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Washington County Board of Education briefs

August 21, 2012

Schools to have school health services

Washington County Public Schools will have school health services for the start of the school year, which is Wednesday, Assistant Superintendent Mike Markoe told the school board Tuesday night.

The school system and Meritus Medical Center Inc. recently finalized an agreement for Meritus to provide school health services. Previously, the Washington County Health Department provided those services.

So far, Meritus has hired all 25 of the certified medical technicians and all 11 of the licensed practical nurses, according to information Markoe providedThe Herald-Mail. Meritus has filled 24 of the 25 registered nurse positions, Markoe said.

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The school health services program also has a doctor and a clerical worker, according to the information Markoe provided.

Markoe said parents with a question or concern about their children’s medical needs can call the school nurse. If they need to speak to someone after that, they can call Markoe at 301-766-2917 or Amy Jones, Meritus’ registered nurse clinical manager, at 301-790-8603.

A second school health manager for the school system still needs to be hired, according to the information Markoe provided.

School board approves second reading of epi pen policy

The auto-injectable epinephrine a new state law calls for school personnel to be trained to administer to students will not be in schools on the first day of school, Assistant Superintendent Mike Markoe said after Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting.

The state law requires school systems to have some school personnel trained to administer auto-injectable epinephrine, or epi pens, and to diagnose symptoms of anaphylaxis, which require the administration of those epi pens. Anaphylaxis is a severe, possibly life-threatening allergic reaction that can be triggered in a variety of ways, including by a food allergy or a bee sting.

The new state law doesn’t have a deadline for the epi pens to be in schools, but school officials wanted to be ready for the start of the school year, the school board’s chief legal counsel, Anthony Trotta, said earlier this month.

The school board voted 6-0 Tuesday night to approve the second reading of a new policy for the epi pens.

Board member Donna Brightman was absent.

Markoe said school system officials were working on getting the epi pens and he hopes to get them in two to three weeks.

School principals and assistant principals are most likely going to be the school-based employees trained to administer the epinephrine when needed, Markoe said.

Letter regarding preseason practice not yet sent

The Washington County Board of Education has not yet sent a letter asking the association that regulates interscholastic athletics for Maryland’s public high schools to make the start of preseason practice for fall sports earlier next summer, Board President Wayne Ridenour said after Tuesday’s board meeting.

The board agreed at its Aug. 7 meeting to send the letter to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association in light of a new heat-acclimatization policy that delays when high school football players can have full contact in preseason practice. Ridenour said at the time that he was concerned about possible injuries to players because they didn’t have as much time as teams in neighboring states to practice in full gear with full contact.

A state law calls for the new heat-acclimatization policy, which the school board approved by a 6-0 vote Tuesday night. Board member Donna Brightman was absent.

Ridenour said he was still crafting the letter and was adding a request to move up the start time for winter sports, as well.

The policy of having preseason practices for winter sports start Nov. 15 probably dates back to the 1960s, Ridenour said. Since that time, there are more girls teams and more winter sports, which makes it difficult to get time in a gym for practice, he said.

Ridenour said he wanted to add that issue to the letter and have other board members review the letter before he sends it.

Results down slightly for MSA science tests

The Washington County Board of Education heard a brief presentation Tuesday night about the results of Maryland State Assessment science tests taken by fifth- and eighth-graders last school year.

That data was released last week and school system officials are still reviewing it.

The percentages of fifth- and eighth-graders who scored proficient or advanced in science on the 2012 assessment tests decreased slightly from 2011, according to a presentation document.

For science assessment tests, students are tested on science content they learned during three grades, said Sandy Graff, science supervisor. For instance, fifth-graders are tested on concepts they learned in third, fourth and fifth grades.

South High assistant principal moving to Antietam Academy

The Washington County Board of Education approved another change to a school administrator position for the new school year.

Timothy D. Morrow, who was an assistant principal at South Hagerstown High School, will be assistant principal at Antietam Academy starting Wednesday, according to a list of personnel moves.

The school board approved the list of personnel moves by a 6-0 vote Tuesday night. Board member Donna Brightman was absent.

Susan E. Lorow, who was an assistant principal at Antietam Academy, becomes a pupil personnel worker, according to the list of personnel moves.

The assistant principal position at South High, vacated by Morrow, has not been filled, Assistant Superintendent Mike Markoe said.

— Julie E. Greene

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