Health Information for Kindergarten Families
Good health is basic to sound and productive living. The purpose of the school health program is to maintain, improve and promote the health of the school-age child and reduce barriers to education.
A licensed school nurse (LSN), is available during the school day to assist your child. The LSN is a four-year registered nurse, with a public health nurse certificate and is available to assist you with any and all concerns regarding your child’s health. Advise the nurse of any health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, seizure disorders, severe allergies, eye and ear problems, or other chronic health conditions. Please feel free to contact the school nurse at any time. For more information on District 196 health policies and regulations, visit district196.org/about/districtpolicies
Report an Absence
School absence notification can also be done through a mobile web form. To report an absence from your mobile phone or desktop computer navigate to your child’s school website and click on Menu in the top navigation. Click on Contact. Then click on the Report an absence button to access the form on your mobile phone or computer. NOTE: Your child's student ID and birthdate are needed to use this form)
Emergency Contact Information
Emergency information is required prior to the start of each school year and should be promptly updated with any changes. You will be notified in the event your child experiences an accident or sudden illness and remaining in school is inadvisable. It is your responsibility as a parent or guardian to make arrangements for proper care of your child.
The student emergency information will be collected through Campus Parent Portal. A Campus Parent Portal activation key will be given to you during August assessments, if you don’t already have a Campus account for other District 196 students in your household. Once you have an access code, follow these steps to set up your account.
The School Board strongly recommends that each child have a physical examination within 12 months before entering kindergarten. It is advisable that you make an appointment as soon as possible.
- Complete the health history portion of the History and Physical Examination Form in black ink prior to your appointment, and take this form to your doctor.
- Upon completion of the physical exam, the doctor should complete and sign the “Findings on the Professional Examination” section.
- Mail or bring all completed forms to the school by May 1st.
Minnesota law requires ONE of the following in order to attend school:
- A month-day-year record of required immunizations, signed and submitted by parents;
- A signed statement from a physician or clinic stating the child has had at least one dose of each
- vaccine and is in the process of completing the series, or
- A notarized statement of conscientious objection or a physician’s signature stating medical
- exemption to vaccination.
Please complete the required documentation and return to the school by May 1. If your child has a birthday after this date, provide the nurse with the most current information and a date when your child’s immunizations will be up to date.
Your child may not attend school on the first day if they are not compliant with the immunization requirements. For more information, refer to regulation 501.5.5.2P, Notification of Immunization Law Requirements for Incoming Kindergarten Students. Access the Student Immunization Form
Establish healthy habits early to ensure your child’s success
Instilling healthy habits and routines (adequate sleep/nutrition) and consistent attendance ensures a student’s success in school even as early as kindergarten. We know that too many absences/tardies, for whatever reason, can cause children to fall behind both academically and socially.
Guidelines for whether or not to send your child to school
We want children in school and ready to learn. The following guidelines have been established to help determine when children should remain at home. They may need to rest at home if they have:
- Diarrhea, or are
- Not feeling well enough to participate in the school day.
Your child should remain at home for 24 hours after their symptoms have subsided. This helps prevent the spread of communicable diseases and allows the student the opportunity to rest and recover fully from the illness.
When your child is feeling ill please don’t hesitate to call the school nurse with questions or concerns.
The school district will follow the guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health for recommended exclusion and notification for vaccine-preventable diseases such as mumps, shingles, polio, measles, rubella, pertussis, diphtheria, viral hepatitis, chickenpox and meningitis otherwise, there are no exclusions from school. The school district will continue to relay the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to families regarding COVID-19 and report as required to the MN Department of Health.
Head lice information for schools
Students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice. There is no exclusion or notification of students with head lice.
Head lice can be a nuisance but they have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses advocate that “no-nit” policies should be discontinued. “No-nit” policies that require a child to be free of nits before they can return to schools should be discontinued for the following reasons:
- Many nits are more than ¼ inch from the scalp. Such nits are usually not viable and very unlikely to hatch to become crawling lice, or may in fact be empty shells, also known as ‘casings.’
- Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are very unlikely to be transferred successfully to other people.
- The burden of unnecessary absenteeism to the students, families and communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice.
- Misdiagnosis of nits is very common during nit checks conducted by non medical personnel.
More on: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/treatment.html. The informational materials on this website are in the public domain and can be printed for further copying and distribution.
The school nurse will administer medication when necessary to your child during the school day.
- Review Administrative Regulation 506.2.2.AR, Administering Medication;
- Complete the appropriate paperwork: District Procedure 506.2.2.IP, Authorization for Administration of Prescription Medication at School, and
- Provide the nurse with a pharmacy-labeled bottle containing the medication.
- Inform the nurse if ibuprofen or acetaminophen have been given before school.
Make an appointment with your school nurse to discuss any special arrangements for your child. It is necessary for your nurse to be aware of any special needs of your child.
Children are the largest population group affected by food allergies. The foods that most commonly cause allergic symptoms in children are peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish and wheat. Most children outgrow their food allergies, however, an allergy to peanuts, tree nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.) and seafood can be lifelong. There is an increasing awareness of allergic reaction to peanuts, tree nuts and other allergens throughout the country and in schools. In order to provide a safe environment for all students, inform your child’s school if your child has a food allergy.
We encourage parents to be involved with planning of special classroom events where storebought
food may be served.
We are also asking parents to make sure your child’s face and hands are washed before coming to school, especially if they have just eaten peanut butter or a peanut product. If your child attends a daycare before school, please advise them of this practice for the safety of your child’s classmates.
If your child requires dietary accommodations due to a disability, please work with your appropriate health care provider and school nurse.
For the safety of all our students, please do not send latex balloons to school. Latex balloons pose significant hazards to children. With repeated exposure to latex, a natural rubber found in many products, an increasing number of people are becoming sensitive to latex and developing latex
allergies. These allergies may be as minor as a skin irritation or as life threatening as respiratory and heart difficulties. The only way to prevent an allergic reaction to latex is to strictly avoid exposure.
Starting school checklists
For All Parents and Students:
- Make sure immunizations are up to date.
- Review hygiene tips to prevent the spread of infections (wash hands often and cough/sneeze into
- your elbow).
- Establish a bedtime and wake-up time to ensure adequate and consistent sleep.
- Develop a routine for homework and after-school activities.
- Eat breakfast each day at home or at school.
- Help make appropriate clothing choices, for example, wear comfortable and safe shoes. We
- strongly discourage flip flops at school.
- Keep an open line of communication with your child to ensure that he/she feels safe at school. If a
- concern arises, contact the teacher or principal immediately.
- Get involved! Sign up for the parent organization (PTA/PTO), and mark events such as a back-toschool
- night and parent/teacher meetings on your calendar.
For parents who have children with a health concern:
- Make your child’s health concerns known to the school and school nurse.
- Introduce yourself and your child to the school nurse.
- Bring current signed health care provider orders.
- Give permission for the school nurse to communicate with your family’s health care provider.
- Provide parent/guardian contact information and update the school with any changes.