ECS to look at telehealth services Tuesday

Published 6:03 pm Friday, March 17, 2017

An idea discussed by the Elizabethton City School System will look to be officially approved next week.
City Board of Education members will meet in the Mack Pierce Board Room on Watauga Avenue Tuesday with a relatively short agenda that includes a resolution to pass an agreement to approve telemedicine for the school system.
The agreement between Blue Ridge Medical Management Cooperation, through Mountain States Medical Group, and the school system, allows the school to have access of telecommunication with doctors through Mountain States while being assisted by nurses at each of the schools.
School officials were busy this week, being on hand during the City Council’s capital spending workshop held Thursday.
Director of Schools Dr. Corey Gardenhour addressed councilmen and stated that T.A. Dugger Junior High School is not completely ADA compliant in its current state. The current status means the school is unable to host science and STEM labs.
The project, estimated at $4 million, would be paid for by restructuring current bonds — not affecting dollars for other projects and not causing a tax increase for citizens. City Manager Jerome Kitchens did add the school system is the greatest debt service of any of the departments in the city, but it was noted that any additional costs is not incurred by citizens due to the half-cent sales tax that was established nearly 10 years ago.
Gardenhour addressed the City Council asking what direction to take. The director added the system would like to start on phase of renovations, including eliminating the grandstands on the home side of the football field at T.A. Dugger. The cost of work would be covered by excess money by the system and the possibility of grant funding. Gardenhour added he would like to have a bid out for work by May 1.
In other business, the BOE will recognize building level Teachers of the Year from Elizabethton High School, T.A. Dugger Junior High, and East Side, West Side and Harold McCormick elementary schools. The school system will also honor system level Teachers of the Year: Beth Stevens (Pre-K through fourth grade), Kip Anderson (fifth through eighth grade and special areas) and Joe Diaz (freshman through senior grades).
BOE student liaison Cory Fitzsimmons will provide a report on his recent trip to the SCOPE Conference on behalf of the school system while Mike Wilson (EHS athletic director) and Chris Berry (TAD assistant principal) will provide school updates to the BOE.

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