Officials provide back-to-school tips

By CNJ Staff

A few back-to-school tidbits for Clovis Municipal Schools students. The first day of school in Clovis is Wednesday.

Walk-through at Yucca
Novice students at Yucca Junior High School will have an opportunity to get acquainted with their new school.

Walk-through tours of Yucca will be offered to seventh-graders from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. today, according to a Clovis Schools press release.

“We want to provide our seventh-grade students and their parents an opportunity to do a walk-through of their schedule so that their first week of school is not so traumatic,” Yucca Principal Alan Dropps said, according to the release.

Construction to repair water damage at the school prevented seventh-graders from participating in tours when they picked up their class schedules, which is the usual routine at the school, according to school officials.

Cell phone policy
Cell phones are banned at Clovis Schools during the instructional school day.

“We don’t want cell phones to interfere with instruction in any way, shape or form,” Clovis Municipal Schools Director of Community Relations David Briseno said.

“We don’t want any texting or cheating on tests,” said Briseno, referring to recent reports of students using cell phones to text each other exam answers.

Briseno said parents and guardians who wish to give their children cell phones should do so, but should also reinforce the school policy with them at home, making sure they keep their cell phones off during class.

Dress codes
Dress codes at Clovis Schools vary from elementary to middle to high school, Briseno said. But dress codes at schools, regardless of the grade level, do have some commonalties, he said.

Briseno said all parents and guardians should urge their children not to wear baggy clothes, gang colors or clothing that carries offensive messages.

“It’s fairly basic,” he said.
At most schools in the district, students are also asked to keep their shirts tucked in and avoid wearing revealing clothes.

“If (students) are dressed inappropriately, they are sometimes asked to go home and change,” he said.

Early release
The Clovis Municipal Schools early release program for elementary students will renew Aug. 23, according to a Clovis Schools press release.

Elementary students in the district will be released at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesdays, with the exception of this Wednesday, the first day of school, the release said.

Latchkey programs for students whose parents are not at home when school is released will be offered at five sites: Bella Vista, Cameo, James Bickley, La Casita and Parkview, the release said.

The early Wednesday release was implemented during the last school year to provide time for teachers to engage in instructional planning, school officials said.

For information about the early dismissal of students, contact 769-4328.

Junk food
A junk food purge in New Mexico schools goes into effect this school year.

Restrictions have been placed on vending machine, fund-raiser and a la carte foods sold in schools as a result of rules signed into effect earlier this year by Gov. Bill Richardson.

During normal school hours, carbonated drinks will no longer be sold in schools. In elementary schools, there will be no food vending machines. Food fund-raisers have also been banned from elementary schools during normal hours, according to food policy guidelines.

Vending machines in middle and high schools must contain healthy food that meets certain criteria. For example, foods must contain no more than 200 calories per container or package or amount served, with the exception of nuts, cheese, yogurt and fruit. No more than 15 grams of sugar per container or package or amount served is permitted.

The changes promote a “healthy lifestyle,” according to Judy Cox, a registered dietitian with La Casa Family Health Center.

The content of lunches and snacks provided to students by parents is still unregulated.
Parents, nonetheless, should use care when packing lunch, according to Paul Klein, Clovis Schools child nutrition supervisor.

“We hope that it (lunches) would meet the nutrition guidelines established by the (U.S. Department of Agriculture),” Klein said.

For more information on what to include in student lunches, visit www.5aday.com or www.healthychoices.org.

Backpacks distributed
Students at five local elementary schools received backpacks Monday through the joint efforts of an area legislator and office supply retailer, according to a press release from Clovis Schools.

Rep. Anna Crook, R.-Clovis, as a member of the National Foundation for Women Legislators, partnered with Office Depot in the 6th Annual National Backpack Donation program, the release said.

Backpacks were distributed Monday to principals of Barry, Highland, James Bickley, Mesa and Parkview. Those elementary schools are located in Crook’s legislative district, according to the release.

For information on policies at Clovis Schools, visit the Clovis Schools Web site at www.cms.k12.nm.us/ A link to policies can accessed under Board Policies.