BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — You’ve heard the slogan — Once a Driller, Always a Driller.
Well, that’s how it works in theory anyway, because every time the Kern High School District changes the maps to accommodate a new school, the same thing seems to happen.
There’s discussion about one little quirk of the boundary map. Well, kind of a big quirk actually.
Five middle class and upper middle class neighborhoods — Old Stockdale, Stockdale Estates, Amerberton, Quailwood and Laurel Glen — are in the Bakersfield High School enrollment area. Those neighborhoods form an odd appendage on the western side of BHS territory.
Those students must pass near West High School, about two and a half miles away, to get to BHS, about four miles away.
The proposed enrollment maps have not been released to the public, but a group of BHS parents have managed to get a look — and they say the three options they’ve seen move those five neighborhoods into the West enrollment area.
“(Losing) the area that they are trying to omit will be a detriment to Bakersfield High — its tradition and its future,” said Corina Chavez, an Old Stockdale resident who is mother to a BHS grad and an incoming BHS student. “Because those are the areas that invest for that glorious diversity to grow and be what it is.”
Amanda Meszaros said she and her husband moved their family into Stockdale Estates specifically so her son, an incoming freshman, could graduate from the same school his sister did.
“Having gone there myself, having the rich history just in my personal family, knowing my children are fourth generation BHS students — that is very important for our city, our town, our county, the high school district,” she said. “We all know the rich history of BHS doesn’t compare to any high school in town.”
But Roger Sanchez, director of research and planning with the Kern High School District, says it’s way too soon to say what might happen.
“I think our job,” he said, “is to make sure that we’re being fair, that we’re looking at the data, that we’re looking at the numbers and that we’re following the criteria that the board has established to make sure that we do the equitable thing in the long run.”
The plan is to open Del Oro High School by the fall of 2022 at the corner of Panama Lane and Cottonwood Road. The Kern High School District board of trustees will have to decide its new districtwide map by August of this year — at the latest.
People, parents especially, get passionate when it comes to school alma maters, past present and future, and the current boundary fight looks to be no different.