School Nursing has evolved over the years, as more children come to school with more complex medical, social and emotional challenges. The Academy of Notre Dame employs a full-time Registered Nurse to staff our Health Office and act as liaison between school and home regarding health concerns.
The School Nurse collaborates with Karen Balestrieri CPNP, AE-C and collaborating MD Dr. Russell Coleman of Pediatrics West to provide first aid, nursing care for illness, accidents and other medical situations. In addition, the School Nurse assists in promoting good health and maintaining a healthy, safe environment for staff and students. The Nurse is available to students from 7:45 AM to 2:45 PM and will notify parents of a student’s health status as needed.
It is the responsibility of the parents to inform the Nurse of chronic illness and provide appropriate equipment for treatments and medications. It is also the responsibility of the parents to notify the school nurse annually of any condition that your child has which might precipitate an emergency situation (e.g. allergies to food, medication, insect bites, asthma, diabetes, seizures, cardiac history, etc.)
When Should I Keep My Child Home?
Unnecessary absences from school can adversely affect children's academic progress, and also have a negative impact on their social and emotional growth. The following information is not intended as medical advice, but as guidelines to follow until you can contact your healthcare provider. If any of these conditions do not improve, seem to be getting worse, or aren't responding to treatment, consult your healthcare provider.
Vomiting and Diarrhea* - A child with vomiting and/or diarrhea should be kept at home until symptoms have resolved for 24 hours and the child is able to keep down food and liquid.
Fever* - Your child may attend school with a temperature less than 100 degrees. Your child must be fever-free, without fever reducing medication, for 24 hours before returning to school.
Headache* - A child should be kept home if a headache is persistent and does not respond to treatment, and is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever.
Cold, Sore Throat, Cough* - Keep your child home if cold and cough symptoms are associated with fever or swollen glands, or if they do not readily improve. Your child may attend school if there is no fever, he/she is not fatigued and is able to do school work, and if the symptoms are mild and your child can manage behaviors to prevent the spread of germs. If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, your child must be on the antibiotics for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
Rash - Keep your child home from school if your child has a sizable rash over the body or face, and if the rash is oozing or due to a contagious condition.
Red Eyes - Keep your child home if the white part of the eye appears red and produces a yellow or green crusty discharge. If your child has been diagnosed with pinkeye (conjunctivitis, a contagious infection of the outer layer of the eye), he/she may attend school ONLY after 24 hours of antibiotic eye medication.
Earache and Toothache - A child need not miss school due to an ear infection or a toothache if he/she is under medical treatment, has no other symptoms such as fever, and can complete school work despite the discomfort.
*As these symptoms can be associated with COVID-19, please consider testing your child at home if any are present. The Academy has free test kits that can be picked up upon request by emailing the [email protected].
Children who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for at least 5 days. The day they either become symptomatic or test positive is considered day 0 (whichever is first). If they are asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving and they have been fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours, they may return to school after Day 5 and should wear a high-quality mask through Day 10, if able to do so.
If the child is unable to mask, they may return to school with a negative test on Day 5 or later. If the child has a negative test on Day 5 or later, they do not need to mask.
For symptomatic individuals, the Department of Public Health recommends a second test within 48 hours if the initial test is negative.
A word about communicable diseases - If you suspect that your child has a communicable disease including, but not limited to: strep throat, conjunctivitis, impetigo, chicken pox, whooping cough, COVID-19, Influenza, scabies, and scarlet fever, you should err on the side of caution and keep your child home until you receive a medical diagnosis. Please notify the nurse if your child contracts any communicable disease using [email protected].
Nursing services provided:
- Assessment and follow-up of acute and chronic health issues
- General medication management and administration
- Immunization tracking
- Communicable disease management for the school
- School medical policies
- Treatment for students who are ill or injured
- Education of staff regarding student health issues
- Coordination and collaboration with parents, community health providers and staff members, as appropriate