It’s official. When Williamsburg students return to school next month, they will have vastly improved access to healthcare while at school. This is thanks to a partnership between the Williamsburg Independent School District and Dayspring Family Health Center.
“One of the biggest initiatives that we are going to implement this coming school year is a partnership with Dayspring Family Health Center,” noted Superintendent Dr. Amon Couch. “There will be opportunities for our kids and staff to have access to health services during the school day.”
Dayspring’s initiative will be in addition to existing school nurse Rhonda Foley.
The company will provide a registered nurse, a licensed practical nurse, and a physician’s assistant at the school each weekday. In addition there will be a lab and access to telemedicine for any of Dayspring’s other providers.
“We decided to do this not only because of getting the next generation off on a good start, but also to take care of people where they are and where they need the care the most,” noted Dayspring CEO Mark Watt.
“All of us get caught up in the day to day world of trying to work and take care of family and getting to the doctor is a tough thing sometimes. We want to be out there where the people are. We are open late hours at Dayspring Williamsburg for that same purpose. We open Saturday clinics for that same purpose.”
He added that this is a new type of model for providing medical care and it is important for parents to understand what is going on, and their level of participation.
Watt noted that Dayspring has a long history of service in the community having been in Williamsburg for 25 years.
Couch added that Dayspring is open to offering a scholarship for a senior wanting to go into the healthcare field, and Dayspring is willing to assist with a program at the school for children interested in going into the healthcare field.
“It is a real boom to us as a school district to have Dayspring partner with us,” he noted.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, Couch announced that the district had received two big grants over the last few days.
The Steele-Reese Foundation awarded the district a $21,000 grant, which will be used to purchase about 160 TI-84 Plus graphing calculators for middle and high school students.
The calculators are being purchased as part of an effort to upgrade the curriculum at the school.
The district also recently received a $15,000 Qualcomm grant to purchase 34 new tablet computers for middle school classrooms to enhance instruction there.
In addition, during Tuesday’s monthly meeting the board received an update on renovations currently underway at the school.
Kevin Cheek, who is a representative with Sherman Carter & Barnhart Architects, noted that so far construction has gone pretty smoothly, but that the project is in the home stretch, which means things will probably get a little more hectic between now and completion in September.
“We’ll be able to start school on time,” he told the board. “The good news is we will have air, lights and ceiling.”
Students are scheduled to return to class on Aug. 27.
Prior to the start of school, a magnetic locking system will be in place and visitors will have to be buzzed into the building by front office staff, who will be able to see them on a video monitor and talk to them through an intercom outside the main entrance.
In other business, the board met in executive session for about 20 minutes to complete the superintendent’s annual evaluation.
Couch received a ranking of “exemplary” in six out of the seven areas of evaluation, including: strategic leadership, cultural leadership, human resource leadership, managerial leadership, collaborative leadership and influential leadership.
He received a ranking of “accomplished” in instructional leadership, which was the remaining area of evaluation.
Exemplary means that Couch exceeds the standard. Accomplished means that he met the standard.
“We are very happy. He has done a great job,” noted Board Chairman Dr. John Jefferies.
Couch said that he was pleased with the evaluation.
“Being superintendent at Williamsburg is my dream job. If you are going to be superintendent, this is the best place in the world to be a superintendent,” Couch said. “We have a great board, great kids, a great staff and a great community. It is a blessing to be able to get to serve this community.”