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Winnie the therapy dog joins district as “staff” member

Winnie the therapy dog joins district as “staff” member Winnie the therapy dog joins district as “staff” member

Lake Holcombe School Board

ask for permission from Crosby.

“You can’t just run up to Winnie and pet her,” said Crosby.

There were no objections from the board to having Winnie as the school’s therapy dog.

“I think it’s a great program,” said board president Brian Guthman.

“She makes my job so much better and easier, truthfully,” said Crosby.

The board also approved the ongoing Fund 46 boiler and roof projects, which had been put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit.

“The good news is, the stacks that are existing, don’t have asbestos in them,” said Lindau.

The district has set aside money into Fund 46 for several years, so there is $616,804 available, with an estimated cost of $607,334 ($197,888 for the roof from RTS Roofing).

“What are we getting for boilers?” asked board clerk Jeff Anders.

Anders said he wants to make sure the school boiler is big enough, so that kids don’t have to wear winter jackets in the classrooms. There’s one more staff member on the payroll at Lake Holcombe School, but this employee will be paid in dog biscuits. Winnie, a six year old goldendoodle, joins her handler, school guidance counselor Nicole Crosby, in providing comfort to students and staff who may need a break.

“She does everything that I do,” said Crosby. “It’s not just like I’m bringing in a dog.”

Crosby approached the Lake Holcombe School Board Nov. 11, during their regular meeting, to request permission to have Winnie be part of the school day. Because it would be too much “overload” for the dog, Crosby would only have her furry companion in the building two out of three days, each week.

As part of her duties, Winnie would be along when Crosby is having issues with a child showing behavior problems. Crosby said sometimes all it takes, is handing the student the dog’s leash and they forget all about misbehaving. It also gives students a chance to “chat” with the dog about things they may feel, that they can’t or won’t tell a teacher.

Winnie has served as a volunteer in hospitals and nursing homes, and was even on hand when Crosby’s daughter was born.

“She’s (Winnie) really good around all sorts of people,” said Crosby.

Superintendent Kurt Lindau confirmed that Winnie is a good therapy dog, as he saw her regularly during the five years, when he was the administrator at the Winter School District.

“I know that dog made my day,” he said.

Crosby said a lot of districts have therapy dogs in the buildings and says the comfort Winnie exudes, is almost more for teachers, than students.

Before bringing Winnie into the school, Crosby said some things have to happen. Parents need to be contacted and understand that Winnie is hypoallergenic, and fully therapy certified. Parents would then need to give their permission for Winnie to “work” with their children.

Once permission is received, Crosby would set some guidelines, such as instituting the “Winnie wave,” where students must stop a few feet away and wave gently at Winnie. If the students want to pet the dog, they would need to

adequate heat.

Members also accepted $30.60, from Eastbay Lodge, to the music department; t-shirts from Lake Holcombe Cafe for giveaways/ prizes; and Halloween goody bags for elementary students from the Booster Club Haunted Trail/ Dawn Brisky.

During the meeting, Lindau reported that the alumni basketball tournament will not take place this February, nor will the Lake Holcombe Education place over the alumni weekend.

Also discussed, was setting the Monday, 21 meeting, at 6 p.m., which was agreed upon.

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Lindau says the size is based on recommendation of engineers on the project and said it should be large enough to provide Foundation banquet that normally takes