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Students don’t suffer without lockers

In response to a letter to the Leader by Ena Doerzapf, I would

like the citizens of Burbank to know that the Board of Education of

the Burbank Unified School District approved the new construction of

Burbank High School and John Burroughs High School without lockers

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after much thought and deliberation. They took into consideration the

issue of students having to carry heavy textbooks from home to school

and back again. In the fall of 2000, a high school textbook

committee, composed of parents, students, teachers, library

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coordinators, administrators and a board member, was established. The

committee met throughout the 2000-01 school year and recommended

that duplicate sets of textbooks be purchased so that students would

not have to carry books between home and school. This model has

already been used successfully at John Muir Middle School, where

there are no lockers for sixth-graders.

Adhering to a schedule set out by the committee and approved by

the Board of Education, the district has been purchasing duplicate

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sets of textbooks with money that comes to the district from state

lottery funds.

Classroom sets of books have been purchased, and these books are

used by all of the students who have classes in a particular

classroom. Since fall 2001, the following classroom sets of books

have been acquired: language arts (English, grades nine through 12);

science (biology, AP biology, anatomy, chemistry, physics and AP

physics); social science (world history, honors world history, U.S.

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history, AP U.S. history, economics and government); business

(accounting and business management); math (algebra 1, geometry,

algebra 2, pre-calculus and calculus). The following books are

scheduled to be purchased in the fall of 2003: American sign

language, French, Spanish, Spanish for Spanish-speakers and health.

This system has been working well at both high schools. Students

have access to their textbooks at home and at school without having

to carry heavy books in their backpacks. Duplicate textbooks have

proved to be a financially sound purchase because textbooks last much

longer when they are not carried to and from school, and there is

much less damage or normal wear and tear. Consequently, we have been

able to reduce the textbook replacement budget and will actually

purchase fewer replacement texts. We have found the right combination

-- duplicate classroom sets of books, lower costs and lighter

backpacks for students.

ALEXIS M. SHEEHY

BUSD Assistant

Superintendent for

Instructional Services


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