Hi! I'm Abby!
My name is Abby Pontzer Kamkar, and I’m running for the Burbank Unified School Board. I have two small children - Margot (5) and Jack (3) - and have worked in education for over ten years. Like many people, I moved to Burbank because of the excellent schools. As a Board Member, I would seek to expand that excellence, by providing more opportunities for more students. I consider myself extremely lucky to call myself a Disney Elementary parent. Further, we won the lottery (literally) for our daughter to attend the Spanish Dual Immersion Program there. Going through the enrollment process, I saw a number of opportunities for Burbank to get families more involved and to fundamentally improve enrollment and student outcomes.
Expand the Day
Did you know that regular kindergarten in BUSD ends at 12:30p? The afterschool programs have long waitlists and many parents cannot afford (in time or money) to pick up their children in the middle of the day. Nearby districts, private schools, and other programs are more attractive to kindergarten parents because they offer a longer day - and sometimes, they go and don't come back for first grade.
More students in our schools means more money to the district and more money to the classroom. We should expand Dual Immersion to other elementary schools, and pilot other attractive programs. We should be a system of choice for families outside the BUSD boundaries. We have 2,400 fewer students than we did in 2016-2017, which means we have the capacity and responsibility to impact more young minds.
We know that a vital part of preparing students for the real world is not only college prep, but career exploration. We should work closely with local businesses, including trades, to expose our students to mentoring, internships, and careers. We know there are great careers to be had with a technical education, especially in the entertainment industry.