Policies & Documentation » Health Service Policy & Plan

Health Service Policy & Plan

Imhotep aims to foster a safe and healthy school environment that protects the well-being of students, staff, and visitors. To achieve this goal, the following health policy guidelines will be strictly enforced throughout the school year:

Sick Protocol

Under no circumstances should a person enter the school if they are exhibiting any symptoms which would require isolation/safe transfer from school (see list below). Exposure of such symptoms increases the risk for communicable diseases throughout our school community and threatens our health and safety (increasingly for vulnerable populations). It is imperative that anyone who is sick, not return to the school before full recovery and/or provide clearance from a physician, when required.

In the event a person begins exhibiting symptoms requiring isolation/safe transfer while in the school, the person will immediately be required to visit the Health Office for possible isolation/safe transfer and will be given further direction on steps required for re-entry to the school. If applicable, parent/guardian will be contacted and is expected to arrange for safe transfer promptly. If the parent/guardian cannot be reached or have not arrived, the emergency contacts provided will be called for safe transfer. Adherence to these guidelines will support mitigation measures recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).

SYMPTOMS REQUIRING ISOLATION/SAFE TRANSFER OF PERSON FROM SCHOOL:

  • Fever: Fever is defined as having a temperature of 100.4°F or higher (person needs to be fever free for a minimum of 24 hours without the use of a fever reducing aids and/or medications) *Due to COVID-19 outbreaks, individual must be fever free for a minimum of 72 hours without the use of fever reducing aids and/or medications
  • Fever AND sore throat, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, earache, irritability, or confusion.
  • Diarrhea: runny, watery, bloody stools, or 2 or more loose stools within the last 4 hours.
  • Vomiting: 2 or more times in a 24 hour period. Note: a person should not come to school if they have vomited during the night.
  • Breathing trouble, sore throat, swollen glands, loss of voice, hacking or continuous coughing.
  • Frequent/uncontrollable scratching of body or scalp, lice, rash, or any other spots that resemble infectious diseases, including ringworm.
  • Person is irritable, continuously crying, or requires more attention than we can provide without hurting the health, safety or well-being of the other children in our care.
  • Infectious Diseases: Diseases such as impetigo, pink eye, and strep throat require a health care provider’s visit and prescription for medication. Contacting the health care provider and using the medicine as directed for the full recommended length of time are necessary. A person may return to school when clearance from a healthcare provider is provided, 24 hours after the first dose of an antibiotic and if he/she is feeling well.
  • COVID-19 symptoms (including but not limited to fever/chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle/body aches, headache, new loss of taste/smell, sore throat, congestion/runny nose, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea) *Exhibiting these symptoms OR exposure to a person with COVID-19 will require Isolation/Safe transfer

COVID-19 Protocol

COVID-19 is a virus spread mainly person to person and can cause illness (most commonly respiratory illness) in people of all ages, but can also be asymptomatic, meaning a person does not show symptoms but can spread the virus. This virus can significantly affect those at higher risk for severe illness (including older adults and people of all ages with certain underlying medical conditions). A positive test result or close contact (within 6 feet for 10+ minutes) of someone with COVID-19 MUST be reported to the School Nurse for confidential reporting to necessary local/state health departments and communication of possible exposure to the school community; the following guidance on isolation/quarantine are recommended by the DOH and must strictly be followed for re-entry to the school.

*Please note: Anyone entering the building will be required to have their temperature checked.

  • Person tested positive for COVID-19 or Exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms: Person must isolate themselves for at least 10 days after symptoms started AND they must be fever free for 72 hours (3 days) without use of fever reducing aids or medications, before they are able to return to the school
  • Person is awaiting COVID-19 test results: Person must isolate themselves until results are received, if positive result follow appropriate guidance; if negative result and no symptoms existed, person may return to the school
  • Person has a household member with COVID-19 or Close contact with a person with COVID-19 (within 6 feet for 10+ minutes): if the person is exhibiting symptoms, follow appropriate guidance; if no symptoms existed, continue to quarantine for 14 days after household member is released from isolation, and then person may return to the school

Key Terms Isolation: is used to separate people infected with the virus, symptomatic or asymptomatic, from people not infected; Quarantine: is used to prevent spread by keeping someone exposed to the virus, from infecting others

Imhotep’s Plan for illness

  • In accordance with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, (PDPH), Imhotep has created a parent/guardian agreement that describes their commitment to keeping their children home when sick and to seeking appropriate medical care.
  • Imhotep has designated an isolation room or area for anyone who experiences COVID-like symptoms whereas students will be kept at least six feet apart from other children or staff. Where possible, screens or room curtains will be used to create a barrier between individuals who are ill and others.
  • Staff who develop symptoms of COVID-like illness will immediately be sent home. If they need to be picked up, they will be directed to wait in a designated isolation room or area while waiting.
  • If students develop symptoms, they will be brought to a designated isolation room while waiting to be picked up. The staff member waiting with the child should wear a surgical mask.
  • If a separate room is not available, a designated area where the student can be kept at least six feet apart from all other students will be established.

