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The Relentless School Nurse: How One School Nurse Honors Healthcare Leaders During Black History Month
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN

(Please click on the title above to read Robin Cogan's brilliant full blog)

Excerpt from the blog below:

"Nurse Holly is educating herself and her students as she grows her display featuring Black healthcare leaders during Black History Month. She shares her story of how the project has expanded in this edition of “School Nursing Stories from the

Field.” You might know Nurse Holly from the School Nursing Facebook page! If you want to add your story to our growing collection, please email me at: relentlessschoolnurse@gmail.com"

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Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 4:00pm to 5:30pm

The Essex County School Nurses Association invites you to this Zoom educational program:

School Nursing: Putting the Pieces Together

presented by our NJDOE State School Nurse Consultant, Lorraine Borek, MSN, M.ED., RN, CSN-NJ

To Join our Zoom Meeting please click on the link below
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4186343724?pwd=UjV6QzRKNm5KSGxHamlGd1hwR2M4QT09

Meeting ID: 418 634 3724
Passcode: Cjp4k2
Dial by your location

         929 205 6099 
Meeting ID: 418 634 3724
Passcode: 230774

February Health Observances

International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month

National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

American Heart Month

2/3 National Wear Red Day

2/27 – 3/5 National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Our thanks to our Treasurer, Lila Kurzum, RN, BSN, CSN-NJ for sharing this educational opportunty from the NJDOH DSH Team:
Tuesday, February 21, 2023 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Prevention and Mitigation of Common Childhood Illnesses in Childcare Centers and Schools (Part ll)

Join the NJDOH Communicable Disease Service’s DSH (Daycares, Schools, and Higher Education) Team to learn about some of the most common infectious diseases in educational settings. This session will cover:

  • several of the diseases on NJDOH’s school and childcare exclusion list, which can be accessed here, including;

    • conjunctivitis,

    • staph & strep skin infections,

    • impetigo,

    • scabies,

    • and ringworm.

  • This training will highlight disease prevention best practices and NJDOH resources that are available for disease management.

To register for this webinar please click here or on the accompanying image. Although the time of the program may not be convenient, the NJDOH DSH Team frequently posts recordings of their programs on their website: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/edu_training/dsh.shtml

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Our thanks to our Co-President, Laura Sacks, RN, BA, BSN, CSN, MA for sharing this: 

Essex County Educational Association (ECEA) Nurses Workshop:  Learn How to Drive your Health and Safety Practice with State Mandates and Evidence-based (EB) Resources

Monday, February 13, 2023 at 4:45pm Wilshire Grand, West Orange

SCHOOL NURSES: Health & safety is our lane!
To Register:
Go to eceanj.org and log-in with your NJEA log-in credentials.
When the homepage opens, click on the "Members" tab at the top of the page. Look for the flyer for the School Nurses Workshop and click on the top where it says "click here".

Contents of the accompanying  ECEA Nurses Workshop flyer:
"The presentation is the result of the
collaboration between New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) and New Jersey State School Nurses Association (NJSSNA). Learn how to drive your health and safety practice with state mandates and evidence-based (EB) resources.
As a result of participating in this activity and conversations with New Jersey State School Nurse representatives, attendees will be able to:

  • Access health and safety resources to support their school nurse practice.

  • Identify sources that reference school nurse mandates and responsibilities to use in their school nurse practice.

Overview of:

  • School nurse EB resources

  • Delegation

  • Mandated staff trainings

  • Health and Safety Committees

  • School-related legislative mandates 

  • School Nurse Consultant

  • Q & A"

There are also other interesting ECEA professional development programs below which can also be found on the eceanj.org website using the instructions to register for the school nurses workshop:

Thursday, February 9, 2023 at 4:15pm at the Appian Way, Orange

A.C.E.S - 2

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Saturday, February 11, 2023 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm at Calandra's Italian Village

Minority Leadership and Recruitment Event: "Come Voice Your Power Dream in Real Time"

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great news! 
cover all kids 
took effect January 1st
our thanks to our co-president, Laura sacks, RN, BA, BSN, CSN, MA  for sharing this excellent news about making health care available to all children in new jersey!

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The recording of our Wednesday, January 18, 2023 educational program on

Review of Cannabis Legislation in Relation to the School Setting

Presented by Joel Torres, MA, MCHES, ADAPT Senior Manager Family Connections & John Worthington, Esq., Education Law Specialist, NJPSA/FEA/LEGAL ONE

can be found on our recordings page, (found in the dropdown under the events page).

