Community Health Care Clinic Proposed for Zundy Elementary Neighborhood
Community Health Care Clinic Proposed for Zundy Elementary Neighborhood
Easy-to-use clinic will serve school population, neighborhood parents
The Community Healthcare Center and the Wichita Falls ISD went public Tuesday with their intention to collaborate in the set up a medical clinic on a half-acre parcel of land adjacent to Zundy Elementary. It will provide convenient medical care exclusively to school children, staff and parents who live in the neighborhood.
The announcement and discussion came in a WFISD special session held at the Education Center Board Room on Nov. 14.
The project, which has been in the planning stage for a year, will provide medical and dental services in an area of town that lacks health care services.
Nurses in the clinic will begin to see patients as soon as the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year and maybe earlier.
“We tried to find space in the (Zundy) building,” said WFISD Superintendent Mike Kuhrt. But, with little available space and the building’s long-term future uncertain, the planning team decided to create a movable structure and set it on the southwest corner of the Zundy Elementary property.
The Zundy neighborhood has historically been underserved in medical services. With the addition of this clinic, a school nurse can make a direct referral to the Community Healthcare Center clinic for any student or staff member who needs to see a doctor or dentist. It is also available to parents in the surrounding neighborhood, said Mr. Kuhrt.
“I see a lot of benefits for our employees,” said Board member Bob Payton. “This has a lot of tentacles that we can’t imagine.”
Direct medical services will be provided by the North Central Texas Community Health Care Center at the clinic. Then, in partnership with WFISD, the Community Health Center can also provide programs for preventive care.
The convenient healthcare services for WFISD students, parents and employees should improve the overall health of the WFISD population and reduce student absenteeism, according to the project resolution. This is expected to increase a student’s ability to perform academically to his potential and stabilize his physical health.
The CHC will fund design, installation, construction and operation of the Clinic. WFISD will enter into a School Based Health Center Services and Lease Agreement for use of WFISD property for the Clinic.
Board members spoke favorably Tuesday about the plan and will cast an official vote on it in the Monday, Nov. 20 board meeting.
In other business, board members heard the financial summaries of District operations through September 2017 presented by Tim Sherrod, chief financial officer.
WFISD has collected slightly more (10.28 percent) of projected revenues this year compared to last (10.05 percent). WFISD has had more expenses this year (8.04 percent of budget) compared to this time last year (5.96 percent of budget).
In the General Fund, revenues were slightly lower last year (11.18 percent) compared to this year (11.78 percent). Expenditures were slightly lower last year (7.47 percent) compared to this year (8.49 percent).
In the Food Service Fund, revenues were slightly more last year (10.97 percent) compared to this year (8.72 percent). Expenditures were slightly lower last year (7.13 percent) compared to this year (8.59 percent).
For the Debt Service Fund, revenues were about the same last year (0.18 percent) as this year (.19 percent). Expenditures were nil both last year and this year.
October 2017 Budget amendments
In a 7-0 vote, board members unanimously approved the October 2017 budget amendments. The amendments included 36 inter-functional budget transfers ranging from $25 for TMEA Orchestra travel for Hirschi High School students to $171,000 to pay police officers.
The transfers came from 15 schools and five departments.
The General Operating expenditures reflected an increase of $268,736 and a total budgeted deficiency of expenses over revenues of $1.7 million, according to board documents.
Board member Elizabeth Yeager inquired about the addition of two pre-K instructors – one teacher and one aide -- at Brook Village, costing $90,000. The new staff members were hired to serve the special education population of 3-year-olds in the pre-K program, said Mr. Kuhrt.
Brook Village now houses one of the programs for medically fragile children or high-needs special needs children, following in the footsteps of Hirschi High School and Cunningham Elementary, which also provide the program.
WFISD cannot adequately plan for the influx of 3-year-olds, since community services identify qualified children and send them to WFISD when they turn 3.
The hiring of an additional teacher and aide allow the classes to remain small, said Peter Griffiths, associate superintendent.
Rider High School choir room name proposed
A site-based decision making committee has joined with Rider High School administration to ask that the school’s choir room be named in honor of Don Cowan.
Mr. Cowan was the Rider choir director from its opening in 1961 until he retired in 1993. He wrote Rider’s alma mater. He set the standard for the Acapella Choir at Rider, which won many awards under his direction.
He is currently recognized at every Rider graduation when the school sings its alma mater, said Rider Principal Dee Palmore.
The request falls within WFISD policy.
Rider High School proposes naming its football practice field
Rider’s site-based decision making committee and Rider administrators asked board members for permission to honor Morris K. Mercer’s years of service at the school by naming its football practice field in his honor.
Coach Mercer served as Rider’s head football coach and athletic coordinator from 1969 through 1983. His win-loss record was 92-55-11, “almost double any other coach,” said Mr. Palmore.
Coach Mercer was also a key player during the District’s period of integration and the closing of Booker T. Washington High School, said Mr. Palmore. The committee would like to put in a gate with his name at the entrance to the field.
“I think that’s great,” said Board President Dale Harvey. He asked that the board be notified of ceremonies related to the naming of the field.
This request also falls within WFISD policy.
Quarterly report of Improvement Required Campuses
Mr. Griffiths alerted board members to the quarterly report on the District’s Improvement Required campuses that he will present in Monday’s board meeting.
Principals at the IR campuses will report on progress made so far on the 2017-2018 Target Improvement Plans. Principal Doug Albus will present Hirschi High School’s progress; Principal Angie Betts will present Franklin Elementary’s progress; Principal Mark Davis will present Booker T. Washington Elementary’s progress and Principal Troy Farris will present Kirby Middle School’s progress.
The board will also approve district and campus performance objectives, which by board policy it must do annually.
Hurricane Relief Instructional Materials Transfer
The state of Texas has provided a way for districts across the state to help flood- ravaged districts by providing much-needed academic resources.
In a 7-0 vote, WFISD board members unanimously agreed to be part of the statewide effort by tapping its warehouse of older, surplus materials and sending requested items to school districts that were adversely impacted by Hurricane Harvey in September 2017.
The state has prepared a list of needs that is 11 pages long, said Mr. Griffiths.
Now, WFISD can tell the state which materials it has available – state resources that weren’t needed as planned or were not used. “They can choose to use them,” said Mr. Kuhrt.
It is a creative way to share instructional materials that were purchased with the state’s IMA funds, he said. “We have materials. We know we can make them available at no cost to us,” said Mr. Kuhrt. “It’s a little thing we can do.”
Istation purchase approval
In a 7-0 vote, board members approved the purchase of IStation curriculum and intervention material. The material helps teachers monitor reading levels for students in grades 1 through 5.
Until now, the state has paid for the program. But this year, each District must purchase its own material using the Instructional Materials Allotment provided by the state.
Total cost of the program is $113,024.87.
Learning A-Z purchase approval
In a 7-0 vote, board members approved the purchase of Learning A-Z curriculum and intervention material. The material, which costs $76,805.01, has been used in WFISD classrooms for several years and includes the interactive online Raz-Kids e-books.
WFISD purchased a multi-year contract to save money, said Mr. Griffiths. The purchase will use funds in the Instructional Materials Allotment, “the old textbook fund” kept by the state, said Mr. Griffiths.
WFISD has used the program for at least six years, and teachers like it, said Mr. Griffiths. By continuing with the program, it will keep instruction consistent for both teachers and students. Its library of books is also used for the Read 2 Learn remedial reading program for second-graders.
The cost for three years of the program is $76,805.01.