Pocahontas Schools Nurses’ Stations to Stock Narcan in Case of Opioid Overdose

At their November 29th meeting, the Pocahontas County Board of Education members voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of the medicinal drug Narcan and keep it in the nurse’s stations in each school to possibly save a life in the event an opioid drug overdose occurs in a school.

School Nurse Jenny Friel had explained that the Narcan would be in a nasal spray form, and it has proved to be very effective in saving the lives of opioid overdose victims. She said some staff would receive training in it’s proper use, however if it were to be used on a student or staff member suspected of overdosing on opioids, but who actually was not overdosing, the Narcan would do no harm to the patient.

Friel added that it is a sad thing that this has become necessary, but the deadly opioid Fentanyl is being mixed into other drugs and even into vapes by drug dealers. She said people can also overdose on Fentanyl from just handling objects contaminated with it such as bookbags or clothing that might be brought unwittingly to school. This makes it prudent to have Narcan available as an emergency life-saving overdose treatment, just in case.

Also at that meeting, the schools’ ELA Coach, Stephanie Burns made a presentation to the board on her efforts to improve literacy -both reading and writing – in the county schools. Burns described the “Battle of the Books”, which is a voluntary reading incentive program for grades 3 through 8. She said the program began over the summer and will continue through the spring, when students will team up in groups of four to compete for the most books read.

Additionally, Burns said the schools offered an early literacy summer program for pre-kindergarten students all the way up to 10 years old. The program was staffed by four teachers at four locations – one a week at each location, and consisted of a literacy program, nursery rhymes, festivals, reading aloud sessions, movement activities and arts and crafts. She said each participant was given one book a week.

Burns said her duties during the school year include applying for literacy grants and also classroom duties assisting teachers with creative ideas for teaching reading comprehension and writing skills all designed to improve student test scores in reading and writing.

Dave Beverage asked the board to reinstate a former school bus route to accommodate his middle school grandchild being able to get to school without needing to be driven ¾ mile to meet a bus every day. The board agreed to look into this.

In addition to approving routine financial matters, the board:

  • Approved a document agreement with the American Institute of Architects, the Thrasher Group and the board concerning the roof/boiler replacement project at Marlinton Elementary School. It was explained this is just a required formality.
  • They approved the adoption of the WV Department of Education’s revisions to their policy on educating students with Exceptionalities.
  • They approved a Memorandum of Agreement which will allow county students who successfully complete the WV Mountaineer Challenge Academy to receive a high school diploma.
  • They approved the recommended list of personnel actions, which can be seen by clicking on this link to the official meeting agenda –11-29-22 Official BOE Agenda

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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