Each school in the Olathe Public Schools has a full-time nurse on hand. School nurses provide valuable services, including emergency care, medication dispensation, and health screenings. School nurses solicit cooperation with parents to uphold the following policies and procedures, which are for the protection of each and every student in the school.
Medication Policy for Elementary Students:
- All medications (prescription and over-the-counter) require an annual doctor's note and parent's authorization. (download Medication Authorization Form in PDF format — English or Spanish)
- Bring the physician/dentist-signed order to the school or fax it to the school.
- A new physician note is required each year (not dated prior to May 1).
- Send medications in the original container labeled with the student's name.
- Medications are kept in the health room and given by the school nurse or a trained staff member.
- Two exceptionsexist to the above policy (see school nurse for applicable forms):
- Parents may sign for health room stock of acetaminophen, ibuprofen and diphenhydramine (Benadryl) to be given by the school nurse. (download the Authorization for Over the Counter Medication Form in PDF format — English or Spanish).
- No physician/dentist order is needed for the health room stock.
- And, students in kindergarten through fifth grade with asthma or allergies may carry and self-administer emergency medication. The self-administration policy requires
- written parent and physician signature specifying name and purpose of medication,
- prescribed dosage,
- conditions under which the medication is to be self-administered,
- and verification that the student has been instructed in self-administration. (download the Authorization Form for Self – Administration of Emergency Asthma/Allergy Medication in PDF format — English or Spanish)
Middle School and High School Medication Policy:
The middle school and high school medication policy varies slightly from the elementary school policy and encourages increased responsibility.
- All prescribed medications should be brought to the school nurse’s attention.
- Many medications prescribed for attention deficit disorder and emotional problems, including depression, are controlled substances. Controlled substances require an annual doctor’s note and parent’s authorization and must dispensed from the health room under the supervision of the school nurse. (download Medication Authorization Form in PDF format — English or Spanish) The physician/dentist signature may be on this form or be received by the school on another form including a fax from the physician/dentist office. The doctor's note should not be dated earlier than May 1 preceding the school year for which it is applicable.
- Students in sixth through 12th grades with diagnosis of asthma or severe allergies may carry and self-administer emergency medication. Kansas law states that this self-administration policy require written parent and physician signature specifying the name and purpose of medication, prescribed dosage, conditions under which the medication is to be self-administered and verification that the student has been instructed in self-administration, etc. (download the Authorization Form for Self – Administration of Emergency Asthma/Allergy Medication in PDF format — English or Spanish)
- Antibiotics and other non-controlled prescription medications can be carried and self-administered by the student at the nurse's discretion. Medication must be in the original prescription bottle.
- Over-the-counter medications (Tylenol, ibuprofen, cough drops, etc.) may be carried and self-administered by students without written parent and/or physician signature. A limited supply of over-the-counter medications is available from the health room upon parent permission.
- In addition, these general rules apply:
- All medication is to be carried in its original container.
- At no time should a student give medication to another student.
- The principal may revoke the self-medication privilege of any student found to be in violation of the policy.
- The carrying of permissible medication by a student is a privilege. Students and parents need to be aware that it is an Olathe Student Code of Conduct violation (Class III, #7) to distribute or attempt to sell prescribed medications or over-the-counter medications.
- It is also an Olathe Student Code of Conduct violation (Class IV, #2) to possess or distribute a controlled substance (see item 2 above) such as Ritalin or other ADD/ADHD medication, narcotics, anti-depressants, psychotic medications, etc. These need to be administered by the school nurse with a doctor's note.
Students with the following health condition(s) shall be excluded from school:
- Oral temperature of 100 degrees F or higher
- Elevated (or possibly a normal) temperature combined with any of the following: a severe cold with yellow-green nasal discharge, excessive coughing, swollen glands, or skin rash
- Eyes inflamed with purulent discharge
- Drainage from ear(s)
- Head lice (must be lice-free with continued progress toward removing nits to come back to school)
- Skin lesions (i.e. impetigo, ringworm and scabies) until under treatment
- Diarrhea (i.e. two or more loose stools)
- Fainting, seizure, or general signs of listlessness
- Communicable disease
Students will be re-admitted after being fever-free or symptom-free for 24 hours. Students with some conditions may return to school after being treated for 24 hours with an antibiotic. Call the school nurse for specific readmission guidelines.
Chronic Health Conditions
- Please inform the school nurse of a chronic health condition and all emergency medications prescribed for your child.
- In accordance with HB2008, injectable epinephrine (Epi-Pen) will be stored and available for use in the presence of potential anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction). Use of an Epi-Pen requires an immediate call to 911 and lawful custodians. Parents of students with a known history of potential for a serious allergic reaction are advised to visit with their physician regarding the need for student-specific medication. Refer to the Medication Policies section for procedures to follow in order to allow a student to self-carry emergency allergy or asthma medication.
