General

Parents/guardians are asked to provide student health information each year or with any change during the school year. The district respects student privacy and takes measures to assure the security of student health records. The school nurse may share educationally relevant health information according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Parent/guardian or emergency contact information may be used to provide appropriate care in the event of illness, injury, or other health need.

Immunizations

Iowa law requires all students to have a valid certificate of immunization, provisional certificate of immunization, or certificate of immunization exemption on file with the school. Please provide a copy to the school nurse with each update.

Health Physicals

Health physicals are required for most students entering preschool and recommended for grades K, 3rd, 6th, and 9th. Students wishing to participate in athletics must have a current physical exam on file. Athletic physicals are valid for 13 months from the date of exam.

Health Screenings

Hearing, vision, dental, and height/weight screenings are provided in many grades. Parents will be notified of the results of these screening if problems requiring follow-up care are noted. Notify the school nurse if you wish to opt-out of school-based screenings for your student.

Illness

Keeping our schools healthy and safe is a top priority. Every district building has a school nurse to assist students and staff with health matters. We work closely with our local health department to monitor for illness trends and respond in a manner to minimize the spread of illness at school.

Appointments with the school nurse can be requested by the student or directed by the teacher. Teachers may delay a visit to the nurse if important classroom material or testing is occurring and the health matter is non-emergent.

When illness occurs during the school day, students should see the school nurse for initial assessment before parent/guardian contact. The nurse will follow-up as needed with the parent/guardian per health office policy. Parents will always be contacted in the event of a medical emergency.

Students who are sick must STAY HOME until they are free from symptoms of illness for 24hrs and/or if any test results are pending. This helps reduce the risk of spreading illness to others in our school community. Notify the school of your student’s absence/illness. The school nurse follows district policy and guidance from public health (local, state, CDC) in determining when to temporarily exclude students for communicable diseases, exposures, or illness symptoms (parent reference: Common Child Illnesses and Exclusion Criteria for Education and Child Care Settings revised 5/2021).

Examples include:

  • Fever of 100.4 degrees F or greater
  • Illness that disrupts the student’s learning or poses a risk of spreading to others (e.g. vomiting, diarrhea, etc.)
  • Illness that results in a greater need for care than staff can provide without affecting the health and safety of others

In certain circumstances, a school nurse may request that a parent/guardian provide documentation from a healthcare provider before a student returns to school. Examples include when a communicable disease is strongly suspected or when specific accommodations are needed due to illness or injury. Please submit provider notes containing any health information to the school nurse. Notes may be submitted by paper, fax, or emailed image.

Masks

To prevent the spread of respiratory illness, the school nurse may provide a symptomatic student (coughing, sneezing, etc.) with a mask to wear while awaiting parent/guardian pick up.

Medications

Only medications approved by a healthcare provider may be given at school. This is true for both prescription and over the counter (OTC) medications. Consult the school nurse for the medication process and to provide parent/guardian permission.

Middle and high school students may be eligible to receive a standard dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen with annual parent/guardian permission. This is limited to 5 doses per year and is given based on nursing assessment and discretion. It may not be used for illness symptoms (e.g. sore throat, stomachache, etc.).

PE and Recess Excuses

Students may be excused from PE and/or recess due to illness or minor injury with a parent/guardian note for up to 3 days. For periods longer than 3 days, a healthcare provider note must be provided.

Assistive Devices and Accessibility

Notify the school nurse if your student’s health condition requires the use of an assistive device. Examples include medical devices, canes, crutches, wheelchairs, elevator use, etc. A healthcare provider note may be requested.

Accommodations due to Health Condition

When a student’s health condition requires long-term accommodations, the school nurse or parent/guardian may request evaluation for a 504 or an IEP. Temporary accommodations may be provided during the evaluation process.