Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 18:52
Officials say part-time position would help address ‘significant health care risks,’ cost about $9,000
School officials are considering hiring a part-time nurse for the Cedar Grove-Belgium School District, possibly as soon as 2014.
Director of Pupil Services Jason Gahan asked the School Board at its meeting Dec. 11 to hire a part-time nurse who would work eight hours per week to “deal with some significant health care risks within the district.”
Currently, the Aurora Visiting Nurses Association comes at the beginning of the school year to train school administrators to give medication and other critical medical care to at-risk students.
“But then they disappear and it’s inconsistent,” Gahan said. “The VNA suggested that we have an in-house point person who can do ongoing evaluations of our students.”
The proposal hit a snag when board members raised concerns about where the money would come from to pay a nurse for the current school year.
Supt. Steve Shaw said it would cost about $9,000 to hire a nurse that would work eight hours a week. The wage would have to be transferred from another area of the budget, Business Manager Kris DeBruine said.
“I think we need to look at our options rather than say let’s hire someone right now,” board member Jim Lautenschlager said.
Administrators will report to the board in January on how to fund the position and draft a job posting.
Shaw said training staff is the most important thing a nurse would bring to the district.
“We’re not medical people so we need someone who can come in and look at our records and say we’re doing things right,” Shaw said. “It would give our staff a lot of confidence to know they are doing the right thing.”
Area districts including Kohler, Northern Ozaukee and Random Lake have nurses in the schools ranging from full-time to eight hours per week, Gahan said. He said the goal would be for the nurse to eventually work more than eight hours.
“The eight hours is just a starting point based on comparable districts,” he said. “Right now, it’s a good starting point.”
Shaw agreed, saying comparable districts in the western part of the state have full-time nurses on staff.
“If we’re doing something wrong, it’s better that we catch it early and have someone help make us do it right,” Shaw said.
Board President Chad Hoopman acknowledged the district is “lucky that medications are being administered properly,” but it “needs to make sure we have proper training.”
“If something isn’t administered properly, we’re putting (students and) ourselves at a huge risk,” he said. “We need to make sure everything is covered from a financial perspective and then we can talk more about this.”
The motion to approve hiring a part-time nurse failed 4-1 with Dan Bruhn voting in favor of it. Board members Gina Sotelo and Todd Bucher were absent.