With the addition of Del Oro High School to the Kern High School District, redrawing boundary areas for existing high schools becomes a necessity.
Redesigning school boundaries acts like a ripple effect. All schools have the potential to be touched by these changes, not just the schools that will be neighboring Del Oro.
“Redesigning the KHSD boundary is an opportunity to bring relief to some of our local schools and in turn, the students they serve. Schools that can benefit from a slight redesign to the boundary map are schools who are greatly over capacity,” Lisa Schimnowski, a KHSD employee, said via email. “By reducing the number of students on campus, teachers can build better relationships, improve individual instruction, and make the best use of existing facilities.”
While officials discussed boundary changes, they considered six goals: providing the best possible learning opportunities for all students; making the best possible use of existing facilities; minimizing added expenses; minimizing disruption of the education programs for each student and school; considering school proximity; and achieving community support.
Redesigning the current district boundaries has the possibility to implement numerous positive changes such as keeping feeder junior high students together, strengthening school community and culture, and increasing a students ability to participate in extra-curricular clubs and sports that meet after school.
“Due to our current boundary design, we have KHSD students attending a school six miles away from their home instead of the attending school that is within two miles (walking distance),” said Schimnowski. “Because these students rely on KHSD transportation, it can keep them from extra-curricular participation.”
There are three maps of potential redistricting that are being considered. The plans show some Arvin High students will attend Del Oro High and some Bakersfield High students will attend East, Mira Monte, West, Independence or Stockdale high schools, depending on the plan. One proposal also shows some East High students either going to Highland or North high schools.
It appears the only schools that don’t seem to be affected by the redistricting process are schools in Northwest Bakersfield, such as Centennial, Frontier and Liberty high schools.
To gain community input, the District is holding community forums to discuss the possible boundary changes that will occur. These forums will all start at 7 P.M on the following dates:
- June 15, 7 p.m. at West High
- June 22, 7 p.m. at Foothill High
- June 29, 7 p.m. at Golden Valley High
Although school boundaries may change, disruption to students will be minimal. All current high school students will be able to continue attending their current high school, regardless of upcoming changes; if they have younger siblings, they will also be able to join them on their current campus. Furthermore, If a student looks forward to enrolling in a unique career technical pathway or academy at a particular campus, they can simply complete an intra-district transfer.