When my wife and I first moved to Burbank more than 20 years ago the last thing on our minds were the schools. I was a grungy grad student at the American Film Institute and she came down to help open the shiny new Bullocks at the mall. Remember when our mall used to be shiny? Man, that place was gorgeous when it first opened. Whew!
Anyway, we loved Burbank because it was clean, crazy-affordable and just over the hill from the beautiful insanity of L.A.. And though the affordable part has changed a bit over the past two decades, life in Burbank has only gotten better, and far hipper, in the interim. Long gone are the days of “beautiful downtown Burbank” jokes and 818 area code shaming. Burbank isn’t exactly Silver Lake or anything, but our love for this funky little company town with its used record stores, Cuban bakeries and streets named after dead comedians has only grown stronger over the years.
And now that our seven-year-old daughter is in school at R.L. Stevenson Elementary, well, forget about it. We’re here for the duration.
We’ve only been doing the elementary school thing for two years now, but, trust me when I tell you that you will not find better, more invested teachers, administrators, students and parents anywhere in the southland. Burbank schools really are the best of the best. And as of Thursday, we’ve got a handful of spanking-new Gold Ribbon Schools Awards to prove it.
Late last week State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that of the 772 California elementary schools being honored with Gold Ribbon Schools Awards this year, a whopping seven of them are in Burbank. Awesome, huh? Congrats to everyone at Washington, Miller, Providencia, Emerson, Stevenson, Disney, and McKinley elementary schools for their richly-deserved kudos. Man, our hipster parent friends in NOHO will be so jealous!
For more information, see the official press release below!
BUSDeNews: Seven Burbank Elementary Schools Earn Gold Ribbon Awards
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that 772 elementary schools are being honored under the Gold Ribbon Schools Awards Program. “These schools shine as bright beacons for others, putting forth an exemplary effort to ensure that every student is ready for 21st century college and careers,” Torlakson said. “California teachers are developing an education model for the nation, training the students of today to be the problem-solvers, inventors, and pioneers of tomorrow.”
The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor schools in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program, which is on hiatus while California creates new assessment and accountability systems. Nearly 6,000 elementary schools were eligible to apply this year. Schools applied for the award based on a model program or practice their school has adopted that includes standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices that can be replicated by other local educational agencies. The award recognized middle and high schools last year.
The Gold Ribbon Awards recognize California schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. These include the California Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, California English Language Development Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.
Seven Burbank elementary schools were among the winners: Washington, Miller, Providencia, Emerson, Stevenson, Disney and McKinley. Superintendent Matt Hill commented on the news, “We are proud of our seven schools for being recognized by the California Department of Education as exemplar schools. The Gold Ribbon Award temporarily replaces the California Distinguished Schools Program, which all of Burbank Unified’s schools have received. These Gold Ribbon Awards are another example of the amazing work our men and women do on behalf of our students every single day. It is truly and honor to work for such an amazing district.” The winning Burbank schools will be honored at the May 5 Board of Education meeting at Burbank City Hall.
2016 Burbank Gold Ribbon Schools
George Washington Elementary School
Brandi Young, Principal
Joaquin Miller Elementary School
Judy Hession, Principal
Providencia Elementary School
Jennifer Culbertson, Principal
Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School
Jennifer Kaitz, Principal
Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School
Christina Desiderio, Principal
Walt Disney Elementary Elementary School
Molly Hwang, Principal
William McKinley Elementary School
Liz Costella, Principal