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Health Services » Handbook Information

Handbook Information

There are many important health needs recognized in school-age children, therefore many state laws and Board of Education policies have been developed to promote the health and safety of these children.  It is the goal of the Gorham Health Services Department to carry out these policies and to identify preventative measures to promote wellness in the school community.

The School Health Dept. is staffed by professional nurses, who cover Gorham High School, Gorham Middle School, Narragansett, Great Falls, and Village Schools. Please contact the school nurse at your child’s school for any health concerns or questions.

Accidents
Parents 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
The school nurse will ask parents of students with allergies to complete an allergy action plan in collaboration with the child’s physician on an annual basis. Students who require emergency medications, such as inhalers or Epipens, may self-carry with the written permission of their physician and parent. Parents will work with the nurse to set up instructions regarding snacks, meal choices, and field trip concerns at the start of each school year. There are students in the district who are latex allergic; therefore the only balloons allowed in the school building are Mylar balloons (NO LATEX BALLOONS).

Communicable Diseases
Students with diseases that are contagious/infectious shall be excluded from school until signs of contagion are past.  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 MD note
Impetigo - 24 hours after medication started or MD note
Pertussis - MD note needed
Measles - MD note needed
Scabies - may return after treatment has been completed
Strep - 24 hours after medication started
Ringworm - 24 hours after medication started
Fifth Disease - No exclusion necessary, but notify the Health Office of the illness
Head Lice - In Accordance with guidance from the Center 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.
If the school nurse is not present, the student will remain in class and the nurse evaluates the student at the next available visit.
The school nurse will develop a plan with the student, family, and staff members, as appropriate, with the goal of limiting missed class time.

PLEASE REPORT ALL COMMUNICABLE DISEASES TO US!

Emergency Card
Each year every student’s parent or guardian must complete an emergency form, during the first week of school.  This form includes names, phone numbers of emergency contacts, 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
Each year the Health Service Department will complete the following health assessments:
Grade K,1,3,5,7 - Hearing, Vision, Height, Weight
Grade 9-Vision
Parents 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 on the emergency card unless the school is instructed by the parent to make other arrangements. All students who are ill at school should be seen by the school nurse or school secretary in the nurse’s absence prior to dismissal. Students may not notify parents they are ill via text or cell phone call during school hours. The phone call home should 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)
or
4 doses of IPV
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.

Immunization dates or an annual exemption letter for medical or philosophical reasons must be on file as follows:
Kindergarten-upon registration
Transfer students- upon registration
                
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)

Medications
Please note the medication policy and permission form located in this handbook.

Physical Exams
Health Services encourages parents to forward physical exam records to the school nurse when a student has been seen by his/her primary care provider. We will routinely send home reminder notices in grades K, 4, 7, 10 if we do not receive documentation of an exam for our health records. A physical examination provides the school with valuable information about the health status of your child and is an important part of the health record. The Gorham School Department is not responsible for providing physical examinations for students. 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.

Student Health Records
Student health information both written and oral is confidential.  The information will only be shared to enhance the educational process of the student by understanding any underlying health problem.  Throughout the school year, medical alert lists are distributed to faculty and staff listing allergies, medications, and chronic 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.
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