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January 24, 2021



Thanks, HMB. I missed the DJ that day. Much appreciated.

Claudia V

So they cut 13 positions without laying anyone off? Thats the way I read it, below it says "No layoffs".

“Given where we started with the budget conversation and the challenges we were facing — to be able to approve these things tonight with no layoffs is such great work by the staff and district,”

Is this list below accurate? If anyone has more detail please share.

1. Coordinators of Student Engagement (how many positions?)
2. Director of Innovation
3. Wellness Coordinator
4. Applications Support Specialist
5. Accounting Technician
6. Receptionist at District Office
7. Administrative Assistant of Educational Services
8. Program Specialists (how many positions?)
9. Speech and Language Professional
10. World Language Teacher
11. Worker in the Learning Center


World Language Teacher at BIS? I believe they have 3 teachers; Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. Is one of these 3 programs going away?

Bruce Dickinson

The way one cuts people without laying them off or firing is by offering them early retirement or "pay to go away" packages.

Back in the day at Columbia, yours truly, Bruce Dickinson, had to deal with the AFM (American Federation of Musicians). This is how we did job cuts with a unionized workforce. Would imagine is very similar for all unions such as teachers.

As mentioned in prior posts, looks like the BSD cut mostly unnecessary administrative fat and some special services. Would have thought they should have cut more into the teachers and take a more aggressive stance for those teachers who were nowhere to be found from March to June of 2020. Per CTA rules, some teachers made sure they committed to the bare minimum of instruction and knew full well that the CTA had their backs.

Some teachers then even left the district to teach "learning pods" privately and some actually did in-person "learning pods" WHILE being an "online only" public school teacher. Also many teachers were pretty vocal with parents, the community, and School Board about not wanting to return to school. I can assure you, names have been kept of said teachers and if BSD chooses to cut more teaching positions, I'm sure parents will be very happy to opine on their job cut "recommendations".

What comes around, goes around!


Please don’t try to tar an entire profession by using a vague term. “Some” equals anything greater than zero and allows the reader to make up whatever quantity suites them (many! most! all! every teacher I don't like!) based on their existing biases. The actual magnitude of the number bad actors could be extremely low. (This is similar to the trick that conspiracy-minded folks employ when using “they” without specifying who “they” actually is.)

Bruce Dickinson

To be clear, given the "some" (notice how I never said "most") Bruce Dickinson would say somewhere between 5% and 10% of the teachers were "getting away with the minimum" while I think the rest were doing a great job. It is definitely more work to run a distance learning class and it's not easy keeping kids' attention...90%+ were giving it their all.

Of course, the profession also extends to private schools, where threats of walkouts, strikes, giving minimal hours, etc seemed to be completely absent. I wonder why?

Maybe because there is no union at the private schools to act as a "crutch" for complaints. Or maybe because if private school teachers decided to leave, there would be 20 public school teachers who would be more than happy to fill their spot...in PERSON!

There is no question, the CTA earned no favors as the pandemic wore on, and even Newsom started to bite the very hand that feeds him by expressing his frustration against the CTA (amazing what recall petitions do!). Prolonging learning past Jan 2020 and into 2021/2022 school year was becoming a preposterous position.

This will for sure stick in people's memories!


Back to whether or not we are losing a language teacher please.


I have 3 kids, bought a house in Burlingame a little over a year ago as I understood the public school are excellent.

I recently started hearing that the Elementary school and the high school are great (minus the Principal issues from a few years ago), however lots of people have mixed feelings about BIS. Didn't hear anything specific but am told BIS is the ugly duckling of the district?

Can anyone share why BIS might be considered the Ugly Duckling?


Because it's middle school. Kids from all over are thrown into one school, and hormones are raging, and these are tricky years for kids anyway. And the parent cliques ALSO have to find a new pecking order once they are thrown together. So parents and kids all come in kind of a mess and by the time everyone figures it out and settles down they are off to high school. It's just the nature of the beast.


Thanks Caitlin and HMB. The question is a long-running one and worthy of a fresh post. I've copied your comments into the new post found here: https://www.burlingamevoice.com/2021/04/bis-whats-up-with-that.html#comments


Due to relocating outside of the district:

"Vacant positions on the Burlingame School District Board of Trustees, left by outgoing members, Kate Reed and Deepak Sarpangal, were filled Tuesday after remaining members appointed Doug Brown and Daniel Devoy to the roles.

“We look forward to Doug and Dan joining the board on March 15, 2022, when they will be sworn into office,” Superintendent Chris Mount-Benites said in his weekly newsletter."


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