BAKER — School officials still do not know whether Bakerfield Elementary will be run by the Baker School District in the 2015-16 school year, Superintendent Ulysses Joseph said after Tuesday’s School Board meeting.
Bakerfield has received a grade of F from the state Department of Education for the past four years, making it eligible for takeover by the Recovery School District. From 2012-13 to 2013-14, the school’s rating declined from 30.4 to 27.9.
If the school is taken over by the state, teachers could lose their jobs because they would have to reapply for their positions with RSD.
The Baker School District has submitted a proposal to the state for keeping control of the school, but has not heard back yet, Joseph said.
He declined to give any details about what is in the proposal, but said it does not involve making Bakerfield into a magnet school.
“They have to tell us soon. This school year is almost gone,” he said.
Any changes, such as a takeover of the school, would be effective in the 2015-16 school year.
In other business, on a split vote, the School Board approved $76,000 for new pipes to be installed for an air-conditioning system at Baker High School and a contract of up to $100,000 with engineering firm Volkert Inc. for facilities management.
Board members Dana Carpenter, Elaine Davis, Shona Boxie and Rosatina Johnson voted in favor of the contracts.
Doris Alexander, who cast the opposing vote, said after the meeting that she thought the money should be used elsewhere.
“The alternative school is falling down and they haven’t started work on that yet,” she said.
It needs painting, some of the bathroom facilities are nonfunctional and the school is filthy, she said.
During the meeting, Alexander asked when improvements on the alternative school will begin.
Work cannot start until the board approves the funding, Davis replied.
The alternative school, which is housed in a wing of Baker High School, will be included in the maintenance contract, Volkert representative Clay Slagle said.
The maintenance contract will involve Joseph calling Volkert with specific problems that need to be addressed, Slagle said.
He could not confirm whether the new air-conditioning pipes would fix problems with both heating and air-conditioning that Alexander said plague the alternative school.
The board previously approved a contract for the installment of new chillers in Baker High School at a cost of $256,000. The air-conditioning units were installed, but afterward it was discovered the underground chilled water piping was leaking, Slagle said. The new pipes will be installed overhead, making maintenance easier and cheaper, he said.
The board also recognized elementary school teacher of the year Amy Constant, from Park Ridge Academic Magnet; elementary school principal of the year Lakesha Reese Penn, from Baker Heights Elementary; middle school principal of the year Tammy Armand Golden, from Park Ridge; and students of the year Jayla Sims, from Baker Heights Elementary; Malana Griffin, from Park Ridge; and R’myni Watson, from Baker High School. Golden is a semifinalist for state principal of the year.