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Cora Turner

Turner

WATERLOO — The number of nurses serving Waterloo Community Schools’ buildings will grow next fall.

The Board of Education Monday approved a $1.09 million one-year school nursing agreement with UnityPoint Health. The Waterloo health system was the lowest of four bids with others ranging from $1.11 million to $1.36 million.

Bids were sought after the Black Hawk County Health Department informed the district this spring that it could not continue the service, which it has provided since 1996.

“We’ve really appreciated the partnership with them,” Superintendent Jane Lindaman told board members. “The change from Black Hawk County was not something we sought.”

Still, she noted, “This contract actually did allow us to add nurses.” It will include eight nurses for the 19 district schools, two more than now. Each school will continue having a health assistant. The administrative oversight staffing will remain the same but will be based at UnityPoint facilities.

“We want to make sure we have adequate staff,” said Lindaman. “We looked at the possibility of bringing the nursing staff in-house” before deciding to seek outside providers.

Board member Sue Flynn suggested the district encourage UnityPoint “to really look at our current staff” to fill the positions.

“We want to maintain as many nursing staff as we can,” said Cora Turner, executive director of student and at-risk services.

The board also approved 15 schools to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision of the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. That means five more schools will be able offer free meals to all students starting next fall. Those include Fred Becker, Lou Henry and Poyner elementaries plus Bunger Middle and East High schools.

Already part of the program starting last fall were Elk Run Preschool; Dr. Walter Cunningham, Highland, Irving, Kittrell, Lincoln and Lowell elementaries; Central and George Washington Carver middle schools; and Expo Alternative Learning Center.

“The buildings that are not on here are not eligible per federal guidelines,” said Lindaman. They include Kingsley and Orange elementaries, Hoover Middle and West High schools.

“We’re not selecting these as a board or as a district,” said Flynn. “You have to stay at that 40 percent (free lunch eligibility) or above to be on the program.”

In other business, the board approved:

  • Various personnel appointments including the hiring of 34 new teachers for next fall. In addition, administrative appointments include Joseph Parker as East High School principal with a salary of $130,000, Neldrekka Whitaker as principal of Dr. Walter Cunningham School for Excellence with a salary of $97,000 and Susan Lund as assistant director of special education services with a salary of $88,000. Resignations include Hoover Middle School Principal Mike Fisher to become superintendent of Charles City Community Schools and Lincoln Elementary School Principal Brad Schweppe to become principal of South Tama Elementary School.
  • A $273,702 school resource officers agreement with the city of Waterloo for 2018-19.
  • A $35,849 change order for the artificial turf project at Memorial Stadium for site work.
  • Collaborative sponsorship agreements with 11 Cedar Valley businesses to provide cash donations or in-kind support to the Waterloo Career Center.
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Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

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