SB 30 Adopts Updated Health Policy
On November 29, a first-grade student suddenly became ill at P.S. 184 in Lower Manhattan. The school’s principal immediately began to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on the unconscious 6-year-old girl, who was rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. This whole horrible episode occurred in 35 minutes, according to an Associated Press report of November 30, 2005.
At the December meeting of the Community Education Council for District 30, Jeannie Tsavaris-Basini, president, said the death at P.S. 184 was a red flag for all schools.
In an effort to assure the safety of all students, CEC 30 adopted a health policy at its January meeting expanding the number of defibrillators and trained personnel in schools, as well as requiring registered nurses to evaluate and administer necessary medication to asthmatics, diabetics and students with severe allergies.
State law mandates that every school have at least two staff people trained to operate an automated External Defibrillator (AED) machine used to resuscitate in the event of cardiac arrest.
Dr. Delia Loney, director of health for District 30 schools, speaking at the December meeting of CEC 30, said the Department of Education in addition encourages as many staff to be trained in CPR and AED use as possible. Currently, all parent coordinators are being trained in CPR and AED use as well, she said.
For the record, Tsavaris-Basini said the incident involving the little girl in Manhattan did not require a defibrillator because her heart had not stopped beating when she fell unconscious.
The number of students with diabetes, asthma, and allergies and administration of medication is a serious issue in District 30 schools. There are 628 asthmatics and 19 diabetics in the district, according to Loney.
The resolution requires additional AED machines and trained personnel beyond the six already required in schools that have additions, modules, or TCUs (transportable classroom units).
It also requires one staff member trained in the Heimlich Maneuver and CPR be present in the school cafeteria, on every floor, and in all additions, modules, annexes or TCUs at all times.
“We need to broaden the number of nurses and trained staff in life saving techniques,” stated the resolution, which passed by a unanimous vote.
In two other unanimous votes, CEC 30 appointed Marlene Tapper to fill a vacancy on the council, effective immediately through June 30, 2007 and resolved support for supervisors and administrators. CEC 30 strongly urges and encourages the Department of Education and the city Office of Labor Relations [to] actively engage in collective bargaining with CSA the [Council of Supervisors and Administrators representing them] and come to a fair agreement on a new contract. The last contract for supervisors and administrators expired on June 30, 2003.
District 30 Superintendent Dr. Philip Composto also announced the appointments of Anthony Loverso and Vincent Lubrano, as assistant principals at P.S. 84 and P.S. 171, respectively.