Redistricting aims to keep classmates together

Four redistricting options for Clovis middle schools met no opposition from the public Tuesday at a Clovis Municipal Schools board meeting.

"I think they (the public) were here for the informational purposes," Clovis Municipal Schools Superintendent Terry Myers said about the first of two meetings to gather public input. "I think they absorbed what we had to say. I think everybody here understood what we were trying to do."

The redistricting options were based on keeping elementary school classmates together and balancing ethnicity.

The district is adding a third middle school — W.D. Gattis Middle School — in 2013 to meet the growing student population in grade schools. The move includes shifting sixth-graders from elementary to middle school.

Michael Sharp, a representative of Research and Polling, which developed the options, said to balance the demographics in the schools as much as possible, every middle school will receive students from areas south of 21st Street where minority populations are highest.

Myers described the redistricting issue as "a great problem to have," emphasizing that while most school districts in New Mexico are losing people, Clovis is experiencing economic growth and enrolling more students in its schools.

Myers hopes the board's redistricting choice will be popular with at least 80 to 90 percent of the Clovis population.

According Sharp, three criteria were used when deciding how to redistrict the children.

These were:

  • To respect elementary school boundaries allowing cohorts at elementary schools to stay together and enter the same middle school.
  • To maintain the cultural diversity so every middle school is somewhat representative of the district as a whole.
  • To consider the capacity of the schools for students.

"Any time you adjust boundaries (in a school district) there are going to be students who expected to go to a certain middle school but will now go to a different one," Sharp said.

"Hopefully we can come up with something that meets the needs of students and the district well."

A second meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 2 in the Clovis High School Lecture Hall.

Redistricting options

The four options for middle school redistricting presented by the Clovis Municipal Schools Board of Education, defined in terms of where respectively elementary student populations would advance starting in sixth grade:

Option A (3 split schools)

Gattis receives: Barry, Sandia, Cameo, Ranchvale, Arts Academy at Bella Vista*, Mesa*.

Marshall receives: James Bickley, Highland, Zia*, Mesa*.

Yucca receives: Parkview, Lockwood, Zia*, Arts Academy at Bella Vista*

Option B (2 split schools)

Gattis receives: Barry, Sandia, Cameo, Ranchvale, Arts Academy at Bella Vista, Mesa*.

Marshall receives: James Bickley, Highland, Zia*, Mesa*, La Casita.

Yucca receives: Parkview, Lockwood, Zia*.

Option C (1 split school)

Gattis receives: Barry, Cameo, Ranchvale, Mesa, Arts Academy at Bella Vista*.

Marshall receives: James Bickley, Highland, Sandia, La Casita.

Yucca receives: Parkview, Lockwood, Zia, Arts Academy at Bella Vista*.

Option D (No split schools)

Gattis receives: Barry, Sandia, Highland, Mesa, Ranchvale.

Marshall receives: James Bickley, Cameo, Arts Academy at Bella Vista.

Yucca receives: Parkview, Lockwood, Zia, La Casita.

* Denotes split between schools.

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