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Adult school’s move fuels protest

Molly Shore

Thanks to slipping enrollment, classes for the Burbank Adult School

are moving back to Burbank High School after being transferred to

John Burroughs High School just seven months ago.

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All adult school classes, which include English as Second Language

and Spanish, will be taught at Burbank High School when the spring

semester begins Monday.

Timothy Buchanan, director of adult education, told school board

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members at their meeting Thursday that the adult school has lost

$7,500 a week since the move in September.

“There has been a significant drop-off in [average daily

attendance], with 120 less students in Burroughs than at Burbank High

School,” Buchanan said. “It’s all about location, location,

location.”

The program, which has classes Monday through Thursday, had 550

students at Burbank High, but dropped to 430 with the move to

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Burroughs, Buchanan said.

Buchanan said that the adult school has had a 17-year track record

of success at Burbank High because it is easier for night-school

students to get there because of bus line accessibility.

But Kathleen Hermann, the Burbank High School

Parent-Teacher-Student Assn. president, isn’t convinced. Herman

believes the lower enrollment is due, in part, to inadequate

advertising about the location change. She told the board that one

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year is not long enough to determine whether the decreased enrollment

will continue.

Hermann’s main concerns about resuming night-school classes at

Burbank High School are parking and security.

“We are even more impacted with parking than in previous years,”

Hermann said. “If adult school classes are returned to Burbank High

School, parents and students attending evening activities at Burbank

High would again be competing with adult school students for scarce

on-street parking.”

Hermann also said many teens in the quad area interact with the

adult school students, while at Burroughs, adult classes are in

bungalows away from the main campus.

“Female parents have concerns, mostly about the men. If they don’t

feel comfortable, how can the students feel comfortable?” Hermann

said after the meeting.

Buchanan said no significant security problems have resulted from

the program being at either campus.

Alexis Sheehy, the district’s assistant superintendent of

instruction and director of secondary education, said other sites,

including Monterey High School, Miller Elementary School and John

Muir Middle School, were considered, but each of these schools had

problems. Monterey High is too small, the desks and chairs at Miller

are too small for adults, and parking at Muir presents the same

problem as Burbank High.

Board members agreed that classes should move back to Burbank

High, but plan to continue discussion to alleviate the parking and

security questions.


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