USD 489 begins approval process for live-saving drug


USD 489 schools will now have naloxone hydrochloride, a spray used for suspected opioid overdoses, in all school health offices.

Superintendent Ron Wilson explained the need for this spray during Monday’s board of education meeting.

“Narcan is a life-saving drug, so if someone is suffering from an opioid overdose, it will reverse those effects almost immediately,” Wilson said. 

A policy has been created to guide the administration of the spray. The district does not currently have a full-time registered nurse in every building so the other health staff will be trained on administering the spray, much like they do for other medications.

Wilson also explained that while the district does not normally create policies for individual drugs, Narcan is unique because it is one of the only life-saving drugs that health staffs can administer. Without having it on hand, individuals would be waiting on first responders.

“This just gets it quicker should we ever have that unfortunate situation,” Wilson said.

Wilson clarified that iif Narcan was to be administered, 9-1-1 would still be called and first responders would arrive on the scene to further assist the individual. Nursing staff would only be responsible for administering the spray.

The district has secured the spray at $50 a dose and the spray has a shelf life of two years. Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Human Resources Chris Hipp also noted that the spray has no adverse effects if taken unnecessarily.

“There’s not much liability in it because it’s not dangerous in and of itself,” Hipp said.

Wilson echoed that sentiment. 

“It’ll save a life, but it won’t hurt you if you didn’t really need it,” Wilson said.

Board member Lori Hertel was glad the district is securing the spray as she said drugs are a major concern. 

“I’m telling you they are very rampant in this area and they are making them now so that they look like candy,” Hertel said.

Wilson said that is part of the reason this initiative is district-wide.

“A lot of districts you might see they only do it at the middle and high school,” Wilson said. “We feel like it’s to our advantage to have it in the elementary.” 

For children that young, the overdose is usually unintended but regardless, Wilson wants the district covered. This was only the first reading of the policy. The policy will be officially voted on at the next regular board meeting on October 24.

At this meeting board members also:

  • Approved  of $2,497,737.00 in HVAC upgrades for Wilson Elementary
  • Reviewed 2021-2022 Every Student Succeeds Act Expenditures
  • Discussed the upcoming Kansas Association of School Board conference
  • Added a Superintendent Review onto the agenda for next meeting
  • Discussed the 2022-2023 enrollment charts including statistics for those eligible for free and reduced lunches 
    • 1078 students qualify for free meals with 62% of students at Lincoln Elementary eligible for free meals
%d bloggers like this: