Parents and community members will have the opportunity to weigh in on proposed attendance boundary changes for Clovis Unified schools that some parents are raising concerns about.
Two proposals will be up for discussion at community meetings, the first of which will be Tuesday evening at Clovis East and Clovis West high schools. The two areas contain some of the district’s most and least overcrowded schools.
Proposals A and 1, which are on the district’s website, were drawn up last fall by a 50-member steering committee of Clovis Unified employees who had several goals: Shifting as few students as possible while accounting for current and future growth, maximizing facility usage, and keeping communities intact as much as possible.
Among the committee’s findings: Schools in the Clovis East and Clovis High areas are now overcrowded, while schools in the Buchanan and Clovis North areas will soon be over capacity as new homes are built. Only schools in the Clovis West area are now at undercapacity and would remain so unless boundary lines are redrawn.
But parents whose children will have to move to new schools based on the two proposals say they don’t think it’s fair that their kids are being moved to accommodate future development in their areas. Nor is it fair, they say, that they bought homes so their children could attend certain schools but now their kids could be moved to less-desirable schools out of their neighborhoods.
High Schools Not Equal, Parent Says
Katherine Provchy, who lives in northeast Fresno, says her four children will all be impacted by the proposals. She has three now attending Riverview Elementary and one at Granite Ridge Elementary. Under both proposals, her twins would be moved to Maple Creek Elementary, her middle child to Kastner Intermediate, and her oldest daughter to Clovis West. All the schools are several miles away from their home — in the case of Kastner, four miles — instead of being within 1 mile.
And it’s not just about distance, Provchy said. Clovis West does not compare favorably with Clovis North in terms of both academic rigor and student disciplinary issues, she said.
The issue is also economic, Provchy said.
“It also impacts our house values. … I think there’s a $50,000 difference in home prices between West and North, and in an area where we are already middle class and struggling, that’s not small,” she said. “That’s very significant to us. And it’s something that we feel is overlooked or at least not acknowledged. So they’re kind of taking us at every level. And it feels personal, and it feels upsetting.”
What would be fair to families already settled in the district, Provchy said, would be for current students to remain at their existing schools, but require newcomers to attend schools according to the new boundary lines.
Provchy said she and other Riverview parents have started a petition that already had 90 signatures in just 24 hours.
Student Safety Is Important
Tiffany White, whose daughter attends Oraze Elementary in eastern Clovis, is concerned her daughter would have to move to Miramonte Elementary under one of the two proposals.
Right now, White said, she and her husband can watch their daughter walk to school from their home. But if her daughter is assigned to Miramonte she would have to cross busy Fowler Avenue, where White frequently sees vehicles run red lights.
It’s more than a safety issue — shifting schools also would deprive her daughter of the friendships and the community that she has already established at Oraze, White said.
“These are the kids that she has played with and learned with and built relationships with her whole life. Now she is being ripped away, going to a school (where) she doesn’t know anybody. She won’t have any friends,” she said.
Enrollments Do Need to Be Rebalanced
Both Provchy and White acknowledge that the district will need to do something to rebalance the enrollments that have ballooned at some schools.
In the Clovis East area, Reyburn Intermediate School’s enrollment this year is 1,737 students, about 200 more than its capacity and nearly 600 more students than at the district’s smallest intermediate, Kastner, according to district data. The proposed school attendance boundary changes would shift 100 students to Kastner.
Dry Creek Elementary, which is in the Buchanan area and is currently the district’s biggest elementary with 956 students — the school’s listed capacity is 900 students — would shed some students south of Highway 168 to Cedarwood Elementary in the Clovis High area and a portion of its northernmost students to Bud Rank Elementary, which is in the Clovis North Area.
Only a few elementary schools — Mickey Cox, Reagan, Mountain View, Nelson, Pinedale, and Lincoln — would keep current boundary lines intact.
The district needs to shift boundaries because new schools — Clovis South High, an intermediate school yet to be named, and Hirayama Elementary — are being built. The Clovis South area also will include some elementaries — Boris, Fancher Creek, Temperance-Kutner, and Young — that are now in the Clovis East area. Clovis East’s enrollment is nearly 3,000 students this year, the largest in the district, and only a couple dozen short of its capacity, according to district data.
The boundary line changes would be effective in the 2025-26 school year when Clovis South is expected to open. Under the district proposals, students who are 10th graders this year will be allowed to remain in their high school through graduation, and fifth graders could finish out their sixth-grade year at their current school before moving on to their new intermediate school.
Schedule of Community Meetings
All the community input meetings will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the following dates and locations:
Tuesday, Clovis East High multipurpose room (livestream also available); Clovis West multipurpose room.
Thursday, Clovis High multipurpose room (livestream also available).
Monday, Feb. 5, Buchanan High multipurpose room.
Tuesday, Feb. 6, Clovis East multipurpose room.
Thursday, Feb. 8, Clovis North multipurpose room.
Parents and community members can comment at the meetings and also use an online commenting form that will be available through April 12.
The final proposed map will be released on March 29. The School Board will make its decision in April.