Perry Township Schools
We are fortunate that parents of almost 15,000 children have chosen Perry Township as a place they want to send their children to school. Our primary responsibility is to meet the academic needs of our students. However, our responsibilities reach far beyond the textbook and computer. We all know that the health of children has a significant effect on their academic performance.
We have instituted a comprehensive wellness program complete with nursing services in all our schools. A sample of responsibilities of this department includes tracking students’ immunizations, monitoring self-administered medications, assisting with student accidents and diabetic student care. Student visits to the clinic are monitored, which may help discover undiagnosed conditions of illness and/or medical needs. Clinic assistants are trained by licensed nurses who serve as resource nurses for the elementary schools.
The district’s nursing supervisor is Esther L. Moeller, RN, BSN. Her department is responsible for scheduling vision/hearing/dental screenings and conducting health education programs. This group also coordinates annual health-care meetings and trainings for students who have complex medical conditions. The parents, the resource nurse, principal, teacher and clinic assistant are included in these meetings to ensure that routine and emergency medical plans are in place at school.
In addition, all our teachers must be CPR- and automated external defibrillator-certified. The two-hour certification classes are facilitated by nursing services.
The department is also involved with outreach programs in the Perry Township community. For instance, the department ensures the participation of health-care screenings, information and education at events such as Coach Hathaway’s Running South/Day of Wellness. The health fair visitors may visit with representatives from the Gentle Dentist, a chiropractor, the Lions Club (eye exam), Franciscan Health, Walmart (eye exam), the American Red Cross, Med Express, the YMCA, Produce Promoters and more.
Nursing services also provide essential public health information to our parents, staff and community in conjunction with the Marion County Public Health Department. An example of this partnership is the current outbreak of shigellosis. Perry Township Schools has only had four confirmed cases. However, parents and staff were notified about the infection and the preventative measures being taken by the district.
Surfaces such as toilet flush handles, toilet seats, faucet handles, counters and door knobs are being disinfected frequently. We are proactively disinfecting our facilities.
The executive director of the department, Dr. Virginia Caine, and her staff are helpful and supportive as we strive to maintain a healthy school environment. If there are questions, we always encourage parents to contact their child’s health-care provider or the Health Department at 221-2117.
As always, the well-being of children is a top priority in Perry Township Schools. I am grateful for the work of our nursing services to protect and promote student health and encourage wellness in our entire school community.