Great news: Sheila Caldwell, BSN, RN, CSN, FNASN posted on the January 13th to 15th NASN All Member Forum that there is a recording of the School Nurse Forum on Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Please see the message from the SADS Foundation below:

Thank you to everyone who attended our School Nurse Forum on Sudden Cardiac Arrest last night! We had over 2,500 school nurses register.

 

If you were unable to attend, or would like to watch this webinar again, you can view it here:

Watch the Webinar

If you have other school nurses in your region who would like to learn more about our resources and receive this forum recording, they can register here.

 

Here are the links mentioned during the presentation:

 

SADS Foundation

 

Project ADAM

 

We also wanted to let you know about some of our other resources for school nurses, including:

  • Our free school nurse packets, which you can receive digitally or in-person (please note that it currently takes 1-2 weeks to receive the in-person packet after ordering)

  • Our school nurse webinar from 2022 with more about each SADS condition

  • Upcoming small School Nurse Forums with SADS & your local Project ADAM affiliate where you can talk with your peers and ask more questions about SCA (stay tuned for details soon!).

 

You can help us improve our resources for school nurses by taking this brief, 5-minute survey. Your response is confidential and helps us tailor our resources to best serve school nurses.

Our thanks to Cathy Grano, , Ph.D., RN, CSN for sharing the NJSSNA Spring Conference 3/25/22 Save the Date! on the NJSSNA Digest for 11/22/22 (and CONGRATULATIONS for her Ph.D.) Please see her quoted message below:

"NJSSNA's Spring Conference: Re-imagining School Nursing. Let's reflect on what School Nursing practice has been and imagine what School Nursing practice can be!
Registration, speaker line up and online store is coming soon!"

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN. Please click on the image to be brought to the NEUSHA website to register for the NJSSNA Spring Conference.

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Understanding, Screening, and Supporting Individuals in the School Setting

This on-demand program is an opportunity for school nurses, pediatric nurses, and other school-based professionals to develop an understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:​

  • Understand the physiology of FASD development during pregnancy

  • Explain the importance of the screening and identifying children who have FASD Implement skills and knowledge to support children and families affected by FASD in their education

  • Support school staff in creating the most beneficial learning environment for children affected by FASD and utilize resources available in New Jersey.

 Target Audience: School Nurses, Pediatric Nurses, School-Based Professionals Learning Outcome: At the conclusion of the program, the participants will self-report knowledge gained related to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, screening, and resources to support families.
Continuing Nursing Education Contact Hours: This program has been awarded 1.0 contact hours. The Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey is approved as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by New Jersey State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. P194-2/2023 Approval status does not imply endorsement by the Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey, NJSNA or by ANCC of any commercial products discussed/displayed in conjunction with the educational activity. Questions? Visit our website or contact Kelly Dietrich at kdietrich@pmch.org
Successful Completion: To receive contact hours for participating in the recorded continuing education program, the registrant must log in to the recorded webinar, view the entire presentation, and complete and submit an evaluation. A certificate of completion will be distributed within one month of submission of the evaluation. Disclosure/Commercial Support: The planners and speaker do not have any conflicts of interest to report for this activity. There is no commercial support for this activity. Cost: This program is free, but registration is required. Registration:
Click
here to register.

From Harvard Health Publishing - Harvard Medical School regarding edible marijuana ingestion in children:
CHILD & TEEN HEALTH

Edibles and children: Poison center calls rise (please click on the title to read the article)

From Rick Hager, Community Outreach Coordinator, Office of Communications, Legislative and Public Affairs

New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF), Cell:  (609) 947-7505, Email: Richard.Hager@dcf.nj.gov

Family Success Centers are “one-stop” shops that provide resources and supports for families before they find themselves in crisis. They offer primary child abuse prevention services to families and bring together concerned community residents, leaders, and community agencies to address the problems that threaten the safety and stability of families and the community.

 

Family Success Centers offer a warm and welcoming home-like environment that provides family friendly activities and resources within communities to strengthen families. There is no cost to access the services they provide.
Program Services include:

  • Access to information on child, maternal and family health services, economic self-sufficiency and job  readiness

  • Information and referral services (connection to off-site public social services and private resources)

  • Life skills training

  • Housing services

  • Parent education

  • Parent-child activities

  • Advocacy

There are 57 Family Success Centers in New Jersey. To locate a program near you, please visit: https://www.nj.gov/dcf/families/support/success/ and share broadly with your community.

