3 Aggregate Road, Poland, ME 04274
Phone 207.998.2727 | Fax 207.998.2753

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RSU 16 Health Services

Health Services

There are many important health needs recognized in school-age children, therefore state laws and Board of Education policies have been developed to promote the health and safety of these children. It is the goal of RSU 16 Health Services to carry out these policies and to identify preventative measures to promote wellness in the school community. A full-time RN at Whittier Middle School/Poland Regional High School, a full-time RN at Elm Street School and three full-time LPNs staff Health Services. There is full-time coverage at each school. Please contact the nurse at your child's school for any health concerns or questions.

Accidents

Parents/Guardians will be notified of all accidents occurring at school, except those requiring basic first aid. If the student needs follow-up care at home or at the hospital, the parent is responsible for transporting the student (or their designated emergency contact person). For serious medical emergencies, the rescue department will be called.

Allergies/Asthma

The school nurse will ask Parents/Guardians of students with allergies/asthma to have action plans completed by the child’s physician. This should be done on an annual basis at the beginning of each school year, or as needed.

Students who require emergency medications, such as inhalers or Epipens, may self-carry with the written permission of their physician and parent.

Parents/Guardians will work with the nurse, teachers and kitchen staff to address concerns regarding snacks, meal choices, and field trips throughout the school year.

There are students in the district who are latex allergic; therefore, the only balloons allowed in the school building are Mylar balloons. We request that no latex balloons are brought to the schools.

Communicable Diseases

Students with diseases that are contagious/infectious shall be excluded from school until signs of contagion are passed. Exclusions are as follows:

  •     Chicken Pox- until all lesions have crusted over or are dry, usually 5-7 days, or longer.
  •     Conjunctivitis- 24 hours after medication started or Doctor’s note.
  •     Impetigo- 24 hours after medication started or Doctor’s note.
  •     Pertussis- Doctor’s note needed.
  •     Measles- Doctor’s note needed.
  •     Scabies- may return after treatment started with Doctor’s note.
  •     Strep- 24 hours after medication started.
  •     Ringworm-24 hours after medication started.
  •     Fifth Disease-No exclusion necessary, but notify the nurse’s office of the illness.
  •     Head Lice- In Accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the National Association of School Nurses regarding head lice infestations, the following guidelines will direct our actions:
    • Children who are symptomatic (scratching persistently) will be referred to the school nurse.
    • The nurse will evaluate the case and take appropriate action, maintaining confidentiality for the child and minimizing lost class time. Refer to the RSU 16 website for more information.

Parents/Guardians will report all communicable diseases to the school administration.

Annual Health Update

Each year every student’s parent or guardian must complete an Annual Health Update form, during the first week of school. This form includes medical information such as allergies or chronic conditions, physicians to contact, and rescue information. The information you provide annually will be shared with school personnel as appropriate to ensure the safety of your child.

Health Screenings

    Grades PreK, K, 1, 3, 5 - Hearing, Vision, Height, Weight.
    Grades 7 and 9-Vision.

Parent and teachers may request screening be done if they have any concerns.

Parents/Guardians may notify our department if they do not want these screenings done. All students who do not pass the first screening will be re-screened at a later date. Once the second screening is completed, the nurse will send written notification to parents of those who did not pass the second screening.

Illness/Dismissal

Please notify the school office if your child is ill and will not be attending school. When you call the school office please state the child’s symptoms and whether or not there is a fever over 100 degrees. Students who become ill at school will be dismissed only to the specific people listed as the emergency contact, unless the school is instructed by the parent to make other arrangements. The school nurse, prior to dismissal, should see all students who are ill at school. Students who notify parents they are ill via text or cell phone during school hours will not be dismissed by the school Principal. The phone call home to notify parents of dismissal will be made from the main office or nurse’s office. Following this procedure allows us to track common illnesses. Students who have a fever and/or a sore throat or cough should stay home until they are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of anti-fever medicine). Students with diarrhea or vomiting should also stay home for 24 hours after diarrhea or vomiting has stopped, before returning to school.

Immunizations

Current Maine State Law for children attending public schools requires:

    5 Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis doses (4 doses if dose 4 after 4th birthday).
    4 Oral Polio doses (3 doses if dose 3 after 4th birthday.
    2 Measles, Mumps, Rubella doses (dose 1 must be on or after first birthday).
    1 Varicella vaccine or a health record from your Primary Care Provider showing proof of chickenpox disease or a blood test showing immunity to chickenpox.

Effective for the 2017-2018 school year, all students entering, advancing, or transferring into seventh grade will need to receive one dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine before attendance is allowed. This Tdap requirement is for 7th grade students only, students in grades 8-12 are not required, but it is highly recommended.

