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Security liaisons, nurses pitch staffing needs to Sunnyside School Board

Contemplating the potential for additional staffing, if the budget allows, Sunnyside School District’s security staff and nurses would like to see at least one more staff member added to their schedules.

The Sunnyside School Board was last night told how an additional security liaison and an additional nurse might help the school district.

The current security staff, according to Sunnyside School District Director of Executive Services Curtis Campbell, divides its attentions throughout the school district.

Sunnyside High School currently has a school resource officer on campus on a full-time basis. There are also two full-time security liaisons at the high school. A school resource officer is assigned to both middle schools, but that officer’s time is split between the schools. The middle schools do, however, each have a full-time security liaison on campus. One other security liaison splits time between each of the elementary schools.

Campbell said, “We feel it would be appropriate for Outlook Elementary School to have a full-time security liaison on campus due to its distance from the other schools and law enforcement.”

He said the security and safety teams have expressed a desire to have one other security liaison to provide additional security to the elementary schools that are located within city limits.

School Board Director Michelle Perry asked about security for students attending YV-Tech programs, athletes and after school programs.

Campbell told the school board that those security issues have been considered.

“YV-Tech is on the same lockdown system as we are,” he said, stating students at YV-Tech would be placed in a lockdown if the school district triggers one.

Coaches are alerted by security staff if there is a lockdown situation and many after school programs are staffed by trained personnel.

Becky Norem and Anne Concienne, school nurses, approached the school board to explain staffing needs, as well.

The nurses said there are approximately 2,500 students in the Sunnyside School District with epinephrine pen orders. Of the student population, approximately 6,500 throughout the district, there are many different health concerns, including asthma and other life-threatening conditions.

“There are six type-I diabetics currently at Sunnyside High School,” said Concienne.

These health concerns present a challenge to nursing staff, of which there are seven. However, those seven are only allotted the hours of six full-time staff.

The nurses said they would like to see at least one more FTE (full-time equivalent) to provide all seven nurses full-time hours to tend to the needs of the students.

Concienne said some students have complex issues. For instance, many students with anaphylactic allergies also have asthma. She said it is important to have a nurse with the proper training to assess the child to provide the student with the proper care.

She told the school board of a situation in another school district. A health care assistant improperly treated the student for an asthma condition without addressing an anaphylactic allergy.

There are also students with health concerns who must attend a school that has a full-time nurse on staff. Among those students are students from other school districts. There are students who are transferred from another school within the district so that the student is on a campus with a full-time nurse.

“Many health issues are emotional,” said Norem, stating the nurses often find themselves helping students who are having a difficult time dealing with the emotional toll of a health concern. Students who have been transferred from one school to another because of a health issue sometimes have the additional emotions of no longer being around their friends.

It is because there are so many challenges to students and nursing staff that the school nurses recommended that the school board consider adding another FTE for school nurses.

The proposals were brought before the school board for discussion purposes only. No action was taken.

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