The Health office at each school is staffed by a professional School Nurse. The nurses are in the Health Office throughout the school day. The School Nurse supports the educational process by assuring or maintaining the health of students. The role of the School Nurse includes:
- Maintaining student health recordsAssuring all students meet Massachusetts requirements for school attendance such as immunizations, communicable disease prevention, general health.
- Managing health needs of student and staff during the school day
- Providing emergency care to student/faculty until the arrival of community emergency personnel
- Working with other professionals to promote health and safety of the school community
- Administering medications to students
- Preparing Individualized Health Plans for at risk students such as students with, life threatening allergies and chronic illnesses.
Communicating with parent/guardians about the health of their child/children.
The Health Office is accessed by students and staff for many reasons during the school day. The most common reasons someone might be referred to or go to the Health Office are the following: (as quoted from the Administrator’s Guide for School Health Programs)
- As an emergency care center for administration of first aid to students and personnel, and for the proper care of accident victims until they are moved from school
- As an emergency center for the care f students becoming ill during the school day until they can be placed under their parents/ guardian’s care or returned to class
- As an emergency center where students with suspected communicable diseases can be cared for and separated from others until arrangements can be made by the parents/guardians.
- As a place for those who require a rest period at school during the school day because of health conditions
The School Nurse in the child’s school is also responsible to coordinate the following:
- Each child must have Physical Exam by their Primary Care Provider (PCP) at the following times: On Pre K or Kindergarten entrance into school Prior to starting 7th grade
- Immunization records are also required at these times. Students without an up to date immunization record will not be allowed to attend school.
- If the child/family has religious or health reasons for lack of immunization a form for this purpose is available at the Parent Information Center or the Health Office.
- Sports physicals are required each school year prior to participating in a sport
- Each child must have a COMPLETED Emergency Medical Card. These cards are used to communicate with you in the event of illness or serious injury. It is imperative the school nurse have this as without it we may not be able to find you or your designee in the event of serious illness or injury. Students will be subject to disciplinary action if the card has not been returned to the Health Office by the first day of school attendance. These cards are confidential and may be accessed only by authorized school personnel. Any changes to the cards, such as new phone numbers should be given to your school nurse.
- Any Health records you feel are important for the School Nurse to have should be given to the School Nurse prior to your child’ attendance at school. These include chronic health condition PCP update, life threatening allergies, and emotional/family/academic stressors.
- Surveillance of communicable disease
- Return of students from medical absences: If a student is absent for greater than 3 consecutive days for any medical reason a note from your PCP stating the child may return to school is necessary prior to returning to school.
- Any injury or illness that requires special accommodations such as; crutches, wheelchair, oxygen, Intravenous access requires a note from your PCP explaining the need and the duration of the need, as well as parent/guardian consent.
- Medical exclusion from Physical Education requires a note from your PCP. It should state reason for exclusion and duration of exclusion.
- Certain Screenings are required by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. They include, vision, hearing BMI and postural screening. Students will be assessed in the Health Office. Parents will be informed of the screenings and if your child requires any follow up resulting from the screening.
- Administration of Medications during school hours. This requires a written order from your PCP. Families must then provide up to a 90 day supply of the medication to the school nurse in an original container from the pharmacy. The label must be a pharmacy label and contain, name of student, name of drug, dose and time to be administered. Medications must be given to the school nurse by a parent or guardian. Students under age 18 may not bring their own medications to the school nurse.
- School Nurses are the first line of contact for tutoring of students who are absent due to medical reasons. If a student will be absent for greater than 14 days or frequently for intermittent periods please obtain a note from your PCP and bring it to the school nurse. The nurse will then coordinate services for tutoring.
School Health Records:
- School Health Records are released to seniors upon graduation.
- School Health Records are released to parents/guardians or transferring school for transferring students according to FERPA (family educational and privacy act)
- School Health Records will be destroyed in compliance with the schedule established by state law after the student graduates or withdraws 603 CMR 23.00
****Incoming transfer student’s up to date immunization records are required. These will be evaluated by the school nurse prior to the first day of attendance.