School District: Burbank USD
Position Seeking: Board Member
Question 1: Please share a meaningful experience you had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts) while growing up and its impact on you.
I am a band geek, through and through! I started playing the violin in 4th grade and continued all the way through high school. In 7th grade I realized that all my friends heading to High School would be in marching band, except for me. So I began playing the Saxophone so that I too could be in marching band. As a result of that choice I had amazing experiences that included travel and performing in famous places in front of millions of people that I would not have had without having music in my life. I was able to perform in the Rose Parade, the 1984 Olympics Opening Ceremony and made many, many life long friends who we now are raising OUR children together, still as friends.
Question 2: How can arts education support student outcomes such as English language development, reducing the achievement gap, and preparing youth for college and/or meaningful careers?
Arts education can and should be used to develop ELL's language development by simply being able to utilize the reading, writing and speaking skills. ELL's need the opportunity to develop their language by interacting with different types of art forms, similar to that of English Only students. Everyone needs vocabulary development for Arts instruction as well as utilizing or developing critical thinking skills by analyzing art.
Not only academically but Arts education can level the playing field for students socially as well. All students can share their own experiences and cultural background with each other so that there is an understanding of each others cultures and perspectives.
Finally, Arts education with ELLs can also provide a chance for them to build their confidence with their second language and perhaps showcase a strength that is not necessarily academic.
Question 3: What do you think the role of the School Board should be in ensuring that students have continued access to a broad range of study subjects, including the arts (broadly defined)?
The School boards role always is to oversee the budget and to set policy for the district. In addition, the role of the board is to set a vision for the district. To me, my job as a school board member is to keep as many programs and opportunities for students available as long as it remains good for kids. For some of our students, their arts programs are what keeps them coming to school every day, involved in their school community and even from dropping out. Its my role to do whatever needs to be done to keep those programs afloat. Here in Burbank, we have made an great effort to not only keep our programs but wish to continually grow and enhance what we already have.
Question 4: Do you see a role for arts education in the development of district Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs)? If so, how would you hope to use arts education to advance the eight priority areas identified in the LCAP template?
We have included Arts Education in our LCAPS in several areas because we know, as a Board and as a community that Arts education is important for our students. The LCAPs are designed to focus on areas of need, used to increase test scores and achievement. With that in mind, we have included arts funding to ensure that we are meeting the needs and the goals of the community.
We have used the LCAP to increase funding to our Instrumental music programs, purchasing new instruments and money to repair what we already have. We have added Music teachers for K-5 music instruction. We have used LCAP funds to add World Language classes as well at our middle schools. We will continue to development our LCAP as a catalyst for funding some of our arts programs, and as long as the local community desires.