Girard School District Nursing Staff

            Sue Decker             Girard High School 814-774-5607  xt:6407
       Amy McCorrison     Rice Avenue Middle School     814-774-5604  xt6303
Beth Kuric Elk Valley Elementary School     814-774-5602  xt 6208

Back to School!

Health/Medication Policies


School health services

The health status of a child directly affects the child’s educational performance.  Therefore, when a child is registered for kindergarten, the school nurse begins compiling a confidential health history.  This record is maintained throughout the child’s school career.  Parents are urged to share with your school nurse any additions or changes to the health history.  Emergency health cards are sent home at the beginning of each school year.  It is very important that these be completed in full and returned to school as soon as possible.  There is space on the emergency card to indicate any health problems the school should be aware of as well as numbers to be called if your child should become ill or injured at school.  An additional emergency contact person other than the parent must be listed.


Immunization changes for Pennsylvania Schools are as follows:

Students in Kindergarten will be required to have:  

a.      4 doses of Dtap (with the last dose having been given on or after the 4th birthday),

b.      4 doses of Polio (with the last dose having been given on or after the 4th birthday),

c.       3 doses of Hepatitis B (last dose must be given after age 6 months)

d.      2 doses of MMR (with the first dose having been given on or after the 1st birthday),

e.       2 doses of Varicella (with the first dose having been given on or after the 1st birthday).

Students in 7th grade will require a dose of Tdap and Meningococcal Conjugate (MCV).

Students in 12th grade will require an additional dose of Meningococcal Conjugate (MCV). 

If the first dose was given after age 16, an additional dose is not needed.


All students will be required to have 4 doses of Polio, with the last dose being given on or after the 4th birthday. Per the Department of Health, 3 doses of Polio is acceptable if the 3rd dose was given on or after the 4th birthday and there is a minimum of 6 months between dose #2 and #3 (as per the Summary of Recommendations for Child/ Teen Immunization schedule).


The Pennsylvania Department of Health requires that all students have the required medically-appropriate vaccines on the first day of school. Students will be allowed five days of provisional attendance and then face exclusion from school. Parents are advised to not wait until the deadline to receive these vaccinations.


If a student requires one or more doses of a vaccine and will not be compliant by the first day of school, the parent will present a Pennsylvania Department of Health- Medical Certificate for the physician to complete and sign. This will inform the school district when the needed immunizations will be given (date of the next scheduled immunization). If the immunization is not given on the indicated date, a new Medical Certificate will need to be completed and signed by the physician or the student will be excluded from attending school. 


These requirements allow for the following exemptions: medical reason, religious belief or philosophical /strong moral or ethical conviction. Even if your child is exempt from immunizations, he or she may be excluded from school during an outbreak of vaccine preventable disease.



Physical examinations

Pennsylvania State Law requires children attending school to receive a physical examination at their original entry kindergarten (K), sixth grade (6th) and eleventh (11th) grade. Physicals are also required for new students entering our school district.  It is recommended that examinations be done by your family physician.  A family physician can best evaluate your child’s health and assist you in obtaining necessary treatments or corrections.  When your child is due for a physical you will receive notification along with a form for your physician to fill out.  Children not examined by a family physician will be examined by the school physician.  Parent authorization is included on the back of the emergency card.


Pennsylvania law requires that children attending school receive a dental examination at their original entry (K/1), 3 and 7.  It is recommended that these examinations be done by your family dentist since he/she can best evaluate your child’s health and assist you in obtaining necessary treatments and corrections.  Children not examined by a private dentist will be examined by the school dentist.  Parent authorization is included on the back of the emergency card.



Health screenings

Certain health procedures are mandated and done on a yearly basis by the school nurse.  These include:

Height and Weight screening – All students

Vision screening – All grades

Hearing screening – Grades Kdg, 1, 2, 3, 11 and others as needed

If a student does not pass these initial screenings, he/she will be referred to a physician or optometrist for a more thorough evaluation.


Food Allergies

It is the parent’s responsibility to notify the school nurse, the teacher and the cafeteria manager of any known food allergies that may impact the student while at school. If this food allergy is severe requiring emergency medications be kept at school, the school nurse will provide the parent with an Allergy Action Plan form to be completed by the child’s doctor. The school nurse and support team will work with the parent to develop a health plan. The school nurse will work with administration to train the staff on the administration of an Epi-pen in case emergency medication is needed.

If the student must avoid certain foods either due to allergy or intolerance (peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, etc), documentation from the child’s doctor of the food allergy needs to be provided in order for a substitution to be made in the cafeteria.  The parent is responsible for providing a safe snack for the student to be kept in the classroom (or sent in on the days of scheduled events/classroom parties.) If the student is allergic or intolerant to milk, a parent needs to notify the cafeteria manager in writing in order for a substitution to be made available.


Communicable diseases

Control of communicable diseases is an important part of maintaining the health of school children.   Whether or not to send a child to school is sometimes a difficult decision to make. Your child should be kept home if:

His/her temperature has been equal to or greater than 100 degrees in the past 24 hours.

He/she has a rash, red eyes or other condition you feel may be contagious.

He/she has had vomiting or diarrhea in the past 24 hours.

He/she has an uncontrollable, persistent cough.

Please refer to the following guidelines when sending your ill child back to school:

Child must be fever free (temperature less than 100 degrees) for 24 hours without the use of an analgesic (Tylenol or Motrin) before returning to school.


Respiratory streptococcal (strep) infections (including scarlet fever) – child must have     taken an antibiotic a full 24 hours and be fever free without analgesic before returning to school.


Infectious Conjunctivitis (pink eye) and/or Impetigo Contagiosa – must have taken antibiotic a full 24 hours before returning to school.


Scabies – a physician’s excuse must accompany student’s return to school.


