CUSD updates public on Gender Identity issue

Clovis Unified School District purchased and converted the former ITT Tech building into a professional development and health center for its employees and retirees. Pictured here is the health center’s “welcoming area.” (Daniel Leon/Clovis Roundup)

September 13, 2023 – It was an eventful school board meeting Wednesday, as CUSD saw multiple events occurring at the beginning of their school year.

Multiple topics were discussed and listed in order of the meeting below. 

Introduction of Student Representatives 

New student representatives were announced to the public and the school board. These five student representatives will be sitting in on Clovis Unified School Board meetings throughout the year in order to provide representation from the students of Clovis Unified themselves. 

Brogan Pinheiro from Clovis High, Autumn Acton from Clovis West, Billy Kidd from Buchanan, Kamryn Marlatt from Clovis East, and Briana Logan from Clovis North will serve as student representatives over the year. 

Public Comments 

Multiple members of the Clovis public came before the school board to discuss the ongoing California issue of whether or not school districts will disclose students’ gender identity to their parents. 

Contrary to California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s lawsuit against the Chino Valley Unified School District to block their attempt at notifying parents of change of student gender identities, Clovis residents, and presumably parents, were urging the Clovis Unified School Board to craft a policy that would charge the school district with notifying parents upon a students request to change gender identity. 

No written policy on gender change currently exists within Clovis Unified. 

Clovis Unified released the following comment on the issue: 

“Our existing practices in Clovis Unified are centered on balancing the rights of students to access facilities and programs based on their identified gender and the rights held by parents and guardians in the upbringing of their children, and we look at every child individually. No further steps have been taken by the Governing Board or administration at this time to place a board policy like that currently being legally challenged in other parts of the state on a future meeting agenda.”

Opening of School Reports 

The opening of school was something that held a “positive vibe” for new CUSD Superintendent Dr. Corrine Folmer as she stated such in her visits to different CUSD campuses. 

“There was a lot of excitement and ten out of the eleven campuses that we visited had new principals and they were so excited to already be bragging about their staff and how well the kids were doing on their first day of school.” 

With the positive vibe in the air, Associate Superintendent of School Leadership Dr. Marc Hammack, was excited to share about CUSD’s opening.

After stating that students were welcomed by staff, bus drivers, SRL’s, catering, custodians and administrators, Hammack stated that it was indeed the people who make the positive difference in CUSD. 

“I want to thank the sites for the thousands of hours it took this summer to prepare our schools to welcome the 42,620 students, the most since 2019. 

This year’s theme is “We are Clovis Unified.”

HR Subcommittee

An update was given by the Administrative Services/HR Subcommittee that consists of board members Hugh Awtrey, Dr. Stephen Fogg, and Clint Olivier on certain items mattering to the following school year.

The new high school will be named “Clovis South High School”, yet, the adjoining middle school has not been named yet. 

Another update was given on the boundary change due to the new high school and new area near Clovis South High School.

Dr. Stephen Fogg says, “The hard part is not gonna be the naming but the boundaries that we’re gonna be doing. There’s gonna be fifty-something people [throughout the school board staff] are gonna be working on this.”

Dr. Fogg and the rest of the school board hope to accommodate as many people as they can through this boundary change, but not one public comment has been given at the past three school board meetings. 

The school board will officially vote on the name “Clovis South High School” at the next board meeting.

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.