BCSD, parents reach compromise on changes to Downtown School

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Bakersfield City School District

The Bakersfield City School District is compromising on a controversial plan to change which kids can attend Downtown Elementary School.

The parents of Downtown Elementary and the BCSD board of education have settled on compromises regarding policy changes that have been sought by the district, such as transitioning to a traditional geographic boundary.

Founded in 1997, Downtown Elementary was designed to help parents employed in the area participate more in their child’s education. The only problem — many kids who live near downtown couldn’t attend it due to the school’s lottery system.

During tonight’s board meeting, the board is expected to approve a revised school policy that will allow children who are within walking distance to attend it, in addition to children whose parents work downtown.

“The governing board recognizes that attending a school within walking distance — or that a parent/guardian can elect to attend for their individual reasons — can support increased equity, engagement, attendance, and academic achievement,” the policy says.

The revised policy also maintains Downtown Elementary as a K-8 school. Previously, the district considered removing seventh and eighth grades.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the BCSD board room, 1300 Baker St.

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