Chickenpox – Blisters must be dried; no drainage. 


Head lice

Head lice are elongated grayish insects about 1/8” long.  They do not have wings and do not fly or jump.  They crawl very quickly and are often hard to locate. They can cause itching of the scalp.  Nits are the eggs that an adult louse lays on the hair shaft.  They are often white and tear drop shaped.  Unlike dandruff, they do not flick away, but adhere tightly to the hair shaft.  If you think your child has head lice, please contact the nurse as soon as possible.  If a student is identified with head lice they will be sent home. Before they can return to school they will need to be treated with a head lice product and ALL the nits will need to be combed or picked out of the hair. This process must be completed as quickly as possible so the student may return to school.  The infected student MUST be cleared for school by the school nurse prior to riding the bus or re-entering school.


Use of medication

The Girard School Board shall not be responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of student illness. The Girard School District recognizes that the administration of medications to students while in school may be necessary under certain circumstances. Accordingly, the administration of medication to a student during school hours, in accordance with the direction of a physician, will be permitted only under the following circumstances.

1. Failure to take such medication would jeopardize the health of the student.

2. The student would not be able to attend school if the medication were not

administered during school hours.

Administration of prescribed medication

Before any prescribed medication may be administered to any student by district

personnel or self-administered by a student during school hours or school sponsored activities, a written request from a parent or legal guardian on an official District Medication Permission Form is required. This permission form must include the following:

1. Date

2. Student’s name

3. Diagnosis

4. Medication, dosage, how administered, time schedule, and length of time to be administered in school.

5. Possible side effects or contra-indications.

6. Any curtailment of specific school activity

7. Physician’s signature and telephone #

8. Parent’s signature and telephone number (where they can be reached, daytime)

9. Release of District and its employees of liability.

The Medication Permission Form is available on the school website or from the school nurse. 

The permission form will be kept on file in the nurse’s office.


Administration of Over-the-Counter medication

The District Medical Consultant shall determine which over-the-counter medications may be administered under this policy and impose any restrictions thereon he/she deems appropriate. This list of Standing Orders for Medication shall be renewed annually by the Medical Consultant. A maximum of 14 doses per student of over-the-counter medicine may be given with parent permission. Any over-the-counter medication which does not appear on this list or which exceeds the 14 doses prescribed by the Medical Consultant must be accompanied by a written request from the student’s personal physician for the student to take the medication during the school day. This request is in addition to the parent’s written permission. The school nurse is authorized to decline to administer a medication if the situation warrants.


Under certain emergency medical situations, such as anaphylactic shock, the District Medical Consultant may order certain medications, such as epinephrine, to be administered. The school nurse is authorized to administer epinephrine in an emergency medical situation.



All medications must be administered in the building’s Health Office by one of the following:

1. The School Nurse/Nurse Practitioner 

2. The Principal (The school nurse should be informed of those authorized to administer medication.)

3. The Parent

4. The Student, when the physician so directs by written order. The self-administration of medication must be done under the observation of a staff member.

It shall be deemed that whenever a District employee administers medication to a student in accordance with this policy, he/she shall be acting within the scope of his/her duties.


For the safety and well-being of the students who have been identified as having life threatening conditions, it is important that they have immediate access to their epi-pens or inhalers throughout the school day.  Permission to carry an epi-pen or inhaler must be discussed with the school nurse and appropriate permission slips completed, including a signed physician order. Permission slips can be obtained from the school nurse.



Before any prescribed medication or any over-the-counter medication is administered to a student, the following procedures must be followed:

1. Verification of the physician’s order for the medication by:

     a. A written order from the physician.

     b. A pharmacy label, stating the name of the patient, the medication, dosage, 

     times of administration, and the prescribing physician.

2. Verification of parent or guardian permission on the medication permission form.

3. Proper identification of medication. All medications must be provided in the 

original container. The nurse will not give a pill sent in a plastic bag with a student.

4. Proper identification of the student for which the medication was ordered.

 “Proper identification” means that the person administering the medication must

  ask, “What is your name?” The student must respond with his first and last name.

  Further identification may also be made by asking the student his/her teacher’s

  name and grade or homeroom section.

5. Proper verification that the medication was given on the daily medication log.

All new medication or change of a dosage or time of administration of a medication must be cleared with the school nurse before it is given.


For student safety, no medications may be transported to or from school by the student unless they are authorized to carry their inhaler or epi-pen and have followed the previously stated procedures.  All other medication must be delivered to the school by an adult and picked up by an adult.


Any medications, which are controlled by the Federal Narcotics Act, must be stored in the original container in a locked cabinet in the Health Office or in the refrigerator when indicated on the pharmaceutical label.


Field trips 

It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to provide the daily medications for field trips. The medication dose should be put in an envelope with the student’s name, name of medication and time it is to be given written clearly on the front. The envelope should be sealed and an adult will need to deliver it to the school nurse prior to the field trip (do not send on the bus.) The nurse is unable by law to take a dose from your child’s supply at school to send on a field trip.  This constitutes relabeling medication and is against nursing practice regulations. For student safety, any “as needed” medications with the proper form on file with the nurse (Examples – inhalers, Benadryl and epi-pens) will automatically be sent on the field tripsWhen medications must be administered to a student outside the Health Office, e.g. field trips or other similar extracurricular activities, the principal must designate who shall administer medication to a student. If a designee is not available to administer the medication, there will be no administration of the medication and the parents must be notified at least 24 hours beforehand.


Robin Seneta,
Sep 26, 2011, 10:35 AM
Robin Seneta,
Sep 26, 2011, 10:35 AM
Robin Seneta,
Sep 26, 2011, 10:35 AM
Robin Seneta,
Sep 26, 2011, 10:35 AM
Robin Seneta,
Mar 16, 2015, 10:35 AM