, Corbin, KY

August 1, 2013

School district to hire nurses

Whitley County Board of Education working to have medical assistance for students, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Parents concerned about medical assistance being available at Whitley County Schools will soon have that concern alleviated after a special-called meeting Wednesday.

According to Superintendent Scott Paul, plans were in the works to have a medical group provide those needs to the students.

However, negotiations between the board and the medical group came to an impasse.

“We had an agreement, in theory,” Paul explained. “But when we crunched the numbers, (it turned out) they were looking for an increased financial commitment from us and we didn’t feel comfortable with it.”

That led to Wednesday’s meeting.

The goal from the special-called meeting was to let board members know the situation and what needed to be done prior to school starting next week.

“We need to create job descriptions (to have) nurses,” Paul said, adding they would like to have registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). “We can serve our kids that way.”

He said once the descriptions were created, “(we can) get them employed and in the schools as soon as we can.”

He added that the idea was “to hire a couple of RNs, and a couple of LPNs.”

Paul explained that the schools are located pretty far from each other.

“Whitley East (for example) is so far away,” he said. “We’re kind of spread out.”

Deputy Superintendent Paula Trickett explained to board members how the medical clinic did not get set up.

“Up until Friday we thought we had a deal — and it fell through,” she said.

Board member Delmar Mahan asked whether they would have to do “emergency hires” if the jobs got approved Wednesday.

“This is a classified position,” Paul answered. “We can post (the job opening) and take applications tomorrow.”

Another question was raised from board members concerning insurance.

“We’ll report it to the insurance company,” she said.

Paul added that he had been contacted by two other medical groups, “one as late as this afternoon.”

“The bottom line is — we want nurses in the schools when the students start (class),” Paul said.

Board members then unanimously approved the job descriptions, which included the unrelated position of bus driver trainer.

It was also learned during this vote that the school nurses would report to the district health coordinator.

Board chair Larry Lambdin motioned to approve the descriptions, with a second from Board member Malorie Cooper.

Board members also unanimously approved the revised pay scale, which included salaries for the nurse staff. Board vice-chair J.E. Jones motioned to approve the revision, with a second from Board member Brenda Hill.

While the clinic may not be a part of the school system now, Paul said he expects a clinic will happen in the future.

“(We want) to do a health clinic on campus,” he said.

He also added that applications for the nursing positions have been turned in by people anticipating this turn of events with the on-site medical clinic.