Kern High School District

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FAQ

Opening new schools and coping with overcrowding necessitates changing school boundaries.

The most reliable source for information on Kern High School District attendance boundaries and the school assigned to a specific address is the Kern High School District, Research & Planning Office, 661.827.3256. Questions may also be directed to boundaryquestions@khsd.k12.ca.us  An overall boundary map and several detail maps are available at Kern High School District Boundary Maps. These maps may provide the information you are looking for or may help you to refine any questions you may have.

What is the best high school in town?

Each of our high schools has been recognized for individual accomplishments. Although each school is unique, all high schools in the Kern High School District have strong educational programs designed to meet the needs of all students. All schools post the California School Accountability Report card for their school on the web. When looking at overall test scores, please consider that these are composite scores including the scores of students in the gifted program, students in college prep classes, students in general ed classes, students in remedial classes, students learning English, and special education students. These scores may not provide much guidance in choosing the best school for your student. Contacting and/or visiting the school will provide you with better information on whether a particular school has the best program for your son or daughter. The Kern High School District’s commitment to maintaining the availability of a full program at each school is intended to enable families to choose their home without being concerned that their choice will keep their child from having the education they need to succeed.

My seventh grade child is in the gifted program and plans to attend an elite university. Will the high school that serves this area give him/her the academic background he / she needs?

Yes, all high schools offer a core academic program leading to admission into the California State University system & the University of California as well as other rigorous institutions. All high schools offer gifted and honors programs for students. All schools offer a math sequence leading up to and including Advanced Placement Calculus. All schools offer at least 16 semesters of Honors and Advanced Placement classes that meet University of California standards for such classes.

We currently live within the Highland High School boundaries. One of our children is a tenth grader at Highland High School. Our younger child is a seventh grader. If we buy this house in the Foothill High School area, can our younger child go to Highland High School with the older child?

Yes, if a family has an older brother or sister attending one high school, and the family moves into a different school attendance area, younger children may join that student at the original school. See Sibling Policy

I’ve heard both good and bad things about the high school that serves this residential area. How can I find out what the school is really like?

Call the school and arrange to visit and talk with the principal or a counselor. School site web pages and school phone numbers are listed on Contact Us Page.

Who decides which high school my child will attend?

The Kern High School District School Board makes the final decisions on school attendance boundaries and has established a process for receiving community advice regarding the boundary plan. The Superintendent forms a committee composed of parents from each high school and community representatives. This committee develops proposals for school boundaries based on a set of criteria approved by the Board. The committee recommends a proposal to the Superintendent. The Superintendent makes a determination as to whether this proposal best meets Board approved criteria. The Superintendent sends a proposal on to the Board for final approval.

What are the criteria used to develop school attendance boundaries?

The Board has directed that the proposal should balance the following criteria:
  • Provide the best possible learning opportunities for all students
  • Make the best possible use of existing facilities
  • Minimize added expenses
  • Minimize disruption of the education programs for each student and school
  • Minimize the movement of students from schools in close proximity to their neighborhoods
  • Achieve wide support for proposal by the community
 
All of the above criteria are to be given equal weight by the boundary committee.

Why can’t I just send my child to the nearest high school?

Boundary criteria recognize attending a school close to the family’s home has advantages for students and their parents. In balance with the other criteria discussed above, the committee developing the boundary proposals seeks to minimize traveling distances to school. However, most of our high schools serve over 2000 students and usually a number of students are bused to the school in order to fill the school. Metropolitan Bakersfield is divided up to best utilize the regional high schools located in our city. The district must fill all its schools to receive funding from the State in building new schools. Overcrowding some schools and leaving others underutilized would not be fiscally responsible.

Does the Kern High School District try to racially or ethnically balance its high schools in Bakersfield?

No. The passage of Proposition 209 by California voters in 1996 and recent California Supreme Court decisions forbid school districts from making any decisions based on racial considerations. Boundary committees are not given any information on the ethnic composition of schools and neighborhoods.

Why does the Kern High School District try to ‘minimize isolation of lower socioeconomic students’?

Kern High School District is dedicated to making every school a quality school without exception or excuse. The Kern High School District’s commitment to maintaining the availability of a full program at each school enables families to choose their home without being concerned that their choice will keep their child from having the education they need to succeed. All high schools offer a core academic program leading to admission into the California State University system & the University of California as well as other rigorous institutions. All high schools offer gifted and honors programs for students. All schools offer a math sequence leading up to and including Advanced Placement Calculus. All schools offer at least 16 semesters of Honors and Advanced Placement classes that meet University of California standards for such classes. Schools cannot offer classes if there are not a sufficient number of students who are ready to take them. There are no district-defined guidelines defining isolation of socio-economic students, no floor or ceiling; there is no Kern High School District requirement that sites be balanced socio-economically. The boundary committee is given information on the socio-economic characteristics of schools and neighborhoods to consider in balance with other criteria as listed above.

Why can’t I send my child to the new school? Didn’t my taxes pay for that school?

Anyone who lives in the Kern High School District (KHSD) or even California helps pay for our new schools! The Kern High School District does not use any location or region-specific revenue source such as landscape assessment districts, or Mello-Roos districts. Indeed, 46% of the money for new schools has come from past California bond issues, so persons from Chula-Vista to Crescent City help pay for these schools. The other 54% of funds have come from local sources, such as general obligation bonds and new construction development school fees. General obligation bond Measure ‘A’ approved in 1990 allowed for the construction of Stockdale, Centennial, Ridgeview, Liberty, Golden Valley, and Frontier High. Measure ‘N’ passed in fall, 2004 providing for the construction of Independence and Mira Monte High School. Every person in the Kern High School District helps build these new schools.

Has the Kern High School District made a guarantee or promise that certain neighborhoods will always attend specific high schools?

Given the growth of the district, shifts in population in the district, the need to use all our capacity, and the need for new schools, the District cannot make such promises. The law requires that school districts inform all developers of which school will serve any particular development. All title companies handling these developments receive a letter which provides the required information. This letter also states: It must be understood that because the schools serving this area are now at or near capacity, students may not necessarily attend the school mentioned in future years. Additionally, there will be changes in school attendance boundaries as new high schools are constructed. The Kern High School District does not make any attendance area guarantees and is not responsible for any promises made by others. Information from developers, realtors, or title companies may or may not be current. Kern High School District’s on-line maps may help you confirm any information you are given.

Isn’t it unfair for such an important decision to be made by a boundary committee without a representative from my neighborhood?

The boundary committee is set up to ensure wide representation while keeping the committee down to a workable size. Community members for the boundary committees are chosen with an eye to overall geographic representation. Additionally, public hearing processes are held to seek input from all concerned. The comments from hearings, e-mail, and letters to the committee are presented to the boundary committee. The process is designed to allow everyone to impact the final recommendation.