Student Health Services

students of different races and one in a wheelchair outside of a school. Text: PWCPS Health Services

 

 

Student Health Services work to promote child and adolescent health and reduce health-related risk behaviors. It is comprised of school nurses, a school health services supervisor, and a medical consultant.

 

 



The Role of the School Nurse

School Nurses are Specialized Instructional Support Personnel. They are the pivotal role that bridges healthcare and education. School nurses are instrumental in removing health barriers for all students. They maintain and support students with physical and mental health care needs to support academic success.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes the important role school nurses play in promoting the optimal biopsychosocial health and well-being of school-aged children in the school setting.


The Prince William Health District is offering  a drive-thru clinic for the Tdap vaccine to rising seventh graders on Monday,  August 17, from  9 - 11 a.m. at Metz  Middle School.  See this flyer for more information (PDF).

Immunization Requirements & Information

The Code of Virginia requires that children receive a comprehensive physical examination (§ 22.1-270) within 12 months prior to the start of school and be adequately immunized (§ 22.1-271.2) before entering public kindergarten or elementary school. Other required immunizations include Human Papillomavirus (HPV) for girls entering sixth grade; and a Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (Tdap) booster for entry into seventh grade.

No student shall be admitted by a school unless at the time of admission the student or his/her parent submits documentary proof of immunization on the State’s School Entrance Health Form to the admitting official of the school or unless the student is exempted from immunization for medical or religious reasons, the student is a homeless child or youth or the student is in foster care.


Rising 7th Graders Need T-DAP Vaccine Before New School Year Starts

The Virginia General Assembly passed a law in the 2019 legislative session that changes the grade in which students receive the tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) adolescent booster vaccine from sixth to seventh grade. This legislation, effective July 1, 2019, aligns with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, changing the minimum recommended age for the Tdap adolescent booster vaccine from 10 to 11 years. As a result, a routine adolescent booster dose of Tdap should not be administered to students younger than 11 years of age. Students who received a Tdap immunization at age 10 will not need another Tdap vaccine to enter seventh grade.

By state law, without proof of this immunization or an exemption on file, children will not be able to enroll in school for the 2019–20 school year. A list of frequently asked questions from the Virginia Department of Health may help to answer concerns or questions. Parents are urged to call their child’s doctor or local health district if they have additional questions.

Parents should check with their doctor to be sure their children have all required vaccines. Proof of immunization or documented exemption must be presented before students begin seventh-grade classes for the school year.

Shots may be obtained from a doctor, military clinic, or the Prince William Health District. Take a copy of proof of the Tdap vaccine to your child’s middle school as soon as possible between now and the start of the new school year and keep a copy for your files.

The Prince William Health District may be reached at the following locations and telephone numbers: 9301 Lee Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110, 703.792.6301, and 4001 Prince William Parkway, Ste. 101, Woodbridge, VA 22191, 703.792.7300.

Please take the time to get your student this important protection and to get their proof of the vaccine on file at their middle school before their 7th grade school year begins.


Commonwealth of Virginia School Entrance Health Form (PDF)

Virginia Department of Health Immunization School Requirements

Virginia Dept of Health Letter: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV Vaccine for Rising 6th Graders 

Protecting Student Health

Protecting student health is a top priority for Prince William County Public Schools. The School Health Services Program is ready to address important health issues.

Cold & Flu Prevention

Concussion Training

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) FAQ

Prevent Seasonal Flu - Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

PWCS Cares for Students with Diabetes

School Health Advisory Board

The School Health Advisory Board (SHAB) is an advisory group composed of individuals from broad-based segments of the community committed to creating healthy school environments so students may realize their learning potential. The school division generally appoints members of a school health advisory board.

The mission is to advise the school division on issues and programs related to health and healthy lifestyles.

Wellness Plan

School Nurse Services

What Services Does the School Nurse Provide?

Annual Health Screening: Vision and hearing screening of all kindergartners, third graders, seventh graders, tenth graders, and newly enrolled PWCS students is conducted each fall by the school nurse and clinic volunteers. This is only a brief screening; parents should continually be alert to identify vision or hearing difficulties that indicate a need for an examination by a specialist.

Health Services:
 Assess health and development, provides nursing interventions, and evaluates student responses to care.

Health Education: 
Provides health education to students, staff, and parents.

Healthy Environment: Identifies health and safety concerns in the school environment.

Nutritional Services:  Supports healthy food services programs.

Physical Education/Activity:  Promotes health and physical education which promotes healthy behaviors.

Counseling/Mental Health:   Assess needs, provides interventions and refers students to appropriate staff or community agencies.

Parent/Community Involvement: Promotes community involvement in assuring a healthy school.

Staff Wellness: Provides health education and wellness programs to school staff.

School Staff Training

Code of Virginia Training Required for School Staff

CPR/First Aid/AED
This course addresses the teaching, learning, and working environment is caring, safe and healthy, and values human diversity of the strategic plan. This course is provided for PWCS staff members. Instruction will be provided for a 2 year ECSI CPR/AED certification and 3 year First Aid certification. Participants will be trained in Standard First Aid and CPR/AED techniques.

Administration of Medication

This course addresses the teaching, learning, and working environment is caring, safe and healthy, and values human diversity of the strategic plan. This course is provided for PWCS staff members designated to be trained by school principals. Attendees must complete the entire program. Successful completion of the Administration of Medication course will help staff safely care for students requiring medication at school. Once the course is completed a school nurse shall provide annual one-hour refresher training for two consecutive years. School staff designated must also attend a refresher course every three years after initial training.
Legal reference: Chapter 881, Code of VA, § 55.1-3408, M.

Insulin & Glucagon
This course addresses the teaching, learning, and working environment is caring, safe and healthy, and values human diversity of the strategic plan. This course is provided for PWCS staff members designated to be trained by school principals. Attendees must complete the entire program. Successful completion of the Insulin & Glucagon course will help staff safely care for diabetic students. Once the course is completed a school nurse shall provide annual one-hour refresher training for two consecutive years. School staff designated must also attend a refresher course every three years after initial training.
Legal reference: Section § 22.1-274 part E of Code of VA.

When Students Should be Absent Due to Illness

Illness or Injury Exclusion Criteria - Reasons for which a child may be sent home from school or for a parent to keep the child home from school.

  1. Fever of 100ºF and over – exclude until the student has been fever-free for at least 24 hours.
  2. Conjunctivitis (pink eye), strep infections, ringworm, and impetigo are all infections and must be treated with medication for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to school. Please do not allow affected students back before this time so that other students are not infected unnecessarily.
  3. Rash of unknown origin (especially if accompanied by a fever).
  4. Head injury.
  5. Severe coughing or difficulty breathing.
  6. Colds – a child with thick or constant nasal discharge should remain home.
  7. Diarrhea or vomiting – exclude until the student has been symptom-free for at least 24 hours.
  8. Stiff neck associated with a fever and/or a recent injury.
  9. Inadequate immunizations with known disease outbreak in school.
  10. Refer to the Virginia Dept of Health (VDH) Communicable Disease Reference Chart for School Personnel for other exclusions/information.

Office and Staff


Teresa A. Polk, Supervisor
School Health Services
polkta@pwcs.edu

Gina A. Bellamy, Coordinator
School Health Services
bellamga@pwcs.edu

Biatrís A. González, Secretary
School Health Services
gonzalba@pwcs.edu
703.791.7266