By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
One way or the other, Williamsburg Independent Schools will have a nurse on staff for the school year.
That’s the vow given by Superintendent Denny Byrd during Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Board of Education.
During the June Board of Education meeting, Michele Myers came before the board on behalf of parents to learn what the school board planned to do with no school nurse returning in the fall. “I’m thankful we’ve had (a nurse) as long as we have,” Myers said. “But I wonder what preparations are being made because of having no nurse.”
Byrd said at that time they had met with a doctor and a medical facility director as well as spoken with the Whitley County Health Department. “We are working close to come up with a solution,” Byrd said. “I’m trying to get all our ducks in a row for a nurse or a medical person (to be on hand).”
Byrd said Tuesday he plans to conduct the first interview for a school nurse today.
He explained to present board members that he “had a meeting with the health department,” but that did not come through. Byrd added he also spoke with two different health care providers, but that too, fell through.
“We really don’t have any choice (but to hire a nurse),” Byrd said.
He was asked whether it would be a full-time position, and Byrd explained it was “negotiable.”
“You will have a nurse in place by the time the students get here,” Byrd said.
No board action was required on this matter.
In other board of education business:
— School lunches will increase by a dime for the new school year.
Byrd explained that the increase was mandated by the federal government. “We had no choice,” he said.
Board member Kim White asked if all school systems had to make the increase.
Chief Financial Officer David Higginbotham explained that the federal government reimburses a certain amount per meal, and that the reimbursement total had to be equal to the cost of a lunch for a paying student.
The end result? Students who pay to eat at WIS will now need $1.75 for lunch.
“This does not affect students receiving free or reduced (price) lunches,” Byrd added.
Board member Roger Faulkner motioned to approve the increase, with a second from Board member Allan Steely. A show-of-hands vote proved present board members unanimous in their decision — Board member Kim Williams was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting.
— The second reading of the Student Handbook was approved Tuesday. Byrd said that all the recommendations and corrections had been complete.
He also said that very soon, as early as today, the updated handbook could be available for viewing online.
White motioned to approve the handbook, with a second from Steely. A show-of-hands vote proved members to be unanimous in their decision.
— Attorney Paul Croley was approved for a two-year contract to serve as the Board of Education’s official attorney.
Little discussion was offered about the decision. Faulkner motioned to approve the contract, with a second from Steely. The board was unanimous with this decision.
— Byrd announced the Ready Fest for Williamsburg Independent Schools is slated for 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7.