The primary purpose of School Health Services is to facilitate and promote optimal learning for students. School Health Services strives to enhance the education of all students by supporting the educational goals and objectives of the division. The school nurses share in helping each student reach full educational growth and maximum potential in physical, mental, and social growth.
If your child becomes ill during the school day, every attempt will be made to reach you by phone. It is important that the school have the number where you can be reached and the name and phone number of a person who will care for your child if you cannot be reached. Please provide this information on your child’s emergency card. Please note on the card, any current allergies or medical problems for which the school should be apprised. Notify the office of new phone numbers during the school year. Be sure the person listed has been informed that you have given his/ her name. If your child becomes ill at home, please keep him/her at home until the illness is over. If your child has a contagious illness, please check with your physician/health care provider, the Health Department, or school nurse before sending the child back to school. If emergency medications are administered, Emergency 911 will be called to the school for the student.
Any child with a suspected communicable disease, which includes but is not limited to, ringworm, impetigo, conjunctivitis (pink eye), frequent cough, persistent pain (ear, stomach, etc.) head lice, severe sore throat, chicken pox, or who has an unexplained rash, draining sore, vomiting, diarrhea or who has a temperature of 100ºF is not permitted to remain in school. The child should not return until the child has been fever free without the benefit of fever reducing medicine for 24 hours or has been treated by a physician or health care provider. Other diseases not listed are located on the Communicable Disease Reference Chart for School Personnel on the Virginia Department of Health’s website.
When a child is sick and cannot participate comfortably in classroom activities or could potentially spread a contagious disease, he/she should be kept home. If the child is at school the parent will be asked to pick the child up. Students may not ride the bus home.
If a physician or health care provider has diagnosed your child with a contagious illness, please contact the school nurse. In order to return to school, the principal or nurse must receive written notice that the student has received treatment from a physician or health care provider and is released to return to school.
Head lice among school children are a common ongoing problem. It is not a reflection of a person’s state of cleanliness. Please check your child’s hair periodically for white specks attached to the hair shaft. If your child has lice, consult your pharmacist or school nurse for advice on treatment and prevention of re-infestation. A student may be readmitted to school once proof of the treatment for lice infestation has been verified and the school nurse has checked the student to determine they are lice free. Please remind your child not to share other children’s hats, combs, brushes, ribbons, or other hair items. Spotsylvania County Public Schools has a “No Live Lice Policy.”
Medication at School
The Spotsylvania County School Board has adopted a policy governing the administration of over the counter (i.e. Advil, Tylenol, cough drops, etc.) and prescribed medicine to children by school personnel. In order for any medicine to be given to your child at school, your physician/health care provider must complete and sign the Medication Request Form annually. Parents must also sign the statement at the bottom of the form. Medicine will not be given unless this form is completed and sent to the school. All medicines are to be kept in the nurse’s office and dispensed by the nurse or Principal/Designee. All medicines must be brought in the original container. Students may not transport medication to and from school. It is the responsibility of the parents/ guardians of our students with diagnoses, prior to attending school, to provide the required health care provider completed medical forms (e.g. medication requests, special dietary needs, asthma action plan, diabetes medical management, etc.) and all emergency/non-emergency medications, health supplies and equipment. This would include, but is not limited to, auto injector epinephrine, inhalers, catheters, etc. (See School Board Policy JFC (para. C.23), Code of Student Conduct for more details.)
1. Homeopathic remedies also need a physician’s order and medication request form.
2. All medications or items to be administered by the nurse such as sunscreen and lotions must be in the original new unopened container.
3. A new physician’s signed order is needed annually for all medications or items to be administered by the nurse.
4. Any and all items under a physician’s order brought to the school clinic must be picked up by the parent by the last day of school or they will be disposed of properly.
5. Any expired medication not picked up by the end of the expiring month must be disposed of by the nurse on the next month’s first school day.
Forms are available from the school office or online at the department of Health Services.
Annual Health Screenings
Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) requires vision and hearing screenings of all kindergartners, 3rd graders, 7th graders, 10th graders, and newly enrolled SCPS students. Screenings are conducted each fall by the school nurse. This is only a brief screening; parents should continually be alert to identify vision or hearing difficulties that indicate need for examination by a specialist.
Health Care Plans
Parents/guardians enrolling a student with a health condition, health-related needs, or specific health care procedure that affects the school day should contact the principal or school nurse so that a health care plan can be discussed. All emergency health care plans must be updated annually by the student’s physician.
Allergies at School
To provide a safe, educational environment for students with allergies, schools, parents/guardians, physicians, and the student must work together. The school nurse will work with the family and the physician to develop a school health care plan for the student. Parents/guardians enrolling a student with a known allergy should contact the school principal as early as possible so that a safe plan can be instituted. For students with a known allergy who have physician-ordered epinephrine, the parent/guardian must provide a completed and signed Medication Request Form along with the student specific medication to the school. A “Physician’s Statement For Students With Special Dietary Needs” is needed along with the Severe Allergy/ Anaphylaxis Action Plan and Treatment Authorization for students with food allergies. The dietary form is not needed for non food allergies. When selecting items to bring in to the school classrooms, parents are encouraged to consider store bought items with a label of ingredients to help keep our students with food allergies safe.
Medications will be sent on field trips with the teachers. The nurse will train the teacher in medication administration and only the teacher or the child’s own parent or guardian will administer the medication if it is scheduled or needed during the field trip. Students with certain conditions or with certain emergency medications at school will need to be accompanied by a school nurse or their own parent or guardian on a field trip. The school nurse will coordinate this if it is necessary.
Please contact the school nurse if you need assistance in obtaining a shoe certificate for your child through the Salvation Army. The nurse can also assist with submitting a sight assistance voucher to the Lions Club if your child is eligible for or receives free/reduced lunch.