To the relief of many Clovis residents, Temperance Avenue near Clinton Avenue is now open to two-way traffic. The road had been closed for about six months while crews began construction on Clovis Unified’s newest elementary school.
Virginia R. Boris Elementary School, 7071 E. Clinton Ave. at Temperance Avenue, is set to open for the 2016-17 school year, although construction is still underway.
“It looks like a school. The walls are up and they’re starting to get the roof on. They’re working on the playground,” said Boris Elementary principal Erin Gage. “The contractors are hoping to have it open within plenty of time for us to get moved in.”
In the meantime, Gage has been hard at work reaching out to future students and their parents, along with purchasing furniture and equipment for the 28-classroom school. There will be more than 500 students walking onto campus on the first day of school in August.
“Through the website and emails I’ve set up electronic survey forms so parents can give input on ways they’d like to receive communication from the school,” Gage said. “They are giving input on the bell schedule. It’s the same number of instructional minutes district-wide, but each school’s bell schedule differs, so some schools start at 8 a.m., others start at 8:15 or 8:30.”
Furnishing the school has been a huge task, Gage said.
The school will have indoor hallways. There are four classroom wings: three for first through sixth grade classrooms and one kindergarten wing. There are two kindergarten classrooms and 26 classrooms for the higher grades.
“Within the buildings there are collaborative rooms for a variety of things — they can be used for teacher meetings, parent meetings or even small group instruction,” Gage said. “It’s really neat the way it’s set up; there are windows so that kids can still be supervised, but if they need a quiet working space, that is available to them.”
The classrooms will be outfitted with interactive projectors, Gage said.
“While something is being projected, the students and teachers can use a pen or even their fingers to touch it and move things around,” she explained. “So we’re learning about that and we’ll be working with teachers with how to utilize that in the classroom.”
But first, those teachers must be hired.
“We just posted the job openings and we’re in the beginning stages of the hiring process,” Gage said.
At the end of October, the CUSD school board approved the school’s mascot and colors. The Chargers, represented by a charging bull, will be royal blue, silver and black.
“Once the boundaries were finalized and I knew which kids would feed into my school, I asked kids from the student council and the classroom representatives from each school and asked for their opinion on the colors and mascot,” Gage said. “When we decided it was going to be the Chargers, I showed them different logos and listened to them. The absolutely loved it. They were offering suggestions like ‘this logo is good for important papers, this one would look good on shirts.’ It was amazing seeing the kids excited about it and taking it to a whole next level. They were already talking about incorporating it on uniforms and cheer bows.”
For information and to take a virtual tour of the Boris Elementary campus, visit boris.cusd.com.