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SHELBY COUNTY, TN – The Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) is partnering with Shelby County Schools (SCS) to begin providing lead screening and testing for students and staff at SCS schools with elevated lead levels in water sources.
“Student and staff safety is our main priority, and we have prioritized this issue by immediately taking action and communicating with families,” said Dr. Joris M. Ray, Superintendent. “We are thankful to the Health Department for their support and guidance. We know that there are many common ways children can come in contact with lead, including at homes, churches, malls, toys, and paint. We are committed to transparency and want to ensure that you have the facts. We appreciate the support and understanding of our families and community throughout this process.” “While the water sources identified were reportedly used only on a limited basis, the Shelby County Health Department takes lead exposure very seriously,” said Alisa Haushalter, Director of the Shelby County Health Department. “Exposure to lead in childhood can affect a child’s growth and development and ability to learn. That is why the Shelby County Health Department is committed to providing screening and testing to the students and staff at the schools and providing parents with the information they need to make informed decisions for their children.”
The in-school screenings window will begin on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, through the first quarter of 2020. Shelby County Schools is sending parents a packet containing an assessment questionnaire and a consent form. A parent must return the completed questionnaire and the signed consent form by the specified date for their child to be tested. Parents will not have to be present for testing.
Results will be mailed directly to the parent from the Health Department. If additional testing is needed, a Health Department nurse will contact the parent by telephone and mail.
The Shelby County Health Department and Shelby County Schools are working together to meet the needs of children and families. There is no greater priority than the health and safety of our county’s children.