Despite the state's ongoing financial crisis, the Kern High School District's (KHSD) more than 37,000 students will, during the 2012-13 school year, continue to benefit from a wide variety of academic, athletic and other extracurricular programs. The District will also be able to fund the numerous services that meet student nutritional, health, counseling, tutorial and other needs.
We at the District are particularly excited about the start of the 2012-13 school year, because of the implementation of a new Student Information System. The new system, called Synergy, is a significant improvement from the previous program first used 25 years ago. Teachers will now be able to record grades, take attendance, post lessons and assignments, and communicate with students and parents using Synergy. Parents will be able to view their student's attendance, grades and assignments from any web-enabled computer or mobile device and communicate electronically with teachers and staff.
The District's commitment to a rigorous instructional program will continue in 2012-13. That commitment has been reflected in sustained District progress on a number of state and federal accountability measurements. State statistics show the KHSD's graduation rate increased to 85 percent most recently, marking the fourth straight year the District's graduation rate has climbed. The District's score on the Academic Performance Index (API), a state measurement of District academic success, has increased every year for the past nine years.
The District's Career & Technical Education Programs will also continue to flourish in 2012-13. Five KHSD campuses now feature Pre-Engineering Programs, thanks in large part to strong financial support from Chevron. Every KHSD school will have at least one signature Career & Technical Education Program.
District students will also continue to benefit from a wide array of extracurricular opportunities. District athletic teams continue to distinguish themselves in California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) athletic competition. District teams competing in such programs as Future Farmers of America (FFA), Mock Trial, Academic Decathlon, â€œWe, the Peopleâ€¦â€ and Virtual Enterprise also continue to grow in state and national prominence.
I am optimistic the KHSD will continue to provide students, parents and the community the highest quality high school experience possible given the current economic challenges. The District has experienced significant budget cuts in recent years due to the state recession. The KHSD now receives $50 million less from the state than it did five years ago. I believe my optimism is well founded in the ongoing commitment to student success of their parents, our staff and the people of this community. For that commitment, I offer my sincere appreciation.
Donald E. Carter, Ed.D.