The Sacramento Bee’s lead story today is on our school. Here’s an excerpt:
When the International Baccalaureate program started at Burbank, only a few dozen students enrolled in the classes. Now, one in five kids on campus takes at least one class in the curriculum and nearly two dozen are seeking a full IB diploma, meaning they take all their classes through the program.
The school also has seen improvement in its overall achievement test scores. According to state measurements, Burbank’s scores are better than 70 percent of schools with similar demographics in California. Six years ago, Burbank scored better than just 30 percent of comparable schools.
But there’s a way to go.
Burbank students had the lowest average SAT score in the region last year: 1174 out of 2400. On the other hand, the percentage of Burbank seniors taking the exam has risen by more than one-third in that time – meaning a broader swath of the student enrollment is aiming for college.
Appel, in his ninth year as principal, knows there’s plenty of work left to be done. He’s focused on getting his students to expect more from themselves.
As the bell rang last week to mark the end of second period, hundreds of students filed into the open-air hallways. The diversity of the campus was apparent. Nearly 40 percent of the 1,800 students are of Southeast Asian or Pacific Islander descent, most of them Hmong, Samoan and Tongan. Latino and African American students make up nearly another 50 percent combined.