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Board to hear report on school nurses

By Greg Gelpi

Concerned for her son's health, Kim Spivey said she plans to be at tonight's meeting of the Clayton County Board of Education.

The school board will hear an update on the school system's plans to revamp and restructure the school nursing program during its regular business meeting. The meeting will be at 7 tonight at the Administrative Complex, 1058 Fifth Ave., Jonesboro.

Spivey's son is a student at Kilpatrick Elementary School and has diabetes. She worries that a proposal to place licensed practicing nurses in schools will put her son and students such as her son in harm's way.

The plan would place LPNs in all schools. Registered nurses are currently in all elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. There are no nurses at other schools. If the school system adopts the plan, RNs would supervise groups of LPNs.

The school board will also reconsider Superintendent Barbara Pulliam's plan to reorganize the structure of the school system.

The plan failed to receive a majority of the board's support at its August business meeting. The restructuring plan received a 4-4 vote, with board member Ericka Davis not voting, arriving at the meeting after the vote.

The plan calls for splitting the school system into two branches: an academic branch and an operations branch. The new organizational chart would cut three positions and create six. By funding the new positions through grant money, the school system stands to save $1.2 million through the plan.

In other business, the school board could approve the county's first charter school.

Patricia Lewis, who has worked on the charter proposal for two years, said she is optimistic that the board will approve it.

"Now they are saying that it meets all of the state requirements," Lewis said. "I'm pretty confident. I don't know any reason it would be denied."

The meeting will be preceded by a personnel committee meeting at 5 p.m. and an executive session at 6:30 p.m.