Health, Wellness and Food Services thriving at Smith-Green

Widenhoefer, with the support of School Nurse Deb Uecker, reported that the district has updated and changed out defibulator pads, increased the number of beds in the nurse’s clinic to three, removed the stall in the clinic bathroom for more room and better ADA accessibility and added a fax machine. The district has one full-time nurse and one full-time nurse assistant. New programs include the implementation of staff flu shots, vision checks for first grade students, head lice checks for elementary and junior high, scheduling McMillen Health reps for drug presentations and providing resources through Whitley County BABE for pregnant moms.

Widenhoefer said a few concerns exist, including the need to obtain shot records for pre-school students and the fact that about 21 students in the district are either behind on their immunizations or have not provided the proper records. In addition, the clinic treats an average of 80 kids per day, seven of which are diabetic and require blood testing and insulin shots several times per day.

In regards to wellness at SGCS, Widenhoefer said that 70 percent of students in grades 6-12 at SGCS participate in at least one extracurricular activity—a number that is much higher than other area districts. In addition, the physical education department has scheduled men’s and women’s health awareness programs and offers opportunities for physical activity, including running clubs, weights/exercise and open gyms. The elementary has also sponsored a 5K run/walk and a walk-a-thon.

Food Services director Pam Hill has worked to offer healthier carbohydrate choices on the lunch counter during breakfast and lunch and she has also posted signs throughout the cafeteria explaining healthy eating choices and guidelines. Hill also reported that the cafeteria has seen a reduction in the number of free and reduced meal students by two. Hill said she is excited about the new equipment and she is thankful for her dependable staff. She also reported that the Board of Health was in recently and gave them a completely clean bill of health.

In other Board news:

• Senior Haleigh Gross was honored as the Spotlight on Success for her exemplary character, involvement in various extracurricular activities and her academic success. Haleigh is ranked third in her class and is also involved in sports, including basketball, track and cross-country, and student organizations including National Honor Society, Spanish Club, FFA and Student Council. “In the halls or on the courts, Haleigh is a great role model for our students,” CJSHS Principal Austin Couch wrote in his letter to the Board.

• The Board hired Heather Creech as a maternity leave sub in Amy Pyle’s first grade class from January 5, 2012 through the end of the school year. Creech is currently teaching in Kim Petty’s third grade class through her maternity leave. The Board also hired Keith Heffelfinger as a custodial sub.

The next regular scheduled Board meeting is Monday, December 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the Administrative Building.

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