Carole Tatman
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(301) 863-4044 ext. 1

A school nurse is a registered nurse (RN) licensed to practice nursing in the State of Maryland and has professional expertise in health wellness, prevention, and growth and development.  The school nurse works with other school personnel to plan and carry out a comprehensive school health program.  They are the most appropriate medical professionals in the school setting to manage, deliver, and delegate health care.  School nurses are a valuable and vital link in the coordination and management of health care for students.  The school nurse collaborates within the school community to plan student health services, implement/manage student health care, educate the school community and evaluate the school health program. 

Staying Healthy and Safe Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents:

Immunization Requirements
School Physical
Lead Form
Medication Administration
Keeping Your Student Well
What to Do if Your Student is Ill
Cold or Flu
Parent Responsibilities
Chronic Health Condition Forms
Asthma Forms
Allergy Forms
Diabetic Forms
Additional Resources

Immunization Requirements 

COVID & Childhood Vaccinations FAQs

The School Nurse reviews immunization records, which must be in accordance with Maryland immunization laws. Students with incomplete immunizations must have proof of an appointment date for needed immunizations no later than 20 calendar days from the date of entrance. No student will be admitted to school unless all requirements of the immunization law are met. Immunization requirements for the 2020-2021 school year are as follows:

Students Entering Preschool

  • 4 doses of Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis Vaccine
  • 3 doses of Polio Vaccine
  • Hib Vaccine (at least 1 dose after 12 months of age)
  • 1 dose of Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) Vaccine (after 12 months of age), 2nd dose of MMR required prior to 5 years of age
  • 1 dose of Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine (after 12 months of age) or physician documented proof of disease
  • 3 doses of Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • 1 dose of Pneumococcal Conjugate

Students Entering Kindergarten through 5th Grade

  • 4 doses of Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis Vaccine
  • 3 doses of Polio Vaccine
  • 2 doses of Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) Vaccine (after 12 months of age)
  • 2 doses of Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine (after 12 months of age) or physician documented proof of disease
  • 3 doses of Hepatitis B Vaccine

School Physical

In order for your student to enter a Maryland public school for the first time, a physical examination by a physician or certified nurse practitioner must be completed either nine months prior to entering the public school or six months after entering the system.

Physical Examination Form

Lead Form

Maryland law required ALL public, prekindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade students to have a DHMH 4620 Blood Lead Testing Certificate on file in the health record.

Maryland DHMH Blood Lead Testing Certificate

Medication Administration

Following are the SMCPS guidelines regarding medication at school and the medication/procedure order forms. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: A separate order form is needed for each medication/procedure and a new order is needed for each school year. 

Guidelines for Parents Prescription Medication

Guidelines for Parents Over The Counter Medication

Parents, Legal Guardians and Physican Prescriber Authorization - Medication Orders

Parents, Legal Guardians and Physican Prescriber Authorization - Medical Procedures

Over The Counter Medication Authorization

Keeping Your Student Well

Hand washing is the number one way to stop the spread of disease. Twenty seconds of soap and water scrubbing before meals and after bathroom breaks is a great way to start this healthy habit. Encourage this practice at home. Your child will perform better in school if he/she has good attendance. To keep your child well:

  • Ensure adequate exercise and rest periods.
  • Provide proper nutrition including a good breakfast.
  • Encourage good daily hygiene, including brushing teeth.
  • Review the rules of safe play.

What to Do if Your Student is Ill

While school attendance is vital to your student’s education, a sick child belongs at home. Please review the Sick Day Guidelines below to assist you in making that decision.


Send me to school if...

  • I have a runny nose or just a little cough, but no other symptoms.
  • I haven't taken any fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours, and I haven't had a fever during that time.
  • I haven't thrown up or had any diarrhea for 24 hours.

Keep me home if...

  • I have a temperature higher than 100°F.
  • I'm throwing up or have diarrhea.
  • My eyes are pink and crusty.

Call the doctor if...

  • I have a temperature higher than 100°F for more than 2 days.
  • I've been throwing up or having diarrhea for more than 2 days.
  • I've had the sniffles for more than a week and they aren't getting any better.
  • I still have asthma symptoms after using my asthma medicine (and call 911 if I'm having trouble breathing after using an inhaler).

Is it a Cold or the Flu?

It is sometimes hard to tell the difference between a cold and the flu. The following is a guide but is neither an all-inclusive list nor meant to be used for diagnostic purposes:

Signs and SymptomsInfluenzaCold
Symptom onset Abrupt Gradual
Fever Usual Rare
Aches Usual Slight
Chills Fairly Common Uncommon
Fatigue, Weakness Usual Sometimes
Sneezing Sometimes  Common
Stuffy Nose Sometimes Common
Sore throat Sometimes Common
Chest discomfort, cough Sometimes Mild to moderate
Headache Common Rare

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities:

  • Report illnesses to the nurse and/or office when your student is absent. There are some illnesses that are contagious and we would like to take proper measures to prevent the spread to others. 
  • Alert your student’s teacher and the school nurse of any health conditions that may impact your student’s learning, daily activities, and/or safety at school. Medical documentation of conditions/diagnoses is encouraged and sometimes required. 
  • Inform the nurse of any health-related procedures, and/or changes in your student’s medication. 
  • Update the school with any change in phone number(s) and emergency contact(s) so the nurse can reach you as needed. 

Chronic Health Condition Forms

Following are some of the forms that the school nurse may ask you to complete or have completed by your student’s health care provider. This is not an all-inclusive list so please contact your school nurse with any questions. 

Asthma Forms

Asthma Procedure Information

Emergency Action Plan - Asthma

Asthma Medication Action Plan

Allergy Forms

Allergy Information

Insect Allergy Emergency Action Plan

Food Allergy Emergency Action Plan

Allergy Emergency Action Plan

Allergy Emergency Action Plan Parent(s)/Legal Guaridan(s) and Physican/Prescriber Authorization - Medication Orders  

Diabetic Forms 

Diabetes: Parent(s)/Legal Guardian(s) Responsibilities Fact Sheet 

Diabetes: Student Responsibilities Fact Sheet

Maryland Diabetes Medical Management Plan-Health Care Provider Order Form

Maryland Diabetes Medical Management Plan Guidance

Parent/Legal Guardian Diabetes Questionnaire

Emergency Action Plan - Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)

Emergency Action Plan – Hyperglycemia (High Blood Sugar)

Diabetes Emergency Action for Field Trips or School Sponsored Activities that Occur Outside of the Instructional Day

Individualized School Health Equipment and Supplies List For Management of Diabetes at School 

Assessment of Diabetes Self-Management Skills and Authorization 

Additional Resources

St. Mary's County Health Department

Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Center for Disease Control and Prevention