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Massachusetts School Health Updates
Issue 3: September 30th, 2021
Please do not reply directly to this email. For any questions you may have, please create a new email thread with a new subject line to the contact you wish to ask. Contacts are listed at the bottom of the newsletter. 
A MDPH Message from Karen Robitaille:  

I’m “cheating” again with my message and sharing with you the message from last week’s NASN newsletter from the new NASN President, Linda Mendonça:

President's Message

One in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year, but less than two-thirds get treatment.

Our mental health is a huge part of overall health but often takes a backseat to other health issues or even everyday life. As we move into another winter with COVID-19 in our schools, we need to be aware of the mental strain on ourselves, our colleagues, and our students. 
The National Alliance on Mental Health released its theme for this year's Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 3-9: “Together for Mental Health.” Now more than ever, we need to come together for our mental health. If you need help, please don't hesitate to reach out to a trusted confidant or mental health professional.

Linda Mendonça, DNP, RN, PHNA-BC, NCSN, FNASN
NASN President

We are all collectively feeling the strain of this pandemic.  How we cope with our stress and feelings depends on a variety of factors: experience, past traumas, other life stressors, physical illness, support system, etc, etc.  AND, our ability to cope can also feel different from day to day.  I implore you to pay good attention to yourselves, and if you feel as though you are not able to cope, or are using coping mechanisms that don’t feel right, please reach out and ask for help.

I am so proud to tell you that my father was on the Board of Directors of NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness Massachusetts, for many years.  My father is a man that deeply believes in being of service, and this particular commitment was one of his favorites over a long “career” of service commitments.  The NAMI MA COMPASS helpline is a great place to start if you are having trouble accessing mental health services for yourself, a loved one or a member of your school community.
October 3-9 may be Mental Illness Awareness week, but as school nurses we know that mental health IS health, and mental health matters EVERY DAY. 

Please be as good to yourselves as you are to others.

In gratitude for all you do,

Karen Robitaille, MBA, MSN, RN, NCSN
<she, her, hers>
Director of School Health Services
Division of Child/Adolescent Health and Reproductive Health
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
250 Washington St. 5th floor, Boston, MA 02108
Cell: 781-675-0463
Personal Webex room:
Brockton School Nurses make National News in Multilingual Outreach to combat Covid.
"Learn how Brockton Public Schools in Massachusetts has made multilingual health services available for its families and how their support network mobilized during COVID-19."

Check out the article here.
2021/2022 COVID-19 Protocols and
Testing Information on DESE Website
COVID Testing Information: Frequently Asked Questions

Guidance and on the Desktop Messages:
Positive COVID-19 Cases in Schools
Parents and guardians questions can be directed to 
District and school staff's questions can be directed to: 

