“School nursing, a specialized practice of nursing, protects and promotes student health, facilitates optimal development, and advances academic success. School nurses, grounded in ethical and evidence-based practice, are leaders who bridge health care and education, provide care coordination, advocate for quality student-centered care, and collaborates to design systems that allow individuals and communities to develop their full potential “
(Adopted by the NASN Board of Directors, February 2017)
Here you will find health announcements, forms, and other information that we hope will be helpful to you and your family.
School Attendance Guidelines
School attendance is key to your child’s success in school. Children should be in school if they are rested, eating normally, feeling well and are fever free. There are certain circumstances, however, when your child should stay home from school. The following information should give you guidance when making the decision to send your child to school or keep them home. REMEMBER: Your school nurse is an excellent resource if you need any guidance or direction when making this decision. Never hesitate to consult with your school nurse.
Students receiving antibiotics for a contagious condition such as strep throat or bacterial conjunctivitis must stay out of school until 24 hours of antibiotic therapy has been completed. Vomiting, diarrhea, excessive coughing, heavy nasal discharge and generally not feeling well are additional indications that the child should remain home. Students may return to school 24 hours after vomiting and/or diarrhea have subsided and can tolerate a regular diet.
If your child has a temperature of 100 degrees or above (taken orally) in the morning, your child must remain home. Students should remain home for 24 hours after a fever has subsided without the use of fever-reducing medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). If your child develops a fever during school hours, they will not be allowed to return to the classroom and will remain in the health office until dismissed to a parent/guardian or their designee.
If your child develops a rash please notify the school nurse. Rashes are very difficult to diagnose and many are viral in origin and should not prevent your child from attending school. There are rare cases of breakthrough chicken pox disease and a few other diseases that would certainly influence your child’s attendance in school and impact other students or staff who may be medically compromised so consultation with your school nurse and your child’s Primary Care Provider is important.
A student who has sustained an injury that has been instructed by a physician or an emergency room to restrict or limit their activity for a period of time (i.e. cast, stitches, sprains, fractures, concussions, etc.), must deliver a note from the physician stating the nature of the restrictions and when the student can resume participation in Physical Education (PE) class, recess, and sports in the upper grades. The student will not be allowed to return to PE, recess, or sport activities until this note is received. Please note that students on crutches must have a Doctor’s note delivered to the building nurse allowing crutch use in school. If your child sustains an injury and you feel they should limit their activity for 1 – 2 days, a parental note or phone call to the nurse is acceptable.
Dismissal Due to Illness or Injury
Students who become ill or injured at school will be dismissed to a parent/ guardian or their designee from the nursing office. The student will not be allowed to walk home alone with the exception of High School students after consultation with the school nurse and the student’s parent. It is the expectation that a sick or injured student will be picked up as soon as possible.
Please notify the school absentee line when your child will be absent and whether it is due to illness or injury. By leaving detailed information about your child’s absence allows for the school nurse to track and trend illness in the school and begin interventions should a pattern of illness develop.
Please keep the emergency information on your child current to facilitate contacting you if your child is ill or injured. Work numbers, home telephone and cell phone numbers change throughout the school year and the school needs to be informed of these changes so that you or your designee can be contacted quickly in the case of an emergency.
Massachusetts state law requires that students be fully immunized against DPT(Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus), Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, and Varicella in order to attend school. Students MUST meet all the immunization requirements before beginning school. The statute does include exemptions from this law for medical and religious reasons. Your school nurse can answer any questions regarding your child’s immunization status.
Immunization exemption and communicable diseases is addressed in Massachusetts General Law ( M.G.L. c.71, s.57) http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/. The law in Massachusetts does not allow philosophical exemptions. There are only two situations in which children who are not fully immunized may be admitted to school.
Medical exemptions are allowed if a physician submits documentation stating that an immunization is medically contraindicated for the child.
Religious exemptions are allowed if a parent/ guardian submits a written statement that immunizations conflict with their sincere religious beliefs.
Examinations by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant are required for all students entering Pre-K, Kindergarten and any new student entering the district regardless of age or grade. These examinations must be within one year prior to entering school or within 30 days after school entry and documented proof of an appointment. Examinations are also required for all students in grades 4, 7 and 10. In order to participate in any interscholastic sport, documentation of a physical examination within the last 13 months by the student’s primary health care provider must be on file with the school nurse prior to tryouts.
Vision and Hearing Screenings are conducted according to guidelines provided by MDPH (http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/). A referral letter is sent home when the student does not meet the screening parameters recommending evaluation by your physician or vision professional.
Vision screening is performed in grades 1-5, 7 and 10.
Hearing screening is performed in grades 1-3, 7 and 10.
Postural screening is conducted annually in collaboration with the Fitness and Health Department for students in Grades 5 through 9. A report from the student’s doctor is required in order to be excused from the school screening. A referral letter is sent home when the student does not meet the screening parameters so that further evaluation can be done.
Heights and weights are done on students in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10. Body Mass Index (BMI) and corresponding percentile is calculated and recorded following guidelines from the MDPH for each student. The results will be recorded in the student’s cumulative health record at school. Parents are welcome to call the school nurse to discuss the findings.
Exemptions A student may be exempt from physical examination, vision, hearing, and BMI screenings upon written request from the parent/guardian.