Education column: Operations department installing shaded areas on schools

We have been reporting on the Clovis Municipals Schools’ Operations Department and the range of activities with which they’re involved during the summer months. In addition to the waxing and stripping of floors, shampooing of carpets, and extensive grounds maintenance, summer is also the time for construction, repairs, additions, remodeling and execution of the many “to-do” lists.

Gene Bieker, Executive Director of Operations for Clovis schools, has been discussing the status of jobs at the various school site locations. “We are always working towards and planning for the future,” he said, “trying to take into consideration what might be happening years down the road; we have to be thinking of the next generation, too, those students, teachers and administrators yet to come.”

The operations department visits the schools on a rotating basis throughout the year to evaluate sites and begin building a list of needs, so that operations can begin short- and long-term planning, building their own work and activity lists so that school needs — as well as new requests — are addressed in the most timely manner.

Bieker continued, “Folks sometimes forget that whatever we (the district) own, we have to maintain.” That’s why when CMS operations gets a request for something special or out of the ordinary at a school site, they have to take a hard look at what the real cost (meaning long term) will be.

How hard will it be to maintain, and who will maintain it in the future when the current individuals have moved on? A pet project that seems like a good idea at the time may become an eyesore and a challenge to maintain further down the road, costing time and personnel that were not considered at the outset. This can actually become a good lesson for students and staff, as well; coming up with self-sustaining solutions.

One ongoing project that CMS operations has been actively involved with implementing are the colorful new shade structures that you can see if you happen to drive by many of our school sites.

Although not yet required by the state or any other official regulatory bodies, CMS Operations has been offering schools the choice of either one large or two smaller shade structures to be erected on school grounds.

These attractive structures are colorful, sturdy, and cost-effective. Schools choose where they would like to see them placed; such as above seating areas, or where students tend to gather on the playground, or above playground equipment.

With our extreme hot weather it becomes increasingly important for students and staff to be able to have some relief and protection from over-exposure to the hot New Mexico. These structures address these life well-being and health issues.

The New Mexico Department of Health ( contains a variety of health tips, including sun safety.

Also, the online digital magazine, Sun Smart Lifestyle, ( highlights a number of health issues to be aware of, specifically related to sun safety.

Enjoy the abundance of our bright, sunshiny, summer weather in New Mexico … but in moderation.

Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at