What does district health services provide?
- Screening of students’ vision, hearing and scoliosis.
- Assistance to students with physical and emotional disabilities.
- First aid for accidents and illness.
- Record maintenance of immunizations for each student.
- Middle school and high school nurses provide clearance for interscholastic sports participation.
- If you do not have a physician, your child may have a physical for sports, working papers or the mandated grades (Pre-K, Kindergarten, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 10th) required by New York State at Access Health in Latham. Please call (518) 782-2200 to set up an appointment. However, it is always preferable that your own physician examine your child, as he/she knows your child best.
South Colonie’s Health Services program supports student academic success by promoting health in the school setting. One way that we provide care for your student is by performing health screenings that are mandated by the State of New York. Any time your child has a new immunization, please give the school nurse a copy for your child’s official record. If your child needs immunizations, you can contact Albany County Health Department (518) 447-4589.
During the school year, the following screenings will be required or completed at school:
- Health Appraisal/Physical: New York State law requires a health examination for all students entering the school district for the first time and when entering Pre-K or K, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th , 9th and 11th grade. The examination must be completed by a New York State licensed physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner. A copy of the health examination must be provided to the school within 30 days from when your child first starts at the school, and when your child starts Pre-K or K, 1st,3rd , 5th, 7th , 9th and 11th grades. If a copy is not given to the school within 30 days, the school will contact you. If your child has an appointment for an exam during this school year that is after the first 30 days of school, please notify the Health Office with the date.
- Scoliosis Screening: At least once each school year for all students in grades 5-9.
- Vision Screening: To all students who enroll in a school of this state including at a minimum color perception, distance acuity, near vision within six months of admission to the school; in addition, all students shall be screened for distance acuity in grades Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10 and at any other time deemed necessary.
- Hearing Screening: To all students within six months of admission to the school and in grades Kindergarten, 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10, and at any other time deemed necessary.
- Dental Certificate: Stating your child has been seen by a dentist or dental hygienist is also asked for at the same time. The school will provide you with a list of dentists and registered dental hygienists who offer dental services on a free or reduced cost basis if you ask for it.
Communication between private and school health staff is important for safe and effective care at school. Your healthcare provider may not share health information with school health staff without your signed permission. Please talk to your provider about signing their consent form for the school at the time of your child’s appointment for the examination.
We suggest you make copies of the completed forms for your own records before sending them to the school health office.
Students who get sick during the school day need to report to the school nurse before calling or texting a parent to come get them or leaving school on their own. Any student leaving school due to illness must be released by the school nurse.
BMI reporting to New York State
Because New York State is interested in data about children’s health, schools are required to keep height and weight data and to calculate students’ Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a way of checking for underweight or overweight youngsters based on their height and weight. Some schools will be surveyed by the state Department of Health each year and asked to share the number of pupils they have in each of six possible BMI categories based on students’ age and sex. If our district is surveyed by the state, we will only share group data (for instance, the number of second grade boys whose BMI is below the fifth percentile), not individual data. However, if parents wish their child’s data to be excluded from such group calculations, they may do so by contacting their school nurse.
Medications in school
Any student who will need to take medication in school, even “over the counter” medication like Tylenol or Advil, must have a written order/prescription from a doctor and written parent permission. This is a New York State law. Students may not have any medication (prescription or over-the-counter) with them during the school day (i.e., not in pockets, lunch boxes, backpacks, lockers, etc.). The only exceptions are an asthma inhaler or EpiPen, which may be carried by the student if they have written permission from their physician and parent(s), along with the approval of the school nurse. Parents must also complete a Medication Authorization Form which can be found on the Forms page of this website.
In order for the school nurse to give a student medications during school hours, the following requirements must be met:
- All medications must be in their original pharmacy containers, which are properly labeled with the student’s name, name of medication, dosage and the prescribing doctor’s name. Over the counter medications (i.e., Tylenol, Advil, etc.) need to be in their original, unopened containers.
- Accompanying the medication must be an original signed note from the prescribing physician containing the student’s name, name of medication, dosage, reason for prescribing the medication and possible adverse reactions.
- A signed note from the parent giving the school nurse permission to administer the medication as prescribed by the doctor
- All medications must be hand-delivered to the school nurse by a parent or other responsible adult.
To play on a team, or even practice, students must — by law — have a sports physical on file with the school nurse. Students who participate in interscholastic sports, must have a physical every 12 months. Medical histories (the 40 questions) must be updated and reviewed by the school nurse before each sport season.
Students injured during a sport season must have written clearance from their doctor before the school doctor can allow them to return to play. If your child needs to have a physical done by the school doctor, call Access Health at 782-2200. You are not charged a fee for the physical. All athletes require a parent/guardian signed Health History Update Form at the beginning of each sport season. The physical and health history forms can be found on the Forms page of this website.
Automatic External Defibrillators
Public schools districts are required to have Automated External Defibrillators in each instructional school building and at athletic events.
Vaping 101: What Every Parent Should Know
There are hundreds of e-cigarette brands on the market, and they are now the most commonly used tobacco products among youth. Middle and high school students are increasingly using these battery-operated devices, often marketed as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, to inhale nicotine, THC and various synthetic chemicals. And that has health officials – and school officials – worried.