Proof of Immunizations from a health care provider must be on file for new students:

  • PreK and Kindergarten.
  • Transfer students- upon registration.

If not immunized, parents need to provide proof of disease or blood titer from their health care provider.

Additionally, the current recommendation from the Center for Disease Control for adolescents includes:

  •     Td at age 11 (tetanus), pertussis, meningococcal meningitis vaccine, and HPV vaccine.
  •     Hepatitis B series (if not already done).

For parents who choose not to immunize their child for all or some of the required vaccinations, an Exemption from Immunization form must be signed. See policy JLCB. This must be done annually.

Physical Exams

Health Services encourages parents to forward physical exam records to the school nurse when his/her primary care provider has seen a student. The Athletic Department requires a physical every 2 years in grades 6-12 for any student who is playing a school sport. Please keep a copy on hand of your child’s physical exam report so that it is readily available for any sports season. Helpful Tip: Whenever your child goes to the doctor’s office for a physical, make several copies of the form and keep in a file at home so that whenever proof of a physical exam is needed, you will have it handy for any sport season, camp, or activity your child is involved in. This will save last minute phone calls to the doctor’s office to get another copy.

Student Health Records

Student health information written, oral and electronic is confidential. The information will only be shared to enhance the educational process of the student by understanding any underlying health problem or conditions of the students meeting these guidelines. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the health of your child, please contact your school nurse.

Student Medication Policy

RSU 16 is committed to ensuring the safety of all students who may require medication at school. See policy JLCD. Whenever possible, students should be given medication at home outside of the school day. To ensure safe practice, this medication policy was developed with the intention of keeping students requiring essential medications in school without placing undue burden upon those responsible for their care. The nurse’s office stocks over the counter (OTC) analgesics and basic first aid supplies. No OTC medication will be administered without the consent of the parent/guardian. Medication must be delivered by a parent/guardian. For prescription medication to be administered, in addition to parent/guardian consent, the physician should concur that the administration of a medication during school hours is necessary for the health of the student.

The physician order must include:

  •     The medication, route, and dosage.
  •     Frequency.
  •     The length of time to administer the medication (no longer than the current school year).
  •     Medication side effects.
  •     The medical personnel to notify in case of an untoward effect of the medication.

In the interest of maintaining students’ health, nurses may ask the parent to seek a physician’s advice if the use of over-the-counter medication is prolonged or may be inappropriate. The first dose of a medication new to the student should not be administered at school.

Emergency Medication

  •     The school physician will issue an annual order for Epi-pens and Benadryl to be available for use by any school staff in an emergency (see Physician’s Standing Orders Anaphylaxis Protocol).
  •     The District Nurse will be responsible for obtaining annual orders from the school physician.
  •     Each school will have a limited supply of Epi-pens for emergency use and/or field trips.
  •     Parents/Guardians are responsible for supplying Epi-pens and other medications for students with known allergies.
  •     Student must have permission to carry these medications. The parent of any student who may self-carry a medication is responsible for tracking the expiration date and replacing the medication when needed.
  •     The school nurse will check expiration dates and replace school supplied Epi-pens as needed.

Procedures

  •     Students will not be permitted to carry and self-administer any medication (including over the counter meds) in school except under very special circumstances (see #2) with a written order from the physician.
  •     Students with asthma or allergies may be permitted to carry inhalers, Epi-pens, or other medications if the school nurse receives written permission from the parent and the student’s physician that the child is able to manage the medication administration independently. Students must demonstrate to the school nurse the ability to safely administer the prescribed medication.
  •     Unlicensed trained personnel or the school nurse will administer medications in the school setting.
  •     The medication permission form must be completely filled in and signed by the parent and physician. One form is required for each medication, and a new form must be received at the beginning of each school year and when any changes are made to the original physician order. Click here for the form.
  •     All medications must be delivered to the school by a parent or other designated adult. NOTE: Medications must be in a pharmacy labeled bottle or the original over the counter container.
  •     All medications will be secured in a locked space within the nurse’s office.
  •     Parents/Guardians are responsible for removing the medications from school once a medication has been discontinued, or at the end of the school year. Medications left in the clinic after students are dismissed on the last day of school will be discarded.
  •     Arrangements should be made in advance of field trips to alter the administration time of medication for the day. If a medication is necessary for the health of a child during a field trip, a plan will be developed in collaboration with the student’s parents.
  •     School personnel administering medication shall document the date, time, and amount of medication administered.

Allergy Protocol

RSU 16 is an allergy aware school district. Our goal is to minimize the risk of exposure to foods and other products that may trigger a severe allergic reaction in students with known allergies. Food service does their best not serve food that contains nuts and does not cook using peanut or other nut oil.

