5420 - Student Health Services


Adoption Date: 11/9/2000, Revised: 1/16/2014; 03/08/2018 
5000 - Students

5420 Student Health Services

The Board of Education recognizes that good student health is vital to successful learning and realizes its responsibility, along with that of parent(s) or guardian(s), to protect and foster a safe and healthful environment for the students.

The school shall work closely with students' families to provide detection and preventive health services. In accordance with law, the school will provide vision, hearing, and scoliosis screenings. Results shall be referred to the parent(s) or guardian(s) who shall be encouraged to have their family physician/dentist provide appropriate care.

In order to enroll in school a student must have a health exam and submit a health certificate within 30 calendar days after entering school, and upon entering prekindergarten or kindergarten, first, third, fifth, ninth and eleventh grades. The examination, which must conform to state requirements, must have been conducted no more than 12 months before the first day of the school year in question. If a student is unable to furnish the health certificate, the school will offer a school physical examination by a nurse practitioner and/or provide information regarding obtaining state health insurance. A request for exemption from the physical examination, or the requirement to provide a health certificate, must be made in writing to the school principal or designee, who may require documents supporting the request. The only basis for exemption is a claim that the physical examination is in conflict with the parent or guardian’s genuine and sincere religious belief.

In order to enroll in school, students must also furnish documentation of required immunizations against certain communicable diseases, as set forth in state law and regulations, unless exempted from immunizations for medical or religious reasons as permitted by state law and regulation.

Homeless students shall be admitted to school even if they do not have the required health or immunization records, but may be temporarily excluded if they show actual symptoms of a communicable disease that poses a significant risk of transmission to others (see “Communicable Diseases” below). Appropriate District staff shall assist homeless families to secure appropriate health care including state insurance, private health care providers and essential immunizations after the students have enrolled in the District.

In addition, students will be asked to, but not required to, provide a dental health certificate when they enroll in school and in accordance with the same schedule as the health certificate.

A permanent student health record shall be part of a student’s cumulative school record and should follow the student from grade to grade and school to school along with his/her academic record. This record folder shall be maintained by the school nurse. The Board recognizes that the State of New York may authorize and require the collection of data from health certificates in furtherance of tracking and understanding health care issues that affect children. The Board supports these efforts and expects administrators to cooperate and to observe the appropriate laws and regulations in carrying out those responsibilities, including those that relate to student privacy.

Emergency Care

Each school in the District will include in its emergency plan a protocol for responding to health care emergencies, including anaphylaxis, and head injury.  Parents/Guardians will be notified of any emergency medical situation as soon as is practicable. Parents/Guardians will receive notification of non-emergent medical situations that have been reported to the nurse in a timely manner.

Schools shall also provide emergency care for students in accidental or unexpected medical situations. The District will stock epinephrine auto-injectors for non-patient specific use and properly train designated staff.

Immunization of Students

The Board recognizes its responsibility under the Public Health Law 2164 the children under its charge need to be immunized, as appropriate for age. The Board, therefore, requires proof via:  

  • A physician’s certificate verifying:
    • vaccine series completion or in process with at least one of all required vaccines, or
    • confirmed history of disease, as allowed by the NYS Department of Health, or
    • adequate immunity by laboratory testing, as allowed by the NYS Department of Health, or
    • a medical exemption based on the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, OR
  • A religious exemption based on a sincere and genuine religious belief which is contrary to the practices required, and whose application is in compliance with the NYS Education Department application process, OR
  • A state of homelessness.

This proof is required for all children entering and presently attending school.

The Board directs the administration not to permit any child lacking evidence of one of the three above conditions for immunization to remain in school for more than 14 days, and 30 days for an out-of-state transferee, unless they can show an effort to obtain the necessary evidence or certification. The administration should notify the local health authority of the name and address of the child excluded based on a lack of mandated immunizations. The administration should also provide the person in parental relation to the child who has been denied admission information on health insurance and/or a list of physicians who are actively accepting new patients, as warranted.

The District shall inform the parent of their right to appeal, to the Commissioner of Education, the District’s decision to deny entrance or attendance due to failure to satisfy health immunization standards. 

Communicable Diseases

It is the responsibility of the Board to provide all students with a safe and healthy school environment. To meet this responsibility, it is sometimes necessary to exclude students with contagious and infectious diseases, as defined in the Public Health Law, from attendance in school. Students will be excluded during periods of contagion for time periods indicated on a chart developed by the school physician and/or Public Health Department.

