Sick Child Guidelines
While school attendance is vital to your child’s education, a sick child belongs at home. Please review the Sick Day Guidelines below to assist you in making that decision.
Please keep your child home if he or she:
• Has a fever of 100.0 degrees or higher within the past 24 hours
It is also recommended that if your child has a fever with behavior changes or other signs or symptoms of an acute illness they should stay at home and follow-up with their primary care provider if needed.
• Has been vomiting within the past 24 hours
• Has symptoms that prevent him or her from participating in school, such as:
− Excessive tiredness or lack of appetite
− Productive coughing, sneezing
− Headache, body aches, earache
− Sore throat
A minor sore throat is usually not a problem, but a severe sore throat could be strep throat even without a fever. Other symptoms of strep throat might include: headache and stomach upset. Contact your primary care provider if you suspect strep throat.
It is recommended that you keep your child home until his or her fever has been gone for 24 hours without medication. Colds can be contagious for at least 48 hours. Returning to school too soon may slow the recovery process and expose others unnecessarily to illness.
If your child does stay home, please use the "Report a Student Absent' link on our school website or send in a note upon his or her return. Please refer to the SMCPS Student Handbook for further information regarding the Student Attendance policy.
Role of the School Nurse
The primary role of the school nurse is to support learning by providing students with what they need in order to attend school, stay in school, and graduate.
Who is the School Nurse
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. This is completed through the following services:
- Identifies students with special health care needs
- Performs nursing assessments, screenings, and evaluations
- Develops nursing care plans, emergency action plans, and individualized health plans.
- Provides emergency care for illness and injury
- Performs prescribed treatments and administration of medications in school
- Ensures the policies and regulations adhere to laws and standards of nursing practice
- Monitors students’ compliance with state immunization laws
- Monitors communicable diseases
- Participates in emergency management care and planning
- Coordinates and manages health care in school for students with chronic, complex, or acute conditions
- Provides information about treatment resources to families
- Conducts training around school health needs for staff
- Educate students and staff to manage their own health care concerns
New Student Registration
1. Provide an up-to-date immunization record
2. Provide documentation of a physical examination by a physician or certified nurse practitioner that was completed either nine months prior to entering the public school or six months after entering the system.
Click here for the New Maryland Blood Lead Testing Certificate (PreK – 1st grades only)
Specific guidelines are in place for those students who require medication during school hours. Parents must obtain a written order from the attending physician using the appropriate form (PS 109) for both prescription and over-the-counter medications. Students are not to transport medication of any kind to school. All medications, including cough drops must be brought to school by a parent, guardian, or other authorized adult.
Parent/Legal Guardian Responsibilities:
- Please report illnesses to the nurse and/or office when students are absent. There are some illnesses that are communicable that could affect other students and we would like to ensure that proper measures are being taken to prevent the spread of disease.
- Please keep the nurse informed of any chronic health conditions and current treatments.
- Please keep the nurse informed of any special procedures your child may require or reasons you may want to be contacted when your child is in the health room.
- Please keep the nurse/office informed of updated contact numbers in case of emergencies.
Keeping Your Child Well
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
- Stress frequent hand washing especially before meals and after using the restroom
- Encourage good daily hygiene, including brushing teeth.
- Review rules of safety.