8/27/2014 1:14:00 PM School Board backs onsite clinic concept
Ruth Erickson Chronotype staff
The Rice Lake Board of Education approved the concept of an onsite health clinic for district employees and their families and heard of possible sites at its regular meeting Monday, Aug. 25. Business manager Pat Blackaller clarified that the board was voting on the plan to set up a clinic, not the actual contract with CareHere, as negotiations are still in the works. He said the medical provider requested a 3-year contract, but he suggested that a 2-year contract would be more reasonable. Board members had a lot of questions about how much flexibility would be built into the contract-if there were ways to modify it and what would happen if they were dissatisfied with the medical staff. Blackaller suspected the company would move quickly to resolve the district's concerns because it wants their business. When asked about operating expenses, Blackaller said the first operational year is paid for from savings in the health plan, which includes roughly $35,000 in start-up expenses. When asked if the clinic would be open to district retirees, Blackaller said that is up to the district-it could be limited to active employees or could open it to retirees. Those decisions have yet to be made. Blackaller said the district also has flexibility on how it wants the clinic staffed, although it primarily depends on the number of people who use it. He predicts a district of Rice Lake's size will have a physician, physician's assistant or a nurse practitioner and a nurse. The business manager said the further details on the clinic will come before the board's Finance Committee at its September meeting, followed by recommendations to the board. When asked about possible sites for the clinic, Blackaller said the meeting room they were sitting in was one option and the portable unit at Jefferson Elementary was another. CareHere staff will have a recommendation on a site in the near future.
Schools to open While building projects at the schools have been delayed due to rain and supplies on back order, classes in all schools will begin Tuesday. District administrator Larry Brown said he is hoping for good drying weather this week so more blacktop can be laid at Hilltop. "Tainter is problematic at best," he said, with entry and traffic flow issues yet to be resolved. "We'll get something figured out. We will get the kids in safely. Most likely, we will be canceling Tainter's open house and inviting parents to meet the teachers for the first 15 minutes on the first day and have an open house later." He said parents will be kept updated by the building principal. Brown added that the plan at Tainter is to fence in the ponds caused by excessive rains or "great lakes" unless there is also a shortage of fencing materials. He said temporary help is being recruited during recess times to ensure that no students wander off.
Other actions In other actions, the School Board: Accepted the resignations of Joyce DesMarais, a paraprofessional; Jessica Pelka, first-grade teacher at Jefferson; and Kayla Olson, varsity assistant volleyball coach; three other resignations, effective June 4, 2015, were submitted by Stephani Banta, third-grade teacher at Tainter; and Diane Stone and Mary Gruber, special education teachers at the middle school and high school. Approved hiring Ashlie Kneifl, Montessori teacher; Beth Unbehaun, one-term overload in Family and Consumer Education; Kori Richter, varsity hockey coach; Tony Pica, assistant football coach; Annie West, assistant varsity volleyball coach; and Kelly Orr and Brenda Kretzchmar, co-advisors of FBLA at the high school. Approved a second reading of the Employee Handbook. After discussion, decided not to have a board representative on the Handbook Committee. - - - - -