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Massachusetts School Health Updates
Issue 2: September 16, 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:  
School health colleagues,

Thanks to all of you who provided feedback on testing start dates.  Please know that that data, as well as your comments and clearly identified issues, are being communicated with the stakeholders.  The Regional Consultants and I welcome and appreciate your feedback, which helps everyone to better understand logistical issues “on the ground”. 

I’ll keep this short because, let’s face it, you are too busy to read, never mind digest, anything too verbose right now!  Please just contemplate the quote above.  Right now, what you are exemplifying IS courage, a characteristic best described as not the absence of fear or strife, but what we do in the face of it.  Your courage may be quiet but it does not go unnoticed.  Thank you for all you continue to do for your school communities.  Thank you for trying again tomorrow.

With great respect,

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:
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: 
Over the summer, we updated our website, and the SHIELD content is housed in one location, found here. This new website will hold your credits and certificates (same as the old site), as well as our FY22 calendar, newsletters, and nurses in the news, among other updates.

Please bookmark this link on your preferred internet browser.
Please email with any questions you may have along the way!
"If one has courage, nothing can dim the light which shines from within." -Maya Angelou
Managing Your CSHS Grant Budget.  
This blended course is designed for School Nurse Managers new to the CSHS grant. Self-paced materials are now available, here; the live Zoom session will be Monday September 27, from 1:00-3:00pm.
BinaxNow Training Dates Available! Visit here.
New Mental Health Training Series!
Please sign up for these session AFTER receiving the BinaxNOW™ test kits. Each session is limited to 20 participants (no more than 2 per district).
  • 9/28/2021 from 11:00 - 1:00PM
  • Additional sessions will be offered in October, dates TBD.
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:
  • September 22, 2021 - Registration is now open.
  • October 7, 2021
  • 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 form is here.  CSHS end-of-year Status Report 21/22. All reporting forms, worksheets and instructions will be sent out to districts by Bob Leibowitz. 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 
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 first session of the Mental Health Series on September 22, 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. 

Working as a School Nurse During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic
28 September, 10:00 EDT - 1.0 CPD Contact Hours - In this webinar, two school nurses will discuss the major lessons learned from the challenges of managing the COVID-19 pandemic in school nursing during the 2020-2021 school year. They will describe the positive takeaways and identify opportunities for improvement for the 2021-2022 school year, including goals while working during the ongoing pandemic. Register for event here.

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.
Foundations of School Nursing Practice – Build Your Network video.
This video provides a valuable overview of the School Health Unit, school nurse workforce structure, the Regional Consultant Program, MSNO, and SHIELD. It was developed for nurses new to school health, but all school nurses and leaders will find this overview helpful.

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.
230531 Request For Information The School-Based Health Center (SBHC) Program is now live on COMMBUYS!
The SBHC Program is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) to engage stakeholders in making recommendations for SBHC model innovations that will expand access and services for children and youth at highest risk of health inequities. It is anticipated that in early January 2022, DPH will be releasing a Request for Response (RFR) to seek qualified bidders to operate SBHCs. This RFI will help DPH in developing the RFR. Stakeholders are invited to listening sessions on 9/13/21 and 9/15/21. Written responses to questions are due on 10/1/21. Here is the link to the RFI.
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.
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
School Nurses in the News:
SHIELD Nurses in the News Feed.
I am Becki Blanton and I work at Assabet Valley Collaborative. I am responsible for coordinating our pool testing program. We have been involved with the state's pool testing program since February. I am the classroom nurse in our high school program, Reach 3. I was talking with the staff in our classroom and asked if someone could come up with something to celebrate our participation in the program. Adriana Canavan, our talented paraeducator designed and created this visual!!!! I asked for permission to share and she agreed!!
As a part of the Department’s efforts to educate the public about the dangers of vaping for youth, DPH recently launched a public information campaign for middle and high school aged youth titled Facts. No Filters. The campaign gives young people facts about the dangers of vaping, tips to help them talk to friends, and resources to quit. Learn more at and @GetTheVapeFacts on Instagram.

Facts. No Filters. launched June 27 and will run through early Fall. Learn more about the dangers of vaping and watch a video at and @GetTheVapeFacts on Instagram.

Handouts and quit resource cards for youth are available free of charge at the Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse.

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. 
Announcing the Vape-Free Schools Initiative Scholarship Fund 
We are proud to announce the American Lung Association Vape-Free Schools Scholarship Fund, a new effort to fund schools’ implementation of the Vape-Free Schools Initiative so that more kids can access cessation, support and education. Through this scholarship drive, the Lung Association will enable faculty and students to access the Lung Association’s proven vaping intervention and cessation programs. Donate today at
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.
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.
  • EXCITING NEWS! MDPH SHU is hiring a Public Health Nursing Advisor for Non-Public Schools! Non-Public School Nurse Advisor - (210007N9)
    • The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Community Health and Prevention, Division of Child/Adolescent Health and Reproductive Health, is seeking a public health professional with experience in school health to provide clinical and operational support to school nurses working in non-public school settings throughout the Commonwealth. Reporting to the Director of the School Health Unit, the Public Health Nurse Advisor will provide consultation and technical assistance to non-public school health programs as needed. This will include telephone consultation, meetings, and site visits. Consultation content areas may include but not be limited to clinical services, leadership development, policy and program development, and budgeting, as appropriate.
    • For more information, including how to apply, please use the following link: Non-Public School Nurse Advisor 
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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