Due to the increasing number of students with severe allergies to foods and other products that are life threatening, we are asking you to review with your child their allergy action plan. We need your cooperation in speaking with your child regarding the importance of NOT sharing food with others here at school or on the bus in order to avoid inadvertent exposure to a food that could cause a severe allergic reaction. Students may choose to sit at an allergy safe table available in the cafeteria to reduce the risk of exposure to known allergens. Students with hot lunch from the cafeteria may sit at this table. Please let your child’s teacher know ahead of time if you want to send in a snack for the entire class so that arrangements can be made for the child with allergies to bring in an alternative snack. Please do not send in snacks, to be shared, with the class that may contain obvious nuts, peanuts, or peanut butter. We appreciate your help in this matter. Please contact your school nurse with any concerns.

Classrooms of Students with Known Allergies

  1.     Communication will be sent home to the parents of all students at the beginning of the school year and again in January (by the school nurse) to remind parents to review the handbook for allergy information.
  2.     No obvious nuts, peanuts or peanut butter foods will be consumed in the classroom of students with known food allergies in grades Pre-K-6.
  3.     Students may consume nuts, peanuts and peanut butter foods in the cafeteria or other designated area followed by surface cleaning and hand washing.

In the classroom with a known allergy student:

  •     The teacher or staff member is responsible for monitoring that the environment is cleaned after food consumption in grades PreK-6.
  •     All tables in the classroom will be cleaned immediately after food consumption.
  •     Students will wash their hands with soap and water.
  •     Hand washing by all students after eating.
  •     Snacks provided for an entire class should not contain nuts, peanuts, or peanut butter foods.
  •     No food trading, touching or sharing.
  •     Teachers will notify parents of allergy students about lesson plans or activities involving the use of any food.
  •     The classroom teacher is responsible for including the student’s allergy action plan in the sub packet.
  •     If the building is evacuated the adult in the classroom, the nurse or the student themselves is responsible for carrying the student’s Epi-pen or other emergency medicine with them. Refer to student’s allergy action plan.

Before and After School

RSU 16 does not provide school health services for before or after-school services. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify the adult in charge about the health conditions related to their child for any before or after school activity including the location of all medicines (Epi-pen, inhalers etc.).

Field Trips

  •     Teachers must notify the school nurse and parent one week in advance of any trip.
  •     It is the parents’ responsibility to provide the school with an updated field trip permission form annually.
  •     A medication permission form must be completed and signed by the parent and the student’s physician annually.
  •     It is the parents’ responsibility to provide an Epi-pen and/or emergency medications for students with known allergy reactions.
  •     Teachers will be aware of the students in their care who have histories of known severe allergic reactions by reviewing the medical alert list and individual allergy plan(s).
  •     The teacher will bring:
    •         Allergy plan.
    •         First aid kit containing an Epi-pen and/or Epi-pen Jr. and Medical Alert list.
    •         Any medication the student requires must go with them, including inhalers.
  •     It is the classroom teacher’s responsibility to be sure all students with Epi-pens and inhalers have them available for any field trip.

Cafeteria

The school nurse will provide a list of students with known food allergies to the Food Service Manager and a list per school to each school’s cafeteria staff

  •     Allergen safe tables (specific to known allergen) will be clearly marked (responsibility of cafeteria manager).
  •     Allergy posters will be on display in cafeteria and throughout the school.
  •     Children with allergies will not assist in cleaning assignments.
  •     There will be no cross-cleaning of tables. All allergy safe tables will be cleaned with separate equipment.
  •     Adults will monitor the allergy safe tables in grades PreK- 6.
  •     Parents/Guardians and food service directors will review labels and keep the allergic student informed.

Transportation

  •     Parents/Guardians will introduce a child with an allergy to the bus driver or sub bus driver.
  •     No eating on the bus during routine bus trips to and from school, unless it is medically necessary.
  •     At the parent’s request, preferential seating to the front of the bus may be arranged with transportation department.
  •     Parents/Guardians must inform the bus driver, if a student has emergency medicine such as an inhaler, Epi-pen or glucagon. Any concerns with the transportation of students will be directed to the Transportation Director.

Medications

  •     Students will not be allowed to carry medications except under the conditions outlined in the school medication policy.
  •     Students who self-carry emergency medications are responsible for proper storage and availability of Epi-pens inhalers, and other emergency medications. Staff must be aware that the student’s Epi-pens will be available in the school office.
  •     Epi-pens will be stored at 59-86 degrees, room temperature. They may not be left in a hot or cold vehicle/bus or stored in sunlight. This is the responsibility of the adult on duty.

Building Evacuations

The nurse will carry emergency medications out of the building in the event of an evacuation/fire drill.