If a student or staff member has COVID-like illness: – They can return to school if:

  • Initial COVID-19 testing is negative and individual meets the school’s normal criteria for return after an illness OR
  • A clinician has evaluated the child and documented an alternative diagnosis and confirmed that the student may return to school. OR
  • COVID-19 testing was not done and all of the following are true:
  1. At least 10 days since the onset of symptoms AND 2. Fever-free off anti-fever medications for 3 days AND 3. Symptoms are improving

Note: Repeat COVID testing is not required to return to the school.

If a student or staff member has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19: Administration will ensure an immediate call to the PDPH at 215-685-6741 for further instructions.

  • All children and staff in the classroom or who have come in close contact with the case (greater than 10 minutes of interaction less than six feet away) should quarantine at home for 14 days. PDPH will assist in determining which individuals should quarantine. Anyone who develops symptoms during that time should contact their healthcare provider to request testing.
  • In accordance with PDPH guidance, the COVID positive individual should remain home until all of the following are true:
  1. At least 10 days since the onset of symptoms AND 2. Until fever free off anti-fever medications for 3 days AND 3. Symptoms are improving.

Note: The COVID-positive individual does NOT need a repeat COVID-19 test or a doctor’s note in order to return to the school.

Injury Protocol

If a person has an injury that causes continuous discomfort, the person should not return to school until the condition is checked by a health care provider or it improves. Injuries that interfere with class participation need a medical evaluation. If participation in the school day is recommended to be restricted in any way, a health care provider’s written excuse is required.

If a person receives an injury while at the school and as a result of the injury, requires safe transfer from the school, an incident report will be completed and kept in the person’s medical file in the Health Office. If applicable, parent/guardian will be contacted and is expected to arrange for safe transfer promptly. If the parent/guardian cannot be reached or have not arrived, the emergency contacts provided will be called for safe transfer.

 

The School Nurse

 

The school nurse or school nurse designee is available daily to provide care and support for the school community. Parents/guardians must inform the nurse promptly of any special health concerns and should contact the nurse if they have questions or would like to schedule an appointment. The school nurse maintains medical records for each student.

 

Routine examinations and grade appropriate state mandated screenings are conducted to detect any issues that may affect our student’s ability to learn or maintain optimal health. The school nurse will inform the parent/guardian of any findings of concern, requirements, or recommendations as deemed necessary. Pennsylvania code requires:

  • A physical examination completed within 1 year should be submitted upon enrollment regardless of grade entering, as well as any of the following applicable grades attended (9th). Physical examinations may be obtained from the private physician. Exams must be completed within 1 year and should be submitted to the school nurse. If there are financial hardships or special situations, the parent must notify the school nurse for further assistance. *PIAA physical exam required for sports participation
  • The student’s Immunization History, or signed parental consent exempting your child from immunizations. (Note: Medical exemption requires written notice from a healthcare provider) Without the Immunization History or letter of exemption, the student may be excluded from school.

 

The purpose of requiring immunization is to protect pupils from preventable communicable diseases and their medical and educational complications. See requirements below:

For all grades

Total doses

Notes

 

Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis

(DTP/Dtap/DT/Td, or Tdap*)

 

4*

 

1 dose at/after age 4

Polio (OPV/IPV)

4

Fourth dose at/after age 4, at least six months after previous dose**

Measles, mumps, rubella

(MMR/MMRV)

2

At/after age 1

 

Hepatitis B (HBV)

 

3

 

 

Chickenpox (Varicella/MMRV)

 

2

 

At/after age 1***

 

 

To start seventh grade

Total doses

          Notes

 Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4)

1

         At/after age 2

Tetanus, diptheria, pertussis (Tdap)

1

         At/after age 7

 

 

 

 

To start 12th grade

 

 

Total doses

 

 

 

Notes

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4)

2

If first dose given at age 16 or older, only one dose is needed to enter 12th grade

* * Only three doses of Td-containing vaccine are necessary if the series is started at or after age 7 and at least one dose is Tdap.

