Health Services

Hello and welcome to the school nurse page.  My name is Gail Ellis and I am the school nurse for East McDowell Middle School.   I have worked as a registered nurse since 1988 after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and have been a school nurse since 1999.  I received national certification as a school nurse in 2006.  School nursing is as rewarding as it is challenging and I feel blessed to be a part of this school community.

My office hours are 7:30 am-3:30 am.  I can be reached at or at 652-7711.  Our fax number at East Middle is 652-1469.  If you would like to come in for a meeting, I encourage you to call or email to set up an appointment or call before you come to ensure I am on campus.

Healthy children learn better.  Attendance is very important for your child's academic success.  My goal is to help your child stay in school when at all possible, to send them home or suggest follow up with your health care provider when indicated, and to support any needs or modifications they may need at school

Colds, flu, coronavirus and other infections
We are in the thick of cold and flu season.  Strep throat is going around as well.  All the usual infection control standards are still the best way to reduce the risk of spreading and of catching an illness such as a cold, the flu, strep throat, the stomach bug, pink eye, and even the novel coronavirus.  There is a lot of talk in the news about the coronavirus.  The best place to get the most accurate and updated information is from the Center for Disease Control, CDC.  Their webpage on coronavirus is

The flu is far more common at this time in the United States and our community.  Infection control measures for flu and other illnesses include:

  • Frequent handwashing, especially before eating or touching your face
  • Cover your cough/sneeze 
  • Don't eat or drink after others
  • Avoid close contact with obviously sick individuals when possible
  • Don't go to school, work, church, shopping, and other places when you are obviously sick/running a fever

Resource for parents: Talking to Children about Coronavirus from the National Association of School Psychologists and the National School Nurse Association