Extension of DESE Mask Requirement, found here. 
DESE Policy on Vaccination Rate Threshold, found here.
80 Percent Vaccination Rate Threshold School Attestation Form, found here. 
“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.” — Michelle Obama
BinaxNow Training Dates Available! Visit here.
New Mental Health Training Series!
Please sign up for these sessions AFTER receiving the BinaxNOW™ test kits. Each session is limited to 20 participants (no more than 2 per district).
  • 10/06/2021 1:00 - 3:00pm
  • 10/14/2021 10:00 - 12:00pm
  • 10/27/2021 1:00 - 3:00pm
BinaxNOW training is not required to begin testing. Those who attended BinaxNOW training last year do not need to attend again. 
SHIELD will be offering a series of mental health trainings delivered via Zoom over the course of several months (Sept-Feb). Sessions will last about 2 hours each and will also be recorded for self-paced learning. Learners may select one or more sessions to attend. PDPs and discounts will be offered for attending the full series. For more information, see this flyer. Upcoming dates are below:
  • October 7, 2021 - Registration is now open!
  • October 12, 2021
  • October 26, 2021
Register here.
Mandated Reporting for CSHS Districts
Please note the following:
  1. The Performance Measures for public school districts in the Affiliated and Model programs have been modified and simplified.
  2. SBIRT data reporting has been simplified.  Starting this year, the SBIRT report only requires district-level data for each grade screened, rather than individual-level data. An Excel spreadsheet with individual-level data will no longer be used to submit the data. Instead, the data will now be collected using the same online data collection tool that we use for collecting other district-level data. As a result, the SBIRT data report has been incorporated into the Status Report.
  3. School districts do not need to submit their SBIRT data until 60 days after completing the last SBIRT screening for the entire district. If submitting the SBIRT data prior to submitting CSHS end-of-year data, school districts can skip to the SBIRT section of the data report by clicking the option to submit “only SBIRT data”, enter the data, and then save the report so it can be edited later. When submitting CSHS Status Report data at the end of the school year, change the option from “only SBIRT data” to “CSHS program data.”
  4. All the district-wide data (SBIRT, BMI, and CSHS end-of-year data) should be submitted using the same data report, although it does not have to be submitted at the same time. For example, if the SBIRT screenings are completed in December, the SBIRT data can be submitted in January and the district can wait until July 15 to submit the other annual report data. That’s not a problem, as long as the person who submits the SBIRT data saves the link to their online data record by clicking the “Save and Exit” button and saves the report-specific link the pops up on screen. Without that link, you may not be able to edit the data submission, and you would have to submit a completely new record with all of the district’s data. Additional instructions are provided on the first page of the online data tool. 
  5. If we receive multiple data submissions from the same district, we assume that the most recent submission has corrected, updated data, and any prior submissions are discarded.
There are no changes to the Monthly report or other data collection tools.
Mandated Reporting for CSHS Districts: Monthly Report Info
The link to the Monthly report survey is here and the end-of-year Status Report 21/22 survey is here. All reporting forms, worksheets and instructions were sent out to districts by Bob Leibowitz and worksheets for the monthly report can also be found here, and here is the CSHS end-of-year Status Report 21/22. Questions related to CSHS mandated grant reporting should go to: DPH_ESHS_data@MassMail.State.MA.US
Mandated Reporting for Non-CSHS Districts
Concussion Report Form: Not yet available. 
BMI report form: BMI report.  CSHS-funded districts and nonpublic schools should NOT submit a separate BMI report, as these data are included in the Status Report. Non-funded districts will use the same link that is used to access the Status Report form.
SBIRT report. CSHS-funded districts and nonpublic schools should NOT submit a separate SBIRT report, as these data are included in the Status Report. Non-funded districts will use the same link that is used to access the Status Report form.
Mandated Reporting for ALL Schools/Districts
Asthma and Diabetes Survey questions may be directed via email to the project mailbox at
Epinephrine administration report 
GREAT NEWS! CSHS Affiliate grantees will see another boost in their funding this fiscal year; districts originally funded at $3000 (who got $10,500 in FY21) will receive $14,000 for FY22. Districts originally funded at $5000 (who got $20,000 last year) will get $29,600 in FY22. Model amounts will remain the same as last year.  Non-public grantee amounts may have changed; email Juliet or Karen if you have any questions regarding your funding amount.
Allowable use of CSHS grant funds for COVID-19 response during FY22:
  • Consumable supplies needed to safely provide care during COVID (may include gloves, masks, eye protection, scrub/gowns), for school health staff ONLY. Not to exceed 10% of the total budget.
  • Reallocation of case management staff hours to address COVID case management during school hours in the form of dedicated nursing staff performing contact tracing and/or case management for COVID cases in the school community (i.e. referral to testing, referral to community resources for isolation & quarantine) under an agreement with the LBOH.
  • Health office equipment that addresses COVID-19 emergency response and that will be used in the health office, medical waiting room or AGP room (may include physical barriers and filtration units for those spaces ONLY). Not to exceed 15% of the total budget.
  • Model and Affiliate grantees may also use grant funding to support staff that are conducting COVID-19 case management and/or contact tracing. This includes hiring of new staff, as well as paying stipends at hourly nursing rates for work doing COVID-19 contact tracing/case management outside of normal working hours. The intent of this expansion is to allow current nursing staff more time and flexibility to meet other CSHS grant requirements.

Medication Registration: medication.delegation@MassMail.State.MA
US Return of signed CSHS purchase vouchers:
Return of CSHS amendment forms:
Return of CSHS reconciliation forms:

Using the correct email address is essential to your documents being received and processed in a timely manner. Thank you!

Upcoming Events

First Session of the Mental Health Series
Registration is now open for the second session of the Mental Health Series on October 7, 2021. View this flyer for more information and think link to register!

