As a department within Montgomery Public Schools, Coordinated School Health Services promote a comprehensive school health program designed to appraise, protect, and promote the health of students. We believe that good health is a prerequisite to learning. The Coordinated School Health Services Department is designed to:
Assure access and/or referral to primary health care services
Foster appropriate use of primary health care services
Prevent and control communicable diseases and other health conditions
Manage chronic disease
Provide emergency care for illness or injury
Promote and provide optimum sanitary conditions for a safe school facility
Provide education and counseling opportunities for the promotion and maintenance of individual, family and community health.
Procedures for Administering Prescription Medication to Students
All prescription medication must be registered in the school office.
A school employee, specially trained to assist with medications, will supervise the taking of prescription medication when the School Medication Prescriber/Parent Authorization has been completed (See page 24). Note: This form must be completed by the parent/guardian and the prescribing physician before school personnel can assist with medication.
The current prescription bottle must be labeled with the child's name and must indicate specific directions. The time to be given must be a specific time (for example, noon, 11 a.m., etc.) during the school day. Samples from doctors are acceptable but must be accompanied by doctor's written orders to administer, including the child's name, name of medication, and the time and amount to be taken.
Changes in medication or medication dosage will require a new School Medication Prescriber/Parent Authorization form and a new prescription bottle.
School employees will not assume responsibility for supervising the taking of nonprescription medication or over the counter (OTC) medications. OTCs will not be administered at school unless the medication is prescribed by a doctor or clinic and the medication is in a prescription bottle with the same directions required for prescriptions. A School Medication Prescriber/Parent Authorization form must be completed.
It is recommended that all medication be delivered to the school office by the parent/guardian, accompanied by a statement from the parent/guardian indicating pill count. If the student brings the medication, it should be accompanied by a statement from the parent/guardian verifying pill count.
Medication will be dispensed as specified until the parent requests, in writing, to discontinue or until the supply is depleted.
Parents/guardians are responsible for picking up any remaining medication at the end of the school term or may request in writing that the medication be sent home with the student on the last day of the school term. Any medication left at the school following the last day of the school term will be disposed of without notification to the parent.
How Sick Is "Too Sick" To Attend School?
Children get sick and, as parents, we want our children not to miss any more school that is possible. So how sick is TOO SICK for school?
There are times when you should keep your child away from school. And if the child is sick, you should know that keeping them home improves the time required for getting well. You also reduce the possibility of spreading illness. Here are five types of illness that are reasons for keeping a child home:
Fever - Temperature of 100 or above, child should remain home until fever-free for 24 hours.
Vomiting - Your child should not attend school if they have vomited in the last 12 hours.
Diarrhea - Your child should remain home if they have diarrhea or have had in the last 12 hours.
Undiagnosed Rash - Your child should not attend school until rash has been diagnosed and treated. It could be measles, chicken pox or some other contagious disease.
Pink Eye (conjunctivitis) - This is very contagious. Your child should be treated before returning to school.
Then there are times when your child looks and feels like he/she is too ill to study or learn in school. If so, there is no point in being at school.
Realizing that today's students, families and the communities from which they come are dealing with more diverse challenges in today's society, to assure healthy development, we strive to accommodate for all of these needs. As the physical and emotional health care needs of school aged children continue to grow in our community, our department works toward building the department structure in accordance with the Coordinated School Health Program model, designed by CDC in 1994. The model reflects all of the available health resources within a school setting to allow students to gain the most from each. By coordinating with these departments and/or disciplines we can impact students most efficiently.
Identify students with special health care needs in assigned school(s).
Assess health status of student(s) with health care needs. Gather pertinent data such as physician orders and discuss with parents their child's health care status.
Devise health care plan for student to provide for the students health concerns during the school day. The plan should be individualized and updated as needed.
Provide direct nursing services to students in assigned school(s) to include emergency medication administration, diabetes monitoring, insulin administration, urinary catheterization, tracheostomy care and suctioning, etc.
