At the beginning of the school year I was more than happy to give credit to MCPS for putting up a health warning on their web site about the virus that is spreading across the country and appears to be hitting kids especially hard. Three weeks into the school year I’m not feeling so great about the depth and effectiveness of the MCPS’ response to what is becoming one of major issues facing our schools and schools around the country in their mission to educate and safeguard our kids during the school day.
For a school system which has the resources to be handing out free IPads like candy and which has a compulsive obsession with issuing feel good public affairs announcements, one would think someone in authority either on the school board or in the central office would realize that a web warning with a list of symptoms and guidelines was only one step that needed to taken. Another even more obvious step would have been to devote some resources to increasing the health care staffing and support to meet the obviously predictable rush to the school clinics. This was not hard to see coming. I can tell you from first hand observation right now the Osbourn and Mayfield nurse offices need help and additional space, I suspect the other schools in the MCPS are in similar need.
What to do? I know what the School Board and Central Office first response will be: “WE WANT MORE MONEY!” Well, here’s an alternative for the people who wanted to run our schools: You go down to the school nurses’ office and YOU take time out of your work days and your family times and you volunteer and help respond to the health threat which YOU saw coming but which you thought could simply be treated with a public health warning. You dumped this on the nurses and the schools, you deal with it in the real world just like the staff, students and parents are being forced to deal with it.