12/21/22 Overview of the NJ Emotional Well-being Institute (NJ-NEW) program follow-up information:

Presented by Jennifer Polakowski, MPA, Assistant Director NJ-Nursing Emotional Well-being Institute (NJ-NEW) has generously agreed to share her presentation slides which you can access by clicking here. Please see the excerpt below:

Current interventions/ programs include:

Virtual Schwartz Rounds (VSR)

  • Stress First Aid (SFA)

  • Nurse2Nurse Helpline (N2N)

  • Pilot- Peer to Peer App (Dugri)

Future interventions/ programs include:

  • Well-being Hub (WBH)

  • Repository of resources

Future of Nursing Report 2020-2030 / Nursing Bill

  • Recommendation 3.7, 3.9 & 3.10

  • S2528/A4325

The Relentless School Nurse: Nursing, Let’s Join the Call for a U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Gun Violence?
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN

(Please click on the title above to read Robin Cogan's full blog)

Please see the excerpt below:

"Dr. Peter Masiakos included the voice of school nursing in a compendium published in Current Trauma Reports in early 2020, just as the pandemic began. Here is a link to an article that I co-authored with dear colleagues: School Nurses Share Their Voices, Trauma, and Solutions by Sounding the Alarm on Gun Violence Robin Cogan, Donna M. Nickitas, Donna Mazyck & Sunny G. Hallowell

Here is the full collection, as Dr. Masiakos said, it was intended to serve as an early blueprint for a U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Gun Violence: Topical Collection on Gun Violence"

From: SHEILA CALDWELL, BSN, RN, CSN, FNASN downloaded from the NASN All Member Forum 12/9  to 12/11
Did you know that your school may be improperly disposing of vape products and paraphernalia? Read about it!
As more and more schools are confiscating vape products, they need to be sure that they are disposing of them appropriately.
Here are two resources that you should read and share with your school districts. In addition, as we consider environmental justice, this is truly something that our schools should be looking at. See below and click the images.

By the way, the EPA has a new office of environmental justice. You can contact your regional office of EJ if you have any questions. Here is the link - click
here

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(Please click on the above images for a larger version)

Great News from NJSSNA:
"The New Jersey State School Nurses Association (NJSSNA) is very happy and proud to announce that after several years of advocacy to install a state school nursing consultant at the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE),

former president of the NJSSNA & ecsna,
lorraine Borek, MSN, M.Ed., RN, CSN-NJ,
has joined the NJDOE as the
State School Nurse Consultant.
For the entire NJSSNA announcement please click here."

From the NJDOH DSH Team:

"With holiday gatherings right around the corner, we thought we would provide a few resources to help prevent the spread of Influenza, RSV, COVID-19 and other common communicable diseases this holiday season:

 

·       Clean Hands and Spaces: Web-Based Training | CDC  (An excellent overview of mitigation strategies for school and childcare centers! Earn 2 CEUs at no cost!)  

·       Cold Versus Flu | CDC

·       Prevent the Spread of Colds & Flu

·       What's the Difference Between Cleaners, Sanitizers, and Disinfectants (nj.gov)

 

It’s also important to review the NJDOH School Exclusion List to determine when students and staff can safely return to school following an illness. NJDOH also has this helpful flyer,  “When Should Children Stay Home from School” (see attached) which you may want to share with your parent body, as a good reminder.

 

Additionally, our partners at the Vaccine Preventable Disease Program have an exciting initiative for students in grades 5-12: Create, Educate, Vaccinate! Protect Me With 3+ is an annual poster and video contest and a collaboration between The Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey and the New Jersey Department of Health.


This exciting contest that promotes immunizations is open to middle and high school students across New Jersey. The top three posters and videos will win awesome prizes and will be showcased at statewide immunization awareness events. Learn more here.

 

Lastly, you can always visit the New Jersey Department of Health School Health and DSH Team webpages for more information. There you will find additional educational and training materials, outbreak guidance, forms and a variety of resources on how to prevent the spread of communicable diseases in both the school and childcare setting."

Please click on the images below for the full documents:

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Our thanks to Kathy McCutcheon, MSN, RN, NCSN, the Secretary of the NJSSNA Executive Board, for this Respiratory Illness YouTube

from the NJDOH posted on the NJSSNA discussion list

Please click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4yTtcBbNCA

The Taking Diabetes to School Presentation from 11/16/22

by Ashley Colnett,  BSN, RN, CDCES, CSN

Education Coordinator

Camp Nejeda Foundation Incorporated

has been downloaded to the Recordings page of the website. Please login as a website member to view the presentation, as this is a website members only page.

For the excellent diabetes resources page, please click here or go to our Resources tab.

