MP ACT scores above state average

District's school nurses talk to board about workload

The Mt. Pleasant Community High School’s Class of 2018’s ACT results showed they are college ready.

The scores are what Principal Todd Liechty expected and are slightly better than the state average in all measures, which are English, math, reading and science, he said during a school board meeting on Monday, Nov. 13.

Liechty said fewer students took the exam last year because of the cost. Instead, students opted to take a free exam to get into community college, he said.

“The science and reading scores are the two best. Reading is encouraging. Math — the reason we’re higher in the state is we make all kids take all the way to Algebra II,” Liechty said. “That requirement gives kids some extra math and helps our scores.”

While the results usually arrive in mid-August, this year the district didn’t receive them until mid-October because of an extra, late testing session.

Liechty expects similar results from the graduating class of 2019.

In other news, Mt. Pleasant Community School District nurses Sue Weiss and Jennifer Striegel presented the school board with a report of their health services.

Between the two of them, Weiss and Striegel serve all the students in the school district including students with asthma, allergies that require an epi pen, Type 1 diabetics and seizure disorders. Other health conditions students have in the district include cerebral palsy, organ transplant patients, cystic fibrosis, heart conditions, food allergies, ADHD and depression and anxiety.

“Each day looks very different,” Streigel said. “We provide basic first aid to students, administer medication, document and assist elementary students with insulin-dependent diabetes with glucose monitoring.”

The nursing staff is also a constant resource to teachers and other staff members in the district, determining whether a student should see a doctor, communicating with parents daily and providing community resources to families.

The nurses conduct immunization audits to verify that each student is current and has the required documentation to show that they have their immunizations. They partner with the Washington County I-Smile coordinator for dental screenings for kindergarten through ninth-grade students and vision screening for kindergarten through third-grade students.

Weiss and Striegel also submit Medicaid reimbursements, which generated over $280,000 for the district last year.

“This is a big chunk of what we do, just making sure that documentation is correct. We’re pretty firm on what needs to be done,” Weiss said.

Finally, Weiss and Striegel presented the board with a wish list, which includes Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in the remaining elementary schools Van Allen, Harlan and Lincoln.

Superintendent John Henriksen said they could add AEDs to the other buildings for about $4,500.

School board president Dave McCoid asked Weiss and Streigel if a third nurse would help alleviate some of the work.

“It would lighten the load a little bit,” Weiss said. “I need to clone me sometimes.”