Meet our school nurses:
Mrs. Heidi Capelli BSN RN – email@example.com
Mrs. Shannon Cypher, BSN RN – firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Mrs. Cypher’s first year working at St. Agnes as a school nurse. As a pediatric nurse her whole career, she has worked at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, TX and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh as a cardiology and then transplant nurse. Shannon is a mother to 4; a graduate, a current student, and 2 future students of St. Agnes.
Clinic hours are from 8:15am-3:30pm during the school year. Hours over summer break will vary.
The clinic line is available 24/7 via answering machine. Messages are password protected and checked frequently during the day. 703 527 5423 Ext 111
Frequently Asked Questions regarding School Health
What is the role of the School Nurse at St. Agnes?
The Nurse is responsible for the:
- Monitoring the overall health and wellness of the school community
- Management of all medications and special care procedures that are medically necessary at school
- Triage for students who may become ill during the school day
- Assessment of injuries that occur during school hours
- Maintenance of school medical records for students in compliance with Virginia state law
- Training of school staff in areas of allergy, asthma and diabetes
- Analyzing current health research and its application to the school community
- Influencing policy change related to health and education in the school community
Why should I be in contact with the School Nurse?
Research shows that healthy and happy children have better academic outcomes in school. According to the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/health_and_academics/pdf/health-academic-achievement.pdf
“Healthy students are better learners”
“Healthy students are better on all levels of academic achievement: academic performance, education behavior, and cognitive skills and attitudes.”
By updating the clinic on any physical or mental health changes your child is encountering, you are empowering that integral relationship between health, learning and success!
Open communication allows all of us at St. Agnes to work as a dynamic team. This will ensure the best possible approach for all of your child’s needs. Please copy the nurse on all emails to teachers regarding your child’s health at email@example.com
What are the Health Requirements for school entry?
All NEW students must show proof of physical exam by an MD or licensed health care provider within 1 year prior to the first day of school, MCH-213 Virginia School Health Form. New students may NOT begin school without this completed form. We do not need a new physical form each year after the initial kindergarten form or initial entry form unless a new health concern arises. This concern can also be noted on the Confidential Health History Update form that goes out at the beginning of each school year. Your permission at the bottom of this form allows me to give first aid to your child, perform routine health care screenings and share health information with school personnel that may affect your child’s academic needs on a need to know basis.
We encourage you to continue to have yearly physicals for your child with your licensed healthcare professional.
Pre-K students must have a new form yearly with 2 weeks grace period after the previous form expires.
- Tuberculosis Screening or PPD placed within 1 year prior to the first day of school.
- Up-to-date Immunization Record or Vaccination Exemption Form.
- Severe Allergy, Asthma, Diabetes management will require additional forms. Please contact the nurse directly or see links on the school website.
- Any student with medication that will need to be administered daily or on an as needed basis will require the completed and appropriate form.
- Prescription, herbal and over the counter medications given for more that 4 consecutive days will need a signature from a doctor or other licensed health care professional.
What are the immunization requirements for entering 6th graders?
At 11 or 12 years of age, the CDC recommends all students receive an updated Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis booster vaccine (TDAP).
Virginia State law requires that all students entering 6th grade show proof of TDAP immunization by 1st day of school regardless of prior school enrollment.
NO 6th grade student will be allowed to start their 6th grade school year without proof of TDAP vaccination or medical exemption on record with the school clinic.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Meningitis vaccines are also recommended by the CDC for this age group.
Virginia State Law requires that all girls start the HPV vaccination series prior to 6th grade but parents may opt out of this vaccine without providing additional documentation. HPV is recommended for boys but not required by the state at this time.
What if my child is not eligible to get their TDAP vaccination until after the start of the school year?
If your child will not be eligible for the TDAP vaccine until after school starts, your primary care practitioner/licensed provider must provide a written statement that your child is medically exempt from the TDAP vaccine. This medical exemption must also include the date your child will be eligible to receive vaccine. You must provide this documentation to the school clinic before your child will be allowed to start their 6th grade year. You will be required to follow up and provide proof of vaccination as soon as your child is eligible to receive vaccination.
Again- No 6th grade student will be allowed to start their 6th grade school year without proof of TDAP vaccination or medical exemption on record with the school clinic.
When should my child stay home from school?