Also from Camp Nejeda in conjunction with NJSSNA:

5 hour program for $100

Virtual date: 4/22/23 as stated below

Type 1 Diabetes in Children
Please contact Camp Nejeda to register by clicking here or the image below .
To schedule a District-wide inservice you can contact Ashley Colnett at ashley@campnejeda.org

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From the NJDOH DSH Team:
 

Here are a few additional things to remember when faced with increased illness in your school or childcare:  

  

1.       Monitor for outbreaks

  • Daycares and Schools are seeing an increase in respiratory viruses (including RSV & Influenza). Please review the attached flyer (It’s Not Just COVID) for a summary of situations which may indicate that an outbreak is occurring.

  

2.       Be prepared in case an outbreak occurs

 

3.         Contact your Local Health Department

  • As soon as you notice an increase in the number of absences related to illness, you should reach out to your local health department.  Remember outbreaks of diseases are reportable even if an individual case of the disease is not reportable.

  • Find your Local Health Department by using this directory.

 

4.       Reinforce cleaning practices  

 

5.       Increase communication to families  

  • Your local health department can help provide communication and education geared towards families.  

 

6.       Stay home when sick  

    

Lastly, you can always visit the New Jersey Department of Health School Health and DSH Team webpages for more information. There you will find additional educational and training materials, outbreak guidance, forms and a variety of resources on how to prevent the spread of communicable diseases in both the school and childcare setting.

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(Please click on the images above to view the documents)

For both the recording and PowerPoint slides of our October 26th

Energy Building educational program 

Presented by Dr. Pao-Chu Tseng, PhD, RN

please sign into the website and click here.

If you would like to only download the PowerPoint slides without viewing the recording, please click here.

NEW Family Connections ADAPT Coalition and Essex County Mobile Clinic Collaboration
FROM:

Umayma Abdul-Qadir, a Prevention Hub Specialist at Family Connections’ ADAPT Coalition, who is announcing a new collaboration with the Essex County Mobile Clinic.

  • An ADAPT staff member will be at the locations from 3:00PM-5:00PM, giving out bus cards and/or gas cards to those who receive a COVID vaccination or booster.

  • All are welcome and please feel free to share this with your organizations.

  • The locations and days are listed below.

 

Tuesday: Essex County Hall of Records, 465Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Newark, NJ

Wednesday: Orange City Hall, 29NorthDay Street, Orange, NJ

Thursday: Irvington Town Hall, 1 Civic Square, Irvington, NJ

Friday: East Orange City Hall, 44 City Hall Plaza, East Orange, NJ

 

Please see the contact information below for any questions:

Umayma Abdul-Qadir

Prevention Hub Specialist

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

7 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 101, East Orange, NJ 07017

Familyconnections.org/adapt

Mobile: 862-338-5412

#WhereHopeMeetsPossibility

The Relentless School Nurse: A Framework for Workplace Mental Health & Well-Being from the U.S. Surgeon General

Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN

(Please click on the title above to read Robin Cogan's full blog)


Please see the excerpts from the blog below:

"On the heels of the recent release of NASN's survey about the mental health of school nurses during COVID, comes an important publication from the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, The Framework for Workplace Mental Health & Well-Being."

I plan on sharing this important publication with my school district and I hope you do as well.  The Framework provides a guide to “5 essentials for workplace well-being centered on worker voice and equity.” This is an “if only” moment, if only our schools would embrace these 5 essentials, imagine the impact on student and staff well-being. I have a sense of hopefulness after taking a deep look at Dr. Murthy’s Framework, it just makes sense! My mind goes straight to school nurses and how we would thrive “if only” we worked in systems that embraced this plan."

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From NASN:
Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year!

Whether you are seasoned school nurse or in your first year on the job, NASN’s back-to-school toolkit highlights the resources you need to promote the well-being of students and help them develop lifelong habits that support optimal health and wellness.

The tools in the toolkit will help you, working closely with school staff, students, and administration, to develop a healthy environment where students can thrive. We know it has been a difficult several years for school nurses. We offer these resources, and our support as an organization, to help you and your students be healthy, safe and ready to learn, in the coming year.

2022-2023 Back-to-School Toolkit

Downloaded from the NASN All Member Forum from 10/2/22:
NEW: Head Lice information from the AAP

Posted by Valerie Hon, MSN, RN, NCSN
Please click
here to read the article

The NJDOH DSH Team has generously shared their slide deck (please click here for the link) with active hyperlinks to additional resources from their September 22, 2022 presentation covering updates to COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for K-12 Schools, Childcare and Youth Camps. 