Structures & Self: Advancing Equity and Justice in Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare
A learner-led, justice-informed curriculum designed to teach clinical learners to consider how systems of power and legacies of structural oppression impact their care for patients. Learners will consider how to leverage their privilege to create change on a clinical, community, and systemic level. 

Nursing Professional Development (NPD) Cafe Series - 14 September 2021 through 21 October 2021
You have dedicated your career to the development of others, and now it's your turn. Welcome to the NPD Café, a six-week live webinar series presented by ANPD and Sigma. Each webinar offers a unique opportunity to take time to focus on your own professional development. For one hour a week, create the space you need to fill your professional cup. Be prepared to settle in for self-reflection and professional growth, which will ultimately make you a better resource for your teams. Learn more and register here.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Training: Storage, Handling, Administration and Safety
The MDPH Immunization Division is pleased to present the following FREE accredited COVID-19 Vaccine content. Please note: a certificate of completion will be awarded immediately upon completion of all training modules. Here's the link access the COVID-19 vaccine training here.

Sponsored by: Boston Children's Hospital,Pediatric Medical Services & The Diabetes Program of the Division of Endocrinology

The 2021 Pediatric Diabetes Update Conference will be offered virtually via zoom and will be broken out into 3 dates, each one offering two hour sessions. The goal of this conference is to educate staff nurses, as well as homecare, physicians’ office and school nurses in the delivery of care to the child living with diabetes in the community. The focus will be to educate these nurses about diabetes management in the pediatric patient, including the assessment of the patient, symptom management and advancements in diabetes technologies.

Nursing contact hours are pending and will be awarded at the end of the program, upon completion of the evaluation. Registration fee for this program is $90 for school nurses and healthcare professionals and $60 for BCH Staff/students. A discounted rate for retired school nurses is also available for $45.  Please sign up below with your full name, email address and school district/employer information and please note that when you are registering you are signing up for all 3 dates, live zoom sessions.

  • Virtual Session 1: November 3, 4pm – 6:30pm (EST)
    • Type I Diabetes Mellitus Core Concepts & Red Flag Situations
    • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Children & Adolescents 
  • Virtual Session 2: November 10,4pm – 6:30pm(EST)
    • A Healthy Balance: Nutrition Considerations for Diabetes and Tips for Managing Sports/Exercise
    • Psychosocial Aspects of Diabetes Care 
    • Patient/Parent Panel 
  • Virtual Session 3: November 17, 4pm – 6:30pm (EST)
    • Technology Breakouts: Insulin Pumps, Continuous Glucose Monitoring, Hybrid Closed Loop/Integrated Systems
Zoom access will be sent out prior to each session. If you question your registration, please reach out to before registering again so as not to take up a second spot. View even flyer with expanded information here. Register for event here.
Incredible accomplishments from last year shared at the final CSHS meeting! 
COVID-19 Update:
For Individual case questions, please refer your questions to your local board of health. If you are unable to reach them, please call the Mass Epidemiology Line here: (617) 983-6800
You may be seeing student and staff COVID-19 vaccination records, including those from other countries. AN IMPORTANT NOTE IN REGARD TO FOREIGN VACCINATION RECORDS: Unlike other vaccinations where we accept whatever the foreign formulation is, the U.S. is currently only accepting WHO-approved COVID vaccination formulations. Here is the link to the list of COVID-19 vaccines within the WHO EUL/PQ evaluation process; any vaccine marked “finalized” is accepted in the U.S. Please note, nurses should check this information frequently, as it is subject to change. 
Your students might appreciate this course designed by researchers at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development in partnership with Medway Public Schools: Stress and COVID-19:  A Course for Teens

For School Health ProfessionalsThe Emotional PPE Project connects healthcare workers in need with licensed mental health professionals who can help. No cost. No insurance. Just a trained professional to talk to.

More Self-Care Resources can be found on SHIELD's Website

Massachusetts tool to locate vaccination sites and open appointments by zip code.

Vaccine Communication Resources (18 and younger)
New COVID-19 vaccination for youth ages 12+
  • For details, including information on parental consent, and FAQs, visit here.
  • Youth aged 12 and above may be preregistered here.
  • COVID-19 vaccine graphics for teens and young adults.
Public Service Announcements
  • MA Medical Society newly-elected Massachusetts Medical Society president, Dr. Carole Allen, recorded video urging parents to get their children vaccinated.
  • @MassDPH
Clinical Considerations from the CDC found here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet for Preteens and Teens can be found here.

