Six KUSD students place at science fair

By Grace Harrison
Special to the Sun

On March 12, 2019, the Kernville Union School District (KUSD) held their regular monthly board meeting at the Woodrow Wallace Elementary School Cafetorium.

The topics of this month’s meeting ranged from student testing scores to the hiring of new staff at the KUSD campuses.

Sherry Lanza, Director of District Programs, provided the board with an analysis of the district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) in regards to the student iReady testing scores.

According to Lanza, the information gained through the testing helps guide classroom instruction as well as assists in grouping students for academic intervention.

Up to date iReady results were shown for the second trimester of the 2018-19 school year for the subject of reading. There were 816 out of the 899 students enrolled in the district to date tested. This was due to student absences on testing dates. Thirty-five percent of the 816 students were learning at a level far below their grade level. Thirty-nine percent were learning near their grade level while the remaining 26 percent were learning at their grade level. Normally, Lanza explained, only 5 to 10 percent of students should be learning far below their grade level while 15 percent are near their grade level and 80 percent are at their grade level.

Superintendent Robin Shive gave an update to board members and public in regards to Raptor security system that will be put into place at the Wallace campus sometime in May. She explained in her Superintentdent Report that a letter was sent home with students on March 12. Shive thanked the board for their input on the letter. A copy of the letter was made available on KUSD’s Facebook page last Tuesday and explains the systems and parent concerns in greater depth.

During this month’s meeting, the board approved the resignation of many personnel, including multiple subject teachers Cynthia Hufnagel and Joe Barajas as well as Wallace Middle School Principal Dr. Richard Albay. Board member Lucian Whitman ended the meeting with an in-depth discussion with other board members in regards to the plan that will be put in place to secure a new principal as well as a way to obtain and hire highly needed staff members. In response, Shive noted the job fair KUSD had recently participated in, thanking Jon Feldschau, Life Church and SoCal Rafting for the use of their time, knowledge and equipment.

“We looked the best,” said Shive with a smile.

During this conversation, board member Allison Bogart made the suggestion of advertising the principal position at local universities such as National University, Point Loma Nazarene University and California State University, Bakersfield. “I think time is of the essence here,” Bogart explained. “The more quickly we can get something advertised, the better.” In the end, the board agreed on running a two-week “urgent” advertisement.

KUSD students also played a prominent role in this month’s board meeting. During his school site council report, Wallace Elementary principal Brian Polston honored the Wallace students sent to the Kern County Science Fair on March 12. Out of the 14 students sent, six of them placed. Fourth grader Madyline Beckham won second place in Product Science, 5th grader Ella Mauer won second place in Product Science, 5th grader Maliani Barazza won first place in chemistry and earned a special award from the National Association of Corrosion Engineers. Students from Wallace

Middle School also placed in their scientific endeavors. Jett Tarcena placed first in biology, Trevor Stanton won third in environmental sciences and Kasey Lassen placed first in toxicology.

KREM students Lane Forbes and James Prince presented to the board an overnight California History and Commerce Field Trip for the month of April for approval. Some of the attractions and locations KREM students will visit include the state capital and the JellyBelly Factory. The trip was described as “hands-on” and full of daily, educational events. The board approved the field trip.

Photo by Grace Harrison / Kern Valley Sun:
KREM students Lane Forbes and James Prince ask the board for approval for an overnight California history field trip in April.

The next regular KUSD Board Meeting will be held on April 19, 2019 at 5 p.m. in the Wallace Elementary Cafetorium.