SYRACUSE — At the start of the current school year, the certified nursing assistant program was added to the offerings of the Pathways Cooperative. A total of 12 students participated this year, but 22 have already signed up for next year.
Randi Warren, instructor for the program, gave a report to the Wawasee School Board during the board’s regular monthly meeting Tuesday evening, May 14, at Syracuse Elementary School.
Warren, a nurse for more than 20 years, said the CNA program is “set up like a nursing lab at college.” But it is not just nursing and students have many career choices to choose from.
CNA is a full year program broken into two semesters. One semester involves students preparing for and then taking the state health department CNA exam. If they pass, a student can do internships and have a two-year certification as a CNA.
Internships are paid positions and Warren noted the pay can be anywhere from $12.50 per hour up to even $25 per hour.
Students learn medical terminology, the components of the heart, blood pressure management, infection control and more. She said she also focuses on the soft skills, which she said have been lost, such as greeting people and shaking hands.
College credits can be earned through Ivy Tech and then transferred to other colleges. Students must also pass a written and hands-on exam. The hands-on exam involves literally pulling a skill written on a piece of paper out of a hat and then performing that skill in front of a state surveyor.
There were three seniors in the CNA program this year and two have indicated they will pursue nursing and the other physical therapy.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, Joy Goshert, assistant superintendent, told the board the ILEARN test which is replacing ISTEP+ has been going much better than ISTEP+ typically did. “The stress levels are down because it is not a timed assessment,” she said.
She also noted she has heard the word “challenging” used frequently in describing the test, “which is what we want.” Syracuse Elementary teacher Dina Coverstone was at the meeting and said some of her high level math students told her “they really had to stop and think it through.”
The window for ILEARN testing closes Friday, Goshert noted. She also noted teachers have told her the test is similar to giving the NWEA assessment “which teachers are familiar with because they have been doing it for years.”
In other business, Dr. Tom Edington, superintendent, said the solar project has started and panels are being installed in two locations by the transportation department building on Kern Road. Those panels will be used to power the transportation building and the high school. Labor Day weekend is the goal for the entire project to be finished at all schools in the corporation.
Other agenda items included:
• Culinary arts student Joey Korenstra was recognized for earning a gold medal at the SkillsUSA state competition and will now compete June 24-28 in Louisville at the national competition.
• Engineering teacher Allen Coblentz, who oversees the super mileage car team at Wawasee High School, said enough funds have been raised to send all team members to the Drivers World Challenge in London in July.
• Warrior Care Day was a service project for the high school baseball program and yard raking, landscaping, weed removal and other projects were completed at 10 homes.
• Several overnight or day trips for FFA, WHS girls basketball, WHS men’s soccer and others were approved by the school board.
• Among the personnel recommendations approved by the board was the extension of the contracts for Jon Everingham, boys basketball coach, and Matt Carpenter, girls basketball coach, through the 2020-21 school year.
• The board also approved the transfer of Andy Kryder from business teacher at the high school to physical education teacher at Wawasee Middle School effective Aug. 13.