Monongalia County Schools look at possibility of hiring additional support staff

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (WDTV)-- Superintendent of Monongalia County Schools, Dr. Eddie Campbell, says there's always a need for more counselors, psychologists and nurses.

Although, he says, they have a good amount now the need just continues to rise each year.

"It certainly would benefit our student population if we could lower those counselor to student ratios. The only way to do that is to bring in more support," said Campbell.

Principal Natalie Webb at North Elementary School says the drug epidemic has been a big factor in how their students perform in school. She says an increase in the amount of support staff would help tremendously.

"There are so many students who are traumatized. They have these adverse childhood experiences that are really affecting how they can perform in schools and in life," said Webb.

This year, Campbell says they've added social workers to the schools and they'd like to hire more.

However, with a nationwide nurse shortage North Elementary isn't an exception. Webb says on days of field trips it's hard to find a substitute nurse to stay back at the school.

"If our nurse goes then we have no nurse here on site. A lot of times we have to call in substitute nurses to come and either go on the field trip or come here while our nurse goes on the field trip," said Webb.

Over the years, Webb says the number of students with medical needs has grown. With the needs comes monitoring it and recognizing when more staff is essential.

"We have to make sure those medical needs are met," said Campbell.

Campbell says they plan to use the school levy and federal money to fund these positions if they choose to make hires.

Webb says she hopes the county is able to make more hires to make sure students are getting the best education.

"If there is funding available, those positions are needed," said Webb.

Right now, Dr. Campbell says the Board of Education's primary focus is hiring more social workers.