Embracing the Whole Child
On behalf of the Southern Kern Unified School District Board of Trustees, it is my pleasure to welcome you back to what I believe will be the best year yet for Southern Kern Unified School District and our students. We are excited to welcome new and returning students to our excellent public schools. We expect this year to be as close to a normal school year as possible, with classes filled, extracurriculars, and sports running as they generally should.
During the 21-22 school year, we returned to in-person instruction. It was a year filled with many unknowns, yet our entire staff did everything possible to ensure our students’ school environment focused on student engagement, inclusion, rigor and addressing the social-emotional needs of our students. We did not know how COVID-19, the Delta variant, or any other variant would impact our daily routine. This last year offered us significant and meaningful teachable moments that reinforced our resiliency and perseverance to succeed, while emphasizing our commitment to provide the best academic achievement opportunities for our students.
Our goals center on academic achievement, addressing the individual needs of each student, maintaining a healthy school environment that supports the social-emotional and physical needs of every student, and building a lasting relationship with our families and community members. With the support of our parents and community, we can develop a passion in all students to be life-long learners. This 22-23 school year, a Parent Community Center, will be opened on the campus of Rosamond High Early College Campus to provide additional training and support for parents and families of all grade levels as needed.
Our work this year, in Southern Kern Unified School District, will be centered on Embracing the Whole Child. The Whole Child approach to learning is achieved when children are immersed in learning environments intended to foster a sense of community, encourage interpersonal skills, problem solving, goal setting, creativity, autonomy, and self-accountability. This focus aims to ensure that each child in each school is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. Implementing the Whole Child approach aligns with the Vision of Southern Kern Unified School District.
Another major focus is to make sure that our students are attending school regularly, as well as participating in extra-curricular activities. Student attendance will be highlighted at each site and recognized by the Board of Trustees monthly at a Board Meeting. Good attendance and learning go hand in hand. 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.
Welcome back! We have the capacity to do amazing things with our students this year! I wish all our students and their families, teachers, and staff a successful, happy, and safe school year.
Barbara E. Gaines
Superintendent, SKUSDBarbara GainesSuperintendent