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Nurse Newsletter

SCHOOL NURSE NEWS LETTER

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I would like to extend a warm welcome to all students and their parents. I am looking forward to working with you and your children at Foxborough High school.  I would like to share the following important information with you and ask your cooperation in providing the necessary documentation and communication regarding your child in order to ensure his/her health and safety.

HEALTH CONCERNS: Please inform your school nurse of any severe allergies, surgeries, accidents or new health problems that occurred during the summer months or which may occur during the school year.

Medical Information :  Please complete and return this form as soon as possible.  It will provide us with valuable information regarding your child.  The form will be kept in the nurse’s office and available to teachers and appropriate staff at the nurse’s discretion.  If your child has a medical condition (e.g. allergy, asthma, diabetes or seizures), this information will be shared with his/her teacher and other staff members working with your child. PHYSICAL EXAMS AND IMMUNIZATIONS:  In accordance with the Foxborough School Policy and Massachusetts State Law, physical exams and documentation of  immunizations are required for all 10th grade students.   Students that participate in band or school athletics are required to have a yearly physical (105-cmr-201).  New students entering the Foxborough Public Schools must submit an updated immunization record in order to begin school along with a physical exam that was done within one year prior to entrance to school or within 30 days after school entry.  If your child has a primary care physician that does not have a physical form you can print one from the form on the FHS nurses’ website and bring it with you to the physical exam for completion. Massachusetts State Law and Regulations (105 CMR 200.000), provides for exclusion of students from school if immunizations are not up to date. There are two situations in which children who are not appropriately immunized may be admitted to school:  1.) a medical exemption is allowed if a physician submits documentation attesting that an immunization is medically contraindicated; and 2.) a religious exemption is allowed if a parent or guardian submits a written statement that immunizations conflict with their sincere religious beliefs.  The law states that medical exemptions must be presented at the beginning of each school year.  Massachusetts Department of Public Health additionally requires annual renewal of religious exemptions in writing at the beginning of each school year.  The only exception for exclusion of unimmunized or partially immunized children without medical or religious exemptions is for homeless children.  

Updated physical exams and immunizations are state mandated. After the nurse makes 3 attempts to obtain the required documentation, the students name will be given to an administrator for further action.  If you have an insurance issue please contact the nurse for assistance and direction.

MEDICATIONS: NO child is to take or carry PRESCRIPTION OR OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATIONS to school, with the exception of an Epi Pen or an inhaler.   A physician's order must accompany all medications to be given during the school day, including over-the-counter drugs. If a student must receive medications in school (including students in need of emergency medications such as Epi Pen, inhalers, Diastat) both parental permission and a physician order  prior to administrating medication is required. Therefore, a prescription label IS NOT acceptable in lieu of an MD’s order. A written order must be obtained.  A Parent Authorization for Medication Form must be completed and signed by the parent. This form along with the prescribed medication in its original container must be brought to school by the parent/guardian. Ask your pharmacist to divide your child's medication into 2 bottles, each with its own label so that one can be kept at home and one can be kept (if allowed) at the school. All medication MUST be administered in the nurses’ office. The nurse can only accept a 30 day supply of medication. Any medication not picked up by the parent/guardian at the end of the school year will be disposed of, it will not carry over to the next year.

STUDENTS WITH ASTHMA, DIABETES, SEIZURES, AND LIFE THREATENING ALLERGIES :  Emergency Action Plans and doctors’ orders must be submitted to the nurse each year at the start of school.CONCUSSIONS/INJURIES/SURGERIES:  If your child sustains a concussion, an injury or had surgery a doctor’s note is required to excuse the student from wellness class and sport activities.  The nurses’ office along with guidance and teachers will work together if educational accommodations are needed.   Please find the Post Sports Related Head Injury Clearance Form on the FHS website that must be completed by the students’ doctor in order to resume athletic and cognitive activities. All doctor notes for concussion/injury/surgery should be given to the nurse by the student in order for her to assess and speak to the student directly on his/her return to school. 

SCREENINGS: As per MA State Law the following screenings will be done at Foxborough High School, more information will be provided in the fall. 

