USD 501 nurses prepare for students’ return

Health Check

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – School nurses are on the front line as students return to school during the coronavirus pandemic.

Topeka Public Schools’ preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten classes are heading back to school Wednesday, and the 40 school nurses are following strict guidelines to make sure they stay safe.

“We’re still caring for our students like normal, we just have to be extra vigilant about those extra symptoms and be real on top of that,” said Kate Denman, Topeka Public Schools’ nurse supervisor.

The school district has been planning since March for the moment students walk through the doors, and when that happens students and teachers will have their temperatures taken daily.

Masks, frequent sanitizing and social distancing will also be required.

The nurses’ biggest concern is spotting students who possibly have the coronavirus. In an effort to combat this, every teacher will be given a coronavirus symptom list so they can notify a nurse immediately if a student has one of them.

“Nursing has a unique role to play this year because there is a lot of concern, and we’re here to help calm the fears to reassure staff and students that we’re going to do our very best to maintain safety for everyone and make school a safe and fun place to be,” said Lori Vawter, coordinator of nursing services for the schools.

The district will also be testing contract tracing software to quickly identify any potential exposures at schools.

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