Also, here is a link to a new 1-minute animation titled, "Lets Have a Safe School Year" with recommendations for a safe school year that you can send to your school and childcare communities:  https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_schools.shtml

For both the recording and PowerPoint slides of our September 21st

A Startup Checklist for the School Health Office educational program 

Presented by Dr. Laura Jannone, R.N., EdD, FNASN, CSN-NJ,

New York Academy of  Medicine Fellow,

Standards & Practice Chair, NJSSNA

&

Giuseppina Pagnotta, MSN, RN, NCSN

Monmouth County School Nurses Association President

please sign into the website and click here.

If you would like to only download the PowerPoint slides without viewing the recording, please click here.

Welcome back letter from our Co-Presidents: Laura Sacks & Dr. Denise Makri Werzen,

 

It continues to be a very challenging time for school nurses. The Essex County School Nurses Association (ECSNA) is here to support and guide you throughout the school year. As described in our Vision Statement, we will provide leadership and guidance for school nurses. We plan to have monthly meetings, as well as share our website which is a great resource for the latest information, resources, and events. 

 

The mission of the ECSNA is to uphold the practice of the American Association and the National Association of School Nurses. The association is also guided by the Statutes and Regulations of the New Jersey Board of Nursing and the New Jersey State Department of Education. 

We appreciated the responses to our ECSNA 2022/2023 Planning Survey. There was overwhelming support for virtual meetings. Thus, our meetings will continue to be virtual. There were great suggestions for topics for meetings. We learned half the respondents have their district’s documentation system interfaced with NJIIS so immunization records can be downloaded. And, there were excellent suggestions about what nurses think should be revised in their districts. We hope to offer support for leadership roles so some of these can be implemented.

 

Please try to attend the 31st Annual School Health Conference on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 in Somerset, New Jersey. If you register by 9-19-2022, the cost is $225, which includes membership for one year to the New Jersey American Academy of Pediatrics, and the registration fee for the conference. It is a very informative conference for school nurses. The goal for participants is to learn “evidence-based tools and/or strategies to utilize in the pediatric setting.” There will be updates on COVID, and presentations including: “E-Cigarettes and Vape Devices: How the Vaping Industry has Addicted our Teens,” “Resilience in the Classroom and Beyond,” and “Moving from the New Normal to Healthy Students.” 

 

We have a very hard-working Executive Board this year. The members are Dr. Denise Makri Werzen - Co-President; Laura Sacks - Co-President, Lila Kurzum - Treasurer, Recording and Corresponding Secretary; Lisa Farrar - Membership Coordinator; Nancy Weinstein - Scholarship Coordinator.  Dr. Cynthia Samuel has also been giving us guidance as we plan the year. Carolyn Ruderman continues to maintain our website. Some of the meetings planned include: opening our health offices; the latest updates about diabetes; and self-care. Other meetings, including topics suggested in the survey, are being considered. 

 

The final question in the survey was to provide comments and/or questions. Some answers included: “We must be the voice of NJ’s School 21st Century Nursing and remain on the cutting edge of technology.” “Our collaboration as colleagues is sorely needed and encouraged.” It would be nice to get more members from other schools in Essex County in ECSNA for more opinions and share what is working/not working in their districts.”

 

Please encourage your colleagues to pay their membership dues and attend the meetings. And, ask your friends in other districts to join, as well.  We hope to see you (virtually) at our upcoming meetings. Stay healthy, and have a very meaningful, successful year.

There's a recording of the DSH team's most recent webinar on the webpage:

Prevention and Mitigation of Common Infectious Diseases in Childcare Centers and Schools.  

  • This webinar was presented on 8.16.22 and discussed the recent changes to NJDOH’s school exclusion list and some of the most common childhood illnesses that are typically seen by childcare centers and schools in New Jersey.

  • Please make sure to submit any topical questions that you would like to see addressed in the proper space when you register for the webinar.

Downloaded from the NJSSNA Discussion List,  posted by Sheila Caldwell, BSN, RN, CSN, FNASN ~9/15/22 & 9/19/22

 

NEW: 22-23 School Year - NJDOH/NJDOE Information
 

  • NJDOE Mandatory Identification and Recruitment of Migrant Students (9/14) - click here

  • NJDOH National Suicide Prevention Month (9/14) - click here

  • NJDOH Recommendations for Pooled Screening Testing in K-12 Schools (9/15) - click here

  • NJDOH Recommendations for Implementing COVID-19 Over the Counter (OTC) Testing in K-12 Schools (9/16) - click here

  • NJDOH At-a-Glance School Testing Considerations (9/16) - click here

The Relentless School Nurse: Our Last Layer of Protection – Boosters

Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN

(Please click on the title above to read Robin Cogan's full blog)
Please see the excerpt below:

"The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed a national campaign to promote vaccine confidence. There are specific toolkits available for many communities, but one specifically for schools! The resources are free to download and available in multiple languages. Let’s do this!

