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By Alene Tchekmedyian, | January 31, 2014
Burbank received a federal grant to partially fund three school resource officers for the next three years - bumping up a program that has been reduced significantly in recent years - but it comes with a steep local match of nearly $1.2 million, which the city may not be able to afford. City officials emphasized the value of a police presence on campus in the wake of recent school shootings nationwide, but were overwhelmed by a price tag more than three times the amount of the grant.
By Kelly Corrigan, | January 31, 2014
Burbank Unified school district is falling in line with a growing state trend that has seen student suspensions decline over the past school year compared to the year prior, according to data released this week by state officials. There were 246 fewer suspensions in Burbank schools in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12, the most recent years for which extensive data is available. While there were 948 suspensions across Burbank Unified in 2012-13, there were 1,194 the year before. There were also five fewer expulsions during the last academic year, compared to the year prior when there were 16. Statewide, expulsions decreased by about 12% from more than 9,700 in 2011-12 to about 8,500 in 2012-13.
By Kelly Corrigan, | January 21, 2014
Burbank educators say that the Spanish dual-language immersion program they started this year has been successful so far, and they hope to expand it in the fall. Twenty-nine kindergarten students belong to Burbank Unified's inaugural dual-immersion class in which they spend 80%of the day speaking and learning math, science, language arts and social studies in Spanish. The district launched the program with unanimous support from the board last year because school officials were seeing a demand for it. In 2012, Burbank Unified granted about 200 permits for Burbank elementary students to enroll in dual-immersion programs outside of the district.
By Kelly Corrigan, | January 14, 2014
Burbank Unified Supt. Jan Britz could potentially receive a $15,000 raise if the school board approves it while discussing her contract on Thursday. Britz, who replaced former superintendent Stan Carrizosa, took the helm of the district in July 2012. She began with a starting salary of $185,250, which would have otherwise been $190,000, if not for a 2.5% pay cut that all Burbank administrators took temporarily in response to a weak economy encroaching on the district. When her contract automatically rolled over for another year beginning on July 1, 2013, her salary went up to $190,000.
By Kelly Corrigan, | January 11, 2014
Burbank educators approached the school board Thursday night to discuss what they believe should be restored in the district as local school officials look to bring back some programs and staff positions that were affected by years of state budget cuts. In a special study session, Roosevelt Elementary Principal Jennifer Meglemre requested the school district add a curriculum specialist at her school and other sites. Currently, there are six curriculum specialists, the majority of whom are shared among 11 elementary schools in the district.
By Kelly Corrigan, | January 7, 2014
In Burbank, an anticipated increase in revenues for the school district has educators beginning a new conversation about how to improve the education of local students after years of devastating budget cuts. On Thursday, the Burbank Unified school board will meet for a special study session - which will be open to the public - to review the budget reductions the district has weathered since 2007 and kick-start a discussion about where the district can expand its academic programs. “We want to see where we can go,” said school board president Dave Kemp, who said Thursday's meeting signifies the beginning of a new dialogue on restoring academic programs and perhaps employees, following a decade that has largely seen the school board examining where to make cuts in order to keep the district solvent.
By Kelly Corrigan, | December 20, 2013
Since Burbank voters approved the $110-million Measure S bond in March, Burbank school district officials say there has been significant impact to the local economy. During a Burbank Unified school board meeting on Thursday, officials estimated that 83% of the 29 vendors that have been approved to work on bond projects so far are located within 50 miles of Burbank. Additionally, 85% of the $3.5 million spent as of Nov. 30 were tied to companies located within 50 miles of the city.
By Joyce Rudolph | December 17, 2013
Longtime Burbank residents Marjorie and Les Jonkey received an early Christmas present with the birth of their ninth great-grandchild, Jackson Andrew Schulze, on Nov. 29. Jackson was born at 3:40 p.m., weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 21 inches long. His parents are Jeramie and Melissa “Jonkey” Schulze of Burbank. The Jonkeys both turned 95 last month and their family celebrated with a party at the Castaway restaurant on Nov. 17. They will celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary in January.
By Kelly Corrigan, | December 13, 2013
Joaquin Miller Elementary students gathered in the school's quad Friday morning to see the unveiling of a new plaque bearing the name of Gail Copeland, who served as the school's principal for 19 years . Current Principal Judy Hession, who worked under Copeland for six years before she retired in 2003, also named its quad, "Copeland Courtyard. " Most of Miller's 700 students also wore purple on Friday, the former principal's favorite color. The former educator, who was known for putting students first and never wanted to take credit for the school's overall achievement, once oversaw 125 employees and 1,000 students at Miller when it was at its most populated.
By Kelly Corrigan, | December 10, 2013
Educators at Joaquin Miller Elementary School on Friday will dedicate their quad to the late Gail Copeland, a longtime Burbank educator who served as principal of the school for 19 years. A 1957 graduate of Burbank High, Copeland spent over 42 years as an educator with Burbank Unified, beginning as a fourth-grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in 1961. She worked at Bret Harte and Washington elementary schools before she began teaching at Miller in 1975 and served as the school's principal from 1984 through 2003.
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