Any child with a temperature of 100 F or above, has had diarrhea, or has been vomiting in the past 24 hours, needs to stay home. When returning to school your child must be symptom free for a full 24 hours without the aid of medications. Children who have been home sick during the school day may not attend after school functions or sports.
Children who are sick do not participate in activities, retain information or process new material in a productive manner. They need time to recuperate away from the school environment. Sending sick children to school could actually prolong their recovery time.
Can my child have medications at school?
Yes. All medications (even over the counter) that are necessary for school health and/or safety are kept in the clinic with all the appropriate documentation. The forms are ONLY valid for the school year they were written for, not one year from the date completed. Each school year, new forms and medications will need to be provided. Please ensure the medication will not expire during the year.
No medication will be stored at school in the clinic or given to a child without the appropriate documentation completed by a licensed provider.
The clinic does not supply any prescription or over the counter medications for students.
On occasion, a licensed provider will deem a child able to “self- carry” his/her emergency medication. In that case, the child may keep the medication with them BUT all appropriate documentation must still be on file in the clinic. The student will need to demonstrate adequate skills to the school nurse for the administration of their emergency medication. A back up emergency medication is strongly recommended to be kept in the clinic in the event the child’s emergency medication is unavailable i.e. in their locker or inadvertently left at home.
Can my child have cough drops, saline eye drops or vitamins in the classroom?
No. These products are sold over the counter but are still considered medications by the state of Virginia and the FDA. According to Diocesan policy “Prescription medications, herbals and OTC medications taken for 4 or more consecutive days require a licensed healthcare provider’s (LHCP) written order “
The clinic does not supply any prescription or over the counter medications for students.
What is the St. Agnes policy regarding food allergies?
The Diocese of Arlington has implemented a Life Threatening Allergy Policy to protect students from exposure to allergens during the day.
St. Agnes does have children with life threatening allergies in each grade. Tree nuts and peanuts are the most common allergy here at St. Agnes but we do have children with severe food allergies to foods other than nuts.
No food sharing is allowed in the cafeteria or in the classrooms in an attempt to minimize allergen exposures.
Saint Agnes Nut policy
With the increasing number of peanut/tree nut allergic students and the dire consequences these allergies can cause, we are taking progressive steps to decrease the risk of exposure for the safety of our students. We therefore have a “NO PEANUTS/ NO TREE NUTS FOR SNACK” policy in our school. This means that students, staff, and anyone else entering Saint Agnes School will not bring ANYTHING into the building that contains peanuts or tree nuts (almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts/filberts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts/pignolias, pistachios, walnuts, etc.) to be eaten during the snack period or at any time in any classroom including during celebrations. We feel that this policy will greatly reduce the risk of surfaces in the classroom being contaminated with nut residues.
No foods will be allowed in the classroom/lunchroom for birthday celebrations. Food treats for holiday celebrations will be at the sole discretion of the classroom teacher. No outside foods may be brought in without prior approval by the classroom teacher.
Parents may send in small non-food treats for a child’s birthday celebration.
No food sharing is allowed for the protection of all our students.
If your child has a life threatening allergy that requires medication, please ensure you provide the medications and appropriate forms from your licensed healthcare professional each school year.
My child has lice, what do I do now?
Lice provide no immediate health danger for your child but they are a huge nuisance! If your child has nits or live lice your child will need to be treated before they can return to school. Please notify the school nurse and the parents of close contacts of your child that your child has been treated.
The nurse will check your child and close contacts at school to determine individual guidance.
Initial treatment of lice followed by daily combing and removal of all nits/eggs is essential. Just 1 nit/egg that survives in the hair can start the whole process over again. On average, head lice that is found has already been active for 4 weeks. A routine of checking your child’s hair on a weekly basis is strongly recommended.
How can I expect communication from the school clinic?
For most routine visits, your child may update you on their visit to the clinic. For higher level visits, requiring specialized treatment, a note may be sent home or a phone call made, to let you know that your student was seen and what action was taken.
For emergency visits, you will always be called using the phone numbers you provide to the school. Please make sure to include notifying the nurse if any important phone numbers change. While email is the most efficient way to communicate, there are laws that dictate what medical information can be included in electronic communication. If the clinic is unable to reach you by phone, you may receive an email simply asking you to check your child’s backpack for a note or to call the clinic.
I look forward to meeting your student at St. Agnes! Please feel free to contact the clinic at any time!
Heidi Capelli BSN, RN
firstname.lastname@example.org 703-527-5423 x 111