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INDIANAPOLIS — School nurses play an important role in a student’s performance, but many Indiana schools can’t afford to staff the position.

New research found that despite a critical need for health services, just 40% of Indiana schools have a school nurse.

Doctor Addie Angelov has spent eight years researching how a lack of health services can directly impact a student’s performance. Her research has created a new way for schools to use federal title funds to support school-based health care. It’s through the Indiana Department of Education.

“Schools right now are getting inundated with funds, funds they’ve never seen before,” said Dr. Angelov.

Dr. Angelov launched “The Paramount Project,” which collects and analyzes data so school districts can decide how to spend title funds to make the biggest impact for students. 

In some low-income area schools, that’s been a school nurse.

“We’re finding in urban schools like the one we’re in now, they are really struggling to figure out how to pay for a school nurse,” said Dr. Angelov.

“It’s a fragile environment, and the poverty and symptoms of poverty are expressed in the children,” said Shy-Quon Ely, head of Ignite Achievement Academy.

He says the project’s findings are helping them know how to support students as they return to the classroom.