Philosophy of School Health Services
Health services in school are vital in aiding the growth and development of children and in enabling them to benefit fully from the educational experiences provided for them. Since today’s school is concerned with the physical, mental, emotional, and social development of each child, it must necessarily recognize the close relationship between health and maximum growth in these areas.
School health programs encompass three areas: health services, health education, and healthful school living. These are closely interrelated in practice and in their effect upon the well-being of the child. Development and implementation of these health programs are the responsibility of all who are in any way associated with the public schools, from the Board of School Directors and the Superintendent of Schools to the custodial staff, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers.
School health is not a medical care service. It is a preventive service which focuses on primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention (first aid, emergency care, counseling, consultation, early identification, referral, problem management, and follow-up).
School health services are intended to encourage and support parent’s decision making responsibility for the health care of the child.
Members of Health Services Department
Medications in School
Members of the Health Services Department
Northampton Area School District currently employs 8 Certified School Nurses and 3 Health Room Aides, who provide health services to the elementary, secondary, and non-public schools within our district.
MANDATED HEALTH SCREENINGS
The following are the state mandated health screenings which are conducted annually. It is the responsibility of the parent to notify the school nurse and/or dental hygienist in writing if they wish to decline these services and have them conducted by their own physician and/or dentist. This request must be done each school year and submitted to the nurse/hygienist by the start of each school year
Height, weight and BMI calculation on All Students annually
Vision screenings on All Students annually (Please refer to parent handbook for specific vision tests)
Hearing screenings, using an audiometer, annually for students in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 7, 11; for all transfer students; and for all students with a past history of or suspected hearing problems
Scoliosis screening annually for students in grades 6 and 7 (6th grade screening is done in conjunction with the mandated physical exam).
Students entering school for the first time, in kindergarten or first grade, students entering 6th grade, and students entering 11th grade must have a state mandated physical examination. We encourage you to have this completed by the student’s own personal physician, as he/she is most familiar with the student’s health history. A copy of the physical exam form can be found at the bottom of this web page.
The following immunizations are required as a condition of attendance at school at any public, private, or parochial school and intermediate unit, including all kindergartens, special education classes, and vocational classes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
Children in ALL grades (K-12) need the following vaccines:
4 doses of tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis *(1 dose on or after the 4th birthday)
4 doses of polio** (4th dose on or after 4th birthday and at least 6 months after previous dose given)
2 doses of measles***
2 doses of mumps***
2 dose of rubella (German measles)***
3 doses of hepatitis B
2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine or history of disease
Additionally, children entering 7th grade need the following:
1 dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) by the first day of 7th grade
1 dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) by the first day of 7th grade
* Usually given as DTP or DTaP or DT or TD
** A fourth dose is not necessary if the third dose was administered at age 4 years or older and at least 6 months after the previous dose.
*** Usually given as MMR
Additionally, children entering 12th grade need the following:
1 dose of MCV by the first day of 12th grade. If one dose was given at 16 years of age or older, that shall count as the 12th grade dose.
These requirements allow for the following exemptions: medical reasons, religious beliefs, or strong moral or ethical conviction.
If your child is exempt from immunizations, he/she may be excluded from school during an outbreak of vaccine preventable disease.
MEDICATIONS IN SCHOOL
Whenever possible, medications should be given at home. If it is necessary for the student to take medication during the school day, all appropriate paperwork must be completed by the parent and physician according to our district medication policy. The medication must be delivered to the school nurse by the parent or guardian in the properly labeled medicine bottle from the pharmacy. The forms for long-term, short-term, and over-the-counter medications can be found at the bottom of this web page.
In an effort to maintain academic excellence, the goal of school nursing is to promote healthful living and prevent illness and injury by encouraging healthy habits and a healthy environment. Our health services department works as a team to improve health and promote wellness among students and staff.
All injuries and/or illnesses occurring during school hours will be treated with the standard first aid procedures approved by the school physician and School Board. The school nurse is not responsible for treating injuries or illnesses that occur outside of school hours.
In an effort to provide the best care for your child, please keep the school nurse informed of any changes in your child’s health status.
EMERGENCY HEALTH CARE PLANS
Emergency Health Care Plans are developed for students with individual health care needs. These plans of care can be for students with Asthma, Diabetes, Seizure Disorders, Allergic Reactions (food, insect stings), or other individual health needs. These emergency health care forms can be found at the bottom of this web page.
The websites listed below provide an excellent source of information on pertinent health topics such as:
Communicable Diseases, Head Lice, Skin rashes, immunizations, CHIP insurance:
For information on H1N1, please visit the CDC website at: www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/