Start of school inching closer

Argen Duncan

Decorating bulletin boards, installing landscaping, going to meetings, ordering food.

School employees in Clovis and Portales are getting ready for the new school year with the first day of classes a matter of weeks away.

Students return Aug. 12 in Clovis. In Portales, third through 12th grades start Aug. 17, kindergarten through second grade Aug. 23 and pre-kindergarten Aug. 31.

“In Clovis, we’re very diligent about each and every student and looking at them academically,” said Clovis Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Cindy Martin.

Teachers finish preparing their classrooms and get information about their classes and students ahead of time. This way, Martin said, they can start the first day developing relationships and educational plans to help the students succeed.

Teachers are scheduled for professional development as school begins, and principals have already attended meetings, Martin said.

In Portales, the school district is getting ready for new groupings of grades due to the addition of Lindsey-Steiner Elementary School and the closure of Lindsey and Steiner elementary schools.

“It’s just been a ton of work done this summer,” Portales Superintendent Randy Fowler said.

Teachers’ supplies and portables have been moved from one school to another, workers reconstructed the James Elementary School playground and the old Lindsey school is being demolished.

Fowler said some teachers have been in their classrooms earlier this summer, and Lindsey-Steiner teachers were scheduled to go in Monday.

“They’re not through (with construction), but teachers have to have opportunity to get their classrooms ready,” he said.

Also, crews are handling climate control, utilities and roof repairs at several Portales campuses as the school year begins, Fowler said.

In Clovis, Martin said, school employees were planning menus, arranging more professional development, hiring personnel and handling last-minute maintenance.

In both cities, athletics and band have begun or are scheduled to soon begin practice.

“There are a lot of things happening already, and it will just continue with the beginning of school,” Fowler said.