BCSD receives funding, reinstates summer program at low-performing schools

March 22, 2019 /

The Bakersfield City School District announced Thursday it is implementing a modified summer learning program for the 2019 school year, thanks to a Comprehensive Support and Improvement Grant.

The summer learning program will be at four school sites — Casa Loma Elementary, Longfellow Elementary, Stella Hills Elementary and Emerson Middle School — four of the lowest performing schools in California in the 2018-19 school year, according to the California Department of Education.

As required by the Every Student Succeeds Act, California is required to identify low-performing schools. The state identified 781 district, county and charter schools for “comprehensive support and improvement.” Of those, 481 schools are receiving federal funds due to poor performance, EdSource reports. Schools eligible for CSI are required to develop school plans to improve student outcomes, according to the Department of Education.

Emerson and Stella Hills are part of BCSD’s Focus Schools Initiative, which took effect in 2017. The initiative provides targeted support services and leverage resources to affect sustainable growth at schools with low student achievement, says a press release.

Students attending Casa Loma, Longfellow, Stella Hills and Emerson are the only students who can attend the summer learning program. For all other BCSD students, additional information on summer learning resources will be made available in the coming weeks, says a new release.

This announcement comes after the district notified staff in December it’s plans to cut summer school, citing increasing costs for school services and low enrollment.

Advocacy groups have criticized the district’s decision and have pushed to bring back the summer program.

“It’s great that there is going to be a summer school program for those four sites,” said Cecilia Castro, the education policy director for the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Mark Luque, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, will be providing more information about the program and what it entails during his presentation at Tuesday’s board meeting at 6 p.m. at 1300 Baker St.

Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez is the program associate for South Kern Sol. She can be reached at elizabeth@southkernsol.org.