School Nursing Staff may also find this contact tracing data collection spreadsheet.
For key information about managing COVID-19 in Massachusetts, see these websites.

SHIELD COVID-19/BinaxNow Resources.

MDPH Website.
SHAH Family Foundation Pooled Testing Website.
For additional resources surrounding COVID-19, visit these websites.

NASN COVID-19 Resources.
CDC Website. 
WHO COVID-19 Resources.
CDC guidance on correct and consistent mask use.
Vision Screening during COVID. The National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness has updated the Considerations for Conducting Children's Vision Screening Safely in Schools, Head Start, and Early Care and Education Programs During the Covid-19 Pandemic. The resources includes a downloadable guide and FAQ. Please share these documents with your colleagues. 
School Health Resources:
For a comprehensive list of resources
relevant to school nursing visit:
SHIELD Resources. 

MDPH School Health Services Information.
MDPH Infectious Disease Reporting here.
Massachusetts School Nurse Organization.
Grant Information.

General DESE Information, click here.
DESE Licensure Information, click here.
Sign up for CDC Health Alert Network Email Updates here.
Workshops & Meetings: 
SHIELD - Mandated Trainings.
BinaxNow Online Trainings.
Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Online Trainings.
Additional Nursing and Public Health Online Trainings.
BU School of Medicine: Continuing Medical Education Online Trainings.
Medication Administration Online Trainings:
Introductory Course (Online): Medication Administration in a School Setting: School Nursing Practice in Massachusetts

(This training is for nurses seeking DESE School Nurse Licensure and Nurse Managers listed on a school district’s MDPH Medication Delegation Registration Application)

Medication Manager Course (Blended Online/Zoom): Medication Administration in Schools: What School Nurse Managers Need to Know (Blended 2020)

(For School Nurse Managers listed as signatories on the district’s MDPH Medication Administration Registration Application. The introductory course must be completed prior.)

View the Medication Admin E-Book

Med Del Epi Registration Guidance (PDF) l (DOCX)   
Medication error (resulting harm) report.

A reminder to not fax or mail anything to the School Health Unit (even though the medication error report states to fax and mail form; we will revise this).  Please email to:  
School Nurses in the News:
SHIELD Nurses in the News Feed.

Brockton School Nurses make National News in Multilingual Outreach to combat Covid. Check out the article here.
As a part of the Department’s efforts to educate the public about the dangers of vaping for youth, DPH recently launched a new version of Get Outraged!, a public information campaign to educate parents of middle- and high school-aged youth about the dangers of vaping. The campaign aims to spread the word that vaping products contain nicotine, can damage a teen’s developing brain, and are addictive. The campaign also shares tips on talking with kids about vaping and resources to help them quit.
Get Outraged! complements Facts. No Filters., a vaping campaign for youth launched by the Department in collaboration with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation at the end of June.
Get Outraged! launched on September 19 and will run for 14 weeks. Campaign videos will be featured in Facebook ads.  Google ads and digital ads on websites are also part of the campaign and most campaign assets are available in both English and Spanish.
Learn more about the dangers of vaping and watch the videos at

FCC updated its requirements for EBB to include households with a student approved to receive free and reduced-priced school lunch or school breakfast in this current 2021-2022 school year.  Previously, the FCC limited eligibility to the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years.  Please find the announcement here.

MLRI continues to work to spread the word about EBB and appreciates your assistance.  Attached, please find our latest flyer that we plan to translate in other languages soon.  Please let me know, if we can help in spreading the word in your area or within your networks.  The FCC has also released a new back-to-school toolkit to help publicize the temporary benefit.  

Please provide feedback on EBB! Are you seeing issues with enrolling for EBB?  Have you experienced any other issues with the EBB application or enrollment? Please fill out this feedback form so we can relay feedback to USAC/FCC and troubleshoot issues as they arise. 
Mark your calendars!
The Board of Registration in Nursing Monthly Meeting is on 09/08/2021. Meetings and Agendas here. 
Every School Nurse should have ready access to the MDPH School Health Manual. Download yours here.