Provide staff training regarding standard precautions on an annual basis.
Conduct health screenings: Vision, Hearing, Dental, Scoliosis, Height & Weight, Other screenings as needed.
Implement and monitor student compliance with state immunization laws.
Serve on special education multidiscplinary team(s) that provide health assessments, interprets medical data and helps write objectives for the health components of IEPs and section 504 plans.
Evaluate and monitor communicable and nuisance diseases.
Conduct health related classroom presentations (hygiene, safety, germs, dental, etc.)
Monitor school personnel assisting students with medication and document accordingly.
Serve as resource for school staff, students and parents related to health issues.
Liaison for home and school health concerns.
Participate in parent-nurse conferences.
Make referrals to appropriate primary health care providers and community agencies.
Participate in professional conferences with community agendas.
Serve as a resource person for community agencies.
Provide promotional activities for health care and wellness in the schools.
The department is staffed with licensed practical nurses and registered nurses. The practical nurse works under the supervision of the RN assigned to the school. School nurses have very diverse roles as the health professional in their school. See job descriptions. School nurses have the opportunity to directly impact the health of the students in their school as well as that of the faculty and staff by educating them in health behaviors as well as providing direct services.
Some nurses will be assigned to a single school full-time; others will visit multiple schools on a rotating basis. Assignments change as the needs of our students change.
For a list of of schools assigned a full-time nurse, contact School Health Services at 334-293-6531.
All students entering public or private school in Alabama are required to present an up-to-date Alabama Certificate of Immunization (Blue Slip), an Alabama Certificate of Religious Exemption or an Alabama Certificate of Medical Exemption before entering school at any grade level. All Blue Slips must contain the dates and vaccine type of all vaccines given.
Beginning with the 2010/2011 school year, a dose of Tdap vaccine is required for Alabama students age 11 years or older, entering the 6th grade. For the school year 2014/2015, all students in grades 6-10 not previously receiving Tdap at age 11 years or older are required to have a Tdap vaccination.
Meningococcal desease is a serious illness cause by bacteria. To read more about it click here.
These vaccines and other can be administered through your child’s regular health care provider or your local Health Department. For appointments contact Montgomery County Health Department Immunization Clinic at 293-6448, or for questions, contact the Immunization Division at 1-800-469-4599.
Reports of cases from across the nation have prompted concern among parents of children and teenagers about enterovirus D68 (EV-D68).
On Aug. 29, 2014, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) sent a message to all primary care physicians to consider testing for EV-D68 in children with severe respiratory illness and no other known cause. ADPH asked health care providers to report a cluster or outbreak of cases. While individual cases of enterovirus do not require reporting, a cluster or outbreak must be reported.
In general, enteroviruses have various symptoms, including mild respiratory, fever, rash and neurologic illness. EV-D68 has more severe respiratory symptoms. There is no vaccine; treatment depends on the symptoms, and prevention is very important. To prevent EV-D68 and all other communicable viruses like influenza, people need to:
Wash their hands frequently
Cover their cough
Keep children home if ill
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups and eating utensils with sick people
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs
If you or a family member has severe respiratory symptoms, please contact your doctor and follow his/her advice.
Because strict avoidance of a particular allergen is the only way to prevent severe allergic reactions, MPS School Health Services and/or MPS Child Nutrition program may require a note from your child’s physician. Please contact the school nurse at your child’s school with information about your child’s allergy for further information. A Parent/Provider authorization Form (available on this page, in Code of Student Conduct booklet, or your school) must be signed by your and your child’s physician in order for the school nurse and/or designated personnel to administer any medication to your child (see Procedures for Administering Prescription Medication to Students on this page).
Special Health Concerns
In order for School Health Services to better serve your child, if he/she has any special health care needs or concerns, please notify the school nurse at your child’s school. A doctor’s order or further information may be required. A complete list of schools and school contact information is on the MPS Homepage.