Questions and Answers about School Health Policies and Practices

What is the policy on handling acute or chronic illness in the schools?

Parents/guardians are encouraged to notify the school nurse if a child has an acute or chronic illness. We feel that frequent communication with parents is vital to ensuring that their child's health care needs are met during school hours. We will be happy to speak with you regarding health care resources and accommodations available through the health room and school.

What is the head lice policy or protocol?

You can download the policy and information about head lice below.

Head Lice Public Health Fact Sheet

Head Lice Informational Brochure

Head Lice Policy

What is the policy on administering medications to children at school?

School nurses administer medications according to the mandated policies of the State of Massachusetts. Medications are kept in a locked cabinet, and students must take all medicine in the health room. If your child requires a medication at school, you must fill out forms with contact information, the name of the medication, etc. A signed order from your child's doctor is also required for any prescription medication taken during school hours. The forms for prescription and over the counter medications are available through the school nurse. 

Please note that the parent or guardian must deliver the medication to the health room in an appropriately labeled bottle. With the exception of inhalers and epipens, students are not allowed to carry prescription medication on their person at school.

What is the policy or practice on required physical exams?

All students entering the 4th grade or transferring to the Somerville Public Schools are required to have a physical examination performed within the last year. All students entering 7th grade are required to have a tetanus shot or booster within the last 5 years. The exam should be completed on a Massachusetts School Health Record Form available online or from the Parent Information Center (617-625-6600 x6960). 

Students who do not have a current physical examination and updated immunization form on file will face the risk of exclusion from school until one is received.

Students with Asthma or Life-Threatening Allergies

Please notify us if your child has asthma or a life-threatening allergy. We will work with you, your child's doctor, and school staff as necessary to ensure that your child remains safe in school. 

If your child's doctor has prescribed an epipen or an inhaler, please print a copy of the form titled "Health Provider Medication Order and Parental Consent" form. This form should be filled out by a parent/guardian as well as the doctor who has prescribed the medication. The form can also be picked up in the health room or faxed to you by request. 

If your child has asthma, please print a copy of the form titled "Asthma Action Plan for Health Care Providers". This form should be filled out by your child's doctor and returned to the health room. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding management of asthma and/or allergies in school.