Syracuse City School District nurses spoke at their school board meetings. Thank you, Judy Holmes and your colleagues for speaking out about the lack of support of school leadership. School nurses across the country are feeling the same way, that we are failing our children because no one is responding to our pleas for help. Our voices are our most powerful tool, you used it well. I hope your district responds!
School nurses have solutions, but district leadership needs to listen to us if they want to keep our schools open and our students and staff safe as this variant spreads throughout the country. Here are some ideas that New Jersey school nurses have proposed:
- KN95 masks immediately provided for all staff through the districts
- Covid testing services provided by clinics/labs. Services include all aspects of testing such as consent forms, reporting, contact tracing. Site on campus. Complete turn-key program.
- School district COVID response teams that include DOH contact tracers (rehire contact tracers and put them at the school district level)
Develop a centralized COVID reporting system that includes:
- Encourage superintendents to have a school nurse on district leadership team to represent public health concerns & function as a liaison between the district/local health depts/state health depts.
- Parental self-reporting of student positive cases that will link to the centralized reporting system
- Self-reporting tool should have the isolation/quarantine calculator embedded into the self-report.
Clarifications of acceptable testing:
- Individuals who have been exposed to COVID and/or symptomatic need to have HCP supervise rapid antigen , PCR or home testing to return to school.
- Home rapid antigen testing accepted without HCP supervision will be accepted for positive reporting only.
- Additional nursing support in larger population schools or with higher level acuity student population
- Confidential health office assistants and secretaries to assist with data entry, answering phones, screenings, filing and contact tracing.
Recruiting nurses to become school nurses:
- Student loan forgiveness.
- Financial support for certification
- Membership dues for National Association of School Nurses and NJSSNA