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UNITED: District approves nurse aide position

by on April 09, 2014 10:50 AM

EAST WHEATFIELD TOWNSHIP — The United School District now has two nurses to serve the high school and elementary after an anticipated memorandum of agreement was approved Tuesday.

Directors approved 7-1 the memorandum between the district and the United Education Support Personnel Association that creates a nurse aide position and includes it in the bargaining unit with secretaries, aides and custodians.

The board also approved transferring Jill Barbus from her current position of building secretary/paraprofessional health room aide to the nurse aide position, effective immediately. Finance director G. Thomas Kalinyak said Barbus will make $13.15 per hour as a nurse aide, and she will work the same schedule as a teacher’s aide.

Board member Robert Lichtenfels was the sole dissenting vote for both the memorandum and Barbus’ transfer. Director Robert Dill was absent.

Barbus, who will be a full-time nurse aide, holds an LPN license, board President Don Davis said. She is currently stationed at the elementary school, but it hasn’t been determined yet if she will remain there or move to the high school. She had covered the position at the elementary school temporarily when the district was unable to get a substitute, Davis said.

Davis said last month that it was a concern that the district have coverage for a nurse in both buildings at all times, but that legally, in Pennsylvania, a district the size of United is required to have only one nurse.

“We thought it would be better to have a person at both buildings,” he said Tuesday.

The board had thought the district had a memorandum of understanding with the association that would approve the position at the beginning of March, but found out shortly before a meeting March 4 that it did not.

Davis said Barbus’ vacated position most likely will be advertised, but that “we are in the process of deciding all our staffing needs at this time.”

The board also approved Tuesday the Indiana County Technology Center budget for the 2014-15 school year with $418,882 as United’s share. Board member Beth Ann Marcus abstained.

Davis said United’s share is down “just a little bit” while the total budget for ICTC is up about 2 percent. United’s share was based on a three-year average enrollment, he said. The budget has to be approved by at least four of the six participating districts and also by the majority of board members, or 28 yeses, he added.

Also approved Tuesday was a written contract between the district and Superintendent Barbara Parkins for a five-year term, effective Dec. 13, 2012, and ending Dec. 12, 2017.

When Parkins was hired in late 2012, her contract was completed except for the provisions for the superintendent’s objective performance standards, which also included an evaluation tool, Davis said.

“She was under contract, but we had to complete the contract” and those standards and the evaluation tool had to be mutually agreed upon by Parkins and the board, he said.

Heather Carlson is the wire editor and an assistant web editor for The Indiana Gazette. She covers courts, Saltsburg and Homer City borough councils and Penns Manor and United school districts, in addition to writing feature articles. She can be reached at
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