Surveys seeking feedback about Burbank Unified's dress code were distributed to faculty members at John Burroughs and Burbank high schools this week after a group of students told education leaders the policy is sexist against girls. Louie Kahn, student body president at Burroughs High who is spearheading the information-gathering process, shared an update Thursday night during a school board meeting. The survey was emailed to faculty members at the two high schools this week, Kahn said, and he has already received results from 75 teachers. In an earlier interview, Kahn said students received the survey Sept. 19 through a mobile app, and it received responses from hundreds of students in under two hours. Since then, 1,056 students from Burroughs High and Burbank High responded to the survey with the majority of results coming from Burroughs students who feel the dress code is "too strict."
Some local high school students are challenging Burbank Unified's dress-code policy, saying it is sexist against girls, and they are planning to survey parents, teachers and students on how to amend the policy. Eight students from Burroughs and Burbank high schools shared their personal experiences dealing with the dress-code policy during the public-comment period of a Burbank school board meeting last week. According to the policy, clothing must not "detract from the academic environment" and cannot promote the use of illegal substances, alcohol and should be void of profanity and violence. Low-cut tops, spaghetti-strap shirts, short skirts and short shorts are not permitted, nor are beanies and hats. If a student wears inappropriate clothing, they are asked to change or a parent is asked to bring appropriate clothing.
Diana Abasta, president of the Burbank Teachers Assn., remembers her first year as a teacher. Days started early and ended late as she learned how to create her daily lesson plans. "To be a really good teacher took a long time," Abasta said to the 52 new teachers who are now part of the Burbank Unified School District. The incoming teachers were welcomed Thursday morning during a new teacher orientation held at the Castaway restaurant. The orientation featured guest speakers such as Eric Heins, president of the California Teachers Assn., and Matt Hill, superintendent of Burbank Unified.
Standardized test scores for students in the Burbank Unified School District remained flat this year compared to previous years, according to data released Wednesday by state officials. However, they continue to perform slightly better than the state average. About 7,500 local students in third through eighth grades as well as high school juniors took the online standardized test known as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. Results showed 62% of Burbank Unified students met or exceeded the standard for English language arts, while 48% met or exceeded the mathematics standard. During the two previous years, students made gains in their scores each year, but districtwide results showed scores remained mostly stagnant this year.