School nurses support student success by striving to remove health-related barriers to learning. Through health education and health care, the school nurse fosters an environment that promotes health, safety, and the well-being of every student and the school community.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an annual well child exam (which includes a physical) with your pediatrician for all children. EWSD supports this recommendation and supports all students seeing their doctor annually for this purpose.
Acute Illness: Students who are ill should not be in school. Illness includes, but is not limited to: vomiting, diarrhea, fever, persistent coughing or sneezing, and unexplained rashes. Parents/guardians should contact the school in the morning if their student will not be attending school due to illness. Students who become ill during the school day should report to the Health Office for evaluation. The Health Services Provider/School Nurse will assess the illness and contact parents/guardians as necessary. Students cannot leave without being released by either the Health Office or Main Office staff once the staff has contacted the parent/guardian or emergency designee. Parents/guardians/ emergency designee are expected to make transportation arrangements for students released from the Health Office. Parents/guardians are asked to pick up their sick child as soon as possible.
Chronic Illness or Life-Threatening Allergy: Chronic illnesses and life-threatening allergies, such as food allergies, are a common yet serious condition. EWSD schools are committed to the requirements of Vermont’s Act 158: An Act Relating to Life Threatening Chronic Allergies and Illnesses in Schools, and the applicable provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. To that end, all EWSD schools are prepared to offer safe and supportive environment accommodation for such conditions in a nondiscriminatory manner, enabling each student to meaningfully participate in school activities, including curricular and co-curricular programs, meals, and recess. EWSD maintains school guidelines for managing students with life-threatening allergies and chronic illness, which include family, school, and student responsibilities. Prior to entry into school (or, for a student already in school, immediately after the diagnosis of a life-threatening allergic reaction), please notify the school administrator and/or school nurse to determine whether your student is eligible for protection under Section 504 due to life-threatening allergy or chronic illness. If your student has a food allergy or other chronic, life-threatening allergy or illness, it is your responsibility to inform the school of the condition so we may develop a plan to ensure your student’s safety in school activities. Whether or not it is determined that your student has a disabling condition and is eligible for protection under Section 504, an individualized healthcare plan will be developed to ensure that appropriate supports to address the student’s needs are provided, including during meal times for food allergies. Documentation of the chronic or life-threatening condition or allergy may be necessary in order for the school to evaluate the condition and to develop a plan, if necessary. A copy of the school procedures used by the school in these circumstances is available for parents/guardians and students. Immunizations: Adequate proof of immunizations required by the State of Vermont must be on file in the School Health Office before the student starts school. Failure to comply with these State regulations will result in exclusion from school until the requirements are met. Requests for medical exemption must be signed by the physician. Parent/ guardian educational materials and all necessary forms are available on the VT Department of Health’s website: www.healthvermont.gov.
Injuries: Accidents can happen in school buildings, on field studies, in school buses, and on school grounds. All serious injuries occurring during regular school hours will be reported to the School Nurse for evaluation and referral to outside medical care as necessary. An accident report will be filed on all serious injuries. School personnel may need to arrange for immediate transport to a health care facility in serious cases of illness or injury. Parents/guardians, or emergency designee, will be contacted. In the case of emergency, 9-1-1 will be called and the parent/guardian, or emergency designee, will be contacted as soon as possible.
Nits and Head Lice: EWSD recognizes Pediculosis (head lice) is a common challenge for families and agencies dealing with students. While lice cannot be completely eliminated, EWSD encourages cooperative measures within the school community to control for lice and nits. EWSD emphasizes keeping students in school rather than sending them home when a health assessment advises this to be appropriate, risking unnecessary loss of school time. EWSD practice is based on VT Department of Health recommendations, which states that children should be allowed to return to school after proper treatment, and should not be prevented from returning to school because of the presence of nits. It is the practice of EWSD member school districts to prevent, monitor, and manage outbreaks of head lice at the school level.
Non-Prescription Medication: School Health Office personnel administer non-prescription medication. A parent/guardian must complete and sign a Health Information Form yearly, and may indicate preference for their student to receive over-the-counter medications for the duration of each school year. Students may not carry any type of non prescription medication including but not limited to: ibuprofen, acetaminophen, cold/cough medicine of any type.
Prescription Medication: Prescription medications may be administered by district health personnel only when the following state regulations are complied with:
Before the medication can be given, School Health Office personnel must have written orders from a physician detailing the name of the student, the drug dosage, and the time the medication is to be given. School Health Office personnel must have written permission from the student’s parent/guardian. The parent/guardian must bring the medication to school in a container appropriately labeled by the pharmacy or physician. All medications must be kept in the school health office in a locked cabinet. School Health Office personnel must administer all medications. Student may not carry any prescription medicine of any type on their person.
If the above requirements are not met, health personnel will immediately contact parents/guardians to inform them of the district’s requirements. Any modification to the above must be discussed and approved by School Health Office personnel.