Additional school nurse on the wayDistrict 518 receives $90,000 contract from Worthington Health Care Foundation
By: Kari Lucin, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Worthington Health Care Foundation Inc. has donated a two-year, $90,000 contract to District 518 for promoting health care, which will be used to hire an additional school nurse.
“It means better service for our kids, and overall, better support services for the entire school,” said John Landgaard, District 518 superintendent, Tuesday during the District 518 Board of Education meeting.
An additional nurse will allow the school to provide educational nursing components that it could not provide before, and do more than simply giving students the basics.
“Things have changed,” Landgaard said, explaining that students’ health care-related needs have increased over time. “It’s becoming harder for us to service them (with 1.2 school nursing positions).”
Previously, one nurse spent time at the three main District 518 buildings, and a part-time nurse provided services for the Area Learning Center and the private schools in the area.
With the addition of a second nurse, it will be possible for one of the two to stay at Prairie Elementary full-time, allowing the other nurse to share her time between Worthington Middle School and Worthington High School.
Current full-time school nurse Wendy Donkersloot is an employee of Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington, which has a contract with District 518 for her services.
District 518 may choose to contract with Sanford for its new nurse, but it may also hire its own school nurse or explore contracts with other area health care organizations, Landgaard said.
Jason Vote visited the school board during its Tuesday meeting as a representative of the Worthington Health Care Foundation, Inc.
The Foundation is not specifying where its funds should be used, provided they are used to promote health care, Vote said.
In other news Tuesday, the board:
- Agreed to hire two additional half-time English Language Learning (ELL) staff, one for Prairie Elementary and the other for Worthington High School.
School administration cited additional need for the positions this year, partly due to the influx of refugees from Myanmar.
Approximately 36 Burmese students from preschool to high school age have already registered in the district, some of whom speak English fluently and others who do not speak English at all.
“They’re at both ends of the spectrum,” said Paul Karelis, WHS principal. “…the majority struggle. They’re not proficient in any way.”
- Congratulated the District 518 staff and students who worked on the school’s float in the King Turkey Day parade, which won first place.
The board viewed the new band and choir uniforms purchased this year, as modeled by District 518 students.
“We have graduated out of the 1970s, and we are so grateful,” said band teacher Jon Loy.
- Approved the first reading of changes to policies regarding discipline and suspension, student/employee relationships and Internet usage. The changes made were minor alterations to policy wording, Landgaard said.
- Approved the 2007-2008 annual report on Curriculum, Instruction and Student Achievement, which is available on the school’s Web site at http://www.isd518.net/admin/audits.htm
- Adopted a proposed levy of $3,845,359.96 for the next school year. The number may be adjusted in the next few months, district officials said.
- Agreed to pay for the school’s new band uniforms this year rather than splitting the payment in half and paying interest on the second half.
- Approved a contract with Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative Drug and Alcohol Management Program for drug and alcohol testing, as mandated by the Minnesota legislature during its last session.
The contract covers school employees who drive school vans, who must now meet the same standards as school bus drivers.
- Approved the resignation of Shawn Fritz as Worthington Middle School paraprofessional and the retirement of Donna Reed with the food service at Prairie Elementary.
- Approved the employment of Gillian Giebner as fall play coach at Worthington High School; Molly Schultz as seventh- and eighth-grade volleyball coach; Margaret Vyskocil as a paraprofessional at Prairie Elementary; Nicole Turbes as paraprofessional at Prairie Elementary; Mary Luke as paraprofessional at Prairie Elementary; Janice Schuck as lunchroom supervisor at Prairie Elementary; Margaret Larson as lunchroom supervisor at Prairie Elementary; Mary Reemts as lunchroom supervisor at Prairie Elementary; Brian Westman as math teacher at WHS; Anastasia Velarde as lunchroom supervisor at Prairie Elementary; and Anne Foley as coordinator for community education.
The board also approved an increase in assignment from half-time to full-time for Tasha Raymo, fourth-grade teacher and computer educator at Prairie Elementary.
- Accepted a donation of the use of a refrigerated trailer by Smith Trucking.