VTHS will not add additional school nurse
By Mike Zummo
VERNON — Vernon Township School District Superintendent Karen D’Avino did not recommend adding another school nurse at Vernon Township High School.
The issue was brought up by a district resident at a November Board of Education meeting.
D’Avino, in a report delivered to the Board of Education at a meeting on Jan. 3 said there were two nurses at the high school before the 2018-19 school year.
The report indicates that Rolling Hills school has the most student visits to the nurse’s office, an average of 38 per day. The high school has averages the fourth-most visits, tied with Cedar Mountain school.
According to D’Avino, the nurse’s office also was relieved of other duties. The nurse’s office no longer handles free- and reduced-lunch applications.
While the nurse’s office handles investigations of students under the influence, which is done using a “triage” approach and the high school nurse handles more serious needs than schools with younger students.
Elementary school nurses are more likely to handle minor cases, such as skinned knees and stomach aches. Also high school nurses don’t handle administering medicines the way elementary nurses do. Elementary nurses also communicate with families due to the younger age of students.
Another reason for not adding an additional nurse for the remainder 2018-19 school year is that the new employee or another employee could be cut from the district’s 2019-20 budget due to cuts in state aid.
During the prior re-organizational meeting, newly elected Board of Education President Brad Sparta said the expects another a difficult upcoming budget season, also due to a cut in state aid.
D’Avino said there is no urgent need for an additional nurse at the high school.