The Department of School-Community Partnerships reaches out to provide and coordinate a variety of support services to students, teachers, schools, families, and community members throughout Kern County and statewide. A key component is the development of collaborative partnerships to build capacity between school districts and community partners. These partnerships are the building blocks for a safe, healthy, positive and educationally sound future for all of our children and families.
Building a Safer, Healthier, and Brighter Future for Our Children
AmeriCorps: Building Healthy Youth/Building Healthy Communities (BHC)
Building Healthy Communities/Building Healthy Youth AmeriCorps is a coordinated effort to mentor youth in 10 communities throughout California. The Kern County Superintendent of Schools and The California Endowment, with support from the Corporation for National and Community Service and California Volunteers , have combined efforts to mobilize over 70 AmeriCorps mentors to work with nearly 1,400 youth. The AmeriCorps Members deliver high-quality mentorships to reinforce positive choices and behaviors. In addition, they recruit local volunteers to engage in activities to improve and strengthen their communities. The mentors play a key role in achieving some of the objectives of The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities Initiative, a 10-year holistic approach to improve community health and initiate systemic change towards healthier living.
Teacher Induction Programs
The Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) Teacher Induction Programs are a multi-district consortium that includes 44 public Schools, 4 charter, 14 private schools, and the KCSOS educational programs. The KCSOS Induction Programs are available to employees of consortium member districts/schools who hold a Preliminary General Education and/or Special Education (mild/moderate, moderate/severe) credential. It provides two years of job-embedded structured support and professional development. With the support of trained Support Providers, Participating Teachers complete an inquiry-based formative assessment as they learn and apply new skills within the context of their own classrooms, with their own students. After successful completion of the Induction Program, Participating Teachers are recommended for a Clear credential.
California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP)
KCSOS has a partnership with the Kern County Public Health Department and receives funding from the California Tobacco Control Program through Prop. 99 voter approved tobacco tax designed to reduce youth access to tobacco products and address second-hand smoke exposure.
Cal-Safe/Blanton Child Development Center
The Blanton Child Development Center, a Cal SAFE (California School Age Family Education) Program is funded by the California Department of Education and First 5 Kern. Teen parents enrolled in the KCSOS Community Schools are welcome to enroll in the Cal SAFE Program. Cal SAFE is designed to improve the educational experience, increase the availability of support services for enrolled students that are 18 years or younger, and provide free child care and development services for their children.
Cal-Safe Program Contact
Shelley E. Northrop
Gang Risk Intervention – Project 180
Project 180 is a gang prevention partnership dedicated to working with at-risk youth and families in Kern County, California by helping them make better decisions through caring adult mentoring relationships, after-school programs, youth development, gang diversion programs, service learning, job skills training, parenting skill building, and teaching life skills. Project 180 is funded by the Kern County Board of Supervisors under the leadership of the Joint City / County Standing Committee to Combat Gang Violence and with administrative support from the Kern County Department of Human Services. KCSOS Project 180 staff partner with local non-profits, faith-based partners and law enforcement to reduce gang violence.
Information and Education (I & E)
The Kern County Superintendent of Schools’ Information and Health Education Program’s goal is to decrease teenage pregnancy through educational programs that equip teens at high risk for pregnancy with the knowledge, understanding, and behavioral skills necessary to make responsible decisions regarding at-risk behavior.
Kern Parent Project
The Parent Project is a parent training program developed in direct response to the questions and challenges parents say they are facing with their strong-willed teenager.
Leaders in Life Youth Conference
The Leaders in Life Youth Conference is a conference planned for youth by youth.
The vision of this conference is to bring together young people from various races, economic backgrounds, and academic achievement levels. The conference is supported by a partnership with the California Friday Night Live Partnership and it will provide an opportunity for students to stretch their leadership skills and it is aimed to any students who may need to be inspired and encouraged – such as those who may be struggling academically, with personal issues or home and family issues as well as student leaders.
Mental Health Services Act (MHSA)
The Kern County Superintendent of Schools collaborates with Kern County mental health to administer Mental Health Services Act (MHSA-Prevention & Early Intervention) funding from statewide voter approved Prop. 63 Initiative to support Student Assistance Programs (SAP) in selected Kern County schools. Student Assistance Programs are a school-based strategy to identify, refer and support young people in collaboration with parents, community-based agencies and Mental Health.
