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
“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,”
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
“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.”