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Nurse's Office

News

Welcome to the St. James School Clinic

703-533-1182 ext. 107

The clinic is staffed by a full time RN.  

Clinic hours are from 7:40am-3pm during the school year. Hours over school breaks will vary.

The clinic line is available 24/7 via answering machine.  Messages are password protected and checked daily.

Common questions and concerns regarding School Health

What is the role of the School Nurse at St. James?

The Nurse is responsible for the:

  • Monitoring the overall health and wellness of the school community
  • Management of all medications and special care procedures that are medically necessary at school
  • Triage for students who may become ill during the school day
  • Assessment of injuries that occur during school hours
  • Maintenance of  school medical records for students in compliance with Virginia state law
  • Training of school staff in areas of allergy, asthma, diabetes and seizure management in the classroom
  • Analyzing current health research and its application to the school community
  • Implementing policy change related to health and education in the school community
Why should I be in contact with the School Nurse?

All research shows that healthy and happy children learn best, retain more and have overall better outcomes in school.  By updating the clinic on any physical or mental health changes your child is encountering, you are empowering that integral relationship between health, learning and success!  

Open communication allows all of us at St. James to work as a dynamic team.  This will ensure the best possible approach for all of your child’s needs.  Please copy the nurse on all emails to teachers regarding your child’s health.

What are the Health Requirements for school entry?

All NEW students must show proof of physical exam by an MD or licensed health care provider within 1 year prior to St. James start date, MCH-213 Virginia School Health Form*.  New students may NOT begin school without this completed form. We do not need a copy of this form with each year your child receives a physical unless a new health concern arises.  This concern can also be noted on the health update form that goes out at the beginning of each school year.

  • Tuberculosis Screening or PPD placed within 1 year prior to St. James start date.
  • Up-to-date Immunization Record or Vaccination Exemption Form.
  • Severe Allergy, Asthma, Diabetes or Seizure management will require additional forms. Please contact the nurse directly or see links on the school website.
  • Any student with medication that will need to be administered on a daily or on an as needed basis will require additional paperwork*.
What are the immunization requirements for entering 6th graders?

At 10 years of age, the CDC recommends all students receive an updated Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis booster vaccine (TDAP).  

Virginia State law requires that all entering 6th grade students show proof of TDAP immunization by 1st day of school regardless of prior school enrollment.  

NO 6th grade student will be allowed to start their 6th grade school year without proof of TDAP vaccination or medical exemption on record with the school clinic.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Meningitis vaccines are also recommended by the CDC for this age group.

Virginia State Law requires that all girls start the HPV vaccination series prior to 6th grade but parents may opt out of this vaccine without providing additional documentation at this time.  HPV is recommended for boys but not required by the state at this time.

What if my child is not eligible to get their TDAP vaccination until after the start of the school year?

If your child will not be eligible for the TDAP vaccine until after school starts, your primary care practitioner/licensed provider must provide a written statement that your child is medically exempt from the TDAP vaccine. This medical exemption must also include the date your child will be eligible to receive vaccine.  You must provide this documentation to the school clinic before your child will be allowed to start their 6th grade year.  You will be required to follow up and provide proof of vaccination as soon as your child is eligible to receive vaccination.

Again- NO 6th grade student will be allowed to start their 6th grade school year without proof of TDAP vaccination or medical exemption on record with the school clinic.

When should my child stay home from school?

Any child with a temperature of 100 F or above, has had diarrhea, or has been vomiting in the past 24 hours, needs to stay home.  When returning to school your child must be symptom free for a full 24 hours without the aid of medications.

Children who are sick do not participate in activities, retain information or process new material in a productive manner.   They need time to recuperate away from the school environment. Sending sick children to school could actually prolong their recovery time.

Can my child have medications at school?

Yes.  All medications (even over the counter) that are necessary for school health and/or safety are kept in the clinic with all the appropriate documentation*.   The forms are ONLY valid for the school year they were written for, not one year from the date completed.  Each school year, new forms and medications will need to be provided.  Please ensure the medication will not expire during the year.

No medication will be stored at school in the clinic or given to a child without the appropriate documentation completed by a licensed provider.  

The clinic does not supply any prescription or over the counter medications for students.

On occasion, a licensed provider will deem a child able to “self- carry” his/her emergency medication.  In that case, the child may keep the medication with them BUT all appropriate documentation must still be on file in the clinic.  

Can my child have cough drops, saline eye drops or vitamins in the classroom?

No.  These products are sold over the counter but are still considered medications by the state of Virginia and the FDA.  These products will need appropriate documentation* from a licensed provider and will be kept in the clinic.  

The clinic does not supply any prescription or over the counter medications for students.

What is the St. James policy regarding food allergies?

The Diocese of Arlington has implemented a Life Threatening Allergy Policy to protect students from exposure to allergens during the day.

St. James does have children with life threatening allergies in each grade.  Tree nuts and peanuts are the most common allergy here at St. James.  

We consider St. James a “Nut Aware” school.  This means that we strongly recommend all parents pack individual student snacks that are free of peanuts/tree nuts.    No food sharing is allowed in the cafeteria or in the classrooms in attempt to minimize allergen exposures.

Homemade treats and snacks for classroom celebrations and specials occasions are not permitted in the classrooms.  All food designated to be shared in class must be:

  • store bought/ commercially prepared
  • in original packaging
  • “Peanut/ tree nut free” clearly identified on the label.  Labels that state “manufactured in a facility with peanuts/ tree nuts or shares equipment with peanuts/tree nuts” are not allowed to be brought in to school.
  • Food that is brought into the class that does not meet these guidelines will not be permitted to be distributed to the students.  

If your child has a life threatening allergy that requires medication, please ensure you provide the medications and documentation* from MD each school year.

My child has lice, what do I do now?

Lice provide no immediate health danger for your child but they are a huge nuisance!  If your child has nits or live lice they will need to be treated before they can return to school.  The clinic will check your child’s hair to determine what additional steps may need to be taken.

Initial treatment of lice followed by daily combing is essential.  Just 1 nit that survives in the hair can start the whole process over again.  

How can I expect communication from the school clinic?

For most routine visits, your child may update you what they came to the clinic for.  For higher level visits, requiring specialized treatment, a note may be sent home or a phone call made, to let you know that your student was seen and what action was taken.

For emergency visits, you will always be called using the phone numbers you provide to the school.  Please make sure to include notifying the nurse if any important phone numbers change.  While email is the most efficient way to communicate, there are laws that dictate what medical information can be included in electronic communication.  If the clinic is unable to reach you by phone, you may receive an email simply asking you to check your child’s backpack for a note or to call the clinic.  

I look forward to meeting your student at St. James!  Please feel free to contact the clinic at any time!  

Staci Capistrano BSN, RN
nurse@saintjamesschool.org


*see the school website link, “Nurse’s Office”, to access documentation and for the latest updates.