NewsCovering Kern County


Major changes proposed for Downtown Elementary, district even considering closing the school

Posted at 6:18 PM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-12 21:18:37-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — There may be some major changes occurring at Downtown Elementary School, a K-8 school, according to the Bakersfield City School District.

Aside from contemplating a full closure of the school, district documents show that they are also considering "district residency rather than employment status," of parents who work downtown.

This is a concern for several parents, given that the school was designed in 1997 to "accommodate children whose parents were employed in or around the downtown area," according to the school's website.

Louise Rickett, says she is lucky her second child is about to graduate from downtown elementary because those proposed changes, if implemented, wouldn't have allowed her to attend the school, which she says provides a quality education.

"The area where I live is not a great school, it doesn't get a good rep," Rickett said. So she enrolled her children at Downtown Elementary for "a better chance of a great education and that's been fulfilled," Rickett added.

The district is also considering eliminating the seventh and eighth grade from their school, which would split up some several siblings, according to Michael Virga, a grandparent of a kindergartner and 6th grader.

"That's sad because it's really nice having the children of the same family in the same school, Virga said.

23ABC News reached out to the school district Tuesday to clarify why the district is considering any of these changes and when they would be implemented, if finalized, but they have not responded.

The Bakersfield City School District Board of Education is currently in a meeting, according to a district schedule, discussing these proposed changes.

23ABC will be speaking to district officials at the meeting and provide updates in the 11 p.m. newscast.