Battle Ground Education Foundation grant helps equip schools with overdose-reversal medication

March 3, 2023

BGEF presents check to battle ground school board

From left-to-right: Linda Gellings, Colleen O’Neal and Cheri Daily of the Battle Ground Education Foundation present a check at the Feb. 27 school board meeting

Thanks to a $4,000 grant from the Battle Ground Education Foundation, 12 wall boxes containing naloxone will be installed in schools across the district. Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, is used to reverse an opioid overdose. The drug has increasingly been made available on school campuses around the country due to the growing risk of overdoses caused by fentanyl, a potentially deadly synthetic opioid.

“With the reports of increased activity in our area and nationally, we are fortunate to have this resource available if the need should arise,” said Tamra Scheetz, the district’s director of instructional interventions. “This medication, along with training on the correct administration, could prevent a fatality from fentanyl overdose.”

In 2019, the Washington Legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 5380 declaring opioid use disorder a public health crisis and requiring all state agencies and public schools to increase access to evidence-based treatment services and overdose-prevention drugs such as naloxone. In October 2022, the district’s board of directors approved a policy on maintaining opioid-overdose reversal medication in schools.

That same month the district also hosted an informational presentation by the Clark-Vancouver Regional Drug Task Force at Chief Umtuch Middle School. More recently, Evergreen and Vancouver public schools hosted forums for families and staff members at districts across Clark County. Those forums are available to view online.

Narcan wall box

Wall boxes like this one containing the overdose reversal drug naloxone will be installed at schools across the district

Battle Ground Public Schools has already made the drug available to school nurses in all buildings. The addition of the wall boxes and added training for security personnel this spring will increase the speed at which the drug can be administered in the event of a suspected overdose. Other district staff received training in administering the drug during the 2022 Safety Summit and the district is exploring opportunities to provide training for all staff members as well as optional training for students.

“We are extremely grateful for these lifesaving kits that can improve the likelihood of survival for someone experiencing an opioid overdose,” said Catherine Shannon, health services and nursing supervisor for the district. “Having publicly accessible naloxone in our school buildings can result in saving the lives of victims of opioid overdoses.”

To date, wall boxes containing Narcan are available in the district’s high schools, middle schools and alternative learning campuses. BGEF is working to purchase additional boxes in the near future to supply them at primary schools as well.

About the Battle Ground Education Foundation

Battle Ground Public Schools appreciates the support of BGEF and their partners. Grant funding has provided food, clothing and hygiene supplies for families and students in the district experiencing housing instability. A grant from the Cowlitz Tribe several years ago helped provide shelter for 17 families in the district. Another $10,000 will support drama programs at Prairie and Battle Ground high schools, as well as River HomeLink. BGEF also provides principal grants, helping schools across the district provide enrichment for students, usually focused on rewarding when students meet or exceed behavioral expectations.

To learn more about the work of BGEF, or how you can support their efforts, visit BGEF.org.

GET IN TOUCH

icon 11104 N.E. 149th Street,
Brush Prairie, WA 98606

iconShipping & Receiving: All Locations
400 N. Parkway Ave. Battle Ground, WA 98604

iconMailing Address: P.O. Box 200
Battle Ground, WA 98604

icon360-885-5300

icon