HWRHS Health Office
Welcome to the health office. Our goal is to ensure academic success through optimal health and well being. We treat both acute and chronic illnesses Collaboration with students, parents, and the community; along with teaching to promote independence and self advocacy, remains the forefront of our health office.
- General Information
- Medication Guidelines
- Sick Day Guidelines
- Health/Disease Information & Fact Sheets
- Health Resources & Websites
- IMMUNIZATION & PHYSICAL EXAM REQUIREMENTS
- Massachusetts School Health Related Regulations
- Tuberculosis Risk Assessment Information
- Concussion Information
- MA School Health Screening
You may complete this form to give the health office permission to communicate with your student's physical and mental health provider. It may be faxed, mailed or hand delivered to the health office.
Emergency and Health Information Sheet
Please complete your child’s information card as soon as your receive it at the beginning of the school year and return it to the school immediately. We need a new form each year, even if nothing has changed. Please remember to update this information with changes throughout the year. New job? New cell? We need those updated numbers.
When completing the form, please know that health information contained on it is kept confidential. A copy of this form safely accompanies students on field trips, and every attempt is made to send a copy along with a student in the event of the need for medical transport while at school. What important contact and health information would you want health care providers to have about your child until that time that you can be there? Remember, in the event of an accident or illness, the school must be able to reach you, or another person you have designated on your form, to assume responsibility for your child.
Daily attendance is an important part of our role as the school nurse. Not only does it help us keep track of the health needs and issues in the school, it helps the school assure that your child has reached school safely. In accordance with district policy, a call must be made to, or an email sent to, the Safe Arrival Line message system each day that your child will not be in school. If you are aware of a known extended absence, perhaps for travel or medical reason, you may leave one message with inclusive dates and an expected return to school date. If the situation changes and your child’s absence will extend beyond that return date, another call to the Safe Arrival Line is needed. If you are emailing your child's teacher, please also cc the safe arrival email.
Food Allergen Guidelines
In order to protect the health and safety of our students with food allergies, we have designated allergen free grade levels for those grades that include students with potentially life threatening food allergies. If your child is in an allergen-free grade level, please refrain from sending your child into school with any snacks that may contain the allergen. They may bring the allergen containing foods for lunch, as we have designated allergen safe tables, but all food brought into the classrooms must be allergen-free. Parents/guardians are notified at the beginning of the school year if their child’s grade level has been designated as allergen free and what that allergen is. Tree nuts and peanuts are commonly involved. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me in the health office.
Maintaining Current Health Records
To best meet your child’s health needs and to keep their records in accordance with state regulations, please notify the nurse in the health office of any change in health status, medications, immunizations, medical regimes, etc., as they may occur. A hard copy (please keep your original for your files) of the administration of immunizations on your pediatrician's letterhead is required in order for immunizations to be officially registered as part your child's school health record.
If it is possible to achieve a medication regime at home, medications (both prescription and over the counter) should not be taken during school hours. For example, a medication prescribed to be taken three times a day can be given before school, after school and at bedtime. If medications must be taken during the school hours, please contact the school nurse for the appropriate required forms for your situation. Please note that a new physician’s order is required each school year for all prescription medications administered during school hours, as well as all non-prescription medications that would regularly be administered during school hours. For example, if you child suffered from an ongoing/chronic pain issue and would receive a daily scheduled dose of Tylenol at school, a physician’s order would be required.
To insure the safety of your child, all medications must be delivered to school:
- In a pharmacy/manufacturer’s container. If it is a prescription medication, ask the pharmacy to provide an additional labeled bottle for use at school.
- By the parent/guardian or designated adult. Never with the child. Please bring to the nurse in the health office with completed required forms, listed below.
Long Term Medications
Any medications that must be administered during the school day on a long term basis during a given school year require the following forms be completed and returned to the Health Office before the medication will be administered:
*Medication Order/Permission form - to be signed by a license prescribed and by a parent/guardian
This includes long term prn, or ‘as needed’ medications such as inhalers and epi pens.
Short Term Medications
Prescription medications that must be taken during school hours on a short term basis (ex. short course of antibiotics) require the parent/guardian to complete their portion of the Medication Order/Permission form. The prescription label will suffice as the doctor’s order/permission to administer over a short term basis.
PRN (as needed) Medications
Our school physician has allowed certain over the counter medications to be administered per protocol. Please sign your Emergency Form for permission for your child to receive these medications per protocol. These medications include:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
- Diphenydramine (Benadryl)
- Antacid Tablets/Liquid (TUMs)
- Bacitracin Ointment
- Calamine Lotion
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Anbesol or Oragel
- Cough drops
If your child requires an over the counter medicine to be administered that is not on the above list (for example cold medicine), a doctor's order and parent consent form is needed before the school nurse can administer it.
