BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — After months of planning the Kern High School District held its second public meeting Tuesday night to talk about boundary changes, where families impacted by the changes voiced their opinions.
The Kern High School District is building a new high school in Southeast Bakersfield. Del Oro High is currently being built on East Panama Lane and Cottonwood Road and is set to welcome around 2,200 students in August of next year.
New high school could put some students in different schools
According to Roger Sanchez with KHSD Del Oro is opening to help with an overcrowding issue, which will eventually force some 9th and 10th-grade students to change schools.
"We have pockets of growth that are occurring not only around Del Oro. But Ridgeview High School is pretty large, Arvin, Highland, and so what ends up happening is you create a boundary for let's say Del Oro and you have to take out from other schools that are neighboring so it's just been kind of a process."
Covering Kern County
Parents challenge proposed KHSD boundary changes
These boundary changes sparked some debate in a public forum Tuesday night.
One parent said, “What contributes to the culture of a school? Sports, parent involvement, alumni, those are major impacts on this school. The proposed changes completely change that for Bakersfield High School.”
And many families fear they would lose that if students were required to change schools.
One student saying, “I am creating so many memories and would be so sad if all these kids, including my brother and sister, can't create those same memories later on.”
A committee developed these maps earlier this year, prompting questions from the community.
One parent said, “why are there fewer than 15 people making these recommendations? If each school site principal appointed two members, there should've been almost 40 people on this committee.”
One map did get more support than others, proposal number three. Roger Sanchez, the Director of Research and Planning for the Kern High School District says they'll be collecting information from each forum and sending it to the board of trustees to make a final decision.
Sanchez said, “what it does is provide input for the board members to get a feel for the community, what they like, and what they don't like. Whether that influences their decision on what plan to pick, that's where the community input is really essential.”
Sanchez said that the board usually goes dark in July, so finalized decisions will likely occur in September.
The Kern High School District will have another public forum on June 29th at Golden Valley High School. The takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
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