Health Room / Nursing Services
Article XIV of the Pennsylvania Public School Code provides that all children attending public, private, and parochial schools receive school health services. These services include medical and dental examinations and four different health screenings (growth, vision, hearing, and scoliosis) at specified intervals; nursing services, including the treatment of acute and chronic conditions, first aid, and emergency care; medication administration; health counseling and health promotion; maintenance of student health records; and assessment for school immunizations. A member of the Springfield School District’s Health Services team is available in each district school building along with one floating parochial school nurse to assist families in accessing these mandated services.
It is important to note that Pennsylvania State Health Law requires a physical examination upon entrance to school in kindergarten or first grade and again in grades six and eleven. Dental examinations are required in kindergarten or grade one and in grades three and seven. If your child is new to Pennsylvania schools, current physical and dental examinations are required. A listing of the state’s mandated services by grade is include in the "All Forms and Letters" section.
The school district’s Health Services team is composed of certified school nurses, licensed staff nurses, and health aides who operate under a physician with standing orders. Please feel free to contact your school nurse regarding health issues that might arise for your child during the school year. We recommend that if your child has special health concerns or requires special considerations as they relate to medical needs, please contact your child’s school nurse each year to insure that all necessary information is shared and materials provided to support their education.
School nurses will provide first aid and emergency care for students who become ill or injured during the school day. If a student is too ill to remain in school, the parents are expected to make arrangements to pick up the student in a timely fashion.
- Health Room Staff
- Student Emergency Medical Card
- When to Keep Your Child Home
- Transportation of Ill and Injured Students
- Health Screenings
- Physical Examinations
- Dental Health Program
- Immunizations and Exemptions to Immunization Law
- Medication Policy
- Chronic Medical Condition Action Plans
- Crutches/Wheelchair and Elevator Use
- Head Lice Procedure
- Health Resources for Parents
- All Forms and Letters
Springfield High School
Mrs. Gina Hercer, RN, CSN
E.T. Richardson Middle School
Mrs. Terri Missar, RN, CSN
Sabold Elementary School
Mrs. Denise Manley, RN
Scenic Hills Elementary School
Mrs. Cathy Stewart, RN, CSN
Springfield Literacy Center
Mrs. Janice Dimaio, RN
St. Francis School Nurse
Helene Stretch , RN
|Holy Cross School Nurse
& SHS Assistant
|Jaime Bendig, RN, CSN||610-938-6315
Each student must have a completed and signed Student Emergency Medical Card on file in the nurse's office in order to receive nursing services. The parent/guardian’s signature authorizes treatment in the event of an emergency.
Please seriously evaluate your child's health and ability to be productive in school when he or she complains of a headache, stomach pain, sore throat, or cold symptoms without a fever. Children often have no fever in the morning, but, as the day progresses, can develop a fever. Keeping your sick child home will help him/her recover sooner and will help to prevent the spread of germs to others. It is important to maintain a healthy environment in the classroom to protect all students. The following symptoms may indicate a contagious illness and your child should be kept at home if any of the following occur:
- Fever of 100° the night prior to or the morning of school; student must be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school
- Headache unrelieved by Tylenol or Advil
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea within the past 24 hours; student must be vomit/diarrhea-free for 24 hours before returning to school
- Sore throat lasting 2-3 days; a visit to the doctor may be needed to rule out strep throat.
- Drainage from the eyes; red, itchy, and/or crusty eyes
- Excessive coughing unrelieved by cough drops or cough medicine
- Rash (unless determined to be non-communicable by a physician)
- Abdominal pain
- Dizziness or chills
- Stiff neck or headache not caused by an accident or fall
Having your sick child rest at home with any of the above conditions will likely help with his/her recovery. If symptoms are not relieved by rest, please see your family physician. It will also help to prevent the spread of germs to other students and staff members.
Transportation of ill or injured students is the responsibility of the parent/guardian. If a student becomes ill or injured and must leave school, the parent/guardian will be contacted to provide or arrange for transportation. If the student in question has driven himself/herself to school but, in the judgment of the school nurse is medically unable to drive home safely, the parents will be asked to provide or arrange for transportation. In the event of a serious illness or injury, an ambulance will be called to transport the student to the nearest hospital. The ambulance fee is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.
Pennsylvania state law mandates specific health screenings for students. The school nurse begins these screenings after the start of the school year. Please contact the school nurse if you have any questions about screenings.
The following health screenings are mandated by Pennsylvania law:
- Growth Screening: Height and weight are recorded annually for each student.
- Vision Screening: Vision screening, both for near and far vision, is completed annually for each student.
- Color and depth perception are assessed in grade two.
- Hearing Screening: Hearing screenings are done in kindergarten and grades one, two, three, seven, and eleven.
- Scoliosis Screening: Scoliosis screening, a mandated screening for spinal curvature, is done in grades six and/or seven.
- BMI (Body Mass Index): BMI is a screening tool used to assess children at risk of being underweight or overweight.
