Change is hard.
That was the theme on Thursday evening as the Kern High School District held the first of four open forum meetings for boundary changes, in large part, for the northwest area of Bakersfield and Shafter.
As new neighborhoods around Frontier continue to build, the district began this spring looking at rezoning the areas affecting Centennial, Frontier, Liberty, North and Shafter high schools in hopes of balancing the student enrollment and ensuring Frontier does not go well over its capacity in the next five years as it is currently projected.
With just about a dozen people in attendance, Roger Sanchez, KHSD director of research and planning, went over three final proposals that would help eliminate Frontier going too far over capacity while potentially shifting the boundaries on the west side of Highway 99, causing students that would currently go to Centennial to go to North.
The reasoning for the shift of neighborhoods from Frontier to Centennial and then into North is because the district’s planning committee has no projection of building being done in the current boundaries for either Centennial or North.
The final three proposals that the district board have approved will be reviewed and discussed in four meetings over the next three weeks before the final vote on Aug. 7.
“There are folks that are going to be happy with it and those that aren’t,” Sanchez said. “We want this to be an opportunity for them to voice their concerns with the board and let them make the final discussion.”
Despite the small number of attendees at the meeting on Thursday, North High principal Mark Balch took time to discuss concerns with parents that possibly could be moved into his school’s boundary due to rezoning.
“We are excited to showcase what we have here at North High School with any parent that comes in,” Balch said. “We are happy to show them all the good things happening here at North.”
The final vote on boundary changes will be implemented for the 2018-19 school year and would only affected incoming freshmen.
A big reason for the rezoning is the district’s projection that Frontier would have nearly 2,800 students on a campus that has a capacity of 2,176.
The next meeting is planned for 6-7 p.m. Monday at Centennial in the campus auditorium and at Frontier on July 12.