Education column: Student Support Center offers help, understanding for special needs

By Penny Bailey: Clovis Municipal Schools

So, if you have been reading this weekly article, you know that I’m relatively new to this job and am having a wonderful time learning about Clovis Schools and sharing what I learn with you.

And, one of the things I have discovered is there is much more to Clovis Municipal Schools than our 19 schools.

For instance, on my first day of work, I was told my office was located at the in the Student Support Center. I had no idea what or where that building was. The only buildings I knew about were the actual school sites and the administration office.

Since I had no idea where to go, I had to ask for specific directions. I finally located the office building, which is just off Mitchell Street.

Once I arrived, I went down a few hallways with offices off to each side. And, there, near the back of the building, I found my office.

A little while later, I heard children in the hallway laughing and adults cheering. My first thought was, “Don’t people know this is an office building?”

Then, I remembered the name of this building was ‘Student Support’. I wanted to peek out the doorway to see what was going on, but decided to just sit back and listen.

Clearly, there was a child doing something good, and more than one adult was cheering them on. Much to my surprise, this scenario has been repeated many times.

However, as time has passed, my curiosity has gotten the better of me and I have stepped out to see what’s happening.

What I have discovered is there are students who have special needs in our community. And, the Student Support Center accesses and provides a wide array of services based on their needs, whether it is screening pre-schoolers to ensure they will be ready for Kindergarten, monitoring and attending all students’ medical needs, conducting educational evaluations, helping children with hearing, sight, speech, and physical development, or help with learning; the Student Support Center is a place where students and parents can go to get the help and encouragement they need to improve and succeed.

I continue to be impressed with Clovis as I have found it to be a caring community. When our schools say: “(They) equip each student with the knowledge and skills needed for a productive life”, they actually mean it, and do all they can to accomplish this goal.

Parents have found staff at the Student Support Center offers support, kindness, understanding and encouragement.

Students have found instructors who understand their special needs and are able to help them adjust and advance.

And, I have found I work in the most wonderful place in town.