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ESD 112 board member and statewide AESD President to leave board - 07/01/19

Rainer Houser, who has served on the Board of Directors for Educational Service District 112 for the past five years, has resigned from the board, effective July 31, 2019. Rainer and wife, Darlene, are moving to Oregon to be closer to their family.

Rainer was appointed to the ESD 112 board in 2014 and elected in 2015. As a longtime educator, the former school superintendent quickly became a key leader for ESDs, not only on the local board of ESD 112, but at the state level where he serves as President of the Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD). He has been deeply committed to strengthening the statewide network of ESDs and building strategic relationships during his term as president. During his five years of service, Rainer was part of extensive and challenging work including the McCleary decision, school safety, the reauthorization of federal education legislation (ESSA), Career Connected Learning and social emotional health. Rainer also presided at the AESD state conference where a record number of participants celebrated the 50th anniversary of ESDs in the state.

“My passion and commitment to the work of ESDs continues,” he said. “I have so much admiration and appreciation for the mission and goals of our ESDs and the major role they play in the success of our state’s education system,” he added. “If it weren’t for a change of address, I would have proudly continued serving.”

Houser represents the Castle Rock, Kelso (partial), Longview, Naselle-Grays River Valley, Ocean Beach, Toutle Lake and Wahkiakum school districts.

“Rainier’s resignation will be deeply felt here at ESD 112 and across the statewide network,” said ESD 112 Superintendent, Tim Merlino. “He is a knowledgeable, dedicated and passionate board member who truly cares about the work, the staff and the organization. He will be greatly missed,” Merlino added.

At its June meeting, the ESD 112 board interviewed and appointed Mark Hottowe to fill the vacated seat. Hottowe will be sworn in at the August 27 board meeting. The Director District #2 position appointment expires in January 2022.  However, because there is a board election in the fall of 2019, Hottowe will be required to run for election in October to fulfill the remaining two years of his term, through 2021.

 

 

 school nurses support studentsí physical, mental, emotional and social health needs
school nurses support studentsí physical, mental, emotional and social health needs
School Nurse Corps celebrates 20 years in Washington (Photo) - 06/25/19

School nurses are unsung heroes in Washington state’s effort to ensure that all students receive equal access to education.

Serving as a bridge between healthcare and education, school nurses support students’ physical, mental, emotional and social health needs through in-school assessments, and by providing resources and help where needed.

Research shows that when nurses spend more time in schools, attendance goes up, along with student learning.

“Many of the students we serve have serious health needs and challenges,” said Julia Kintz, health services manager for Educational Service District 112 in Vancouver. “When their healthcare needs are being met, they not only feel better but also learn better.”

Now celebrating its 20th year, the Washington State School Nurse Corps is focused on reducing healthcare inequities, especially in small rural school districts.

The Nurse Corps was established in 1999 after a legislative report found that small rural districts had unequal access to professional school nurses. The report also noted the increasing complexity of health care needs found in public schools.

The program’s annual survey results indicate that when districts have a consistent nursing presence, there are improved health and safety benefits for students and staff, increased communication about health concerns and increased confidence in providing health care to students. Families report that collaboration with a school nurse helps keep their students safe and healthy, and improves attendance.

Outside research backs up these findings:

  • A 2016 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report showed a direct relationship between chronic school absences and physical, mental and social health.
  • A 2014 cost-benefit study of school nursing services, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, shows that consistent nursing services have economic benefits: For every dollar invested in school nursing, education systems and society experience $2.20 in benefits. School nursing prevents unnecessary visits to the emergency room, improves attendance and engagement, enables parents to stay at work and helps teachers stay focused on teaching.

Each of Washington’s nine ESDs has a nurse administrator who identifies and addresses short- and long-term needs unique to their school districts and populations. Because these administrators are familiar with the health issues of students statewide, they are called on to:

  • provide leadership during health crises (such as the 2019 measles outbreak)
  • testify at the Legislature on behalf of student health and safety
  • participate in regional- and state-level health committees
  • partner with state health and education agencies

The School Nurse Corps is a partnership of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the state’s nine Educational Service Districts. It is funded with grants that correspond to each ESD’s population and area, and by some school districts.

The program has received national attention for improving quality of care and efficient use of resources and in 2013 won the prestigious Washington State Warren Featherstone Reid Award recognizing exceptional quality and value in the delivery of health services.