Health Office

SCHOOL HEALTH SERVICES
Fort Meadow's nurse is an essential member of the educational team responsible for promoting, protecting and improving the health status of all students. The unique role of the school nurse is to provide professional health care by coordinating services between home, school and community. The school nurse assists in maximizing each child’s potential to learn and grow by providing the best possible health care. Health care provided includes: identifying health problems; preventative health measures; maintaining and promoting health and learning; promoting healthy lifestyles in students, families and staff; acute and emergency care; health counseling; mandated screenings; immunization monitoring and adherence to state regulations; medication administration and evaluation; comprehensive and appropriate health education to students, parents and staff; skilled nursing care and management of children with special health care needs; individual health care planning; school nurse and parent conferences; health input to special education meetings; review and interpretation of medical and health records. Our school nurse has the professional education and expertise to function successfully in the complex system of education and health.

PRESCHOOL HEALTH SCREENINGS
Hearing and Vision screenings are preformed in accordance with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts regulations.  If screening results indicate the need for follow-up care by a physician, parents/guardian will be notified in writing.

STATE MANDATED PHYSICAL EXAMS
Physical examinations by the student’s own physician are required upon entering Preschool.

IMMUNIZATIONS
All students must present evidence of immunizations in compliance with the requirements of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 76, Section 15, which specifically prohibits admitting a student to school without a physician verifying that, unless religious or medical exemptions apply, the child has been immunized against Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus, Measles/Mumps/ Rubella, Polio, Hepatitis B, Varicella and Haemophilus Influenzae type B (HIB). Children who are not fully immunized against these preventable illnesses are not allowed to attend school.

MEDICATION POLICY
Westfield Public Schools policy requires that a parent/guardian and a licensed provider (either a physician or nurse practitioner) sign consent for medications (including inhalers) to be given by the nurse during school hours. All medications must be brought to school by a parent/guardian or designated adult in the original labeled container from the pharmacy. No child is permitted to bring medications to school.  Call our school nurse for more information.

WHEN TO KEEP YOUR CHILD HOME FROM SCHOOL

Based on School Committee Policy the following exclusion practices will be followed:

  • A fever of 100 degrees or higher.  Child should be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school and not taking any fever reducing medications.

  • Diarrhea OR vomiting in the previous 24 hours.

  • Bad cold or flu when there is excessive nose drainage or constant coughing.

  • Rash that could be contagious; please have any rashes checked by your pediatrician.  Child cannot return to school without an MD note of skin diagnosis.

  • Diagnosed strep throat, impetigo or pink eye.  Students must stay home from school until they have been on antibiotics for at least 24 hours.

  • If your child is diagnosed with scabies, he/she may return to school after 24 hours of treatment.  A physician’s written confirmation of treatment and non-infectious status is required.

  • If you suspect your child has lice – yellowish-gray, oval-shaped eggs that are “glued” to the hair shaft.  Your child must be checked by the school nurse upon return to school after treatment.

STUDENT HEALTH RECORDS
An individual health record is kept on file for each student throughout his or her school career. This record includes a health history, immunizations, and physical exams, screening results, health office visits and medication administration logs. Parents are asked to communicate directly with the school nurse about student health concerns, medical reports and/or issues. Student health records are strictly confidential and information will only be shared with other staff members with the expressed permission of the parents.

INDIVIDUAL HEALTH CARE PLANS (IHCP)
When a student has a specialized medical need or diagnosis which must be assessed, managed, and monitored during school, such as asthma, a life threatening allergy, or diabetes, the nurse in collaboration with the parent will make an IHCP. This plan is based on the student’s individual need, medical history, and physician’s order. The IHCP is then reviewed, signed by the nurse, parent and physician (when necessary) and then shared with appropriate staff to ensure optimal integration of the student’s health needs into the school setting. In some instances, an emergency medical plan is also developed to expedite identification and treatment of a student with a life-threatening diagnosis.

NURSE AS EDUCATOR
The school nurse teaches individual students, parents and staff about health and wellness issues and strives to promote an understanding of student health needs. She teaches children formal lessons on hand washing and trains staff on the use of standard precautions and  EpiPen Auto-Injectors

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