Thank a School Nurse School for Their Dedication This Week

For some students with multiple medical issues that require medical support throughout the school day, going to school at all is a major victory. The special education team that includes the ACPS nurses work to keep students requiring special assistance within our schools as close to home as possible.

Some of our schools even have a team of nurses and support staff who make it possible for students with significant medical needs to pursue their education right alongside their peers. Armed with a team of highly skilled and deeply caring nurses, Jefferson-Houston School, for example,  provides an environment where students with such challenges can grow, learn and thrive, and receive the medical attention they need throughout the day.

ACPS has created an educational environment where students with multiple medical disabilities are integrated into the school community and everyone benefits. Students with significant health challenges learn social skills and how to be a part of a community. Students without such challenges learn compassion, empathy and acceptance.

The medical team at Jefferson-Houston includes three licensed practical nurses who support essential life functions of specific students; a certified nurse assistant who works one-on-one with assigned students to assist them with the activities of daily living; paraprofessionals who support the nursing team; and a school nurse, who supervises the nursing team, their activities and oversees student care in the school.

The services that we are able to extend to our students as a result of our nursing capacity follows best practice, nationally recognized models of care that provide excellent results. The impact can be seen in our schools and in our classrooms each and every day. The RNs, LPNs, and CNAs could earn significantly more in traditional nursing venues like hospitals. However, they choose to work at ACPS because they love our students and they know their work will impact a child for a lifetime,” said ACPS Health Services Coordinator Dr. Barbara Nowak.

In this environment, a highly collaborative relationship exists between the nursing team and teaching staff. Effective teaching and learning for these students could not take place without the support of this core group

This model also exists at T.C. Williams High School, John Adams Elementary School and Mount Vernon Community School. ACPS has a team of more than 50 health professionals who serve as nurses, clinic assistants, substitute nurses and paraprofessionals who meet the daily health and medical needs of our students.

According to the CDC*, about 25 percent of children age 2-8 in the US have chronic health conditions ranging from asthma to multiple disabilities. Research demonstrates that students with chronic health conditions may face lower academic achievement, increased disability, fewer job opportunities and limited community interactions as they enter adulthood. Our team of nurses along with the teachers work every day to change those outcomes for our students,” said Dr. Nowak.

This week, we celebrate our school nurses for the critical role they play in our schools. Look for more great highlights of our school nurses on Facebook and Twitter. Please like and share our content and use the hashtag #ACPSSchoolNurses.

Be sure to thank your school nurse today!

*CDC, 2017 Research Brief on Chronic Conditions and Academic Achievement

ACPS, Jefferson-Houston