Expansion of the wrap-around services of the Hope Public Schools and its partnerships was a key focus of the HPS School Board here Monday night.
HPS School-Based Clinic Director Gretchen Carlton told the board that an August target has been set for completion of renovations to the former Home and Consumer Sciences Cottage at Hope High School, which will become a school-based health clinic.
Carlton said interior renovation work has begun to convert the space to offices and patient consultation space. In the interim, she said the project, as well as other health-related projects, has garnered grant funding from several sources.
The Hope High School PeakU program has received a $1,000 grant from Delta Dental Services for the collection and distribution of dental hygiene products for HHS students, Carlton said. She said the grant was a student-based project.
A “behavioral therapy courtyard” at the planned clinic will also be installed using funds from a $4,395 grant from the Lowe’s Toolbox program. Carlton said the small quiet space will be developed between the north side of the clinic building and the former Bobcat Den, and will be enclosed.
A $1,000 grant from Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s Blue and You program will fund HHS staff training in blood wound response treatment using “Stop the Bleed” prepared emergency kits that will also be provided through the grant, Carlton said.
Pafford Emergency Medical Services of Hope has also partnered with the new clinic to provide cardiac monitoring equipment and supplies for the clinic, she said. Carlton said that equipment will be held by Pafford until completion of the clinic for installation later.
Carlton said she has been notified that Adopt Pharma will provide two opiate overdose detection units with ancillary supplies for the clinic. She said that, while no opiate overdose deaths have been reported in Hempstead County to date, the use of the equipment will help deter them.
She said the clinic will also participate in a districtwide coordinated school health assessment designed to focus upon data for a particular category of wellness to be reported to parents and patrons through the Endistar software. Carlton said the selection of a category for Hope remains to be determined.
While the health clinic report required no action, the board did approve the rollout of a partnership with the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana for career vocational and technical certification studies.
HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart said the program is a two-year course of study that will result in HPS students receiving certification or prerequisite study in Industrial Maintenance Technology, General Health (required for Certified Nursing Assistant), Certified Nursing Assistant, and Welding Certification.
The program will be based on the UAHT Hope campus, similar to a program already in place in Texarkana for Arkansas High School. The program offers 11th and 12th grade high school students the ability to earn college credit toward career and technical certification while in high school at no charge.
Dr. Hart said the partnership will replace the medical professions curriculum and agricultural welding currently taught at HHS.
In conjunction, with the district’s partnership with UAHT for its Career and Technical Academy on the UAHT campus, the board approved a job description for the district’s director of the program. Hart said the position will be advertised internally.
In other matters at Monday’s meeting, the board:
• Extended Hart’s contract as superintendent for an additional year.
• Approved recommended policy updates from the Arkansas School Boards Association.
• Approved facilities master plan updates to comply with state requirements.
• Approved a tuition agreement with the Prescott Public Schools for ALE services.
• Approved the purchase of the OWE curriculum for English Second Language students under federal Title III.
• Approved a contract for districtwide lawn care services from Justin’s Lawncare of Hope at a cost of $42,000 per year as the low bid.
• Approved facilities rental requests from the Brotherhood of Fulton and the Yerger Alumni Association; but, rejected a request from the ArkLaTex Gladiators semi-professional football team.
• Adopted personnel recommendations from administration.
• Accepted without action the submission of a 45-day report on School Improvement.
• Set the March board meeting for March 11 at 5:30 p.m. to prevent conflict with Spring Break.