Training and how to access it.
Did you know that MDPH has their own youtube channel? Check it out here!
Additional Resources:
  • Southbridge Community Connections resources can be found here.
  • Earlier this summer, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) updated its guidance on students who require home or hospital-based educational services. This FAQ contains the updated information. In addition, DESE created a form for parents to present to their child's pediatrician if the student receives special education and is likely to need home or hospital-based services for at least 60 days during the school year. We hope that this information is useful to pediatricians and if they have any questions about this topic, they can contact Russell Johnston, DESE Senior Associate Commissioner, at
  • The RESPECTfully social media campaign specifically focuses on promoting healthy platonic and romantic relationships among 12-18 year old youth in Massachusetts through mostly short and some longer animated videos and is going into it’s 3rd or 4th cycle. Materials may be found here.
  • MA Dept of Public Health & MGH's New Drug Education Curriculum: Intervention, Diversion, and Empowerment, iDECIDE
    • Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.
  • The Private, Independent and Parochial special interest group of NASN (PIPSN) has started a new program to connect new school nurses with experienced ones in your state. You will be matched with a new nurse (less than 2 years in school nursing) to serve as a resource. It is what most of you do now. There is a need for support in Massachusetts per requests.. If you are a NASN member and are interested, please complete the attached form and return it to Cheryl Blake.
  • The SBIRT in Schools course and resources have been updated to reflect additional screening for tobacco and nicotine. Click here to access the course. The new toolkit can be found here.
  • The Northeastern University School Health Academy (NEUSHA) provides engaging, professional learning opportunities that benefit the health, safety and achievement of all youth. NEUSHA supports school nurses and other school personnel in their efforts to provide evidence-based prevention and management practices to an increasingly diverse, medically-complex student population.
Regional Meeting Dates:
October 20, 1:00-3:00. Mark your calendar! This Regional Meeting will be for all regions.Further information about this session and
how to register will be available soon.

The recording and resources from our last regional meeting is uploaded and can be found on our SHIELD website here.
You can view PowerPoints and Job Aid from previous meetings here.
Career Opportunities:
If you have job opportunities to be posted in the newsletters, please email them to your respective Regional School Nurse Consultant. The posting will run for 2 newsletter issues.
If the position hasn't been filled after those 2 issues, please email your Regional School Nurse Consultant again, otherwise it will be removed.
  • Chelsea Public Schools has many open positions.
    • School Health Manager (District-Wide) - more information can be found here.
    • School Nurse (District-Wide) - more information can be found here.
    • School Nurse Case Manager (District-Wide) - more information can be found here.
    • Substitute School Nurse (District-Wide) - more information can be found here.
  • Greenfield Public Schools is looking to hire nurses ASAP!  There is a full-time position that was just posted for a district-wide float nurse, and per diem positions for substitute nurses. To apply for the full-time float position, go here. To apply for a per diem position, go here. 
  • Director, School-Based Health Centers Program, MDPH Posting Requisition #: 210007PK Position Number: 00159816 Agency: Dept of Public Health Official Title: Public Health Nursing Advisor II Functional Title: School-Based Health Center Director View this job at: Internal career site or External career Site.
  • School Nurse Hancock Elementary School - view position details here.
  • School Nurse Hillcrest Educational Center - view position details here.
  • Two School Nurses - Floating (2.0) Marshfield Public Schools - District Wide STARTING DATE: As soon as possible for the 2021-2022 school year. View more position details here.
Statewide Regional School Nurse Consultant Contacts:
Please do not reply directly to this email. For any questions you may have, please create a new email thread with a new subject line to the contact you wish to ask.


Mary Jane O'Brien, PhD, RN, CPNP, NCSN
(617) 635-6788


Janet Guertin-Moruzzi MEd, BSN, RN, NCSN
(781) 392-7726

Metro West

Jill Connolly, MEd, BSN, RN, NCSN
(781) 848-4000 x7841


Shanyn A. Toulouse, MEd, BSN, RN NCSN
(978) 420-1919


Ann M. Linehan, DNP, MSN, RN
(508) 580-7363


Veronica Webb Barrett, MSN, MA Ed Psych, RN, HNB-BC
(413) 896-8100

Check out the Regional Consultant Brochure here.
If you have Medication Registration inquiries, please contact Lauren Cosby 
If you have report/data questions, please contact Bob Leibowitz at
If you have budget/grant questions please contact Juliet Berk at
Presented by: 
Massachusetts School Nurse Regional Consultants
MDPH School Health Unit
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