Welcome to the Student Health Center (SHC)
Nursing staff are available all day to provide limited clinic care for your student and answer medical questions. The nurses at the SHC strive to work with students and families recognizing that each has their own unique challenges. The goal of the school nurses at WSD is to work as a team with families and staff so students are empowered to be successful both now and in the future.
In order to reach this goal, the nurses provide many services. The nurses provide health education, first aid, over the counter (OTC) medication, and administer prescribed medication and treatments (with signed doctors’ orders). The nurses also maintain health records to ensure completeness and accuracy. The staff’s role is to provide a safe learning environment and communicate to the nurse actual or potential health concerns they have noticed. The nurses rely on parents and/or guardians to communicate any current or potential health needs, keep students at home or pick them up when they are sick, and provide signatures and documentation as needed.
It’s important that parents send doctor’s orders with any medications (including any dose changes) to be given at school and provide current immunization or exemption records. The nurses also rely on parents to help them maintain an up-to-date Emergency Care Plan (ECP) for students with life threatening conditions (e.g. asthma). When the parents, staff and nurses work as a team it provides a safer learning environment for your student. The school appreciates and depends on the important role parents and/or guardians play in providing care for their student.
The SHC is open from early morning to late evening. There is no nurse at WSD overnight.
The SHC closes at 12:15pm on Friday and opens back up on Sunday at 6:30pm.
When the nurse is not available medically delegated staff will be present to administer your student’s personal emergency medication and some OTC medications.
For exact hours please contact the SHC.
Medical Forms Required Before School Starts
- Required before the WSD nurse can treat your student.
- Please be thorough – this is the form that is used if there is a medical emergency.
2. Certificate of Immunizations (Spanish) and/or an Exemption Letter (Spanish)
- Up to date records are required by Washington State Law.
- An exemption doesn’t need to be signed by a physician for parents and/or guardians who demonstrate membership in a church or religious group that does not allow a health care provider to provide medical treatment to a child.
3. Emergency Care Plan (ECP)
If your student has asthma, life threatening allergies (foods, nuts, bees, etc.), epilepsy, cardiac issues, diabetes, encopresis, or any life-threatening condition, the school nurse will need to have an ECP on file with the parent and/or guardian, and doctor’s signature prior to the first day of school per Washington State Law.
At all times emergency-life saving medication must be at school when the student is at school. Medications are kept in the SHC and accessible to your student at all times.
To get an ECP form prepared, contact or visit your child’s primary care provider (PCP) to receive an Emergency Care Plan. Please have the doctor list the diagnosis, what your child’s emergency would look like, what the staff and nurse should do in case of the emergency and the signed prescription for the emergency medication with the dose and directions on how to administer the medication. After receiving the ECP information from the PCP the nurse will put the information in a format the school staff will recognize. This form needs to be signed by the parent and/or guardian and the PCP.
At the start of every school year the SHC needs a newly signed ECP and doctor’s order. The SHC will send you a copy of their ECP for the parent and/or guardian and doctor to look over and sign annually. Any changes to the ECP must be communicated to the nurse so changes can be made.
- All medications require a doctor’s signature with directions on how to administer the medication and/or treatment. If the order signed by the doctor is not available, the nurse cannot give the medication.
- Please note that vitamins, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, medicated ointments or creams, lotions necessary to prevent a worsening skin condition are considered medications and/or treatments and also need a signed doctor’s order. If a signed doctor’s order is not sent to the nurse even for OTC medications, the nurse cannot give the medication.
- Please pay attention to expiration dates. Nurses cannot give expired medication (including OTC medications). Medications need to be in their original labeled bottle. Prescription bottles or boxes need to have a label from a pharmacy and needs to have the student’s name on the bottle. Nurses cannot give unknown medications or medications prescribed for other people.
- All medications must stay in the SHC and be administered by the nurse. For student safety, the nurse needs to know all medications the student is taking. If your child is a residential student the medication should be handed to their transportation monitor who will in turn give the medication to the nurse when they arrive on campus.
- When your child is nearly out of a medication the nurse may call, text, or e-mail the parent/guardian to send more medication to school. If possible, families are encouraged to keep just a weekend supply for a month at home and send the rest to school. This is to decrease the chance of a missed dose, damage, or loss of the medication.
- The SHC does provide over-the-counter medications for pain, cold, allergy, and stomach upset, however parent/guardians are asked to send OTC medications if the student is going to need them for a long period of time.
- At the beginning of every school year each student needs newly signed doctor’s order for every medication (even if they took them the previous year). Parents can call their doctor’s office and have the doctor’s office fax the signed orders to the SHC.
Medical Forms That Are Important but Not Required for the First Day of School
Having the insurance card on hand at the school can save families time and money. If there is an injury or illness that needs care beyond what is available at the SHC, at trip to Urgent care or the Emergency Room may be necessary and having the insurance card will help to expedite the process.
- Sports Physicals are required for 8th grade varsity and high school students participating in any sports (including being a mascot and cheerleading).
- Per state law, students cannot participate in sports related activities until they are cleared by their PCP and the physical form is completed and received by the SHC.
- Physicals are good for 2 years, so please note it in your calendars. We also keep a list of physicals with expiration dates and we will try to remind you when the most recent one will expire.
- Please note that the school typically does not provide sports physicals.
- Consistent with Washington state law, WSD utilizes a concussion fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to inform and educate coaches, young athletes, and their families of the risks and nature of concussions.
- Every year parents/guardians and students must sign and date the concussion form indicating that they have reviewed and understand the information provided before the student participates in any sports (including being a mascot and cheerleading). Please return this form to the SHC.
When to Keep Kids Home from School & When they Might be Sent Home
If a student (either day or residential) becomes ill and is potentially contagious or needing home care, parents/guardians will be expected to pick their ill child up at school and take them home. This will both allow the student to recover from a possibly multi-day illness and will stop the spread of the illness to others.
Staff and nurses try to keep in mind the hardship of taking time off work and stress that traveling to WSD can have on families. Maintaining good communication with parents/guardians helps the nurses to provide your family better individual care and mitigate some of the hardship and stress.
- Students with nausea and/or vomiting, diarrhea, fever (100.0F), or other potentially contagious illness will need to be out of school for at least 24 hours from the last symptom of illness (e.g. – 24 hours after the last time they vomit or when a fever breaks)
- Students with nausea and/or vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or other potentially contagious illness will not be able to ride the bus due to the risk to other students.
If there are any questions about whether or not to send your student to school please call the SHC.
Community Health Resources
Links to Low Cost or Free Health Care:
Offers a variety of services and assistance online:
Mental Health Resources:
The American Academy of Pediatrics gives information about pediatric health and wellness issues:
Below are the two most commonly used hospitals by our students as they accept Medicaid and provide audiologists, cochlear implants, hearing aids and support services:
Seattle Children’s Hospital: Seattle Children’s | SeattleChildrens.org
Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital: Mary Bridge Children’s | Partners for Exceptional Care