Friday, July 5, 2013

GSA and The School Nurse

Really, how exciting does it sound to think about something as complicated as
General State Aid right smack dab in the middle of summer?
I know, I know....

I would much rather be doing a lot of nothing while staring at views like this:

However, I did a lot of research at the end of the school year regarding GSA and
I really want to share it with you now so you have time to do your own
research before the school year starts!  So, off we go!

General State Aid and The School Nurse

You might be asking yourself "What is general state aid?" 
I asked the same thing and found the answer was as complicated as the question!
Basically, GSA is a % of funds (money) the school district receives from the state
based on a very detailed, complicated, secretive formula that only several people in the state truly understand!  After reading a lot and talking to several school administrators
this is my easy-to-understand summary...

I'm pretty sure the formula involves the actual amount of minutes per day students attend school-
and by "school" I mean actual academic classes; passing periods and lunch periods do not count!
The state looks at each school district and takes an average of their best 3 months and
then comes up with the amount of money the school district will receive.
I tried to make it easy; this is just a basic summary :)

What does this really mean for The School Nurse?

I began to think... how can I help my school district's attendance rate and GSA increase?
If you're office is like mine, there are a handful of student each day who come to school
only to enter your office and say "My parents told me to try and  make it, but I want to go home".
Hmmm.... your assessment doesn't show anything alarming and the student has vague complaints.
You call home and are told by the parent ...
"I really want her/him to stay at school today. I told her/him to try and make it. What do you think?"

I thought about this school year trying to give that general"try and make it" a specific time.
As long as the parent is in agreement then why not see if the student can "make it" for an actual/qualified half day of school attendance?  In my school district a 1/2 day = 150 minutes of true academic classroom time.  An actual full day = 300 minutes of true academic classroom time.
I have the actual times written down on my desk now for easy reference and will share with the other office nurses for the upcoming school year.

What are your thoughts on GSA and The School Nurse?

Are you willing to do some research to see what times qualify in your district?
Do you think you might give "try and make it" scenarios a specific time this coming school year?

I would love to hear your thoughts!