Olathe Public Schools recognizes the growing number of students enrolling in our schools with history of diabetes and the need for a set of consistent practices for addressing the needs of students with diabetes. We recognize our responsibility to develop individualized healthcare plans for such students that include steps to follow in the event of an emergency. Collaboration between the parent, supervising physician and the school is essential in the development and success of these plans.
These guidelines are intended to serve as a "best practice" model to utilize with applicable students. The school nurse will serve as the lead school employee in implementing these guidelines. Official Board of Education policy for care of students with diabetes is included in board Policy JGC: Student Health Services and JGFGB: Administering Medication During School Hours.
Most students with diabetes need to be considered for eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act as a student with a disability as defined in these regulations requiring accommodations at school. The school nurse will coordinate with the building 504 coordinator to facilitate the Section 504 process as indicated
All students with diabetes:
Upon parent report of the condition, the school nurse will obtain a history intake regarding the student's current health status and management. The parent will provide physician orders (usually a multi-page document from the primary physician and/or nurse diabetes educator) and discuss the management procedures including administration of medication at school and an emergency care plan (also referred to as an Anticipated Health Crisis Plan). The age of the student, length of time with the diagnosis, and individual self-management skills will be considered in individualizing care. Based upon typical developmental skills and recommendations from experts in the field, Olathe Public Schools recommends the following graduated independence in care continuum:
The school nurse monitors all diabetic care.
The school nurse is available to monitor all diabetic care, carb counting/insulin ratio with adult supervision (preferably the school nurse), with allowance for increasing independence in blood glucose monitoring in upper elementary grades.
Lunchtime carb counting/insulin ratio to be done under the supervision of the school nurse, with additional guidance provided for "out of the ordinary" lows and highs working toward increasing independence by 8th grade.
Student working toward independence in diabetes care upon agreement of school nurse, student, parents and physician. Initial once per day oversight by school nurse encouraged to establish student baseline.
In conclusion, annual meetings with the school nurse and family are essential to ensure student safety while working toward independence with diabetic care. Nurse contact during the school day will vary with each student based on individual needs and student competency with self-care. All students regardless of age will need assistance in treating low blood sugars.
- Hearing Screenings — to identify hearing loss and to make appropriate audiological, medical, and/or educational referral to maximize hearing and learning potential. Students to be screened annually are:
- All preschoolers
- Kindergarten through second grade, fifth, eighth, and 11th grades
- Students new to the district
- Elementary students with an Individual Education Plan except for students in the gifted (QUEST) program
- Students with a hearing loss
- Parent or teacher request
- Vision Screenings — for early identification of students with potential vision problems. Students to be screened are:
- All preschoolers
- Kindergarten, second, fourth, sixth, eighth, ninth and 11th grades
- Students new to the district
- Height and Weight Screening — to identify students in kindergarten through eighth grade with potential growth problems.
During the 2007-08 school year there were several media reports regarding the spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infections. The Olathe School District wants to do everything possible to protect students and staff from MRSA skin infections. The following information will help parents and school officials prevent the spread of MRSA in schools.
What type of infections does MRSA cause?
- Most MRSA infections are skin infections that may appear as pustules or boils, which often are red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage.
- Almost all MRSA skin infections can be effectively treated by drainage of pus with or without antibiotics. More serious infections, such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, or bone infections, are very rare in healthy people who get MRSA skin infections.
How is MRSA transmitted?
Approximately 25 percent to 30 percent of the population are colonized (bacteria is present, but not causing an infection) with staph on their skin or in their nose, with 1 percent of the population being colonized with MRSA. Staph infections, including MRSA, are usually transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with shared items or surfaces that have come into contact with someone else's infection (towels, used bandages, etc.).
In what settings do MRSA skin infections occur?
Crowding, frequent skin-to-skin contact, compromised skin (cuts or abrasions), contaminated items and surfaces, and lack of cleanliness are the most common settings.
How do I protect myself from getting MRSA?
- Practice good hygiene (keeping your hands clean by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and showering immediately after participating in exercise).
- Cover skin trauma such as abrasions or cuts with a clean dry bandage until healed.
- Avoid sharing personal items (towels, razors, etc.) that come into contact with your bare skin and use a barrier (clothing or a towel) between your skin and shared equipment, such as weight-training benches.
- All skin infections should be reported to the school nurse. Specific guidelines exist for participation in sports.
Covering infections will greatly reduce the risks of surfaces becoming contaminated with MRSA.
MRSA skin infections are transmitted primarily by skin-to-skin contact and contact with surfaces that have come into contact with someone else's infection. In general it is not necessary to close schools to disinfect them when MRSA infections occur.
Will I be notified if there is a case of MRSA in our building?
The district works closely with the Johnson County Health Department to determine the need for notification depending upon the population at risk and the activities involved.
Information about MRSA can be found online at the Centers for Disease Control website or by contacting your school nurse or Director of Health Services Cindy Galemore, (913) 780-8231.