Head counts key to funds

Molly Shore

Attendance in Burbank public schools is considered high, but Board of

Education members, district administrators and parents think it can

go even higher.

Hank Jannace, Burbank Unified School District's director of pupil

services, told school board members Thursday about 96% of students

attend class each school day, which leaves a little bit of room for

improvement.

"The state has raised the bar on academic standards," Jannace

said. "We can't achieve [gains] if kids aren't in their seats."

To reduce absenteeism, the district's Pupil Services Department

counsels parents whose children are habitually absent, promotes the

district attendance policy through the "Chalk Talk" program on

Charter Communications Channel 6, and conducts home visits in an

effort to get pupils to school on a regular basis, Jannace said.

Keeping kids in school equates to average daily attendance money

for the district. With an enrollment of 15,431 students, and $26.50

paid for every student who comes to class, the district could receive

$408,921 for perfect attendance. With 4% of students absent, the

daily average, the district misses out on $16,350 each day.

Board member Paul Krekorian came up with a few numbers of his own.

If 3% of district students are absent on any school day, Krekorian

said the monetary loss is equivalent to the purchase price of 530,000

reams of paper, or 48,000 textbooks.

"The most important reason for ensuring the best possible

attendance is the effect on our students' ability to learn,"

Krekorian said.

Jim Settlemoir, a parent member of the Burbank High School

Parent-Teacher-Student Assn., said students should not be absent an

entire school day because of, for instance, a one-hour dental

appointment.

"Remember, this is kind of like finding money stuf- fed in your

jacket pocket," Settlemoir said. "If you're a taxpayer, you've

already sent this money to the state."

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