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Canutillo ISD will hold classes day of pope’s visit

The Canutillo Independent School District Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to go ahead with classes February 17, 2016, the day Pope Francis visits Juarez.

Trustee Adrian Medina tells ABC-7 the vote on “Option 1,” ended in a 3-3 tie. This option called for the district to respect the existing calendar and remain closed Monday, Feb. 15, Presidents Day. This option calls for students to attend school Wednesday, Feb. 17, the day of the pope’s visit. Trustees Armando Rodriguez, Adrian Medina and Rachel Quintana voted against this option with Trustees Laure Searls, Mary Yglesias and Stephanie Frietze voting for this option.

The vote on “Option 2” ended in 4 against and 2 for the option. This option called for switching the “holidays” and having students attend school on Presidents Day, then get the day of the pope’s visit off. Trustees Armando Rodriguez and Adrian Medina voted for this option with Trustees Laure Searls, Mary Yglesias, Stephanie Frietze and Rachel Quintana voting against this option.

Trustee Leticia Gonzalez was not in attendance for Tuesdays Regular Board Meeting due to illness and resulted in the first vote being a 3-3 tie.

According to Medina, the modification failed and the district calendar will stay as is with Presidents Day being observed and school open during the Pope’s visit on Feb 17.

Canutillo ISD joins Clint ISD as the only districts in the borderland to hold classes the day of the pope’s visit.

The board had to keep in mind El Paso Community College is closed, affecting Canutillo’s Northwest Early College students; UTEP is closed, affecting it’s AP students who take classes there; and it also looked at how many substitutes they had, which is enough to cover for teachers who want to take a personal day.

The CISD spokesman said if a majority of students are pulled out of class, the district can apply for waiver to not have their average daily attendance funding impacted.

Other trustees expressed concerns over the majority of law enforcement being diverted to the area of the papal visit, leaving CISD campuses and students vulnerable to risk.

“There will be no road closures between the boundaries of CISD,” CISD spokesman Shane Griffith. “The board of trustees decided to keep the schedule as is just because our physical location to all the activity in downtown is removed. That puts us in the same situation as Clint ISD for example.”

The district could hold a special meeting between now and the day of the pope’s visit to once again vote on possibly switching holidays, according to Medina, who added that is highly unlikely.

Every other major school district, including UTEP and EPCC, decided to cancel classes the day of the pope’s visit.

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