Meeting set for junior high fate

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

School board members will vote today on whether to continue or end research on the reorganization of Clovis junior high schools, according to a school board agenda.

The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. at 1009 Main St.

School administrators seek permission from the board to further explore the creation of a school for ninth-graders and two junior high schools for seventh- and eighth-graders, with the future possibility of incorporating sixth-graders.

Permission from the board would allow administrators to begin training staff for the implementation of the plan, according to Clovis Municipal Schools Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm.

“Most of our teachers are excited to develop the concept,” Seidenwurm said.

The actual details of the plan — such as which school would become a ninth-grade center and which schools would remain campuses for seventh- and eighth-graders — would need to be approved at a later date by school board members, she said.
The concept could be implemented within two years, should it be approved, Seidenwurm said.

School Board President Mark Lansford said the reconfiguration could have far-reaching consequences. He said at least 2,000 people could be impacted.

“This decision that the board makes will impact a large part of the school system, and, to some degree, the community. So it’s very important that we explore this idea thoroughly and also any alternatives that may present themselves,” Lansford said Monday.

“My concerns are how it will impact the staff, how it will impact the students, and how it will impact the community,” he said.

An advisory panel of teachers, parents and school administrators proposed the reconfiguration after months of research.

They concluded such changes would create a more appropriate social and academic atmosphere for ninth-graders, school officials have said.

Currently, seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders are housed in three schools: Gattis, Yucca and Marshall.