Superintendent’s Message


    On behalf of the Southern Kern Unified School District Board of Trustees, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the new school year.  The vision of SKUSD is to address the needs of the whole child by teaching them how to communicate, collaborate, critically think, be creative, and develop character that empowers them to be outstanding citizens.

    I want to thank the teachers, staff, administrators, and parents dedicated to the learning of our students especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  We know these times are both stressful and challenging for our families and staff.  The District appreciates your patience and sense of calm as we navigate through these times of uncertainty.   I realize these past few months have been hard.  Students and their families have had to transition from in-person normal teaching practice to remote learning.  While there have been many challenges, I have been so impressed with the efforts of both students and staff.  I am so grateful and proud of our efforts.  Through it all we have not lost sight of our goals for each and every child in SKUSD.

    Our goals center on academic achievement addressing the needs of each individual student, maintaining a healthy school environment that supports the social, emotional and physical needs of every student, and to build a lasting relationship with our families and community members.  With the support of our parents and community, we can develop a passion in our students to be life-long learners.

    Another major focus is to make sure that our students are attending school and zoom classes regularly, as well as participating in extra-curricular activities. We have to lead by example by demonstrating our core values, H.E.A.R.T.S., (Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Respect, Transparency and Safety).  Our job is bigger than mere test scores.  Building healthy relationships between student and teacher leads to a favorable engaging learning environment, high levels of academic success, and improved attendance.  When students have good attendance, they do better in school.  Good attendance is defined as not missing more than one (1) day of school a month, whether excused or unexcused.

    Thank you to everyone who is stepping up to ensure our students are staying healthy, safe and most importantly they are continuing to learn during the COVID-19.  I want to acknowledge this difficult work as we are all navigating unchartered waters together.  Hopefully, this will be behind us soon and we can return to a sense of normalcy in all schools.  This is a situation like no other that we have ever had to face and myself and my staff genuinely appreciate your support and recognition of the job we are trying to do in continuing to educate, support, and care for your children, our students.   We miss them and look forward to them returning to school in a safe and healthy environment.

    If you are interested in learning more about board level decisions and activities, join us for a regular board meeting on the 1st or 3rd Wednesday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m. through the YouTube link posted before the meeting on the homepage unless otherwise announced.

    Barbara E. Gaines
    Superintendent, SKUSD

    Barbara Gaines