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August 10, 2021

When School Nurses Are Not Enough

Fight for Life, Indianapolis, INSource: The New York Times | Repost Fight for Life Foundation 8/10/2021 –

School children have had an especially challenging time navigating the tedious months of the pandemic, with recent reports showing that students fell four to seven months behind in math and reading compared to previous years, and with the most vulnerable students showing the steepest declines.

But while schools have typically tried to improve student achievement by focusing on academic testing and additional classes, they’ve too often neglected a major factor in their success: physical, mental and social health. This is especially true for children living in economically disadvantaged communities, who unlike their peers in wealthier communities often lack access to quality health care and resources.

There are many reasons such children often struggle to do well in school, but education specialists say there is no better time than now to devote more resources to their often-limited access to needed health services. Just as shouting doesn’t enable a deaf person to hear or better lighting a blind person to see, feeding facts and figures to youngsters with untreated health problems is unlikely to help them learn.

Charles E. Basch, a professor of health and education at Columbia University’s Teachers College, wrote in a special issue of the Journal of School Health in 2011: “Healthier students are better learners,” a fact he called “a missing link in school reforms to close the achievement gap.” In the report, he said that schools trying to enhance academic achievement should target their efforts on reducing health disparities that might impair a student’s education.

Read the full article…

New York Times PDF