- Health screening and educational mandates as requested by District.
- Implement applicable Education Code requirements concerning immunizations, infectious diseases and specialized physical health care services.
- Develop and implement classroom curriculum related to current health promotion and prevention education guidelines.
- Update and maintain school health records.
- Monitor and review medication administration policies and protocols.
- Attend school health emergencies while on school district site.
- Act as a resource and trainer to staff and parents in regards to health services.
- Attend IEP & 504 meetings as requested by District and complete associated assessments, written reports, annual and 3 year reviews.
- Refer the pupil and his or her parent or guardian to appropriate community resources for necessary services.
- Prepare and submit applicable state mandates reports to the California Department of Education.
Nutrition and Health – Network for a Healthy California (NHC)
The Network represents a statewide movement of local, state and national partners collectively working toward improving the health status of low-income Californians through increased fruit and vegetable consumption and daily physical activity. Multiple venues are used to facilitate behavior change in the homes, schools, worksites, and communities of low-income Californians to create environments that support fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity. KCSOS is currently one of those local contractors serving 7 KCSOS Preschools, Standard Elementary School District, Shafter High School, and Blanton Cal-SAFE program.
Physical Education Programs (PEP)
Physical Education Programs are designed to help Kern County students meet state standards for physical education and serve to promote and encourage lifelong eating habits.
PEP include: Carol M. White Physical Education Program, TRX, CATCH Programs, Kaiser Permanente, Instant Recess and Brain Breaks.
While the School Law Enforcement Partnership (SLEP) Cadre no longer exists due to statewide budget cuts, Kern County Superintendent of Schools realizes the ongoing need in school safety support to the districts and has continued to offer training, technical assistance and direct service. KCSOS continues to build local capacity and has actively reached out to other experts from around the state to assist in delivering services.
KCSOS staff provide service-learning support to schools, districts, teachers, students and community partners interested in engaging young people in meaningful learning experiences that make a difference in the communities in which they live. Currently, there are no funds to directly support this work, but KCSOS can provide assistance on a case-by-case basis.
Student Mental Health Initiative (SMHI)
The Student Mental Health Initiative (SMHI) contract is Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) regional funding from statewide voter approved Prop. 63 Initiative (2004) distributed through CCSESA Regions that are focused in Kern County on Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) training and Aggression Replacement Training (A.R.T.) Facilitator Certification courses to support delivery of this evidence-based model to address anger management and coping, social skills and moral reasoning.
SMHI funds also support Kern County capacity-building efforts to reduce bullying through training for the Safe School Ambassadors program at elementary to high school sites and a Training of Trainers process so local educators can do follow-up training. Another school-wide bullying prevention program supported through SMHI funding in Kern is the Olweus Bullying Prevention program and funds are used to support local schools implementing the evidence-based Olweus program and conduct a Training of Trainers.
Supplemental Educational Services (SES)
KCSOS’s Supplemental Educational Services (SES) program offers reading tutoring services for eligible students from schools receiving Title I funding and designated as Program Improvement Year 2 and beyond. If selected by the students’ parents, KCSOS SES will provide reading tutors to develop individual Student Learning Plans and work with students to improve academic skills.
Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE)
TUPE is a comprehensive Tobacco-Use Prevention Education project built upon a foundation of almost 20 years of county-wide collaboration with schools, community-based agencies and partners focused on health and effective tobacco use prevention. This provides students in grades 6-12 with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to be tobacco-free. Secondarily, the project focuses on the development of Kern County’s next generation of tobacco-free advocates who represent a diverse cross section of our priority populations. KCSOS partners with the American Lung Association in California (ALA) to provide direct cessation support services at targeted sites that do not have a counselor or school nurse or staff trained in cessation.
Truancy Reduction & Attendance Coalition of Kern (TRACK)
TRACK is a collaborative project focused on increasing school attendance and decreasing juvenile delinquency. TRACK is comprised of local school administrators, law enforcement representatives, youth-serving agency partners and staff from the District Attorney’s Office. TRACK has three core functions: 1) training school and law enforcement staff in best-practices to reduce truancy; 2) organizing focused truancy round-ups and 3) a media and public information campaign to promote the message that students should be in school every day, all day.