- Associated Press - Monday, August 25, 2014

HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) - The state Department of Education will pay nurses at two DeSoto County schools for the next five years.

The Commercial Appeal reports (http://bit.ly/1p87sIb ) that the $500,000 School Nurse Intervention grant marks the first time any of DeSoto’s school nurses has been paid entirely by the state.

School system spokeswoman Katherine Nelson says the grant will cover salary and benefits for the nurses based at Lewisburg and Hope Sullivan elementary schools.

The district is Mississippi’s largest, with more than 30,000 students and 25 nurses to cover 42 schools.

Nelson says the district has one nurse for every 1,320 students.

The grant program is designed to help school districts bring the ratio closer to the national average of one nurse for every 750 students.

The nurses help develop health plans, assist with vaccinations, attend to students’ needs and deal with medical emergencies.

Hope Sullivan Principal Bettye Magee said Amber McCormick, known as ‘Nurse Amber” around the school, has “been our voice of calm and assurance” when children had asthma attacks, seizures and severe allergic reactions.


Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com