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Health Services

School Health Services

School health services are a vital component of the multi-tiered system of supports needed to create and sustain learning environments that are equitable, culturally responsive and aligned to the needs of our students. Well trained, supervised and supported school nurses are vital to optimize health and academic outcomes for children and the school community. School nurses must be prepared to address the needs of today’s students and to plan for and respond to trending issues.

The Health Office is staffed by licensed school nurses during the scheduled school year Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 3:30 PM.  The nurses provide health services to LUMS, LUHS, and GMTCC students and staff.

We utilize The Vermont Standards of Practice: School Health Services Manual, (the Manual) addresses Vermont school health services in partnership with PreK-12 education. This Manual is Vermont’s guide for school nurses, school administrators, and others, who develop, implement, and evaluate continuous improvement activities of school health services. 

Health Information Updates, Prescription Medication Forms, Asthma Action Plans, and Allergy Action Plans are required to be completed every year. Our phone number is (802) 851-1212 and Fax number is (802) 888-2997

Forms:  

Health Information Update Form-go here

Prescription Medication Form-go here

Asthma Action Plan-go here

Allergy Action Plan-go here

Bee Sting Allergy Action Plan-go here

EPIPEN/INHALER-Prescription Form-go here

The following are required functions of the school nurse every year :

• Vermont Annual Immunization Reporting

• Vermont Annual School Nurse Report on Asthma, Insurance, and Well Care Visits, Dental Exams, and Health Appraisals

• Screening as required by law (vision and hearing)

COVID-19 Updates

Symptoms of COVID 19 include: 

  • Fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), Cough, Shortness of Breath, Sore Throat, Runny Nose, Loss of Taste or Smell, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Fatigue, Muscle Aches, Headache.  

Researchers have found that for participants in all three groups — fully vaccinated, those who received just one dose, and unvaccinated — four of the five most commonly reported symptoms are the same: sore throat, runny nose, persistent cough, and headache.

Their prevalences across the groups, however, vary, as does the fifth symptom.

For those who are vaccinated, a blocked nose is the third-most frequently reported symptom. Among the partially vaccinated, it’s sneezing, and the unvaccinated, fever.

... Some medical experts are concerned that COVID’s top symptoms, all very cold and flu-like, closely resemble those of other viruses that are starting to appear as we approach winter.

“Right now, we have other competing viruses,” Dr. Ilan Shapiro, Chief Medical Affairs Officer for Los Angeles-based AltaMed, told Nexstar. “We’re starting to see influenza, we’re starting to see rhinovirus, we’re starting to see a lot of other viruses.” He stressed the importance of testing, because treatment for each virus can vary.’

Guidelines provided by the Vermont Department of Health and Secretary French as of August 10, 2022 state:

  • If a student or staff member is presenting with mild symptoms, the decision to return to class should be made by the school nurse nurse based upon their clinical decision making.  Mild respiratory disease symptoms include runny nose or nasal congestion, minimal cough, and absence of fever in an individual with no current or recent household exposure to COVID-19.
  • If a student or staff member is not well enough to learn or participate, regardless of whether they are tested for COVID-19, they should be sent home from school. A student who is being sent home due to illness may be required to wear a mask while awaiting pick-up.  The decision to require masking should be made by the school nurse based on clinical decision making.  They may return to school if their symptoms have improved, and they meed school criteria for their illness, i.e., no fever for a full 24 hours without fever reducing medication. 
  • COVID-19 testing is not required for symptomatice students or staff to return to school.
  • If students or staff are symptomatic, they can pick up rapid antigen test kits though the health office and/or the front school offices and test at home.  We are not testing at our schools.  
  • Please note that expiration dates have been extended on test kits.  on/go Intrivo antigen self test kits that expired 9/22 now expire 12/31/2022.  iHealth COVID-19 antigen rapid test kits with prior expiration date of 7/20 now expire 1/20/2023.  
  • In addition, test kit instructions note that even if test results in a faint line, the test is considered positive.

If a student or staff member has confirmed COVID 19, they should follow the Vermont Department of Health guidelines for when someone is diagnosed with COVID:     COVID-19_What-to-do-if-you-are-diagnosed-with-COVID-19_final.pdf

We recommend you contact your medical home and notify the school if you test positive.

What Is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)?  https://www.webmd.com/lung/rsv-in-babies  

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common, and very contagious, virus that infects the respiratory tract of most children before their second birthday.

For most babies and young children, the infection causes nothing more than a cold. But for a small percentage, infection with RSV can lead to serious, sometimes life-threatening problems such as pneumonia or bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small airways of the lungs.

RSV Symptoms

RSV infection can cause cold-like symptoms, including a cough and runny nose, which usually last 1 to 2 weeks.

When to see a doctor: Call your baby's doctor if you notice any of the following RSV symptoms:

If your baby is very tired, breathes rapidly, has difficulty in breathing, or has a blue tint to their lips or fingernails, call 911 or go to the ER immediately.