During an outbreak of these communicable diseases, if the Commissioner of Health or his/her designee so orders, the District will exclude students from school who have an exemption from immunization or who are in the process of obtaining immunization.

It is the responsibility of the Superintendent of Schools, working through District health personnel, to enforce this policy and to contact the county or local health department when a reportable case of communicable disease is identified in the student or staff population.

Administering Medication to Students

Neither the Board nor District staff members shall be responsible for the diagnosis or treatment of student illness. The administration of prescribed medication to a student during school hours shall be permitted only when failure to take such medicine would jeopardize the health of the student, or the student would not be able to attend school if the medicine were not made available to him/her during school hours, or where it is done pursuant to law requiring accommodation to a student’s special medical needs (e.g., Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973). “Medication” will include all medicines prescribed by an authorized medical provider. Students are prohibited from bringing medications to school. Medication must be brought in by a parent or guardian, unless previously approved by the school administration.

Before any medication may be administered to or by any student during school hours, the Board requires:

  1. the written request of the parent(s) or guardian(s), which shall give permission for such administration and relieve the Board and its employees of liability for administration of medication; and
  2. the written order of the authorized medical provider which will include the purpose of the medication, the dosage, the time at which or the special circumstances under which medication shall be administered, the period for which medication is prescribed, and the possible side effects of the medication; and
  3. that in order for a student to carry and use a rescue inhaler, an epinephrine auto-injector, insulin, or glucagon and associated testing supplies, written permission must be provided both by the parent and the prescribing authorized medical provider in accordance with state law and regulation.

Students are allowed to carry and apply parentally provided sunscreen without a prescription from a medical provider, assuming that the sunscreen is FDA approved and that the sunscreen is not treating a medical condition. Parents need to provide the District with written permission for students to use sunscreen.

Permission slips and medical orders shall be kept on file in the office of the school nurse.

Life-Threatening Allergies and Anaphylaxis Management

The Board recognizes its role and responsibility in supporting a healthy learning environment for all students, including those who have, or develop, life-threatening allergies. The District will work cooperatively with the student, parent/guardian and healthcare provider to allow the child to participate as fully and as safely as possible in school activities. When a student has a known life-threatening allergy reported on their health form or if the District has been informed by the parent/guardian of the presence of a life-threatening allergy, the District will assemble a team, which may include the parent, the school nurse, the child’s teacher, the building principal, and other appropriate personnel, which will be charged with developing an individual health care plan and/or emergency action plan. The plan will be maintained by the school nurse. The plan(s) will guide prevention and response. If the student is eligible for accommodations based upon the IDEA, Section 504 or the Americans with Disabilities Act, the appropriate procedures will be followed regarding identification, evaluation and implementation of accommodations.


Training to support the fulfillment of staff responsibilities in regard to student health services will be provided as part of the District’s ongoing professional development plan and in conformity with Commissioner’s regulations.


The Superintendent, or his/her designee, shall develop comprehensive regulations governing student health services. Those regulations shall include the provision of all health services required by law, procedures for the maintenance of health records, and procedures for the administering of medication to students. The Superintendent, or his/her designee, shall also develop protocols, in consultation with the District medical director and other appropriate District staff, for the management of injury, with particular attention to concussion.

Policy References:
Education Law §§310; 901 et seq.; 916, 916-a, 916-b, 919; 921, 922, 6527, 6909
Public Health Law §§613; 2164, 3000-c, 3309
8 NYCRR §64.7; , 135.4, Part 136
10 NYCRR Part 66-1, §80.138
Guidelines for Medication Management in Schools, State Education Department, September 2015, www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/documents/MedicationManagement-final2015.pdf
Immunization Guidelines; Vaccine Preventable Communicable Disease Control, State Education Department, revised August 2000
Making the Difference: Caring for Students with Life-Threatening Allergies, New York State Department of Health, New York State Education Department, New York Statewide School Health Service Center, June 2008
Concussion Management Guidelines and Procedures, www.nysphsaa.org
New Policy for Stocking Albuterol Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs), State Education Department, August 2011, 222.p12.nysed.gov/sss/schoolhealth/schoolhealthservices/Albuterol2011memo.pdf

Policy Cross References:
 » 4321 - Programs for Students with Disabilities Under the IDEA and New York's Education Law Article 89
 » 5020.3 - Rights of Students with Disabilities Under Section 504
 » 5280 - Interscholastic Athletics
 » 5550 - Student Privacy
 » 8130 - School Safety Plans and Teams
 » 9700 - Staff Development