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SC Education Task Force recommends schools have full-time nurses

The State Department of Education recommends all schools have a full-time nurse, but many don't.
Credit: Storyblocks

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Accelerate ED task force recommends that every South Carolina school have a full-time nurse to keep students safe during a pandemic. 

But in their recommendations, the task force said a recent survey found 166 schools in the state don’t have a full-time nurse.

“I cannot guarantee you that there will be a full-time nurse in every school in the state. We have encouraged school districts to try to fund that. They are hoping to find the personnel to do that. It is not funded by the state,” South Carolina State Superintendent Molly Spearman says. 

In a committee hearing on Tuesday, Spearman said they needed to look into more state funding for school nurses when General Assembly returns in September.

According to data provided by the State Department of Education, these are the Midlands-area school districts that will have in-person instruction on the first day of school:

Lexington School District One has  a full-time nurse at all their schools. They also have two district-level nurses.

Lexington School District Two has full-time nurses at every school except their innovation center. The center is on the same campus as an elementary school and an arts academy.

All schools in Lexington School District Three have full-time nurses.

Lexington School District Four tells News19 all their schools have a full-time nurse except for the Swansea High Freshman Academy. Lisa Ingram with Lexington Four said, “We have posted for the nurse position. So, we will have nurses in each facility, once that position is filled.”

Lexington Richland School District Five has at least one full-time nurse at all their schools.

Kershaw County School District has 20 schools but only 13 full-time nurses.

“[The nurses] share responsibilities for the schools [that don’t have] a full-time nurse. Then we have a nurse or more than one nurse that would cover, so all of our students receive the services of a school nurse.”

Mary Anne Byrd says KCSD is looking into the possibility of hiring more nurses.

Richland School District One, Richland Two, Calhoun County School District, Sumter School District and Orangeburg County School District are starting the school year virtually.