Physician assistant objects to school nurse situation

Reporter Editor

A local physician assistant appeared before school trustees Monday and objected to the Rockdale ISD’s plans to replace a school nursing position with an athletic trainer.

The Reporter learned Tuesday those plans have changed and nurses will be on all four campuses in 2011-12.

Meeting in regular session in the Central Administration Building, trustees also adopted a tentative budget for 2011-12, tentative because the Texas Legislature has not yet passed a “funding template” for districts.

Marla Wallace, Chief Financial Officer, said the budget is currently envisioned with a $316,000 deficit but no tax increase is forecast.

NURSE POSITION— Schweitzer objected to the original appointment of an athletic trainer to partially fill the vacancy created by the retirement of longtime school nurse Jeanne Weed, an RN.

Weed had been splitting time between two campuses. Original plans had called for the trainer to be the only full-time health care person at the high school with LVNs at the other three campuses.

As of Tuesday, however, The Reporter was told LVNs will be at all four campuses.

Schweitzer said training and licensing requirements are different for nurses and trainers with trainers skilled in dealing “primarily with athletic injuries.”

She read legal definitions of RNs, LVNs and trainers.

“I’m aware of the budget constraints, funding situations and the hiring freeze,” she said. “I’m not asking for a new position to be created, just for the district to use the salary that’s already been created for an RN.”

BOARD VOTE—Schweitzer also said she could not find a record of a board vote in the matter and maintained a public hearing should have been required.

By policy, trustees do not reply to comments on non- agenda items but board member Michelle Lehmkuhl, an attorney, said she would look up the laws cited by Schweitzer.

Rachel Morales, who identified herself as the parent of a diabetic student, questioned the use of what she termed “unlicensed staff” in a medical position.

BUDGET— Wallace said the provisional budget passed Monday listed expenditures of $14,195,598.

“We are awaiting the state’s template,” she said. “We are also awaiting final values (from the Appraisal District).”

No one addressed the board during a brief budget hearing.

The tax rate will be adopted at a later meeting.

In other business, board members:

• Accepted the resignation (retirement) of James Saegert, RHS teacher-coach.

• Hired Lindsey Frank lin, junior-high social studies/coach; Charles Hall, RHS DAEP head boys track, assistant football coach; Paige Garrett, RHS English Language Arts.

• Okayed a $52,000 expenditure for new doors at the elementary campus.

• Designated Texas Kids First, the current carrier, as the district’s student insurance carrier for 2011-12.

• Retained Claims Administrative Services as the district’s workers’ compensation carrier.

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2011-06-23 digital edition

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