The nurse is a liaison between school and home, medical and community agencies. They plan and deliver health and emergency services, complete health screenings, supervise administration of prescribed medicines, plan health care for chronically ill students, and manage communicable disease outbreaks. They are team members for special education, Child Find, and a resource for alcohol and drug abuse. School nurses may visit homes and collaborate with parents and staff to enhance student success.
Nurses can be reached by calling your child's school and ask to speak with the school nurse. For district nurse support, call 253-566-5600.
Health Screening - Washington State law (WAC 246-760) requires schools to conduct vision and hearing screenings of children each year. Students in grades K-3, 5 and 7 are usually screened in the fall. If your child is not scheduled to be screened this year you may request a screening by contacting your child's teacher or the school nurse. Screening is not intended to replace routine physical exams by a healthcare provider. A referral will be sent home if screening results are out of range to follow up with your child's healthcare provider or an eye care professional.
Student Health - The status of a child's health bears a direct relation to the child's ability to profit from the educational experience and to be successful in the classroom. Every year an updated Student Health Record form must be completed for each student and made available for the school nurse.
Immunizations - All students must have required immunizations against diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DTaP/DPT/TD/Tdap); polio; measles (rubeola), mumps, and rubella (MMR); varicella; and Hepatitis B. All students entering preschool through 12th grade must have medically verified immunization records or a certificate of exemption on file with the school. For school immunization requirements, see Immunizations.
Life Threatening Health Conditions- Students who have a health problem which could become life threatening, such as severe food allergies or bee sting, asthma, diabetes, seizures, cardiac conditions, or other health conditions, must talk with the District Nurse or the school nurse at your child's school to make sure care plans and medications (Epi-pens, inhalers, and all other medications) are provided prior to the first day of school. Students that are known to have life-threatening health concerns will not be allowed to start school until this process is complete.
Medications at School - If medicine must be taken at school, prescription or over-the-counter, parent/guardian must bring the medication and signed doctor's orders to the school nurse. Medications must be in the original container and properly labeled by the pharmacy. Students who are allowed to carry inhalers and/or epi-pens must provide a doctor's order to be on file with the school nurse. They may be required to have back-up medication in the health room. All oral medication to be taken at school must be kept in the health room. For medication orders, see Medication in School.
Emergency information - A parent/guardian must provide updated emergency contact information for their child each school year. Immediately notify the school of changes in address, phone number, alternate contacts or doctor.
Keep an ill child home - If your child is ill, please keep them home and notify your child's school. If your child is showing signs of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19, please keep them home and notify your child's school. Please refer to the Department of Health - COVID-19 Symptoms Management Flow Chart and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department - Preventing Illness to determine when your child should return to school after illness.