This toolkit has resources for school district leaders, teachers, parent leaders, and school supporters that want to help increase confidence in and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines in their school communities, answer questions, and outline school guidance about COVID-19. It includes information from CDC and new, tailored materials from the HHS COVID-19 Public Education Campaign."

HHS School Communities Toolkit

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The Relentless School Nurse: A Return to School Toolkit Centered on The #UrgencyOfEquity
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN

(Please click on the title above to read Robin Cogan's full blog)

Please see the excerpt below:

"The contents of this blog post were retrieved from The Urgency of Equity

The #UrgencyofEquity Toolkit was developed by a coalition of public health experts and grassroots organizations to help educators, parents, and communities advocate for safer, equitable schools, and separate fact from fiction about COVID-19 protections. 

 

 

 

FAQ:

Who is this toolkit for?

The toolkit was designed with educators, administrators, parents, students, and community members in mind. It was developed by public health experts and informed by the latest research and guidance from leading health organizations. It contains practical, up-to-date information; research summaries; and graphs and visuals to aid in making decisions that result in a healthy and safe school environment for everyone.

What is #UrgencyOfEquity?

More than two years into the pandemic, we have the knowledge and means to effectively reduce viral transmission and to keep our communities as safe as possible. Yet we’ve fallen far short. 

We cannot accept a “normal” that includes continued, inequitable COVID-19 illness, disability, and death. Instead, we can and must keep schools and communities safe while establishing an ethical “normal”: one that values the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors.

The Urgency of Equity toolkit provides accurate, up-to-date, substantiated information to help schools and communities make decisions that will keep ALL members of school communities safer. It recognizes that collective, not individual, approaches are necessary to protect our communities."

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From: SHEILA CALDWELL, BSN, RN, CSN, FNASN downloaded from the New Jersey School Nurses Association Digest for Saturday September 3, 2022
 
22-23 School Year - NJDOH/NJDOE Information
Just released (9/2). Click on the image below to read all 15 pages

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Page 1 of 15
 

The Relentless School Nurse: Thank you Good Morning America for Featuring School Nurses!

Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FAAN

(Please click on the title above to read Robin Cogan's full blog)

Robin Cogan contributed to the Good Morning America article: School nurses share 5 tips to keep kids healthy at school by Katie Kindelan & Will Linendoll. Robin also participated in the accompanying video along with Holly, Sandy Braymer, and Gail M. Smith. Please click on the image below to be directed to the excellent video:

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(Please click on the image above for additional information)

Governor Murphy Unveils Statewide School Security Initiative
(Please click on the title above to read the entire document and see the excerpt below)

 

08/30/2022

$6.5 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds Will Further Strengthen Efforts to Protect Students and Teachers
 

"PARAMUS – Governor Phil Murphy visited East Brook Middle School today to announce a $6.5 million investment in American Rescue Plan funds toward a statewide school security initiative to collect and digitize school building blueprints and make them available to first responders. Accurate and uniform maps are critical to enable law enforcement personnel to swiftly respond to emergencies in unfamiliar environments. 

Currently, New Jersey first responders have access to Collaborative Response Graphics (CRG) for approximately 1,500 of the state’s 3,000 public and private schools. The initiative unveiled by Governor Murphy today will help the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) and the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) map the remaining 1,500 schools in an effort to further safeguard New Jersey students and educators. "

Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Requiring NJ Public Schools to Develop Threat Assessment Teams

(Please click on the title above to read the entire document)

08/1/2022

This law will take effect immediately for the 2023-2024 school year.

The Relentless School Nurse: A Parent’s Back to School Question for 2022-2023

August 27, 2022 
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN

(Please click on the title above to read the entire blog and see the excerpt below):

"I was tagged in this Tweet and when I read the content, my heart rate soared and my mind raced. A school nurse was asked by a parent at her elementary school’s open house if she was trained to respond to COVID, Monkeypox, and an active shooter. I sent the nurse a message to see if she would share her response. In the meantime, I am posting this valid question from the parent. Are we trained, are we ready, and what do we need?"

The question that troubles me most is if we are ready for an active shooter. I do not believe that we have systems in place to stop the shooters before they shoot. Many of the school shooters have connections to the schools they target. Everytown for Gun Safety just released a comprehensive document that includes actionable solutions. I encourage everyone to digest this important information and share it with your school districts. 

