Local school district plans how to best utilize PPE

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BURLINGTON, N.C. — Parents and teachers across the state are anxiously waiting to find out if their students will be back in the classroom this fall. As school districts receive their first shipments of PPE, district leaders are hard at work planning the best ways to utilize it.

Two hundred and fifty thermometers, 5,000 masks and 1,000 face shields and gowns — enough PPE to last 27 school nurses at Alamance-Burlington School System through the fall.

“We were fortunate that we received everything in one shipment,” said Dr. LaJuana Norfleet, director of student support services.

If a student shows signs of having COVID-19 during a daily screening then they will be taken to an isolation room staffed by a nurse who will gather information and contact family members.

“All of our school nurses will be equipped from day one,” Norfleet said.

It is a protocol, Norfleet says, that has been in the books for months.

“We’ve been working on this since about late April, early May. We’re concerned about all of our students. We have several families that have students in all three grade levels,” Norfleet said.

She believes each grade level will come with unique challenges this year — like convincing elementary students to wear masks.

“To look at face coverings of their favorite characters so we address it as it’s coming to be a part of your everyday wardrobe,” Norfleet said.

With the arrival of the PPE, there’s still a lot of planning to do but one less thing to worry about.

“We can’t wait for our students to be back but we also want to make sure that they’re coming back to a safe environment,” Norfleet said.

The Alamance-Burlington school district will hold a professional development workshop in August to show teachers and staff how to effectively use PPE and how to incorporate lessons on face coverings in class.

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