- BMI is calculated based upon body weight, height, age, and gender data. BMI in children is age-specific and gender-specific. Parents/guardians will be notified of their child's BMI and are encouraged to share this information with their child's physician.
Parents/guardians will be notified if their child's health screenings reveal any concerns or abnormalities. In these instances, school nurses will provide referrals for further testing/diagnosis.
Pennsylvania School Health Law requires a physical examination upon entrance to school in either kindergarten or first grade and again in grades six and eleven. If your child is new to Pennsylvania schools, a current physical examination is required. Examinations done by a family physician within one year before the opening of the school term are acceptable by state regulations. Many physicians have electronic medical records. Please ask for a copy of your child’s physical at the end of his/her visit. Parents/guardians are encouraged to take their children to their family physician for these examinations to provide continuity of care. The family physician is familiar with your child and thus is better able to detect any physical changes, administer treatment if necessary, and follow through with needed care and immunization boosters.
Please keep the school nurse informed of any corrections, treatments, or immunization boosters that your child has received. In order to keep your child's health records current, please send physician documentation of any immunization boosters your child may receive. Access to current health information is essential in an emergency situation.
Documentation of a current physical is due to the school nurse within 30 days of beginning school for grades K, 6, and 11 and all students new to Pennsylvania schools.
A dental exam form must be completed and signed by the family dentist for students upon entrance to school in either kindergarten or first grade and then again in third grade and seventh grade. At each of these grade levels, forms should be completed and returned to the respective schools no later than September 30. It is strongly recommended that your family dentist perform the exam as he/she is the most familiar with your child’s dental needs and will be able to provide any follow-up treatments, sealants, and cleanings.
Contact your school nurse for information on community dental resources.
Important changes to immunization requirements issued by the State Health Department: IMMUNIZATION INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
The Pennsylvania Department of Health requires the following immunizations for all children entering school in Pennsylvania effective August 2017.
Parents are required to provide written proof, signed by a physician, indicating that their child has received the following required immunizations. These immunizations must be completed and submitted to the school nurse before a child may attend school. Children who do not meet minimum requirements are not permitted to attend school until the immunizations have been completed.
Children in ALL grades (K-12) need the following immunizations for attendance:
- 4 doses of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis, 1 dose on or after 4th birthday, usually given as DTaP or DTP or DT or Td
- 4 doses of polio, 4th dose on or after 4th birthday and at least 6 months after previous dose given
- 2 doses of measles, mumps and rubella, usually given as MMR
- 3 doses of hepatitis B
- 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) or evidence of immunity
The following are 7th through 12th grade additional immunization requirements for attendance:
- 2 doses meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV)
- First dose is given 11-15 years of age; a second dose is required at age 16 or entry into 12th grade.
- If the dose was given at 16 years of age or older, only one dose is required.
- 1 dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap)
Exemptions to the school laws for immunizations are medical reasons religious beliefs; and philosophical/strong moral or ethical conviction. If your child is exempt from immunizations, he or she may be removed from school during an outbreak.
Vaccine Safety: Vaccines are held to the highest standard of safety. The United States has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history. Vaccines are continually monitored for safety and effectiveness.
Pennsylvania's school immunization requirements can be found in 28 PA Code Ch. 23 (School Immunization). Contact your health care provider or the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).
If you have any questions, please call your building school nurse.
School Immunization Requirements BEC
Immunization Information for Parents (updated 3/17)
PA Brochure for Immunizations (updated 3/17)
PA Immunization Information
Don't Wait. Vaccinate.
Immunization Health Record Form
The following guidelines identify procedures and practices regarding the administration of student medications during the school day. It is recommended that parents review the complete health and medication policies available in each school office. Questions should be directed to the school nurse or principal.
1. Every effort should be made to give all doses of medication at home. Normally, medication to be given three times per day can be given at home (e.g., before school, after school, at bedtime). If a medication must be administered four or more times per day, one or more doses will likely need to be taken during the school day.
2. Only medications prescribed by a physician for a particular child will be given during school hours. Written instructions from the physician are required. Any change in dosage or medication must be accompanied by a physician’s note.
3. All medications must be clearly marked with a prescription label bearing the child’s name, type of medication, dosage, and time to be given.
4. For the safety of all students, medication must be bought right to the health office. Enough medication should be left at school for the duration of the prescription. If you have questions about sending medications to school please contact your school nurse.
5. Over-the-counter medications: Per Standing Orders from the school physician, school nurses may administer Tylenol/Acetaminophen, Motrin/Ibuprofen, and Tums as needed for student illness. Parent permission for use of these is obtained on the annual Student Emergency Medical Card. All other over-the-counter medications will not be administered in school unless accompanied by a physician’s note specifying the medication, dosage, and timing of the medication. Children will not be permitted to take medication on their own during school hours.
