Middle school students may be able to receive some basic medical care on select Killeen Independent School District campuses this fall.
District administrators are proposing school-based health centers at four Killeen ISD middle schools — Smith, Audie Murphy, Nolan and Rancier.
The centers are aimed at serving underinsured or uninsured students who often go untreated for certain illnesses or mental health.
But services will be open to all Killeen ISD students whose parents can make appointments for them at the center, which is an independently-functioning outside health provider.
In the latest proposal, Megan Bradley, chief financial officer for Killeen ISD, said there will be no medication on-site but doctors will be able to write prescriptions.
“The concept is that students may not be receiving health care services that they need and they’re missing classroom time due to medical visits, or not getting medical visits,” Bradley said during a board workshop last month.
She said Killeen ISD would simply have to provide space and access to a phone and wireless Internet; the health provider would be in charge of services and scheduling.
In emergency situations where a child needs immediate attention, Bradley said each school will still have its previously-existing nurses’ stations, which will follow normal protocol. The health centers will only be for previously-scheduled appointments parents call to make.
“This would not be an emergency care provider. It would truly be an appointment-based provider,” she said, adding that no child will be seen at the clinic without their parents’ permission.
John Craft, Killeen ISD deputy superintendent, said he’s been looking at other districts that have school-based health centers, and administrators gained “a lot of knowledge about what it would look like and what services they would provide for the students.”
He said the services, including treatment for behavioral health and minor illnesses, will provide many benefits to students’ overall well-being by making health services more accessible.
“We realize if a student’s basic needs are not met, their opportunity for learning and being successful in the classroom is greatly diminished,” he said. “By having these services provided (and) allowing parents to schedule appointments for their child to visit the clinic health center there on campus, they wouldn’t miss a half a day or a full day of class.”
Craft said the four middle schools were selected because of available space and need.
“With Nolan and Rancier, we again had the conversation with those principals looking at their percentage of economically disadvantaged students and felt like that would be an ideal fit,” Craft said.