Fort Plain Central School District health services support student academic success by promoting health in the school setting. Each of the district’s schools has its own health office with a full-time nurse to serve student health needs.
District health services provide:
- Vision, hearing and scoliosis screenings;
- First aid for accidents and illness;
- Immunization record maintenance for all students;
- Clearance for interscholastic sports participation (middle and high school); and
- Medication administration.
Please don’t send your child to school if he or she is sick.
Children who are running an elevated temperature, have a rash, persistent cough, vomiting or diarrhea would fall into this category. Children who have been running a temperature above 100 degrees should not return to school until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours. For a child experiencing symptoms of a cold or other minor ailment, the question of whether the child should attend school is up to the parent’s judgment. Parents are the best judge of determining if their children are healthy enough to meet the demands of a school day.
Please call the school to report your child’s absence by 8 a.m.
When your child returns to school, he or she should bring a note to the nurse’s office explaining the reason for the absence.
If your child is absent as a result of a contagious disease such as chicken pox or head lice, he or she should report directly to the nurse’s office before returning to his or her classroom.
If you have special concerns regarding your child’s health status, please contact the nurse’s office at the beginning of the school year or promptly after detecting any health concerns.
Illness at school
Students who get sick during the school day need to report to the school nurse before calling or texting a parent to come get them or leaving school on their own. Any student leaving school because of illness must be released by the school nurse.
When a student arrives in the nurse’s office, the school nurse will assess the student’s presenting complaint(s) and contact his or her parent(s) if necessary. For young children, often a short rest, Kleenex and kindness remedy minor complaints and concerns. If a child demonstrates any unusual physical symptoms or shows a pattern of self-referral to the nurse’s office with repeating complaints, the school nurse will contact the child’s parent(s).
Student injury at school
When a student is injured at school, the school nurse assesses immediate medical needs, and responds accordingly. Parents are contacted, and an appropriate level of medical assistance is secured.
If your child is injured at school and requires medical treatment, the district insurance provides coverage of those costs. Insurance forms are available through the school nurse’s office. Parents should note that if you have private insurance, school district insurance is applicable only after your insurer has paid its maximum benefit.
Medications at school
If a child need to take medication in school, even over-the-counter medication like Tylenol or Advil, his or her parent(s) must have the child’s health care provider complete the medication authorization form and return the completed form to the school nurse. Medications cannot be administered at school until this form is on file. Per New York state regulations, all medications — prescription and over-the-counter — that are taken at school must be administered by the school nurse.
Students may not have any medication (prescription or over-the-counter) with them during the school day. The only exceptions are asthma inhalers or EpiPens, which may be carried by students who have written permission from their physicians and parents, along with the approval of the school nurse.
Parents who wish their children to have routine access to pain relievers or other over-the-counter medications must provide the school with written permission and a doctor’s standing order. These authorizations must be renewed annually.
All medications — prescription and over-the-counter — must be supplied by parents in the original container. Parents should deliver medications to the nurse’s office. The child’s name should be visible and readable on the container.
All new students and students entering pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, second, fourth, seventh and 10th grades are required by law to present a copy of a current physical (done within the past 12 months) to the school nurse within 30 days of their first day of school. Download the health certificate/appraisal form for the doctor to fill out. For those who do not have a physician, district health services will provide physicals for students entering these grades, as well as for students wishing to play sports or acquire working papers.
Health physicals and screenings performed by school personnel provide a baseline measure of a student’s wellness and sensory functions. These evaluations are not equal in scope to evaluations performed by personnel at a doctor’s office, hospital or clinic. Children should have regular pediatric and dental care.
Families who are new to the area, cannot afford a private physician, or need help accessing affordable dental services should contact their children’s school nurse’s office for assistance locating local resources.
To play on one of Fort Plain’s interscholastic athletic teams, or even practice with a team, students must — by law — have a sports physical on file with the school nurse. Students who participate in interscholastic sports must have a physical every 12 months.
A student-athlete who is injured during a sports season must have written clearance from his or her doctor before he or she will be allowed to return to regular practices or games.
All student-athletes must return a parent/guardian-signed health history form and a completed sports physical form at the beginning of each sports season.
BMI reporting to New York state
Because New York state is interested in data about children’s health, schools are required to keep height and weight data and calculate students’ Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a way of checking for underweight or overweight children based on their height and weight. The state Department of Health surveys some school districts each year and asks them to share the number of students they have in each of six possible BMI categories based on students’ age and gender. If the state surveys Fort Plain, the district will only share group data (for instance, the number of second-grade boys whose BMI is below the fifth percentile), not individual data. However, if parents wish their child’s data to be excluded from such group calculations, they should call the nurse’s office before January 30 of each year.
Water testing in New York schools
In September 2016, a state law went into effect that requires all public school districts in New York to test water for lead.
The law requires school districts to sample all water outlets currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes in buildings that may be occupied by students and to submit those samples to a state-approved lab for analysis.
Regulations call for testing to take place again in 2020 and every five years thereafter, unless the state Commissioner of Health requires testing sooner.