PSS to hire retired school nurses

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THE Public School System plans to hire retired nurses who will monitor the students and teachers’ health while on campus.

Funding will come from the $23.1 million Education Stabilization Fund that PSS received from the CARES Act.

Hiring 22 retired nurses for all the campuses for 10 months will cost PSS $550,000, PSS federal programs manager Tim Thornburgh said.

He said PSS will hire nurses on a part-time basis, he added. “We need to be able to assure parents, students and teachers that our schools are safe from the coronavirus, and that we will perform daily temperature checks on all students and staff.”

Students who may be ill will be brought to a safe room where they can rest while waiting for their parents or guardians to take them home, he added.

PSS will buy a thermal imaging camera for each school, Thornburgh said.

“It is the same tool that you see at the airport,” he said.

As part of the preparation for the reopening of schools, PSS is considering the implementation of various instructional methods including remote learning and blended learning, which is a combination of face-to-face and online instruction.

Thornburgh said 4,000 students who belong to low-income families will need assistance for connectivity.

From the same Education Stabilization Fund, PSS will allocate $1.6 million to provide connectivity devices to students or families that cannot afford them.

In his previous report to the Board of Education, Thornburgh said Docomo Pacific and IT&E will offer a subsidized rate for low-income families. “PSS proposes to pay up to $40 while the family pays $20 per month for a $60 low-income discounted rate.”

Moreover, PSS will purchase for students 5,000 iPads or Chromebooks, which will cost $1.995 million.

PSS also allocated $1.236 million for 355 public school teachers and 75 private school teachers to undergo a four-week training.

Thornburgh said through the stabilization fund, PSS has acquired two 66-seat school buses, which cost $350,000.

In addition, the stabilization fund will pay for the sanitization of all schools, including lawn mowing and the removal of mold, bacteria, termites and rodents. All floors will be polished, and all ceilings, walls, windows, desks, chairs, bathrooms, closets and offices will be cleaned.

Likewise, all electrical outlets and the electric supply of each school will be checked.

Thornburgh said PSS has spent $13 million of the stabilization fund to pay teachers, vendors, contractors, and the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.

“This brings us to about $20 million [in total expenses] with $3 million that we can carry forward [to the next school year],” Thornburgh said.

 

 

 

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