DoDEA School Health Services aims to optimize learning by fostering student wellness. The school nurse serves as the health service expert, providing health care to students/staff and implementing interventions that address both actual and potential health and safety conditions. The school nurse collaborates with the school administrator to promote the health and academic success of students and serves as the liaison between the school, community, and health care systems. This collaborative effort creates opportunities to build capacity for students’ self-care, resilience, and learning.
The school nurse’s responsibilities include:
As a general rule, the parent or sponsor will be notified by the school administrator or school nurse if a child has:
Do not send your child to school if he or she is ill. Staying home to get the proper rest, nutrition, and parental care is for your child’s benefit as well as for the benefit of the other children in the school who may be unnecessarily exposed to a contagious illness. The following are examples of when a student should remain home:
If your child becomes ill during the school day, the school nurse will contact you to pick up your child. To return to school, your child must be without symptoms for 24 hours and fever-free without fever-reducing medications for at least 24 hours.
When medication must be administered during the school day, it must be delivered to the school nurse in the original container and properly labeled by the pharmacy or primary care manager/provider, stating the name of the student, the medication, dosage, route, time of administration, and current date of issue. Contact the school nurse for the required Medication Consent Form. This form must be filled out and signed by the prescribing medical provider and also signed by the sponsor/parent/guardian. The sponsor/parent/guardian needs to bring the signed form and the medication to the school nurse. If the school nurse is not present, the signed form and medication must be presented to the school principal, acting principal, or health aide for safekeeping. It is acceptable for parents to bring in self-purchased over-the-counter medication to be kept in the health office for their child’s use at school, but the medication must be accompanied by a physician’s prescription and signed parental consent form.
In some rare situations, students are allowed to keep their rescue or emergency medicine with them while in school or at school-related activities. The prescribing primary care manager must provide a written statement that the student must be in control of his or her medication due to a life-threatening medical condition. The parent must provide written consent for the medication to stay with the student. See the school nurse to obtain the appropriate form for medications to be administered during school hours or for a student to self-carry emergency medication.
Please inform the school nurse of any medical condition and health concerns your child may have to better serve and protect your child’s welfare in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 2720.1, “First Aid and Emergency Care,” September 8, 2003.
Food allergies (including peanut/nut allergies) are a significant health concern within the school environment. Allergic reactions can range from mild symptoms to life-threatening reactions. Ensuring a safe environment for all students and visitors is a primary focus for the school administration and staff. In an attempt to raise awareness and limit unnecessary exposure during school hours, the following steps have been implemented to address food allergies:
Students who enroll in DoDEA schools are required to meet specific immunization requirements (DoDEA Regulation 2942.01, “School Health Services,” September 2, 2016). These requirements represent the minimum and do not necessarily reflect the optimal immunization status for a student. Acceptable forms of official proof of immunization status may include, but are not limited to:
It is the responsibility of the sponsor/parent/guardian to provide their child’s most current immunization record at the time of enrollment and when immunizations are updated. Parents of incoming students are allowed up to 30 days from the date of enrollment to obtain documentation of any missing required immunization(s). If the missing required immunization is a series, then the first dose of the series must be administered, and documentation must be provided to the school within the required 30 days. Students who have immunization(s) due during the school year will have 10 calendar days from the due date to receive their vaccine(s) and to submit documentation to the school. The due date of a vaccine is on the date the student reaches the minimum recommended age for vaccine administration.
STUDENTS IN NON-COMPLIANCE AFTER 10 DAYS MAY BE DISENROLLED UNTIL PROOF OF COMPLIANCE OR APPROVED EXEMPTION IS PROVIDED.
A waiver for immunization exemption may be granted for medical or religious reasons. Philosophical exemptions are not permitted. The applicable DoD Command must provide guidance on the waiver process.
A statement from the child’s health care provider is required if an immunization cannot be administered because of a chronic medical condition wherein the vaccine is permanently contraindicated or because of natural immunity. The statement must document the reason why the child is exempt. This request for immunization exemption from specific vaccines due to vaccine contraindications or natural immunity must be completed and submitted to the school at the beginning of the child’s enrollment or when a vaccine is due. Request for exemption only needs to be completed one time for the duration of the child’s enrollment at the school.
If an immunization is not administered because of a parent’s religious beliefs, the parent must submit an exemption request in writing, stating that he or she objects to the vaccination based upon religious beliefs. The immunization waiver request must be completed and submitted to the school at the beginning of every school year. For students arriving after the school year has started, this request/written statement must be submitted at the initial enrollment and at the beginning of every school year.
During a documented outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease (as determined by local DoD medical authorities), a student who is attending a DoDEA school program under an immunization waiver for that vaccine will be excluded from attending. This is for his or her protection and the safety of the other children and staff. The exclusion will remain in place until such time that the DoD Command determines that the outbreak is over and that it is safe for the student to return to school.
School personnel will administer first aid as efficiently as possible to the dependent student when needed to treat minor injury or illness, in accordance with the DoDEA Regulation 2720.1, “First Aid and Emergency Care,” September 8, 2003. In accordance with Section 6 of DoDEA Regulation 2720.1, should a student sustain a more serious illness or injury, the school nurse will make a judgment call based on nursing assessment to determine if the student needs emergency medical care requiring a response by an emergency medical team (EMT) and possible transportation for treatment at a health care facility. If a student needs emergency medical care requiring an ambulance, the school will make reasonable efforts to contact the sponsor/parent/guardian or emergency contact. In the absence of a parent, a school administrator or designee may accompany the student to the medical treatment facility.
The EMT, health care facility, or attending health care provider(s) may be non-U.S. or non-military facilities or providers, especially if the dependent student is located overseas. Treatment decisions will be made exclusively by the health care provider(s) if the nature of the dependent student’s injury or illness requires immediate health care, in accordance with their standard operating procedures regarding the delivery of emergency care for the dependent student.
It is very important for the school to have a current address, home phone number, mobile phone numbers, duty phone number, and the phone number of another adult to act as emergency contact in case parents cannot be contacted.
Contact your school nurse for additional information regarding the DoDEA School Health Services Program.