Nurse's Office

Welcome to the Saint James School Clinic

703-533-1182 ext. 107

The clinic is staffed by a full time RN. 

Clinic hours are from 7:40-3pm 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.
 

Covid-19 Reminders

Sick Policy
Please DO NOT send your child to school if they are experiencing any ill symptoms, even mild symptoms.  Symptoms for COVID-19 include but are not limited to:

  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please keep them home and have them tested for COVID-19.  They may return with a negative PCR test, a negative lab reported Rapid Antigen test, or per Diocesan instruction, two negative Antigen home tests taken 48 hours apart.  Please see below for each procedure.

The PCR Test Procedure:

  1. Have your child tested once they start to show symptoms.
  2. Keep your child home and monitor symptoms.
  3. Once you receive results, email them to the School Nurse at nurse@saintjamesschool.org
  4. If your child meets the following criteria, they may return to school:
  • Symptoms are resolving.
  • No fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medication
  • No diarrhea or vomiting in the last 24 hours without medication 
  • The School Nurse has confirmed receipt of the lab generated report for a negative PCR test.

The Lab-administered Rapid Test Procedure:

  1. Have your child tested once they start to show symptoms.
  2. Keep your child home and monitor symptoms.
  3. Once you receive results, email them to the School Nurse at nurse@saintjamesschool.org
  4. If your child meets the following criteria, they may return to school:
  • Symptoms are resolving.
  • No fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medication.
  • No diarrhea or vomiting in the last 24 hours without medication.
  • The School Nurse has confirmed receipt of the lab generated report for a negative rapid test.

The At-home Rapid Antigen Test Procedure:

  1. Once your child develops symptoms, test them following the directions exactly indicated on the over-the-counter COVID-19 at-home test.  
  2. Take a picture of the test with their name and date of the test on it.  Email the picture to the School Nurse at nurse@saintjamesschool.org attesting to the time, date and validity of the test. 
  3. Keep your child home for at least 2 days and monitor their symptoms.  
  4. Forty-eight hours after the first test, perform a second test.  Follow the same procedure of taking a picture of the test with the name of your child and the date of the test.  Email the School Nurse with an attestation in your email.  
  5. If your child meets the following criteria, they may return to school:
  • Symptoms are resolving.
  • No fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medication.
  • No diarrhea or vomiting in the last 24 hours without medication.
  • The School Nurse has confirmed receipt of the lab generated report for a negative rapid test.

Our goal is to maintain in-person learning for as many students as possible.  While keeping your child home when sick may be a temporary inconvenience, it is a necessary step to decrease communicable illness in school.  If your child receives a negative COVID-19 test but remains sick and misses more than 3 days of school, a doctor's note is required to return to school.  This is in keeping with our sick policy prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COVID-19 Exposure

Per the Virginia Department of Health and the Fairfax County Health Department, there will no longer be contact tracing in the school setting unless there is a COVID-19 outbreak.  An outbreak is defined as “multiple school-associated COVID-19 cases making up at least 10% of students, teachers, or staff, within a specified core group, or at least three (3) cases within that group, occurring within 14-days of each other and not associated with exposure in another setting outside of school (such as a household).”  Outbreaks will be reported to the Fairfax County Health Department and they will perform contact tracing if necessary.  Please notify the School Nurse if your child has been exposed to COVID-19 in the community or at home. 

  • If your child is vaccinated for COVID-19 or diagnosed with COVID-19 in last 90 days, they will not be required to quarantine after exposure but must wear a mask in all public settings for 10 days from exposure.
  • If your child is not vaccinated for COVID-19 and has not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 90 days, they will be required to quarantine for 5 days at home.  They may return to school on Day 6 as long as they remain asymptomatic and wear a mask through Day 10.
  • If a household member is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and your child is not vaccinated for COVID-19, please keep them home until the household member obtains tests results and is cleared for COVID-19.

Masking

Under the Virginia Governor’s Executive Order #2, masking in school is optional for students.  Parents may decide if they would like their child to wear a mask in school.  Masking is recommended in all public settings when transmission rates are moderate or higher according to the CDC tracker.  Masking is required if a child has a known COVID-19 exposure or tested positive for COVID within the last 10 days.  If a child cannot mask for 10 days after exposure or testing positive, they must remain home for 10 days. 

Ongoing Mitigation Procedures

  • Please submit the Health Screening for your child on the rSchoolToday App every morning before leaving your house.  If you are having difficulty with the App, please contact our IT department at sjsaccounts@saintjamesschool.org.  You can also find the paper form here in case it is needed. 
  • We continue to open windows in all classrooms and eating areas in order to provide adequate ventilation.  We also have air purifiers in every classroom. 
  • If your child becomes sick in school, they will be escorted to the school clinic.  They will have to wear a mask when feeling ill.  Parents will be called to pick up their child if symptoms do not resolve.
  • We will continue to distance students at lunch as much as possible.  We encourage snack to be eaten outside. We will distance students at least 6 feet at lunch if returning from quarantine from Day 6 to 10. 

Thank you for all your support and cooperation!


Clare Campbell RN, BSN
nurse@saintjamesschool.org
(703)533-1182 x 107

Common questions and concerns regarding School Health

What is the role of the School Nurse at Saint 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 Saint 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 Saint 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 Saint 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 7th graders?

At 12 years of age, the CDC recommends all students receive an updated Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis booster vaccine (TDAP) and a Meningococcal vaccine. 

Virginia State law requires that all entering 7th grade students show proof of TDAP and Meningococcal immunizations by 1st day of school regardless of prior school enrollment. 

NO 7th grade student will be allowed to start their 7th grade school year without proof of these vaccinations or medical exemption on record with the school clinic.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is also required for both boys and girls by Virginia State for this age group. Virginia State Law requires that all students start the HPV vaccination series prior to 7th grade but parents may opt out of this vaccine without providing additional documentation 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 7th 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 7th grade student will be allowed to start their 7th 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*.   If a medication can be given appropriately before or after school hours, this is recommended.  Medication given during school hours must be necessary.  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 Saint 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.

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

We consider Saint James a “Nut Aware” school.  This means that we strongly request all parents pack individual student snacks that are free of peanuts/tree nuts.  Snacks are eaten in the classroom.   Lunch items may contain nuts as children with allergies sit together at a separate “nut free” table.   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, an email is sent 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. 

General Clinic information will also be sent out in Wednesday folders occasionally and in the Friday Newsletter that is emailed out.   Please read these notices to learn updated information from the clinic or to be aware of illnesses and health concerns affecting our students. 

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

Clare Campbell  BSN, RN

nurse@saintjamesschool.org

 

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

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