How To Stop Shootings and Gun Violence in Schools A Plan to Keep Students Safe:

  1. Enact and Enforce Secure Firearm Storage Laws

  2. Pass Extreme Risk Laws

  3. Raise the Age to Purchase Semi-automatic Firearms

  4. Require Background Checks on All Gun Sales

  5. Foster a Safe and Trusting School Climate

  6. Build a Culture of Secure Gun Storage

  7. Create Evidence-Based Crisis Assessment/Prevention Programs in Schools

  8. Implement Expert-Endorsed School Security Upgrades: Entry Control and Locks

  9. Initiate Trauma-Informed Emergency Planning

  10. Avoid Practices That Cause Harm and Traumatize Students

Let’s talk about solutions and share resources. Based on the recommendations from Everytown, 

there are specific actions that schools can take to address the following:

  5. Foster a Safe and Trusting School Climate

​  7. Create Evidence-Based Crisis Assessment/Prevention Programs in Schools

​  9. Initiate Trauma-Informed Emergency Planning

10. Avoid Practices That Cause Harm and Traumatize Students

One of the programs that I am determined to bring to my school district is called:

HELPme – a healing-centered approach to school safety!

 

Learn more about how HELPme works and download the guide through this link:

Connect, Help & Prevent – A Guide for K-12 Mental Health and Wellness Support for Students, Staff, and Families"

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General Outbreak Training.png

Please click on the image above to view the training

From the Whitehouse

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

(please click on the title to read the document)

LEARN ABOUT THE TIME-LIMITED CHANGES AND HOW TO APPLY

If you have worked in public service (federal, state, local, tribal government or a non-profit organization) for 10 years or more (even if not consecutively), you may be eligible to have all your student debt canceled.  Now, for a limited time, it is easier than ever to receive that forgiveness, or get credit toward forgiveness, if you have not yet served 10 years.  

But you must apply before October 31, 2022.

Apply Now

“Dedicated public servants are the lifeblood of democracy. They do the hard work that is essential to our country’s success – protecting us, teaching our children, keeping our streets clean and our lights on, and so much more.”

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN

Addendum: Our Co-President, Dr. Denise Makri Werzen reported that the deadline for applying for public service loan forgiveness has been extended until December 31st, and that a document from the district of employment must be filed annually to maintain eligibility, once your application has been accepted

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Please click here or above for the fact sheet released by the Biden Administration. This document contains information to help school nurses and others in the school community manage and mitigate the risks of COVID-19 spread.

FYI - Addressing Equity for Black Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (CYSHCN) PediaLink "on-demand" Course

From Sheila Caldwell, BSN, RN, CSN, FNASN via the NASN All Member Forum Digest 8/13/22

This is an important "on demand" online course that every school nurse and, actually, healthcare practitioner should take. If you do not have a PEDIALINK account, open one. There are a number of free offers that can be taken without AAP membership, but this one is a must...

 

available: 8/04/2022 - 8/03/2025

Addressing Equity for Black CYSHCN

Shop AAP Link: https://shop.aap.org/addressing-health-equity-for-black-cyshcn-enduring/

 

The National Resource Center for Patient/Family-Centered Medical Home (NRC-PFCMH) is offering a FREE PediaLink course that examines factors impacting equitable health care for Black children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN). This 2-hour course covers the following topics:

This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

  • Historical Trauma of Racism and Ableism in Pediatric Medicine

  • Increasing Equitable Care for Black CYSHCN Through Medical Home

  • Intentionally Engage Black Fathers in their Children's Care

  • Systems of Care for Black CYSHCN

National Pediatric Disaster Coalition (NPDC) - A Must View" Children and Disaster Symposium recordings and slide sets now available!

Children and Disasters Research 

2022 The Action Collaborative on Disaster Research: Symposium on Pediatric Disaster Science (NASEM) virtual workshop: videos and reports https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/08-01-2022/the-action-collaborative-on-disaster-research-symposium-on-pediatric-disaster-science

All 11 sessions from the symposium are also posted on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/3m5947t6 

 

These session are must view for all of you who are trying to promote pediatric disaster capability in your community. Strongly encourage you to take the time to view.

