MORTON — Plans to improve nursing and medical services and increase instruction for English Language Learners in the Morton school district have been presented by administrators to the School Board.

Board members will vote on those plans -- which would add $55,000 to the district's 2019-2020 budget -- at their Feb. 19 meeting.

Under the nursing and medical services plan, each of the six buildings in the district would have a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or certified medical assistant assigned to it and hearing and vision screenings would be done by medical staff members.

The ELL plan was brought to the board Tuesday.

The major recommendation is increasing the ELL coordinator from a part-time to full-time position and purchasing a targeted language instruction curriculum at a total cost of $29,100. Two ELL aides and an ELL consultant would be retained.

The additional time on the job for the ELL coordinator would be spent giving instruction to ELL students.

Superintendent Jeff Hill said besides helping ELL students, the moves would help recruit and retain the ELL coordinator because ELL positions are difficult to fill, especially those that are part-time.

"All of these moves (nursing/medical services and ELL) fill needs in our district," Hill said.

Board President Tom Neeley supported the nursing/medical services changes.

"Our students have more and more medical needs each year," he said.

Also Tuesday, the board approved Hill's recommendation to make March 11 a student attendance instead of a teacher institute day to make up for days lost this school year because of bad weather.

"We'd rather add the day in March than at the end of the school year in May," Hill said as board members nodded in agreement.

Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.