Pettisville school officials are looking for a better solution for accommodating a student who is recovering from serious injuries.
The Pettisville School Board discussed the situation at the Monday, Sept. 10 meeting.
Wesley Nartker, a PHS student enrolled in the auto techician program at Four County Career Center, was injured in a Sunday, Aug. 19, single-car crash.
He was driving a car west on Co. Rd. A at 9:03 pm, when it went off the road and overturned several times before coming to rest west of Co. Rd. 21.
Nartker was thrown from the vehicle. After being taken by Archbold Rescue to the Fulton County Health Center, he was flown by helicopter ambulance to Toledo Children’s Hospital, where he remained for a few days.
As a result of his injuries, Nartker must wear a medical device known as a halo for the next four to six months.
A medical halo is essentially a metal ring that goes around the head, which attaches to a vest. It is designed to keep a person’s head and neck stable while injuries heal.
Nartker’s parents, Scott and Diane, came to the board meeting with concerns about his special transportation needs.
Due to his condition, Nartker’s physicians said he cannot travel in a normal school bus.
Meetings were held to determine the best way to transport him, and a plan was developed that would mean Pettisville would provide transportation on a small school bus equipped with seat belts.
But in order for Pettisville bus drivers to stay on schedule for regular routes, Nartker would have to leave school early every day, missing 20 minutes of his last class.
His parents expressed concerns that this was not in their son’s best interests.
“That’s a lot to miss,” Scott told board members. “It adds up when it’s every day for months.”
The Nartkers asked why the district couldn’t use substitute drivers, so transporting their son wouldn’t be tied to regular drivers’ schedules.
Steve Switzer, district superintendent, said the district has limited substitutes, and that it would be difficult to find one who wanted to drive every day for the next four to six months.
Another option would be to pay the parents to transport him themselves.
But both parents have work schedules that would make it difficult for them to provide transportation.
Switzer offered to contact state transportation office to see if any other options were available, such as reimbursing a third party to transport Nartker in the person’s own vehicle.
For The Present
For the present, the district will pick him up and transport him in the morning, where no time restraints exist.
In the afternoon, his parents will continue to provide transportation so that he will not miss school, even though that means they will miss work.
District officials will continue to look at other options, and will be in contact with the Nartkers to try to resolve the issue.–D.J. Neuenschwander