  • POSTURAL SCREENING  This screening is done on all 9th grade students every spring by the school nurse.  The purpose of this screening is to find early signs of possible spinal problems. 

  • VISION AND HEARING SCREENING :  Theses screenings will be conducted on all 10th grade students by the school nurse in September.  If your child wears glasses please remind him/her to wear them every day. You will be notified only if your child does not pass the screenings. 

  • SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment):   This is done with all of the 10th grade students.  It is a mandated screening by The Department of Public Health related to the use of alcohol, marijuana and other substances. Our goal is to let the students know that we are available to reinforce healthy decisions and to assist them in obtaining support if needed for substance use.  All screenings will be conducted by the school nurse confidentially in private one-to-one sessions. We will utilize the CRAFFT-II screening tool which can be found on the nurse’s website for your review.  Students who are not using substances will have their healthy choices reinforced by the screener. The screener will provide brief feedback to any student who reports using substances, or who is at risk for future substance use.  If needed, we will refer students to our guidance staff or social worker for further evaluation. This program focuses on harm prevention and does not generate disciplinary action. Results of the screening will not be included in your student’s school record. If you do not want your child screened, please sign and return the form that will be sent home.

 

ILLNESS/ABSENCES: Please contact the main office in the morning if your child is to be absent and inform them why he/she will not be attending. If your child has been ill, he/she should be free of a temperature for 24 hours before returning to school without the use of fever reducing medication

If your child is diagnosed with any of the following communicable diseases please notify the nurse: strep throat, chicken pox, impetigo, scabies, head lice, pink eye, viral/diarrhea illness and Fifth’s Disease. The exclusion time for each is:

  • Strep Throat and Impetigo – 24 hours after initial dose of antibiotic
  • Chicken Pox – 7 days or until lesions are crusted over
  • Scabies/Ringworm – 24 hours after initial of medication and an MD note.  Any child with ringworm should not participate in gym, swimming, and other close contact activities that are likely to expose others until 72 hours after treatment has begun or until the lesions can be completely covered.
  • Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) – 24 hours after initial dose of medication
  • Fifth’s Disease – exclusion at discretion of family MD or until fever subsides
  • Head Lice – after hair has been treated and nits removed
  • Fever- must be fever free, temp under 100.4 for 24 hours without taking fever reducing medications


FLU FACTS/INFORMATION: The flu is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract.    Although the flu affects everyone, children tend to get it more often than adults.  The season for the flu is usually from November to April with most cases occurring between late December and early March.

The flu is often confused with the common cold, but flu symptoms tend to develop quickly (usually 1 to 4 days after a person is exposed to the flu virus) and are usually more severe than the typical sneezing and stuffiness of a cold.

Symptoms of the Flu may include:

Fever                                                              Chills                                                                 Headache

Muscle aches                                                   Dizziness                                                            Loss of appetite

Runny or stuffy nose                                        Nausea or vomiting                                              Weakness

Tiredness                                                        Cough                                                                Sore throat

Ear infection                                                    Diarrhea                                                              

Symptoms can last for a week or two. The flu is very contagious. It is spread by coughing or sneezing into the air. People who are infected with the flu are contagious as long as they show symptoms (most of the time that means about a week for adults, but for children it can mean up to two weeks).

Ways to Prevent The Flu:

  • To have the flu shot if your pediatrician feels you should have it.
  • Wash your Hands thorough and frequently
  • Never pick up used tissues.
  • Never share cups and eating utensils.
  • Stay home from work or school when you’re sick with the flu.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

How Do You Treat The Flu?

  • Stay home from school
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Get plenty of sleep and take it easy.
  • Call your doctor for a fever or achiness so that he/she can let you know what to take to make your child feel better.
  • The student may return to school when he/she is both fever free (temperature not higher than 100 F) and has not taken Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) for 24 hours.

This information will be posted on the FHS website and in the student handbook for your future reference.

Thank you in advance for your help in providing the healthiest and safest environment for all students.

Angela Murphy RN, BSN

Foxborough High School

Nurses’ Office :  508-543-1630

Nurses’ secure fax: 508-543-1679

Email:     murphya@foxborough.k12.ma.us

*All forms can be found on the FHS website on the nurses’ page