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School Board discusses dental program

The Pulaski County School Board took a step forward in helping to bring brighter smiles to the students within the Pulaski County Public School system during their recent Thursday afternoon meeting.
The Board unanimously approved a recommendation to investigate bringing the Mobile Dentists/Smile program to the PCPS system.
The program is an in-school dental prevention program with the mission of “increasing the quality of life for children” by providing preventative dental services, including dental exams, cleanings, fluorides, x-rays, sealants, education and referrals, according to Mary Hall, supervisor of health services for the PCPS system, who received the offer from this program at the start of the school year.
Hall explained that the program allows all children in kindergarten through eighth grade to participate. A team that includes a licensed dentist and two staff members, including at least one state-registered dental hygienist, would set up a mobile clinic within each school (excluding Pulaski County High School).
She noted that the program, which is OSHA and HIPAA compliant and would come at no cost to the school system, would create a permission form and letter of explanation for parents and would provide and complete all paperwork for state-mandated required dental exams. In addition, every participating child would be given a “report card” from their dental exam to take home.
The program would also help refer participating children to other dentists and help them find a “dental home,” Hall said.
Judging by the number of parents who have requested aid with dental care for their children, including more than 200 at the elementary and middle schools in the county, along with 190 at PCHS, this is a much-needed program, Hall said. She added that she had spoken with the local Head Start program, which has been using a similar mobile dental program, and she said they had seen great improvements and made very positive comments about the program.
School Board member Pam Chitwood commented that this would be a “wonderful” opportunity for students within the PCPS system, especially since there had been no similar offers from dental programs in the past few years.
Board member Rodell Cruise questioned whether parents would be billed in any way. Hall responded that it was her understanding that they would not, as the program is funded by grants, which allows the program to provide these services at no charge. Cruise also asked whether they would be able to perform other dental work, such as crowns or filling for cavities. Hall said they would not and that their work would be solely preventative, but they would help refer students to dentists if additional work is needed.
Cruise asked whether students who already see a dentist regularly would be able to participate. Hall responded that is her understanding that they would be able to participate.
Board member Jeff Bain questioned how the program would get in contact with parents and if the school system would be asked to release their names.
Superintendent Don Stowers said that, most likely, the program would prepare a letter, and the school system would send it out to students and parents.
As this program was listed as an informational item on the board’s agenda, Bain requested it be moved to an action item so the Board could approve the program and “not risk not allowing our children to have this opportunity.”

School Board discusses dental program

The Pulaski County School Board took a step forward in helping to bring brighter smiles to the students within the Pulaski County Public School system during their recent Thursday afternoon meeting.
The Board unanimously approved a recommendation to investigate bringing the Mobile Dentists/Smile program to the PCPS system.
The program is an in-school dental prevention program with the mission of “increasing the quality of life for children” by providing preventative dental services, including dental exams, cleanings, fluorides, x-rays, sealants, education and referrals, according to Mary Hall, supervisor of health services for the PCPS system, who received the offer from this program at the start of the school year.
Hall explained that the program allows all children in kindergarten through eighth grade to participate. A team that includes a licensed dentist and two staff members, including at least one state-registered dental hygienist, would set up a mobile clinic within each school (excluding Pulaski County High School).
She noted that the program, which is OSHA and HIPAA compliant and would come at no cost to the school system, would create a permission form and letter of explanation for parents and would provide and complete all paperwork for state-mandated required dental exams. In addition, every participating child would be given a “report card” from their dental exam to take home.
The program would also help refer participating children to other dentists and help them find a “dental home,” Hall said.
Judging by the number of parents who have requested aid with dental care for their children, including more than 200 at the elementary and middle schools in the county, along with 190 at PCHS, this is a much-needed program, Hall said. She added that she had spoken with the local Head Start program, which has been using a similar mobile dental program, and she said they had seen great improvements and made very positive comments about the program.
School Board member Pam Chitwood commented that this would be a “wonderful” opportunity for students within the PCPS system, especially since there had been no similar offers from dental programs in the past few years.
Board member Rodell Cruise questioned whether parents would be billed in any way. Hall responded that it was her understanding that they would not, as the program is funded by grants, which allows the program to provide these services at no charge. Cruise also asked whether they would be able to perform other dental work, such as crowns or filling for cavities. Hall said they would not and that their work would be solely preventative, but they would help refer students to dentists if additional work is needed.
Cruise asked whether students who already see a dentist regularly would be able to participate. Hall responded that is her understanding that they would be able to participate.
Board member Jeff Bain questioned how the program would get in contact with parents and if the school system would be asked to release their names.
Superintendent Don Stowers said that, most likely, the program would prepare a letter, and the school system would send it out to students and parents.
As this program was listed as an informational item on the board’s agenda, Bain requested it be moved to an action item so the Board could approve the program and “not risk not allowing our children to have this opportunity.”