About the School
The staff at South Fork Union School District believes it is important that students be provided with a safe environment, an opportunity to attain skills related to their needs, and opportunities to attain social skills. Our staff provides a clear set of rules and consequences. This is to ensure safety for all the members of the student body. Students are assured fair and equal treatment in regards to these rules.
South Fork Union School District's reason for existence is two-fold: To give students a desire for lifelong learning; and to provide educational opportunities that will help them prepare for lifelong learning. We offer relevant education in a safe environment, with opportunities for academic, athletic and social success.
SOUTH FORK means:
Safety and stability
Teaching by word and example
Helping hands from students, parents, and staff
Opportunity for success
Relevance to life
The South Fork Union School District includes three schools located at two campuses. The Preschool, South Fork Elementary (Kindergarten through Second Grade) and new South Fork Intermediate School (Third and Fourth Grades) are located at 6401 Fay Ranch Road in Weldon, California. The South Fork Middle School contains Grades 5 through 8 and is located at 5225 Kelso Valley Road in Weldon. The district is in the rural Kern River Valley about 65 miles northeast of Bakersfield near a large Riparian Forest.
South Fork School was started in March 26, 1921 by the joining of three tiny school districts to form a small district. The three districts were South Fork, Scodie, and Weldon school districts. When the new district was complete, Mrs. Garoutte taught the sixty-two students.
An earthquake struck the Kern River Valley in 1952, and the South Fork School was destroyed. Inadequate funding caused an inability to house the students, so the staff and students were sent to Kernville Union District.
A cafeteria and two classrooms were constructed (currently the library and attached classrooms), at which time grades 1-4 were brought back to South Fork, while grades 5-8 continued to attend Kernville District.
In 1959, in order to accommodate 4 families, 12 sections of the district (currently Mt. Mesa) were transferred to the Kernville District by resolution of the Board or Supervisors of the County of Kern. In the early 1960's, a temporary wooden building was used as a classroom and the 5th grade was brought back. Two new classrooms and the School Office building was built in 1967, and the 6th grade came home. The 7th grade returned to the wooden classroom in 1969.
The new cafeteria and two additional classrooms were constructed in 1972, with two others added in 1975. Two portable rooms were brought to the school site in 1980, at which time the 8th grade returned. The Kindergarten building was constructed in 1984. The last permanent building was added to the school in 1987; a combination bus barn, storage area and faculty room. More portables added in the years between 1987 and 1997, as well as a portable bathroom. In 1990 the School Office and the two classrooms building (built in 1967) was modified to create an expanded school office.
In the Spring of 1998, the voters of the South Fork District overwhelmingly voted yes on an bond issue to help build a new school, but not just a school. An entire Community Center complete with Gymnasium, community building, pool and room for the Middle School. The students have now been on that campus since January of 2001. The fifth grade moved to that school in 2009.
The enrollment has fluctuated over the years with a high of 417 in 1994. Currently the enrollment is 270 including both schools.