Even though the district buildings were closed for the last portion of the school year, Waterloo School District Nurse Sarah Borchert was kept busy during the months the schools were open. Director of Pupil Services and Special Education Director Victoria Kalscheuer presented the annual nurse’s report at the July 13 school board meeting. Borchert was unable to attend – as a nurse for the Fort HealthCare, she has been busy working as a member of the COVID-19 triage team since March 13, the first day Wisconsin school districts closed for the remainder of the academic year. It was noted Borchert plans to attend the special July 27 meeting when the board is expected to take action on the proposed school reopening plan.
Among the highlights of the report were individual health plans, diabetic care, health room management, medication management, and district staff training. According to the written report, which was provided to the board members in their meeting packets, Borchert monitored 47 individual health plans and emergency plans for students with medical conditions. The plans include instructions for staff on assisting students with epilepsy, asthmas, diabetes, and life-threatening allergies.
During the academic year, there were 2,309 visits to the health room, which is a decrease of 116 visits from 2018-2019. However, Kalscheuer noted this number only represented a little more than 6 months since schools were closed effective March 13. Borchert’s report noted these numbers did not reflect diabetic visits, daily medication administration or very insignificant visits. There was a total of 338 injuries reported. Most frequently, injuries at school were on the playground or during recess with 175 recorded. The second most common place where injuries happen were in the gym with 76 reported during the month’s students were physically in school.
Borchert reported that a total of 1,267 medication doses were administered in the school district. This includes 1,096 doses of prescription medication (excluding inhalers and insulin), 118 inhalers, and 53 over-the-counter medications. The most commonly utilized medication were albuterol inhalers, some of which are kept in the office and some in the students’ possession, for a total of 25 inhalers being used by students across the buildings.
As for staff training, the nurse provided in-service for office staff who regularly administrate medication to students. Furthermore, Borchert updated all emergency/first aid kits for all medical response team members responses.
Kalscheuer said in light of coronavirus and Borchert being needed more at the hospital, the district administrator is unsure how much time the nurse will be able to devote to the Waterloo School District.As part of the contract with Fort HealthCare, Borchert was scheduled to be in the Waterloo School District 24 hours per week for a total of 960 hours of nursing services. Due to the coronavirus and subsequent closure of schools, the district will not be charged for the hours Borchert was not spent working in the district or on district needs.
Budget correction bill could impact district funding
Most of the recent discussion surrounding school districts has been about reopening plans, but updates to the budget for the 2020-2021 continues to be brought before school boards. Waterloo School District Business Manager Sharon Peterson provided the most recent budget numbers July 13 at the regular Waterloo School Board meeting.
“I am bringing you a zero-increase budget and not a deficit budget but it is very preliminary,” she said, noting there are plenty of currently unknown line item amounts that are expected to be ready in time for the August board meeting.
According to Peterson, school district business managers were given revenue limits based on the state’s biennium budget.
“But, we do expect there will be cuts; at least cuts in the year of 2021-22,” she said. “We’re looking more to that being the reduction year rather. Maybe there will and maybe there won’t be a budget correction bill that will affect our funding for this year.”
Board Treasurer Deb Stein said the district needs to consider this possibility of what could happen with or without a budget correction bill.
“To not do that would be very irresponsible,” Stein said.
Peterson said in the most recent budget update, she calculated her estimate of potential loss in per pupil aid.
The board also:
• Approved a liability waiver and release of claims for students and staff for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The waiver was encouraged by the district’s legal counsel. Peterson said the waiver states that individuals acknowledge the risk of COVID-19 and understand the district has taken measures to prevent the spread of infection. The signer also attests they shall not enter district facilities if in the past 14 days have been to highly impacted areas subject to a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice.
If a person chooses not to sign the waiver, it will be noted that the individual was presented the waiver but chose not to sign it.• Approved slightly increased lunch prices for the 2020-2021 school year. Compared to the 2019-2020 prices, the PreK-4 and 5-8 lunch prices will increase 10-cents to $2.85 and $3.05 respectively; high school prices will increase 15-cents to $3.15; and adult lunch prices will increase 20-cents to $3.95. The PreK-4 and 5-12 breakfast prices will increase 5-cents across the board for a cost of $1.40 and $1.75 respectively.
• Approved hiring Amanda Zielinski as an Early Childhood/special education teacher and Jacob Merkle as a middle school social studies teacher and accepted the resignation of night custodial staff member Kim Ary.
• Approved 11 co-curricular positions for fall sports including Dave Frisell as head football coach; Thurston Schuster, Alex Ugoretz and Joe Jaenke as assistant football coaches; Steve Nass and Craig Setz as freshman football co-coaches; Christi Mosher as head volleyball coach; Stacey Reige as JV volleyball coach; Deb Braatz as freshman volleyball coach; Gabe Haberkorn as head cross country coach; and Kelsey Urbaniak as middle school volleyball coach.
• Approved a five-year copier lease with Marco for the cost of $2,700 per month. The company will provide five color copiers throughout the district.
• Adopted the Go Math curriculum beginning in the 2020-2021 school year. The program will be used for students through sixth grade.
• Approved the 2020-2021 high school co-curricular handbook.