Just Do It

02-28-2021Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

“Just Do It”, one of the world’s most recognizable slogans, meant to encourage everyone to abandon excuses and engage. With two of the three statewide benchmarks for COVID-19 spread now in the “moderate” category for Maricopa County and numbers trending down, there is reason for hope. This week, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, following the lead of the CDC, released updated guidance for K-12 schools in the setting of the pandemic (K-12-Schools-and-Childcare-Facilities).

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Mask Up, Mask Up

02-21-2021Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

Over the past several weeks, the 7th & 8th graders have been busy conducting trials, gathering data and observing the outcomes of experiments to prepare for the upcoming Science and Engineering Fair. Having a basic understanding of the “Scientific Method”--how hypotheses are formed and tested--is important for all, not just those who seek a future occupation in the scientific disciplines. This is no more apparent than during the current Pandemic. From the onset, we have been inundated with reports and updates, research, studies, trials and experiments, often confusing, at times contradictory. Knowing how to return to, read and interpret, the source of a report is an invaluable skill.

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The Thing Speaks For Itself

02-14-2021Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

Res ipsa loquitur - a Latin phrase, most familiar to those practicing law or medicine, translates to “the thing speaks for itself”. It is commonly understood to apply to cases and circumstances where facts and evidence are so clear they need no further explanation. This past Friday, the Centers for Disease Control published an article titled Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in K-12 Schools. Following data analysis from numerous schools, with various models of instruction, nationally and internationally, it was found that “When a combination of effective mitigation strategies is implemented and strictly adhered to in the K-12 in-person learning environment, the risk of transmission in the school setting appears to be lower than or equivalent to the transmission risk in other community settings.”(CDC February 12, 2021)

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Attendance Counts

02-07-2021Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

In January 2019, an article titled The Link Between School Attendance and Good Health was published in Pediatrics (Pediatrics 2019; 143). In this article, the authors Drs. Allison and Attisha provide evidence that chronic absenteeism, even in early grades, is related to “grade retention, poor academic achievement, particularly for social skills and reading” and that these markers of poor school performance are associated with poor health outcomes as adults. At OLMC, we have long recognized the importance of student attendance.

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Blessed To Be Here

01-31-2021Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

On Monday we will begin our celebration of Catholic Schools Week and the theme couldn’t be more fitting: “Blessed to be Here”. Over the past six months, this simple phrase has been stated countless times and the “knowing” of it can be observed in the actions of our administration, faculty, staff, and students, daily. Knowing the attributes of our school community and the challenges we faced, allowed us to devise a plan for reopening and with confidence state that we could safely educate our children in-person.

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Responding to Exposures

01-24-2021Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

Friday marked the 100th day of school – in “dog days” that would be 700 days! For many, this was the week that brought the current pandemic too close for comfort. For the first time, since reopening in August, we encountered situations where persons who tested positive for COVID may have been on campus during what could be an infectious period. Thus, in accordance with our policy of community notification, we began and ended the week sending out notifications of two separate, unrelated, COVID positive cases. This is unsettling for the entire community and particularly troubling for those who were identified as “close contacts”.

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History in the Making

01-17-2021Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

Friday afternoon, following the release of our students into the beautiful Arizona sunshine, many teachers headed to a regional “POD” (point of distribution) to receive their first dose of the COVID vaccine! Among the greatest medical advances of the past 100 years, vaccines to prevent viral illnesses have had a profound impact on the health of the world’s population. Very early in this pandemic, it was recognized by those in the scientific and medical communities that any return to “normal” would likely involve some type of widespread immunization. To this end, in March 2020, the Federal government embarked on a mission (Operation Warp Speed) to expedite the development of a COVID vaccine.

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Anxiety and Trepidation

01-10-2021Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

Waking up Monday morning, after my “long winter’s nap”, I found myself experiencing feelings of anxiety and trepidation. It is difficult to comprehend how at the very same time we are witnessing the deployment of our best defense against COVID (the vaccine) the number of cases continues to climb, reaching levels not seen before. We must not forget that each one of these “cases” is a person. Some of those people are connected to our school community. This means that some members of our community, who were identified as close contacts of a COVID positive person, could not return to in-person school on Monday. The need to quarantine, no doubt, fills one with anxiety and trepidation. As I spoke to parents, staff and students on Monday, many relayed feelings of anxiety and trepidation.

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Resolutions and Responsibility

01-03-2021Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

Happy New Year! The new year always brings an opportunity to start over, change behaviors and do things better than we did the year before--out with old and in with the new!

This year, as much as we desire to put 2020 behind us, we must not discard the infection control measures which were instituted at the beginning of our school year. Since Thanksgiving, we have seen increased community spread of the coronavirus and currently Maricopa County is reporting the highest number of cases since the onset of the Pandemic. Additionally, a mutation, or a change in the virus, first noted in the United Kingdom, has been found in people sick with COVID in Colorado, California and Florida. (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-emerging-variant.html)

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