** A fourth dose is not necessary if the third dose was given at age 4 or older and at least six months after the previous dose.

*** Or documentation of immunity by lab test, or written statement from parent, guardian, or physician.

Reference: The Pennsylvania Code – Subchapter C. IMMUNIZATION §23.81, and from the Philadelphia Board of Health Regulations Governing the Health of Newborns, Children and Adolescents, published 2017. 

  • In accordance with the Pennsylvania Public School Code, students are required to be tested for Tuberculosis. This requirement must occur upon original entry into school, and in 9th grade.

 

*Note: The following state mandated health screenings are not to be a substitute for regular checkups with a pediatrician:

 

  • Growth Screening (height and weight measurement) - All grades
  • Vision Screening - All grades
  • Hearing Screening - Grades: 9th and special education

The Health Office

The Health Office will provide a provisional schedule approved by administration, to be followed in non-emergent situations. If a person exhibits symptoms of illness or injury that do require a visit to the Health Office, the person will receive prompt attention. Students should not personally call home if they feel ill or are injured; they should report the need to visit the Health Office. If isolation/safe transfer is required, a parent/guardian will be notified.

In order to prevent potential exposure to infectious diseases, promote isolation, and decrease office congestion please note that students do NOT need to present to Health Office with the following common situations:

  • Paper cuts, small abrasions, picked scabs - have them wash hands and apply band aid if needed.
  • Minor headaches and/or fatigue - allow them to get a snack/drink water first. If not better after 20 minutes, may require visit to Health Office
  • Mild stomach ache and/or nausea - allow them to use the restroom, drink water, and have a snack first. If not better after 20 minutes, may require visit to Health Office
  • Localized bug bite - if no allergy history and not spread over large area of skin, apply cool paper towel to area to help prevent scratching
  • Anxiety/Stress/Psychosocial Issues - if not affecting breathing or medical health try snack, redirection, or when possible, refer to counseling or other support services for collaboration.

School Administration of Medication

Imhotep will permit the school nurse/designee to administer medication to students provided that all the following requirements are met:

  • Parents/guardians provide a Request for Administration of Medication form completed/signed by the student’s physician to the school nurse, for the current school year
  • Parents/guardians submit a new Request for Administration of Medication form following any changes to the student’s medication as needed, and annually
  • Parents/guardians provide the school nurse the medication in the original container, and this container is clearly labeled with the student’s name, physician’s name, medication name, dosage, frequency of administration, and expiration date

At the end of the school year, it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to pick up any unused medications from the nurse’s office. All medication remaining in the nurse’s office following the end of the school year will be properly disposed.

Student Administration of Medication

Imhotep permits the self-administration of medication by a student for asthma or other potentially life-threatening illnesses or a life-threatening allergic reaction provided that the following requirements are met:

  • Parents/guardians provide to the school nurse written authorization for the self-administration of medication
  • Parents/guardians provide to the school nurse written certification from the student’s physician stating that the student has asthma, potentially life-threatening illness, and/or is subject to a life-threatening allergic reaction and

is capable of, and has been instructed in, the proper method of self-administration of medication

  • The student notifies the school nurse following each self-administration of the medication
  • The permission is effective for the current school year and is renewed for each subsequent school year upon fulfillment of the aforementioned requirements

Alcohol/Substance Abuse

If a student exhibits behavioral symptoms indicating usage of alcohol and/or controlled substances, (symptoms may include intoxication, slurred speech, an unsteady walk, impaired coordination, slowed reflexes, an odor, a physical expression, brief intense euphoria, repetitive physical mannerisms, violence, a blank expression, sexual promiscuity, nausea, and/or an elevated heart rate) parents/guardians will be notified immediately and must have the student picked up. The student will be escorted to the Health Office and will be monitored for safety until the student is picked up.

If it is suspected that a student is dealing with alcohol and/or controlled substance abuse, the School Counselor or the School Nurse, may refer the parent/guardian to have the student assessed for treatment. Resources will be provided to assist the student and family.

TO THE EXTENT THAT ANYTHING IN THIS POLICY COULD BE CONSTRUED TO CONFLICT WITH APPLICABLE STATE AND/OR FEDERAL LAWS, THE APPLICABLE STATE AND/OR FEDERAL LAWS CONTROL

ADOPTED this 13th day of July, 2020