Q: Why do the USD 383 nurses also work at Manhattan Catholic Schools and Flint Hills Christian School?

A: At the June 5 Manhattan-Ogden School Board meeting, some of the nursing staff for the school district spoke about the need for more nurses, as well as some of the challenges they face in the schools.

Currently, the school district has 10 nurses serving 12 USD 383 buildings, and one of those serves one day per week each at Manhattan Catholic School and Flint Hills Christian school.

By federal and state law, the public school districts are required to provide special education and related services to students who live within the school district boundaries.

Deb Howser, outgoing director of special services, said the school offers services related to nursing, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech language therapy, psychological services and social work services.

“Students with disabilities often require nursing services for things such as vision screenings, hearing screenings, daily medications, and health care plan management, due to seizure disorders or diabetes, for example,” Howser said.

The private schools do not pay for the services because USD 383 is legally obligated to provide them to all students with disabilities in both private and public schools.

The school district receives some federal money and some state money for staffing to help cover the costs, but it does not cover all of the costs. Howser said the remainder is covered by general education money.

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