To: Town of Wayland Residents
From: Anna Ludwig, Chair, Board of Health

Wayland School Nursing Budget Cut

The Finance Committee recently cut the Wayland School Nursing Budget by $25,000 with no input from the Board of Health who oversees this critical function for the town. Facts and figures were sent by the Board of Health to the Finance Committee to support reinstating this funding for very real safety concern reasons, but the warrant had already been printed. A motion will be put forward at Town Meeting to restore this necessary funding.

The main issue is that although the coverage requirement for the schools is being reduced, the population remains essentially the same with very similar year over year demand predicted.

Facts

• of 8,722 student visits made to school health rooms, 5,574 were by
elementary school aged students (64% of student visits)
• of 1,481 medications administered by school nurses 842 were to
elementary school students (57% of medications administered)
• of 5,739 screens 3,645 were for elementary school students (64%
of screens)
• the Massachusetts Educational Reform Act specifies 1 nurse for
every 500 elementary school students and 1 for every 667
students at the middle & high school level (greater support is
required at the elementary level)
• the legislative report, “Options for Developing School Health
Services in Massachusetts” recommends adding 0.1 nurse full time
equivalent for each additional 50 students in buildings with more
than 500 students (Claypit is planned to house approximately 600
students)
• the level of service in terms of time and education for elementary
school children including medication administration and monitoring
for those with chronic illnesses (diabetes, food allergies, seizure
disorders, cardiac issues, gastric issues, bleeding disorders,
psychiatric and asthma) is greater
• the floating nature of the .5 nurse would provide not only flexibility
in supporting the overall system, but would also provide the
opportunity to reduce budgeted substitute nurse expenses

Although the coverage time at Loker is being reduced the overall population serviced is not, and school nursing serves the purpose of not only covering emergencies and supporting chronic issues, but also ensuring our children our serviced on site so that they can get back to the business of learning more quickly.


Sincerely,

Town of Wayland, Board of Health