Home Breaking News NHS considers sports medicine pathway class for 2024-25

NHS considers sports medicine pathway class for 2024-25


By John R. Schirmer

News-Leader staff

Nashville High School is considering the addition of a vocational class for sports medicine during the 2024-25 academic year.

Principal Ashley Riggs discussed the idea of a sports medicine class Monday night, Feb. 26, at the Nashville School Board meeting.

The class would be part of a “sports medicine pathway to meet state requirements,” Riggs said. “It would provide the background for multiple medical career classes that students can take at UA-Cossatot. The program would benefit our athletes and the students in the class.”

If the program is implemented at NHS, it will be the only one in the De Queen/Mena Educational Cooperative, according to Riggs.

Most of the funding would come from a state grant, Riggs said. “CTE [Career and Technical Education] programs have start-up grants The co-op’s CTE coordinator thinks that Nashville will receive a grant.”

Total cost for a minimum equipment list for sports medicine is $44,657.25, Riggs told the board. If approved, the state grant would provide 85 percent ($38,043.66) of that amount. The remaining $6,713.59 would come from the school district.

The class would be housed at NHS, Riggs said. “We’ll teach the courses in a classroom. Students will be able to schedule internships during athletics or in a zero block after school.”

Completion of the program could lead students in the direction of becoming exercise trainers, Physical Therapy aides, Physical Therapy Assistants or Occupational Therapy Assistants through UA-Cossatot classes, and other options. 

“Colleges will look at it,” Riggs said.

NHS offers 18 different pathways in agri, Family and Consumer Sciences, and business, according to Riggs, “but there’s nothing now in health care.”

The instructor would be required to have sports medicine certification and a suitable college degree, Riggs said.

Students who are managers in Scrapper and Scrapperette athletics likely will participate in the sports medicine pathway, Riggs said. There were four managers in fall football and three in boys basketball, she told the board. There are four or five in Scrapperette basketball.

The numbers “aren’t counting baseball and softball. Through this program, our managers can do more to help our athletes,” she said.

The sooner the district applies for the grant, “the better our chances of getting it,” Riggs said. Approval of the program at the March board meeting would provide adequate time, she said.

Superintendent Doug Graham said NHS may start looking for an instructor and take other steps between now and March. The instructor “needs to be on an extended contract. Will the person receive a stipend for each sport? He or she will be district staff, not contracted help. Go ahead and put out feelers and try to report to the board in March.”

In other business at Monday night’s meeting, the board re-employed the following for 2024-25: James “Bunch” Nichols, director of transportation, maintenance and athletics; Tate Gordon, assistant superintendent; high school principal Ashley Riggs, junior high principal Krysta Parker, elementary principal Tyra Hughes, primary principal Nathan Evans; curriculum coordinator Kim Slayton. 

Board members accepted the following resignations:

Primary school custodian Stephon Davis, NJHS teacher Linda Stiver, primary para-professional Brittany Moore, district treasurer Lesa Bell, primary school nurse Allyson Chesshir, junior high band director Keith Sanders and senior high band director Cody Ford.

Ashley Hale, currently secretary to the superintendent, was transferred to district treasurer. “She has a degree and has been doing on-the-job training for over a year,” Graham said.

Donald Beshears was hired as junior high custodian. Barbra Fuentes was transferred from classroom teacher to LLC para-professional. 

The board accepted a bid of $142,700 for an International school bus. No delivery date has been set.

Graham said that work on the high school roof began Monday. “We already have the insurance check of $303,321,” he said. “It was 100 percent covered by insurance.”

The board approved $37,300 for roof repair and two new gutters at junior high as a result of damage not covered by insurance. Insurance will pay for an additional 150 feet of repairs in the amount of $37,200.

Graham gave the board an update on planned tennis courts for high school. Two companies have been contacted, he said. Both require soil samples before submitting bids.

“We’ve ordered soil samples. They should tell each company what it will have to do,” Graham said.

In the monthly financial report, Graham said the district has an operating balance of about $8.1 million. “This is our first time ever to be over $8 million,” he said.

The district has spent about $26 million on capital improvements, Graham and board member David Hilliard said. They include classroom additions at high school, primary and junior high, cafeterias at junior high and high school, Scrapper Arena and other projects.

Nashville has not had a millage increase in more than 30 years.