exceeded district expectations by about 100 students.
Bowman's first priority, he said, is to make sure that each individual student has all of his or her core textbooks.
When individual students do not have books, said Diana Abasta, president of the Burbank Teachers Assn., teachers are forced to take class time out to let students finish their reading and work on homework assignments, a situation some found themselves in earlier in the year.
"We had to make a sacrifice," John Burroughs High School Principal Emilio Urioste said. "The key ingredient is that the students have a book in their hand. The issue of the class set is something that we are going to explore."
Enough books have been ordered and received, Bowman said, to ensure that each student has a book, but ensuring each class has a set of books is something the district is still working on.
John Burroughs is currently conducting a study to determine what classes are in need of class sets. In the meantime, Urioste said, students can lighten their load by paying attention to what classes will require books on what day.
Michael Marcos, who teaches AP Government and Mock Trial at Burroughs, said he has yet to have difficulties with the supply of books. He is worried, however, that as the large freshman class moves forward that he will run into problems.
"This is all linked to funding," Marcos said. "If the funding gets slashed three times a year, the first thing that's going to go is 'luxurious' supplies, like ample text books."
Do you think high schools should have been designed with lockers? E-mail your responses to burbankleader @latimes.com; mail them to the Burbank Leader, 111 W. Wilson Ave., Glendale, CA 91203. Please spell your name and include your address and phone number for verification purposes only.