When to Keep Your Child Home
School attendance is important for effective learning and undisrupted academic development. Most children, unless they have a specific medical problem, should only miss a few days of school a year. It is important to notify the school nurse if your child suffers from a medical problem, particularly if it will impede his/her school performance or attendance. Absences should be reported to the Attendance Office. Communicable diseases and hospitalizations should also be reported to the nurse.
Most school-age illness is secondary to viral infection and not life threatening unless the child is immunologically compromised. If your child has a fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or is experiencing vomiting or diarrhea DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL for at least 24 hours. Severe pain, infections and rashes also warrant medical consultation. Purulent drainage from the eyes or ears or large wounds is significant of infection. Over-the-counter remedies may improve their discomfort but if symptoms persist or are severe consult your physician. Children that miss more than five days of school may need a doctor’s note prior to reentering school. Recurring symptoms also warrant physician follow-up. If you have any questions feel free to contact the school nurse during working hours.
A common problem in the Health Office is transportation home for sick children. Your child needs parent permission to leave school when ill, and it is also your responsibility to arrange transportation. In medical emergencies that necessitate paramedic transportation to the hospital the nurse will coordinate. This explains why it is so important to keep your emergency number(s) up to date.
A balanced diet and adequate sleep are good health habits to teach and model for your children. The amount of sleep affects the way we feel, perform, think, learn, and remember. A balanced diet including 6-8 servings of fruits and vegetables and the basic food groups is important for growth and development. Frequent hand washing is our first defense against disease and protects us from surface bacterial and viral infections. Our physical health is also dependent upon good mental health, and functional coping skills and a positive attitude reinforce our immunological response.
A student may be excluded from school attendance if signs or symptoms of the following conditions are present:
- Upper respiratory infection, cough, sore throat
- Gastrointestinal upset evidence by abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Elevation of temperature
- Severe pain (including injury)
- Rash or skin eruption (until diagnosis), including impetigo
- Head or body lice
- Ringworm of scalp (tinea capitis)
- Eye infections
- Infectious mononucleosis
If a student is habitually absent from school and/or has been warned by the Dean in regards to attendance, the Dean and Nurse may feel that it is in the student’s best interest to remain at school if there are no apparent outward signs as outlined in the reasons above. If the parent disagrees with this procedure, they may take the child directly to the doctor and bring a doctor’s note to the Dean’s Office excusing the absence. If a child has been absent for 5 or more days a doctor’s note is recommended. Students absent for 10 or more days are eligible for homebound tutoring. A doctor’s written request including diagnosis and a statement indicating an absence of 10 or more days is required. Students absent less than 10 days are responsible for contacting their teachers for homework.
Please notify the school nurse and/or counselor when your child has been hospitalized. Most hospitals have tutors available but it remains the parents’ responsibility to coordinate between the school and hospital. A doctor’s note is required allowing the student’s return to school.
Physical Education Excuses
All students are required to take physical education during their four years in high school. Physical fitness requirements may be difficult for some students with physical disabilities. A written doctors activity restriction will be required for any student that cannot participate fully in his/her physical education class. Written documentation from your physician is required for both short term and long term disabilities. This documentation must be updated annually. Occasionally a parent may excuse their child for 1-2 days during illness by writing a note and sharing this with the appropriate teacher. Students may be expected to make-up unfinished fitness activities when they are feeling better.
Most buildings offer an adaptive physical education program for students’ whose disability cannot be mainstreamed in a regular physical education class. The goals of the adapted program are to keep the student in a regular class participating within his/her specified limitations or to assign an individual activity or reconditioning program following the doctor’s orders. When a student cannot participate in any area, he/she will be provided with health-related written assignments to complete. Depending upon the type and duration of the disability the student may receive a "P" grade on their report card, which does fulfill the P.E. requirement.
The school nurse should be notified of all medical conditions including documentation from a physician. The nurse will address special accommodations, including elevator privileges. The athletic trainer will follow the doctor’s prescribed exercise activities and/or treatment modalities. Sometimes the physical demands can be rigorous in regular physical education. The students are expected to run on a regular basis and this is often a problem for asthmatic patients. The doctor can restrict running activities as needed. Running is also a problem for students with patellar-femoral syndrome. Running restrictions will generally be accommodated in the regular P.E. class. Programs may vary from school-to-school so communication with the school nurse is recommended.
Immunization Records After Graduation
All immunizations are documented on the ninth grade physical. Therefore, a complete listing of the student’s immunizations is available after graduating by phoning the Registrar. Because this is considered a transcript of the immunizations, the student must sign a form releasing the medical record to him/her along with a nominal "transcript" fee.