CLOVIS — Vape sensors installed in the high school and middle schools are doing their job, Clovis Municipal Schools board members were told at Tuesday’s November meeting.
CMS Operations Director Loran Hill addressed the board on the success of the installation of the vape detectors, a $300,000 project according to Hill.
The sensing devices resemble a household smoke alarm and are wired to send information to the school’s office.
“There were 643 [vape detection] incidents in the first 10 days between Clovis High School and Yucca [Middle School],” Hill said.
Hill said of those incidents 24 involved THC vaping, THC being the active ingredient in cannabis. The Clovis Police Department was called in on those incidents.
Hill and CHS Instructional Coach Kori Strickland spoke to the board on how installation of the vape sensors has modified behavior of some students.
Both spoke of incidents where if a student who wasn’t vaping encountered a vaping student or smelled vaping some students would immediately turn and leave the restroom.
Hill said the sensors can also detect “masking,” a term for spraying scent in the bathrooms to try to cover vaping smells.
After the meeting, Hill said since the sensors were installed Oct. 24 there had been 1302 total vape incidents, 643 during the first 10 days and 659 since then, from Nov. 7 until Tuesday.
In relation to social media comments that bathrooms at CHS had been closed because of vaping incidents Strickland said, “Children have not been without bathrooms at Clovis High School.”
Bathrooms in some of the smaller buildings have been locked during what is called “passing period” during class change.
“We are hoping as incidents of vaping go down, we can open the bathrooms in the smaller buildings,” Strickland said. “Kids always have access to bathrooms.”
In other business, CMS Senior Director of Student Nutrition and Well-being Debbie Westbrook gave her “40th Day Attendance Report.”
Westbrook said 32% of the student population had been absent up to four days in the first 40 days of the school year.
Board member Sharon Epps asked Westbrook if there were one or two things that stood out as to why students are absent.
Westbrook said part of the problem was society emerging from the pandemic and “negative habits developed by society in general.”
Westbrook said staff is “working hard” to abate chronic absences among students daily.
CMS’ Director of Fine Arts Corey Pickett and Wildcat Band Director Bill Allred appeared before the board and acknowledged the band’s numerous top awards this season.
“You can’t have this kind of success without support,” Allred said.
CHS student body President Janee Royal appeared before the board and spoke of a survey in which 87% of those female students surveyed at the high school indicated they’d like to have menstrual hygiene products in the high school’s girls’ restrooms.
Christian Villegas, also from CHS, thanked the school board for the installation of the school’s vape sensors.