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Palm Coast Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2021 7 months ago

School district to consider requiring ECG screenings for student athletes

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Also: Substitute teachers may get a pay raise
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Along with many other school districts across Florida, Flagler Schools may soon offer — or, potentially, require — electrocardiogram screenings for its student athletes.

A similar proposal may also be taken up at the state level in the next Florida legislative session.

A nonprofit organization called Who We Play For addressed the Flagler County School Board at its workshop June 15, saying the organization is able to provide ECGs for $20 per student.

Who We Play For was founded by Brevard County high school soccer players after one of their teammates collapsed on the field and died from sudden cardiac arrest. The screenings can catch potentially fatal heart conditions.

The organization has partnerships with AdventHealth, the NCAA, Nemours, Stanford University, Columbia University, University of Central Florida and others.

“Twenty dollars to provide piece of mind, to know that your child is safe or is going to be OK, is extremely small,” School Board member Colleen Conklin said.

She favored making the screenings a requirement.

Who We Play For works with community partners to help districts cover the cost of screenings for students whose parents can’t afford the $20.

Substitute teachers may get a pay raise

It’s been almost 15 years since Flagler County’s substitute teachers had have a pay raise.

Because the district’s pay lags behind other area districts’, it’s hard for Flagler Schools to find substitutes — meaning that the district’s regular teachers and administrators sometimes are placed on sub duty, said district Chief HR Officer Jewel Johnson.

“It is a serious matter,” Johnson said. “It affects our other employees as well.”

The current pay rate is $9.66 hourly or $70 a day for a sub with an associate’s degree, $11.72 hourly or $85 a day for subs with a bachelor’s degree, or $12.41 hourly or $90 daily for substitutes who have a master’s degree or are retired Flagler County teachers, she told the School Board. For contracted temporary teachers who have a teaching certificate in the area they’re teaching or a bachelor’s in the area they’re teaching, the pay is $25.52 per hour or $185 daily.

The district is considering raising substitute teachers’ pay to $15.03 hourly or $109 a day for a sub with an associate’s degree, $17.10 hourly or $124 a day for subs with a bachelor’s degree, or $17.79 hourly or $129 daily for substitutes who have a master’s degree or are retired Flagler County teachers. The pay for the contracted temporary teachers would remain $25.52 per hour or $185 daily.

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