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Sub bolsters nurses’ ranks in Champion

School district provides help during COVID-19 checks

CHAMPION — A substitute nurse is helping to the Champion school district’s two nurses who have become extra busy in recent weeks with increased COVID-19 cases and contact tracing.

School Superintendent John Grabowski said at the recent board of education meeting the substitute nurse assists where needed as the two nurses often have been staying past 6 p.m. on school days.

Grabowski said positive COVID-19 cases among students have occurred in recent weeks at the middle and elementary schools, and he posts those on the district’s website. In each case, contact tracing has been done, and close contacts have been notified by nurses.

The district has a mandatory mask-wearing policy for all students and staff.

Grabowski said the recent increase in cases reflects the recent rise in Trumbull County cases. He said in the past month nearly 30 cases have been reported in the district.

Federal pandemic funds are being used to cover the cost of the substitute nurse.

“This has been a very challenging time for the nurses and principals,” Grabowski said. “Our priority is to keep the students in school, which involves a lot of work.

“Academics are extremely important. When students are not in school, they struggle. They need to be here when they are not sick.”

He said while the two nurses spend time calling families as part of contact tracing, which is protocol, the substitute nurse helps handle the students who have health issues.

Grabowski said the Trumbull County Combined Health District received a $100,0000 state grant to be used for expenses related to contact tracing. He said the money will be divided among school districts.

He said the district has COVID-19 test kits that can be used by families.

Grabowski said all middle and high school students who went via bus to Traverse City, Mich., for a four-day science field trip were tested prior to the trip and a nurse was on the bus.

Fifth-grade science teacher David Murduck said 50 high school and middle school students went on the trip in October.

“All the students were tested and all tested negative. A nurse came with us on the trip. This ensured that we followed all the health protocols and that everyone stayed healthy the entire time,” Murduck said.

Murduck said the trip is based on state science standards.

“Every part of the trip was about learning in one way or another,” he said.

Students were able to get water samples and test for water quality. Students worked in groups learning about plankton in the Great Lakes.

Students visited the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, a fish hatchery, where they saw salmon that swim in the Great Lakes. The salmon eggs are collected so students can learn the life cycle.

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