Downtown School Celebrates 20 Years

October 16, 2017 – Hundreds of community members gathered to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Downtown School on Friday October 13th. Principal Noreen Barthelmes welcomed current students, alumni, families, school staff, public officials and district representatives to the celebration.

“In 1966, with a partnership between the Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) and the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS), the idea was born to build a primary school that would allow working parents in the downtown area to be more involved in their child’s education,” said Barthelmes.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 10, 1997. “Connecting students and their parents more closely to the school benefits the child’s education and the family’s dynamics; it’s a winning combination that continues today,” Barthelmes said.

The anniversary festivities included a carnival, campus tours, a view of a pictorial timeline, and memorabilia depicting some of the school’s history. The theme for the event was “Continuing the Legacy” to celebrate the traditions of education excellence that are prosperous at Downtown School. “We’ve benefited from a high level of parent involvement and dedicated staff members, and our students are high achieving excellent citizens because this,” said Barthelmes.

Downtown School has evolved from a K-3 school of only 160 students in 1997, to a K-8 school with 307 students. It is now one of the highest performing schools in Kern County and offers classes in engineering, robotics, and choir, as well as a leadership academy, competitive sports, a modern computer lab, and so much more.

Congratulations to Downtown School on 20 years of excellence in education!

For more pictures of the event, CLICK HERE!


Principal Noreen Barthelmes and the Harp Family.

The illustrated history of Downtown School.

BCSD Board of Education member Pam Baugher and Steve McClain, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Bakersfield City School District programs, activities, and practices shall be free from unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived characteristics of race or ethnicity, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identifications, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information or any other characteristic identified in Education Code 200 or 220, Penal code 422.55, or Government Code 11135, or based on association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, you should immediately contact the school site principal and/or the District’s Human Resource Administrator, at 661-631-4663, or at 1300 Baker Street, Bakersfield, California 93305. A copy of BCSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures and Non-Discrimination policies are available by clicking here and/or upon request.