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SPED and nursing recommendations finalized

Purpose: “To collaboratively study issues surrounding staffing functions, make recommendations to the Superintendent/Cabinet and formulate related communications.”

The Natrona County School District’s Staffing Standing Committee met on March 5. Meeting leader Dr. Crystal Mueller, Associate Superintendent for Human Resources began the meeting by announcing to the group that the Leadership Unit recommendation that was agreed to by the committee at its last meeting was presented to the Superintendent. The recommendation will be looked at with the rest of the “big picture”.

Next, Mike Bond informed the group about the extra time that is required of Preschool ESPs to receive the certifications that are required for their jobs. Patty Hines said one option is for the District to recognize the certification so the employees can receive the stipend that goes along with that. The group agreed to add the Preschool ESPs to the list of positions that needs to undergo a position review.

Next, Ted Hanson began discussing the data that was requested last week regarding Special Education (SPED) Allocation. The first set of data revealed that attendance wasn’t much different for SPED students as opposed to attendance of non-SPED students.

Data reveals that at a sample secondary school (NCHS) there aren’t many examples of teachers being burdened by overloaded capacities. However, at a sample elementary school (Bar Nunn) there are several classrooms that are already over capacity. It was determined that at the elementary and secondary levels each special education student counts as .5 of a student.

Through discussion, a recommendation was formulated that would continue to count the secondary SPED students as .5 of a student, because secondary schools have the versatility to make it work. The recommendation would count elementary SPED students as 1.0 student. The rationale to include the extra .5 is that it would allow more inclusion and would remove possible barriers to those SPED students.

It was noted that changing the elementary standard from .5 to 1.0 does not necessarily solve a capacity issue, because it’s possible it could create larger class sizes. In addition, counting these students at a 1.0 rate could create the need for new fulltime employees (it also could keep the employees at the same number due to a shifting of resources.)

That recommendation will be forwarded to the Superintendent.

Next the group discussed what items to prioritize in order to send forward to the Superintendent. First, the committee reviewed the nursing study recommendation. After a small change, the recommendation that will move forward to the Superintendent is as follows:

The Nursing Study Committee has looked at a considerable amount of data and recommends the following to alleviate some of the demand on the current nursing staffing:

Hire:

Two (2) Full Time Certified Nurse (BSN)

Four (4) Educational Support Personnel (ESP) positions

  • One full time certified nurse would be added to the current elementary allocation
  • The other full time certified nurse would be used as a “floater”
  • The ESP’s would be assigned to elementary schools based on enrollment and the current acuity formula. These people would support elementary schools when the certified nurse is at her other assignment. Under the direction of the principal at each school, the ESP would fulfill duties that include first aid, dispensing of medications, communication with staff and parents, and documentation. Other duties may be assigned by the principal, duties that are within the scope of the ESP job description.

Mike Bond recommended that staff continue to monitor standards to make sure the District is doing what we should be doing to meet the needs and the standards.

The next scheduled Staffing Committee meeting is on April 2, 2014.

Members in Attendance: Crystal Mueller (Leader), Dawn Cummings (Recorder), Steve Ellbogen (NCASE), Walt Wilcox (NCASE), Ted Hanson (NCASE), Gayle Schnorenberg (NCAESS), Kathy Sedmak (NCAESS), Doreen McGlade (NCEA), Wayne Tuttle (NCEA), Dirk Andrews (NCEA), Sonja Leimback (NCEA), Mike Bond (HR), Verba Echols (HR), Patty Hines (HR), Mark Mathern (C&I), Ryan Kelly (BFS), Connie Brasel (SEIO), Allen Bruggman (Community Partnerships).

 

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This entry was posted on April 1, 2014 by in In Focus.

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