The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Clovis board OKs bond refinancing, informed on expanded meal services


March 18, 2020

CLOVIS -- Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11, and the NBA decided four minutes later to suspend its season, effective after ongoing games concluded.

The next day, the state of New Mexico announced public schools would be closed for three weeks.

The day after that, superintendents across the state had to have plans in to the Public Education Department over how they’d operate facilities and still provide some necessary functions to kids during the closure.

That left little for Clovis school board to discuss Tuesday but updates to the plan, with Superintendent Renee Russ noting, “It’s changing so much, we couldn’t wait until the meeting (to take actions).”

The board, under the obvious knowledge they’ve never dealt with a situation close to the current pandemic, took no issues and were happy to hear meal service was expanded to the spring break week.

The district had initially planned to offer meal service at 18 of its 19 campuses, with the iAcademy at Lincoln Jackson the exception, and not offer meals during this upcoming week because of spring break. Russ said the district’s nutrition services staff worked out shifts to offer the meals during the break, and enough employees were put in place to man six buildings.

The district was still finalizing those sites Tuesday, but on Wednesday announced that Cameo, Highland, Lockwood and Sandia elementaries, along with Marshall and Yucca middle schools, would be those sites. Meal pickup will be from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., to anybody 18 or under, and both breakfast and lunch would be provided at the same time.

The district served 659 meals on Monday and 1,077 Tuesday.

Administrative Assistant Jelayne Curtis noted that Plains Regional Medical Center was also offering grab-and-go meals for kids, and board members liked the idea that some kids who might not otherwise get a meal could take advantage of both programs and get three.

Board members noted the Tuesday meeting was scheduled because its normal fourth-Tuesday meeting would have coincided with spring break, and acknowledged the current situation meant many administrators wouldn't have much of a break.

“Thank you for stepping up,” board member Kyle Snider said. “We know this has been a big team effort. It’s stressful. I appreciate everything you’re doing.”

Russ thanked Snider, and noted it was a team effort.

In other action at the Tuesday meeting:

· The board voted 4-0 to refinance an existing bond at an estimated savings of $144,000.

Board President Cindy Osburn asked if the district was taking any risk by pursuing a refinancing.

Kaeley Weimerskirch of RBC Capital, participating via phone due to travel restrictions, said if the markets reacted in a way that would make the refinancing a bad idea, the district always had the option to stick with its current setup.

· Members heard an introduction of a revised policy for discipline of staff members.

Assistant Superintendent of Finance Shawna Russell filled in for Employee Services Director Joe Strickland, who could not attend. She said the policy mainly revised the procedure for steps of discipline to reflect that not all incidents deserved the same stages of discipline.

· The board approved a resolution naming Russ and Russell as the district’s investment officers, responsible for the proper investment of money under board policies.

· The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. April 28.

Spring break menu:

Available 8 a.m.-11 a.m. at Cameo, Highland, Lockwood and Sandia elementaries, along with Marshall and Yucca middle schools, Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the same time.

Monday: Breakfast, pancake/sausage on stick; Lunch, hamburger, tater tots, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, milk.

Tuesday: Breakfast, yogurt and graham cracker; Lunch, chicken nuggets, tater tots, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, milk.

Wednesday: Breakfast, egg/sausage/cheese biscuit; Lunch, mini cheese ravioli, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, milk.

Thursday: Breakfast, French toast; Lunch, corn dog, tater tots, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, milk.

Friday: Breakfast, frudal; Lunch, bean and cheese burrito, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, milk.


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