Parents/guardians may retrieve their child’s medications/supplies from the school at any time. Any and all medications/supplies must be picked up by the parent/guardian by the end of the school year. Any medications/supplies not retrieved by this time will be discarded. Medications/supplies will not be stored over the summer break. Any medication not retrieved by a responsible adult by the conclusion of dismissal on the last day of school will be disposed off.
If your child will be home sick, please notify us via our Safe Arrival message system. You may call the Safe Arrival Line at your student's school.
In order to provide the healthiest environment as possible in order to promote learning, please do not send your child to school when symptoms of illness are present. Symptoms can include, but not be limited to, vomiting, diarrhea, general malaise, fever, severe or persistent sore throat, ear pain, or frequent cough. A child will not be allowed to remain in school if any of the following conditions exist: temperature measured at, or above, 100.4 degrees fahrenheit; persistent cough; untreated head lice; undiagnosed/untreated skin rash or communicable disease; vomiting/diarrhea; neurological changes; severe pain or disabling injury.
Please notify the health office within 24 hours if your child contracts any contagious disease, including but not limited to: strep throat, MRSA, conjunctivitis, head lice, impetigo, fifth’s disease, chicken pox, measles, whooping cough (pertussis), mononucleosis, scabies, mumps, tuberculosis, and scarlet fever.
Additional information to help you decide if your child is well enough for school can be found here, "Sick Day Guidelines." Please remember, the guidelines discussed are just that...guidelines. A child does not have to be 'so sick,' or hit a certain number of checks on a list, to simply not be well enough with enough energy to function through a day and benefit from being in school.
Post-Illness Return to School Attendance Guidelines
Your child must be fever free without medication and symptom free (no vomiting/diarrhea, etc.) for 24 hours prior to returning to school. Your child should also feel generally well enough, and have had adequate rest in the recovery of their illness to be able to deal with a school day. This would mean that a child dismissed home from school with a fever or other illness symptoms on a given day should not return to school the following day. According to school guidelines, a child diagnosed with strep throat, impetigo or conjunctivitis must be on medication for 24 hours prior to returning to school.
In the event of a head lice (pediculosis) diagnosis, please treat accordingly and check your child’s head frequently. Please see the Hamilton Wenham guide for treatment here. The Hamilton Wenham School District procedure for the management of lice can be found here. Our procedure supports the American Academy of Pediatrics position statement, found here, as well as that of the National Association of School Nurses, found here, in relation to the management of head lice (pediculosis) in schools. In short, exclusion of a student from school because of a head lice diagnosis is unnecessary and results in unfounded loss of days in school. Parents are encouraged to review these informational statements in order to best support their family and our school community. Call the school nurse if you have any questions.
In accordance with Massachusetts Law, https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXII/Chapter71/Section57, all families of students new to the District and grade seven students are required to provide a copy of a physical examination within the preceding 12 months. All students wishing to participate in intramural activities and athletics also must provide a copy of a physical within the previous 13 months prior to participation. The form must state whether the student is able to participate in all school and sport activities.
At regular intervals every few years, According to Mass state law, you are required to provide an updated physical during a student's 4th, 7th & 10th grade years. When your child has his/her physical, please provide the health office with a copy of this completed physical.
However, if your child has a physical and you don’t know if you need to send a copy to the school, send it. If your child has had new immunizations please send those that record as well. Better more health updates than not enough.
Immunization & Lab Result Requirements
School Immunization Law, Chapter 76, Section 15 of the General Laws of Massachusetts requires that all immunizations must be up to date for children to attend school according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations. Massachusetts General Law allows schools to exclude children from school whose immunizations are not up to date. Please Note:
- Immunization and lab testing dates must be physician verified.
- Physician documented updates should be submitted whenever your child receives additional immunizations.
- Immunization requirements listed below must be met, and on file in the health office, by the first day of school for that child (beginning of school year or upon entering as a new student during the year) in a given school year or that child will be unable to attend until the missing immunizations have been administered and supporting documentation is received by the school.
Massachusetts Immunization Requirements for School Entry
Kindergarten Requirements for Entry
5 doses DTaP/DTP
4 doses Polio
3 doses Hepatitis B
2 doses MMR
2 dose Varicella/Varivax or physician documented case of chickenpox
Lead screening results and TB results and/or risk status
Please consult with your child’s pediatrician with any questions or concerns. There are health circumstances in which a standard immunization schedule is not appropriate. If this is the case for your child, a letter on office letterhead from your child’s pediatrician explaining why would be required.
A concussion is an injury to the brain. Students who suffer a concussion require cognitive and physical rest to recover. If you student suffers a blow or strike to the head, please complete a Report of Head Injury Form or provide any documentation from your student's physician, and notify the nurse. I will work with you, your student, your student's teachers and your student's physician to help manage symptoms, and encourage recovery.
For more information about concussion please view: Head Injury and Concussion Information for parents and Students
High School Nurses:
Lea Tabenkin BSN, RN, NCSN. District Nurse Leader,
Gwen McDonald BSN, RN.
Safe Arrival Line
If your child will be absent or tardy, please call the Safe Arrival Line at