Johnson Elementary School

With school out for the summer, the Lamoille North school board is also taking a break, but the administrative staff has been busy.

In-school health clinic

School officials are keen on getting a health clinic into Johnson Elementary School, and Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley is keen on operating it. According to a briefing the school board received June 24, the services would be for students, ages 4-12 only, and limited — counseling, dental and primary care.

The board authorized spending $27,000 from the district’s capital reserve fund to modify a room currently being used for speech, physical and occupational therapy, effectively bisecting the room.

Community Health Services plans to put $5,000 into the project and provide the professionals, which superintendent Cat Gallagher called “a gift.”

Johnson principal David Manning said even if the clinic plans fall through, there’s still a benefit to having two spaces, and Johnson has a little room to spare, unlike some campuses.

Community Health Services is also looking to open a clinic for the general public elsewhere in Johnson.

New purchases

Also June 24, the school board:

• Authorized spending up to $48,500 from the capital fund so facilities manager Dylan Laflam can buy a new excavator from United Rentals. Laflam said a new one costs about $8,000 more than a used one, but comes with a full warranty.

The piece of equipment will be used to turn mulch over the leach field, remove stumps and plant trees. It could also be used to remove snow from school parking lots in the winter. Eden Central School principal Melinda Mascolino said the school has to rent an excavator every year to move snow.

• Accepted a $34,665 bid from Mobility Works for purchase of a Dodge Caravan with a wheelchair lift.

Finance director Deb Clark said a student has severe mobility challenges, and that student’s individualized education plan requires the school district to provide transportation. Based on the student’s age, the van will be used for a while, she said.

New teachers

The board approved hiring three new teachers for this fall, two at Hyde Park Elementary and one at Lamoille Union.

• Lesley Grant, a local musician, was hired for a one-year substitute teacher position at Hyde Park. She will be paid $32,000 for 32 hours a week.

• Camron Colston was hired as a full-time behavior specialist at Hyde Park, and will be paid a salary of $46,840.

• Lamoille will bring on Scott Brown as a new full-time driver education teacher, at $44,500.

Cell out?

In other business, school officials discussed cellphone use at Lamoille Union High School, citing a study that shows more and more kids have trouble staying away from their phones, even in class.

Gallagher said it’s likely to be a big discussion next school year, especially among freshmen and seniors. The freshmen, she said, come out of a very structured middle school environment and sometimes get anxiety from all the newfound freedom.

Concerns about using cellphones, other than distraction, include cheating on exams and cyberbullying.

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