NEW LONDON, N.H. — Superintendent Winfried Feneberg is pleased to share that all of the district’s school nurses have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Our school nurses have truly played a vital role during the COVID-19 pandemic as it has impacted our district, like all districts, and they have demonstrated a sincere commitment and dedication to serving our students,” Superintendent Feneberg said. “It is wonderful to know they’ve had the opportunity to receive the vaccine and be better protected as they continue their work. They are an integral part of our district and its a great comfort for us all to know they’ve received this vaccination.”
Kearsarge has six school nurses, three nurse assistants and several substitute nurses throughout the district, who have stepped up to help students and staff who fall ill during the school day, worked over the summer to support the creation of a reopening plan that reflected best practices and continue to meet weekly with other district staff as new information comes to light regarding the virus to adjust policies and procedures as needed.
The district’s nurses had the opportunity to begin receiving the vaccine this January.
“I’ve followed the science and research closely and believe in the safety of this vaccine,” said Janet Meade, the school nurse at the Simonds School. “As a nurse, I feel a responsibility to educate and be a role model to others that may be hesitant. I also did it to protect myself from the risk of severe disease and the impact it could have on my family, friends, coworkers, and students.”
“Vaccines work. I am a wife, a mom, and not only a nurse, but a school nurse. We are all role models,” said Amy Holobowicz, the school nurse at Kearsarge Regional Middle School. “I am proud to get the vaccine to show my family, my colleagues and students that this is our way to help stop the spread of this nasty disease. Too many have been affected.”
The nurses at Kearsarge assess any students and staff who begin exhibiting symptoms at school before they are sent home, and work with families to follow strict guidelines for when students can return should they test positive for the virus or be identified as a close contact. The nurses additionally play a key role in contact tracing in the district, pulling seating and busing charts, figuratively “retracing footsteps,” and talking to families to make sure close contacts are notified.
“The COVID- 19 vaccine is an important part to help stop the pandemic. Receiving the vaccine may help to protect people around me, especially people who are at an increased risk from COVID-19. It also may keep me from getting seriously ill if I were to contract COVID-19, which may have long term implications,” said New London Elementary School nurse Margaux Nichols.
“It was important for me to get the vaccine to build immunity, especially for my grandparents that I’m so grateful to still have around and hopefully will be able to visit in the near future,” said Carrie Guerrette, a nurse assistant at Kearsarge Regional High.