Julia Green School Nurse

About Nurse Tabitha Ford

Nurse Tabitha is a Nashville native and attended Metro schools for K-12. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and later Master of Science in Nursing from Tennessee State University. She is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She joined school health in November 2020. She has two daughters, Aubrey and Eliza, whom attend Julia Green elementary. She has a tri paw doggy named Lucy. Nurse Tabitha believes that health education is key to wellness. Nurse Tabitha loves going to the beach with her husband and kids, going for walks, eating yummy food, and cheering for the Tennessee Titans.

tabitha.ford@nashville.gov

JG Extension 380349

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Role of the School Nurse

School Health nurses are available to every public school within the Metro Nashville Public school system (MNPS). Registered nurses provide skilled nursing services to students who need such care in order to come to school, as determined by their health care provider. School nurses are usually assigned between 2-4 schools.

Ways Your School Nurse Can Influence Academic Success:
  • Identify students who have medical conditions such as: asthma, seizure disorders, and allergies

  • Develop Individual Health Plans for students with a medical conditions

  • Provide skilled nursing services as ordered by medical providers

  • Provide information about community resources to students, families and school employees

  • Provide case management services through facilitating linkage to services when needed

  • Participate in health and careers fairs within schools and community

  • Educate students both individually and in the classroom on a variety of age-related health topics, such as hand washing or other wellness education

  • Provide resources for follow up dental care, free or affordable vision care

  • Involvement with Healthy School Teams, designed to improve wellness in the school

  • Oversee the monthly medication delivery system in every school

  • Work with other Metro Public Health Department programs to ensure student follow up

  • Provide consultation for student immunization records                                          

 

School nurses work in partnership with MNPS staff.  When the effects of a student’s health condition are managed during the school day, students are able to come to school and learning it optimized. Healthier students become better learners!

COVID Frequently Asked Questions 

The purpose of this FAQ is to clarify new COVID information and guidance as it pertains to MNPS. If you have additional questions, please contact your student’s school nurse. 

Nurse Tabitha 615-298-8082 tabitha.ford@nashville.gov

 Please remember to stay home if you do not feel well. 

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine? 

When someone has tested positive for COVID, they are in isolation. When someone is identified as a close contact of someone with COVID, they are recommended to quarantine. 

What is the isolation timeline? 

The first day of symptoms OR the date of a positive test (whichever is earlier) is Day 0. A person who has COVID is required to isolate for 5 days following the onset of symptoms or positive test result. They are allowed to return to school on Day 6 ONLY if all symptoms have subsided and they have not had a fever in greater than 24 hrs without the use of fever-reducing medications (Motrin, Tylenol, etc). 

What is the quarantine timeline? 

*Close contacts, whether vaccinated or not, are no longer excluded from work/school in MNPS. Below are recommendations via the CDC. 

If a person is identified as a close contact of someone with COVID and has been vaccinated in the last 6 months OR had the COVID booster in the last 2 months, they should wear a mask around others for 10 days and test on day 5 after exposure. 

For unvaccinated OR not boosted OR completed vaccination over 6 months ago, it is RECOMMENDED to stay home for 5 days (return to regular activities including school on day 6), wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days. Testing recommended on days 5. 

What is the definition of a “close contact”? 

A close contact is normally someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. However, MNPS is following alternate guidelines, devised by the CDC, for the K-12, school-based population. So, for students, the distance has been reduced to within 3 feet rather than within 6 feet. 

What kind of COVID test is acceptable? 

A PCR test or a Rapid Antigen test are both acceptable tests, including home Rapid tests. 

Are results from an over-the-counter antigen COVID test acceptable? 

Yes. If you have an at-home test that reads positive, it is not necessary for you to test again- PCR or rapid. We DO NOT need to see a negative test to return to work/school. A positive case only needs to complete their isolation and be fever-free and recovered before returning to work/school. 

Where can I go to get a COVID test? 

In addition to the standard testing sites, there are pop-up testing sites around the city when testing demand is high. You can find information for all of these by checking the testing calendar on https://www.asafenashville.org/. The Metro Health Department also publishes this information on Twitter, Instagram and their Facebook page. 

MNPS also offers testing for students and staff through the school nurse. Individuals must be symptomatic or exposed, along with a written consent on file. Additional testing sites have been set up also at the below locations. 

  • • Mondays and Thursday: Support Hub 8:30-10:00 am 

  • • Monday: Hillwood HS: 12:00-1:30 pm 

  • • Tuesday: Hunters Lane HS: 8:30-10:00 am 

  • • Tuesday: McGavock HS: 12:00-1:30 pm 

  • • Thursday: Antioch HS: 12:00-1:30 pm 

 

If a student wakes up with symptoms, do I need to keep my other students home from school? 

No. The other students can go to school while you await test results for the symptomatic student. Your other MNPS students may also continue going to school if someone in the house is positive for COVID. However, please see quarantine recommendations above regarding exposure. If someone in your home has COVID, they should isolate as much as possible to one room, use a separate bathroom and wear a mask if they need to leave the room for any reason. 

My student tested positive, or I am a staff member who tested positive. Whom should I contact? 

If a student or staff member tests positive, please email school administrators and/or the school nurse, and they can give you guidance. Please include the date that symptoms began and the date of the positive test. Students should also let their teachers know so they can enroll in Remote Instruction. 

 

My student is vaccinated and was a close contact to someone and they were unmasked (for example, eating lunch together). Do they need to be quarantined considering their exposure was unmasked? 

No. Students will ONLY be required to quarantine or isolate if they become symptomatic. 

Will I be notified if my student was a close contact to a positive case? 

Yes. A letter stating the date of exposure and giving guidance will be sent home with all exposed students. If you are not sure you have the correct email or phone numbers on file, please check with the front office staff. If you get a letter or a phone call and have questions about the exposure, contact your school nurse. 

Does a student or staff member need a negative test to return to school? 

No, MNPS is not requiring negative tests to return to school after isolation. 

I was just notified that my student was exposed at school. What should we do? 

If your student is determined to be a close contact to a positive individual, the school will send home a letter detailing guidance. Please look in your student’s belongings and follow those guidelines.