Valley Health could help fund class at local schools
Posted: November 6, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — Area school divisions are in talks with Valley Health officials to add a health and medical sciences course in an effort to encourage more students to enter the field.
Frederick County Public Schools officials discussed the preliminary idea at a School Board Instruction Committee meeting on Monday.
The Winchester and Clarke school divisions are also considering the idea.
The one-credit course, titled Introduction to Health and Medical Sciences, would be offered to 10th-through 12th-graders and would inform students about health-care careers and the skills they require.
Students would learn health-care terminology, anatomy, physiology, diagnostic and clinical procedures and the fundamentals of traumatic and medical emergency care.
The division currently does not have a course that informs students of technical career opportunities in the area of health and medical sciences.
According to James Angelo, director of middle and secondary instructional services, it is the fastest growing field in the country.
“Valley Health is very interested,” he said, because the class will “generate folks prepared to work.”
Valley Health has proposed helping pay for staffing and equipment, but it has not been determined how much of the expenses it would pick up.
According to Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Peter Vernimb, hospital and school officials are “working to establish a funding plan.”
Adding the class will involve hiring the equivalent of 11⁄2 full-time employees at a cost of about $90,000.
Depending on how much the division has to pay, the School Board will need to decide whether to include the course into this year’s budget to be up and running in the fall of 2013.
The instructor of the class would be a registered nurse with a teaching license.
“I’m certainly willing to entertain this when the time comes,” said School Board Chairman Stuart Wolk.
The committee passed the measure to the full School Board for approval — contingent upon funding.
The instruction committee also heard from Angelo about the recommendations of the Gifted Advisory Committee, which is comprised of parents and school staff who discuss the education of gifted students in the division.
To improve gifted education, the committee recommends instituting full-time gifted resource teachers in each school. Currently, there are 61⁄2 resource teachers for the division’s 18 schools.
The committee also recommends investigating business partnerships and surveying graduates to evaluate the effectiveness of the various gifted programs.
No action was taken on the item.
— Contact Rebecca Layne at firstname.lastname@example.org