The Kern High School District formally voted in favor of new school boundaries at its Tuesday night board meeting. It voted in favor of Plan 3, with a 3-2 vote.
The boundary redrawing was spurred by the opening of the district's nineteenth comprehensive school, Del Oro High School, in fall of 2022.
Under this plan, 5,842 students from 19 areas throughout the district will be impacted, according to data shared by the district at the last meeting.
"We're asking schools to move to meet the demands of our growth," said trustee Cynthia Brakeman.
The biggest changes involve Del Oro, and neighboring overcrowded schools: Mira Monte, Golden Valley, Arvin and South. It also relieves overcrowding at Ridgeview, which will send 497 students to West, and 355 students to Golden Valley.
The passage of Plan 3 represents a victory for the prospective parents of Bakersfield High School students who live in southwest Bakersfield neighborhoods known as The Rudder, which includes Quailwood, Amberton, Stockdale Estates, Olde Stockdale and Laurelglen. Plan 3 allows these neighborhoods to remain in Bakersfield High School's boundaries.
A faithful group of parents and alumni hoping to preserve current boundary lines created petitions, put up signs and attended each public forum. Many of them showed up again to Tuesday's boarding.
Many spoke of the long legacy of Driller Nation. Sarah Caid said she and her husband moved into Quailwood so that her children could continue a tradition that dates back all the way to her grandparents.
The areas where Highland, East Bakersfield, North and Bakersfield high schools meet now have contiguous boundaries instead of a checkerboard pattern. There is heavy swapping involving the four schools that affects nearly 1,500 students.
Del Oro, which is at the intersection of Panama Lane and Cottonwood Road, was originally built to relieve overcrowding at neighboring schools, including Mira Monte, Golden Valley and Arvin high schools.
But as the boundary committee began to sketch out boundaries for the new school, it realized overcrowding was a big problem throughout the district. That's why all three plans presented to the board included big changes that affected over 5,700 students over three quadrants of Bakersfield.
These boundary changes will affect 9th grade and 10th grade students who are zoned for Del Oro in fall 2022. But for all the other high schools that are affected, it will only apply to incoming 9th graders.