From: SHEILA CALDWELL, BSN, RN, CSN, FNASN downloaded from the NASN All Member Forum Digest, ~Friday, August 12th:

CDC's NEW COVID-19 School Guidance and more!
There had been the buzz for a couple weeks now that the CDC was going to release new COVID-19 school guidance. 
Well, they just released it along with a number of other documents concerning COVID-19.
All of the below were just released today, August 11, 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robin Cogan has brilliantly analyzed and summarized the new guidelines in her blog, (to read the blog in its entirety, please click on the title) which is excerpted below. Her important advice is listed (also in red) at the end of her blog, and is emphasized in large bold type:

"The Relentless School Nurse: The CDC Chooses the Path of Least Resistance

Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FAAN

Aug 13

 

The CDC has chosen the path of least resistance as schools are about to reopen, or are in their first few weeks of the new school year.

 

  • They removed the recommendation to cohort, that will increase class sizes, removing a layer of mitigation.

  • The CDC changed recommendations to conduct screening testing to focus on high-risk activities during high COVID-19 Community Level or in response to an outbreak. It has been mostly left up to individual districts to determine what constitutes an outbreak, with little guidance from local health departments.

  • They removed the recommendation to quarantine, except in high-risk congregate settings. I would suggest that schools are congregate settings, perhaps we can quibble about high-risk, but we certainly have high risk staff, students, and community members who deserve to be protected. 

  • The CDC removed information about Test to Stay, so we will not know who is safe to be in school each day. No more pooled testing either. 

  • It seems that contact tracing is off the table unless there is a school-based outbreak with no indication of community spread. 

Here is the exact quote: 

Quarantine is a key component to Test to Stay programs. Since quarantine is no longer recommended for people who are exposed to COVID-19 except in certain high-risk congregate settings, Test to Stay (TTS) is no longer needed. 

But there is one statement from the CDC that reveals how deeply divided this country is where masking has been banned in some states. 

 

Schools and ECE programs should consider flexible, non-punitive policies and practices to support individuals who choose to wear masks regardless of the COVID-19 Community Level." I can't move beyond this statement from the CDC in their new guidelines released just in time to create more confusion as we return to school. -  CDC

They actually had to say this out loud! The language of "should consider" will be easy for those states/districts to disregard. But this one sentence illustrates what happens when public health is politicized. Punitive actions can be taken for those who choose to mask during a pandemic.

 

It seems that most of our layered mitigation strategies are now being lifted. With the only line of defense a “well-fitted mask.” If an outbreak is determined or if a school decides to implement in-door masking during  high transmission, do school administrators know this means a KF94/KN95/N95, and are we providing them?  Just because you sprinkle a document with the word equity does not mean it exists...

 

My final observation is the suggestion that local health departments are readily available to help schools prioritize protective strategies. As the COVID school years have piled up, direct guidance from local health departments has waned. Some school nurses have been barred from contact their health departments. Decisions are at the discretion of each school district in most cases.

 

Schools and ECE programs, with help from local health departments, should consider local context when selecting strategies to prioritize for implementation. - CDC

I did find one helpful document though, buried in the new guidelines. There is a standardized definition of clusters and outbreaks! 

 

Standardized COVID-19 K-12 School Surveillance Guidance for Classification of Clusters and Outbreaks

 

Sending best wishes to my amazing colleagues, those legions of Relentless School Nurses who are about to enter (or are already there) our 4th school year impacted by COVID!

Stay in touch, stay connected, circle your wagons, we will make it through. Please remember to set healthy boundaries and do your best not to fall into the traps of previous schools years. Do not tolerate intolerable work conditions." 

CDC Activates Emergency Operations Center for Monkeypox Response
(Please click on the title to read the media statement)
Excerpt below:

Tuesday, June 28th
"Today, CDC continues to lean forward with an aggressive public health response to the monkeypox outbreak by activating its Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This action stands up the CDC’s command center for monitoring and coordinating the emergency response to monkeypox and mobilizing additional CDC personnel and resources."  

Many thanks to Rick Hager 

Community Outreach Coordinator

Office of Communications, Legislative and Public Affairs

New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF)
for sharing this important graphic for summer safety.

Please click on the image below if you would like to download the graphic.

summer safety graphic.png

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on:

New COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility for Children Ages 5 and Younger

JUNE 18, 2022

Contact:   Press Office, (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona issued the following statement regarding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for children ages 5 and younger:

“Today, parents and families of about 20 million children in America under age five received news that their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. This is a historic milestone in our nation’s recovery from the pandemic, and it will provide so many parents and families who have been waiting for this moment with more peace of mind about keeping their children safe and healthy. The Biden-Harris administration will take a whole-of-government approach to ensuring that every parent and caregiver who wants to secure a vaccine for their child is able to do so through pediatricians, primary care doctors, and other trusted healthcare providers, including community health centers and pharmacies. These vaccines are safe and will help save lives.”