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Nurses passed to Jefferson school board

January 08, 2001

Nurses passed to Jefferson school board



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Instead of expanding a public school nursing program as school officials had hoped, they may be forced to reduce it.

That is the thinking after The Jefferson County Board of Health voted last Friday to cease its school-nurse program, which is in charge of administering medication and offering medical assistance to school students.

Last month, the chairman of the Board of Health said he wanted to see the Health Department drop its management of the school-nurse program and turn it over to The Jefferson County Board of Education.

James Hecker said the program is difficult to manage because the nine nurses who work in the county's 13 schools receive direction from both the Health Department and school system officials.

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The program difficult to manage under its current setup; and, the Health Department does not have time to run it because it is branching into new programs that deal with control of communicable and contagious diseases, Hecker said.

"We can't do it," Hecker said Sunday.

On Friday, the Board of Health voted to discontinue their management of school nurses.

Jefferson County Superintendent of Schools David W. Markoe said he was concerned about the School Board having to take over the program because of the costs associated with it.

Although the Board of Education paid the salaries of the nurses, the Board was able to pay them at a lower rate since the school nurses were working through the Health Department, said Doris Cline, Board of Education member.

Now that the program has been turned over to the School Board, the nurses will have to be paid the equivalent of a teacher's salary, which is a higher rate of pay, Cline said.

The Board of Education has been making an effort to steadily increase the number of school nurses in hopes of having one for every school, Cline said.

Now it may have to reduce the number of nurses, although it is unclear by how many positions, Cline said Sunday.

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