City schools, Valley Health partnering on courses

Posted: January 26, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Pending approval by the School Board, the city schools will soon offer health-sciences and certified nurses’ aide classes.

The new courses were discussed briefly Friday during a Winchester Public Schools Instruction Committee meeting.

Winchester and Frederick and Clarke county school leaders have held talks with Valley Health officials about adding a health and medical sciences course to encourage more students to enter the health-care field.

Beginning this fall, the city schools would offer a three-credit, dual-enrollment course called Introduction to Medical Sciences that would lead to a health-sciences certificate.

One full-time teacher, who must hold a valid medical health professional license and a bachelor of arts degree, would be hired and shared by the Winchester and Clarke County school systems.

Valley Health will contribute $30,000 for the shared position. Winchester and Clarke County officials must provide a local match of $15,000 each for two years (2013-15).

Through the class, students would learn health-care terminology, anatomy, physiology, diagnostic and clinical procedures, and the fundamentals of traumatic and medical emergency care.

If the School Board approves, the Winchester schools would also implement a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) course in spring 2014. One full-time teacher with a registered nursing degree would be hired with the same funding match as the Introduction to Medical Sciences class.

Valley Health would also fund one CNA teaching assistant, at $15,000, to be shared by the Winchester and Clarke County school divisions.

The total budget estimate for the program is $46,000 to $76,000 for the city schools.

A service learning internship with Valley Health could be offered in summer 2014.

A community launch will be held from 10 a.m. to noon April 15 in the Winchester Medical Center Conference Center to raise awareness of the partnership and showcase Valley Health’s commitment to support education in the region.

“It’s just a start to get kids interested,” said Lynda Hickey, director of instruction for the city schools.

— Contact Rebecca Layne