Kernville Union School District
A Rural District's Journey in Creating Meaningful Family and Community Engagement
The Kernville Union School District, located approximately 48 miles east of Bakersfield through in the rural Kern River Valley, serves approximately 800 students from the communities of Lake Isabella, Kernville, Mt. Mesa/Squirrel Valley, Wofford Heights,Havilah, and Bodfish. The District operates two elementary schools and a middle school. Woodrow Wallace Elementary School is the largest of the District’s three schools serving approximately 415 Transitional Kindergarten through fifth grade students. Kernville Elementary School serves approximately 100 Transitional Kindergarten through fifth grade students, and Woodrow Wallace Middle School serves approximately 285sixth through eighth grade students.
The District’s four significant student populations include students with disabilities, Hispanic, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and white. Of the District’s student population, approximately 15.3% are students with disabilities, 20.5% are Hispanic, 84% are socioeconomically disadvantaged, and 71.5% are white. Other student groups include English learners 1.8%, foster youth .8%, students experiencing homelessness 12.1%, American Indian 2.7%, Filipino .5%, Asian .4%, Black/African American 2.3%, and 2.2% are of multiple ethnicities/races.
Rural and small are not always what comes to mind when one thinks of inequality. Through the CEI process, we identified deep-rooted and unconscious inequitable practices within our schools that have been long-standing barriers to school improvement and meaningful family and community engagement. Our work with CEI has helped us identify our root causes of these inequitable practices so we can tackle them through strategies and practices that will improve community and family engagement.