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Online program helps students bump up grades

High school students looking to erase low grades from their transcripts have a new digital tool at their disposal.

The Burbank Unified School District, in collaboration with the Burbank Adult School, will test an online-based, grade-improvement program this semester designed to better position students for higher education opportunities.

Registration started Jan. 3 and is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors who earned a “C” or “D” in core classes such as English, world history, U.S. history and Algebra I. The fee is $149 per five-credit course, and the 30 available slots will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, Burbank Adult School Principal Joe Stark said.

The program is most appropriate for a student who aspires to attend college and needs a flexible way to improve a poor grade, Stark said.


“I think it is a student who is certainly college-bound, a student who needs to increase his or her GPA for college admissions,” Stark said. “Maybe he or she is involved in a lot of extracurricular activities.”

The idea for the pilot program originated within the district’s instructional services department, which was looking for creative ways to accommodate students amid budget tightening, said Sharon Cuseo, director of assessment and accountability.

The district’s summer school offerings have been reduced to the point where they are open only to students who need to retake classes to graduate.

“We have had reduced funding for summer school, so we don’t have as many options for students to improve their grades,” Cuseo said.


Burbank Unified already is using online educational software to target underperforming students and district officials have been impressed by the results, Cuseo said.

If the pilot program goes smoothly, the district hopes to expand it.

“We see it as a way to be able to offer more courses for students in the summer,” Cuseo said.