Strengthening Parent and Family Partnerships:
The Community Engagement Journey of Bakersfield City School District
The Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) is located in Kern County, which is primarily a rural county with large areas of undeveloped land, but also a growing urbanized area surrounded by smaller communities. The county is home to 47 different school districts, Bakersfield City School District being the largest elementary school district in the county, serving 28,835 students.
BCSD has a total of 44 school sites with plans to build another campus in the future, based on the enrollment needs of new communities on the eastern boundary of the district. The district encompasses approximately 158 square miles, with a majority of school campuses serving long-time established neighborhoods within northeast and southeast Bakersfield. BCSD enrollment includes students in grades Pre-K through 8 of various ethnicities and languages. The student population continues to consist of 80.6% Hispanic (HIS), 8.4% White (WH), 7.9%, African American(AA), 1.4% Two or More Races, 0.8% Asian, 0.5% American Indian, 0.4% Filipino, 0.1% Pacific Islander(PI), 84.2% Socioeconomically Disadvantaged (SED), 27.4% English Learners (EL), 10.1% Students with Disabilities (SWD), 3.1% Homeless (HL), and 0.8% Foster Youth (FY) The district is strongly committed to the recruitment of dedicated professionals who will support BCSD’s overall mission of student success. Student achievement can be attributed to the commitment of our teachers, administrators, and classified staff. BCSD employs 1,912 certificated employees and 2,232 classified employees. Including substitute staff, the district supports more than 5,000 employees. Approximately 28,800 students began the school year in person and the district had close to 50 families request their child continue placement on Independent Study (IS) for numerous reasons including illness. Based on the district’s monitoring of local metrics, there is evidence of the residual impact on student academics at most of our schools and continued concern about student learning loss.
The district is committed to doing everything possible to increase academic achievement, support each student’s social-emotional needs, and re-engage family and community to bridge the COVID-19 learning gap. In addition, this commitment extends to providing support and interventions to address the individual needs of our students and families.