 

General Illness and Injury:

The nurse(s) will administer basic first aid to your child during clinic hours as needed.  The nursing staff will contact the student’s parent/guardian with symptoms or injuries that are felt to require further medical assessment or emergent treatment beyond first aid.  If the emergency is life threatening or we are unable to reach you, EMS (Emergency Medical Services) will be called immediately.   Children are required to participate in physical education or outside activities unless we have received a note from their medical provider which specifies that they are unable to perform these activities.

Chronic Allergies and Illnesses:

 A child with a chronic illness or allergy may have a life-threatening reaction while at school or during a school event or field trip requiring an immediate response to save the child’s life.  Therefore it is the intent of the Health Office to ensure that an individual student treatment plans and appropriate rescue medication be readily available so that we can provide a safe environment for your child.  Parents can obtain additional information at www.leg.state.vt.us to view legislation including “H.748 An Act Relating to Permitting Students to Possess and Self –Administer Emergency Medication” and “158 An Act Relating to Life-Threatening Chronic Allergies and Illnesses in Schools.”  In accordance with this legislation, we are required to have Action Plans from your child’s physician/medical home.   See Forms Above.

Requests to go home ill once a student is at school:

Should a student request to contact their parent/guardian or to go home due to illness or injury we request they do so through the health office.  Please be sure that you provide and update the school with your most current contact information and that phone mail boxes are functioning.  Be prepared for a call should you send your child to school ill and have indicated to them that they can call should they not feel better.

Students will be excused through the health office to go home if:

  • They have a fever (eardrum temperature of 100.4 or above)
  • They have been witnessed vomiting

 Flu:

Every year, some students get sick with the seasonal Flu during the fall and winter months.  Symptoms can include: fever, chills, sore throat, cough, headache and body aches (sometimes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.)  Flu can spread from person to person.  The CDC recommends that individuals with influenza like illness remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications.

Head Lice:

Parents/guardians will be notified when head lice have been identified on their child.  The Vermont Department of Health and the Department of Education do not support the practice of exclusion (nit free, no nit) policies or practices.  Further information on head lice can be obtained on the Vermont Department of Health  website or by calling our local Vermont Department of Health office in Morrisville at 888-7447.

Medications:

Over-the-counter and prescription medications are kept in the Health Office and dispensed by Health Office staff.  Students are not allowed to carry medications unless the medication is an emergency rescue medication and we have received written permission from their physician to do so in the current school year.

Over-the-counter medications must be age appropriate and will be dispensed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.  We dispense ibuprofen, acetaminophen, Benadryl for allergic reactions only, and antacids.  If you want your child to take any other over-the-counter medications while at school, we need your written permission along with the medication in the original container with your child’s name written on it.  Should your child’s medical provider recommend a dosage or frequency that exceeds the manufacturer’s recommended dose, a physician order is required.   

Written orders from a physician or health care provider detailing the name of the student, the drug, the dosage, route and time to be dispensed and/or schedule with the physician name and signature must be received by the health office before any prescription medication can be given.  Prescription medications must be in an appropriately labeled pharmacy container.  Your pharmacy will provide a second labeled bottle to you upon your request.  All prescription medication must be brought to school by an adult and kept in the Health Office during school hours.  For safety reasons, students should not bring medicine to school on the bus.  Please notify health office personnel should your child need to take prescription medication at school.  A student’s first dose of any medication that they have not taken before should occur at home.  Narcotic medications will not be dispensed at school.  A Prescription Medication Form can be found in our on-line Links.

Student Health Screens:

All seventh, ninth, and 12th grade students will be scheduled for health screening.  Students will undergo eye and hearing testing as part of this screening process.  If testing is initially found to be abnormal, the student will be re-screened to verify results.  If after a second screening the student still has not passed testing, parents will receive a letter providing them with their child’s specific results.

Immunizations:  

Vermont law requires the following:

  • students must meet school entry requirements for immunization
  • schools must notify parents when the student does not meet school entry requirements for immunization
  • schools must assure that students initially provisionally admitted meet vaccine requirements as soon as possible, not exceeding 6 months from enrollment

For entry into the seventh grade, or if your child is newly enrolling in our school, proof of the following immunizations are required:

  • 5 doses of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) vaccine
  • 4 doses of polio vaccine
  • 2 doses of MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine
  • 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine
  • DTap booster (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis)
  • Varicella (chicken pox) – (2) doses; or proof of immunity; or history of disease

Vermont Department of Health Documentation of Varicella -Chickenpox Disease form-go here

Immunization Exemption Form-go here

Education for Parents-Religious Exemption-go here

For more information on the Vermont Recommended Child and Teen Vaccination Schedule contact the Vermont Department of Health Immunization Program at (802) 863-7638 or toll free in VT (800)-640-4374 or visit their website:  HealthVermont.gov

Comprehensive Sexual Health Education and Condom Availability Programs 

Vermont State Law requires that school districts, supervisory unions, and independent schools have a comprehensive health education curriculum that includes sexual health education and to make condoms availability to all secondary students.  Condoms are available to all students at LUHS, LUMS, and GMTCC through the health office free of charge.

Resource links:

 edu-vdh-memo-comprehensive-sexual-health-condom-availability.pdf

edu-guidelines-condom-availability.pdf

https://education.vermont.gov/student-support/healthy-and-safe-schools/sexual-health

https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/16/001/00132