CCSD school nurses prepare for challenging year ahead

Back 2 School

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Charleston County School District recently received funding approval to ensure every school will have it’s own full-time nurse. With the beginning of school approaching, school nurses are stepping up to the plate with a brand-new challenge.

Ellen Nitz is the Director of Nursing Services for CCSD. She says that many people have been asking “will there be school nurses this year?”

“Everybody has always loved their school nurse, but I don’t know how much the school used to think how necessary a school nurse was. Now, we’re top of the priority list,” says Nitz.

It’s no surprise that the district will be implementing a number of changes to their nursing services. One of those new changes will be an app or online portal to help put parent’s minds at ease.

“One of the newest changes will be that we will be doing COVID health assessments on a daily basis for both our staff and our students. I’ve been working with our I-T department to develop an app or even a portal page so everyone can log in and answer those questions,” says Nitz.

CCSD’S extensive re-opening plan includes sanitizing bathrooms and high-touch services twice a day, fogging with disinfectant at least once a week and fresh HVAC filter upgrades.

Nitz says that the district is following guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, South Carolina Department of Environmental Control and Medical University of South Carolina. This has been essential in developing a plan of action for if a child comes to school feeling sick.

“Working with our back-to-school partners at MUSC and DHEC; one of the things that we’ve looked at is possibly have someone who is symptomatic is actually leaving them in the clinical setting. That is because we will have portable HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters. They’re almost like little air scrubbers,” she says.

CCSD HEPA filter

The plans will include a way to help the child identify their symptoms, isolate, give them an assessment and send them home if necessary. That said, Nitz says that the plans will be unique to each school.

As CCSD school nurses prepare for the year ahead, Nitz is confident that her staff will be up for the challenge.

“What I’ve also told my staff is, ‘rest up’ because we’re gonna work you. You’re going to work harder than you ever have this year. It’s going to pose new challenges but I know that I have a staff that can live up to those standards,” she says.

To learn more about CCSD’S recently approved reopening plan, click here.

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