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home : latest news : local April 24, 2015


7/15/2014 11:58:00 AM
CAVIAT to take over Williams High School's nursing assistant program
Governing board approves fiscal year 2015 budget
Students in the Certified Nursing Assistant program starting this fall at WHS will practice their skills using hospital beds. Ryan Williams/WGCN
Students in the Certified Nursing Assistant program starting this fall at WHS will practice their skills using hospital beds. Ryan Williams/WGCN
Staff members are preparing three lab stations for the incoming nursing students. Ryan Williams/WGCN
Staff members are preparing three lab stations for the incoming nursing students. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Marissa Freireich
Williams-Grand Canyon News Reporter


WILLIAMS, Ariz. - In order to help find an instructor, the county's joint technical education district has taken over Williams High School's (WHS) Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program.

The Williams Unified School District (WUSD) Governing Board discussed the change at its July 9 meeting, and the Coconino Association for Vocations, Industry and Technology (CAVIAT) Governing Board approved the item at its July 11 meeting.

Under the change, CAVIAT will run the program, including hiring and paying the instructor, collecting student fees, and renting space in the WHS Annex where the course will be taught. Former WHS principal Tristan Heisley said WHS's program, which is set to start in the fall, will now be one of CAVIAT's central programs.

"What that means is our students will take the class up at the Annex but there'll be other students in Coconino County that will be taking the class over the Internet," Heisley said. "So they'll be watching our teacher teach our kids."

CAVIAT will set up a camera system that will broadcast the class through the Internet, similar to Skype. Students could participate in the course from schools in the Grand Canyon, Ash Fork, Fredonia and Colorado City.

"If we were unable to find a teacher, we still have an option where we could kind of base our program off of Flag's central program and our kids could do what the kids at all these other schools will be doing-watching it on TV essentially. We'd just have somebody in there with them monitoring," Heisley said. "It can work that way but obviously we want it where we're the central program."

Heisley added the CAVIAT Governing Board members were confident that they would be able to find a CNA instructor, possibly one who is already teaching the course in Flagstaff.

WHS staff conducted a survey last year of which Career and Technical Education courses students would like the high school to offer, and nursing was one of the top choices with more than 35 interested students.

The two-year CNA program will earn students five credit hours at Coconino Community College plus industry certification.

A registered nurse with at least two years of elder care experience will teach the course. The program will include a medical terminology class and a CNA class. Students would also have to complete 40 hours of clinicals in the second year of the program with 20 of those hours in a long-term care facility.

The CNA course will take place on Fridays this fall, since the regular school week goes from Monday through Thursday. This will allow more students to register for the course.

Staff is currently setting up the classroom and lab space in the Annex. The classroom contains three lab stations with hospital beds, as well as sinks.

District budget

In other school board news, the WUSD Governing Board approved the fiscal year 2015 budget.

The budget includes a 6.6 percent increase in the district's Maintenance and Operation fund. The total Maintenance and Operation budget, which includes salaries, benefits, operating costs and supplies, is set at $4,375,257 for fiscal year 2015.

The 2015 budgeted amount for District Additional Assistance, the new term for unrestricted capital, is down 9.6 percent to $1,185,517. The district uses this money for items like land, building, furniture, equipment, vehicles and textbooks.

The board also approved a certified staff addendum for the 2014-2015 school year at its July 9 meeting. The addendum includes a $500 raise.

"We try to issue contracts to all staff by mid April. It's really hard to know what the budget's going to look like because we don't have all of our numbers in yet," WUSD Business Manager Melissa Ellico explained. "So we tend to issue contracts at the same wage as the prior year and then look and see if we can afford to do a raise, which is what we were able to do this year."


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