6. One exception to the above protocol involves the use of asthma inhalers and EpiPens. Asthma inhalers and EpiPens may be carried by students in grades six through twelve during the school day if deemed necessary by the child’s parent and doctor. An Asthma/EpiPen Carry Policy must be completed. In addition to other information, this form includes verification of the student’s knowledge and competency to self-medicate. The form also includes a statement relieving the school and its employees of any responsibility for the benefits or consequences of the medication or for ensuring that the medicine is taken. It should be noted that the prescribed inhaler is for the intended individual’s use only and must not be shared with others. Violation of this policy shall result in immediate confiscation of the inhaler and loss of the privilege to self-medicate.
Students who self-administer their emergency medication or inhalers should notify the nurse as soon as possible after using the medication. The nurse will assess the health of the student, document the use of the medication, and arrange for further medical attention, as needed. All inhalers or EpiPens should be labeled with the child's name.
7. When the school nurse is in the building, the school nurse will administer medication. Any parent who wishes to come to school to administer medication to their own child may do so. Parents must check in at the Main Office upon arrival.
8. End of the year: Please contact your school nurse to discuss pick-up or disposal of your child’s medication.
For chronic condition medication administration permission please see the Chronic Medical Condition Action Plans section below.
Parents/guardians of students with known chronic or life-threatening medical conditions must alert the school nurse. Parents/guardians are responsible for providing emergency medication and a completed applicable action plan prior to the first student day of school. Parents/guardians of students with a chronic or life-threatening condition are urged to meet with the school nurse annually.
Having a seizure at school can be a frightening experience, both for the one experiencing the seizure and for other students. Seizures don't have to be frightening however. A well-informed teacher and a supportive school nurse and school administrator can help to minimize fear and anxiety. Parents of students who are prone to seizures should consult with their child's doctor to complete a Seizure Action Plan prior to the start of school. In addition, if a child may require emergency seizure medication, parents should provide that medication to the school nurse at the beginning of the school year. Parents/guardians of students with a seizure disorder are urged to meet with the School Nurse at the beginning of the school year.
Any student experiencing mobility problems or having a physical condition requiring the use of crutches/wheelchair and/or the school elevator, should bring a physician's note to the school nurse with the following information:
- Diagnosis and/or reason for crutches/wheelchair and/or elevator
- Duration of crutches/wheelchair and/or elevator use and date activity can be resumed
- Physician's signature and contact information
Student should see nurse for book carrier/elevator accommodation. A lost elevator key may result in a $5.00 student fine and/or loss of the privilege to use the elevator.
Schools will not provide assistive devices for daily use.
It is the policy of the Springfield School District to follow the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of School Nurses:
The PA Department of Health, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), recommends that schools immediately contact the parents/guardians of students upon the discovery of live lice/nits and send the student home to begin treatment. The student may remain in school while waiting for a parent/guardian to pick them up. However, the student’s activity will be monitored throughout the day to ensure that they are not going to be in close/direct head contact with any other students or adults throughout the remainder of the day. If close/direct contact could occur as a result of an activity or class, it will be recommended that the student remain in the school nurse’s office until they are able to be picked up by their parent/guardian.
Students must be picked up from school by a parent/guardian at which time the school nurse will discuss treatment options and provide instructions on how to treat the student, any affected family members and the home environment. The siblings and near relatives of children identified with lice/nits may be checked by the school nurse, as well. Students may return once proof of treatment has started.
It’s important to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that students that have received their first treatment, while being allowed to return and remain in school, should be discouraged from close/direct head contact with others. In light of this, any child that may engage in a club, sport, or activity which could result in close contact of this kind will be excluded from taking part in the actions/activities until the child is completely lice/nit free and cleared by the school nurse or a family physician.
Returning students will be checked periodically by the school nurse over the course of ten school days. If students continue to show an active lice/nit infection, per Title 28, Health and Safety, Chapter 27, Communicable and non-Communicable Diseases, Sections 27.71 (11), § 27.71 (12), 27.72, and 27.73, the student may be sent home in order to reduce the risk of infecting other students.
We appreciate your care and support of our efforts to insure the health and safety of our students.
The following websites offer support and information for parents:
Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program
All uninsured children and teens not eligible for Medical Assistance have access to health insurance, regardless of income. Many will receive insurance for free; others will receive insurance at a minimal cost.
American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunization Website
Allergies exist in many different forms. Find out about the symptoms of and how to manage and treat the allergy you suffer from.
SSD Physical Letter 6th-11th Grades
SSD Physical Form K-6th-11th Grades
SSD Allergy and Anaphylaxsis Action Plan
SSD Asthma & Epi-pen Carry Form
SSD Asthma Action Plan
SSD Cardiac Care Plan
SSD Diabetes Care Plan
SSD Dental Form/Letter
SSD School Administration of Medication
SSD Scoliosis Letter
SSD Seizure Action Plan
SSD Student Emergency Card
Field Trip Policy
Field Trip Permission Form
Mandated Health Services
Pertussis / Whooping Cough Fact Sheet
Be S.A.F.E Managing Allergic Emergencies
Immunization Health Record Form