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Williamsville schools' budget wish list includes nursing staff, reduced class sizes

The mother of a Heim Elementary School student was exhibit A for Williamsville School Board members when they talked last week about what they wanted to see in budget discussions.

Parent Tammy Nash explained that her son had a grand mal seizure in September. School staff have been wonderful, she said, but if his seizures last more than three minutes, he could suffer brain damage.

"Sending him back to school was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do," she said.

His teacher and principal were there to meet him his first day back, and he was excited to return. But the school nurse was absent that day, and the nurse is the only one who can administer the narcotic he needs in the event of a seizure, she said.

"We had to go home that day because there was no nurse," she said.

Nash said she had been told that if a replacement was not on duty, there would be a nurse at Heim Middle School, which is on the same campus as the elementary school.

"I cannot count on someone running across the parking lot and administering the drug," she said. "My concerns are that there is a consistent RN on staff at all schools at all times."

It was a little later in that meeting when Superintendent Scott Martzloff asked board members what programs or items they would like to consider adding during budget discussions. Four said some sort of floating nurse who could fill in for nurses who are out and perform other tasks on days they are not needed.

"The community has spoke very loudly about this," Board Member Suzanne Van Sice said.

Board members also said they would like to continue lowering class sizes. Class sizes were lowered in first and second grades by one student each this year.  Other suggestions included installing fans or some other cooling system in cafeterias and auditoriums, and introducing foreign language at the primary level.

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