Letter from Director of Health Services

August 30, 2021


Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

We hope you and your families are well. We want to provide you with important health information in anticipation of the start of the school year. There is a lot to prepare for, and we thank you in advance for your partnership in helping to keep our students and staff healthy. Linked to this letter are some important documents; please refer to them throughout the upcoming school year and please note that there is an opt-out letter for hand sanitizer if you so choose.


- All students will be required to have a complete immunization record on file. There are new requirements this year including requirements for a meningococcal vaccine in grades 7-8 and 11-12. Here are the Massachusetts Immunization Requirements for school entry for the 2021-2022 school year for your reference.

 

- If your child will need medication at school, per our Medication Policy, medications need to be provided to the school nurse by an adult in a pharmacy labeled container with a physician's order dated after July 1, 2021 and a Parental Authorization form. You must contact your child's school nurse to schedule an appointment to drop off medication. 


- Parents/Guardians will be required to perform a symptoms check each day on each child before they leave for school.  Families will receive a text message and email with a web link each morning, allowing families to quickly tap their way through health screening questions for the students in their household. When you submit the health screening, you will receive a message that your child is approved to enter the school building or should remain home. There is a QR code with that message that is not needed at this time.  Please review this Q & A to receive an overview of the purpose and process and to understand your responsibilities for this health and safety protocol.

 

- Face masks are required for all students in grades Preschool to 12:

-- Face masks should be provided by families; cloth face masks that have 2 to 3 layers offer the best protection. 

-- Students should bring two masks to school each day in case of soiling or contamination. Face masks will be available in the buildings if your student forgets one, or needs a replacement, or if ill and awaiting dismissal.

-- Face masks should fit students snugly so that they cover the nose/mouth and should be comfortable. Gaiters, buffs, bandanas, and face masks with valves are not permitted in school. Here is an instructional video by the school nurses on the proper use of face masks.

 

- Students will be washing their hands frequently throughout the day.  If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer will be used.  If you wish to opt your child out of using hand sanitizer, please see this opt-out letter and notify your child's school nurse.  


- Here is information on where COVID-19 tests are available; and follow up with the healthcare provider.

 

- It is extremely important that you update PowerSchool with new contact information as well as emergency contacts; if your child becomes ill at school, they will be assessed and supervised/monitored in the Medical Waiting Room and will need to be picked up within 45 minutes of their arrival to the nurse's office.


- Please also see new illness guidelines developed in accordance with public health guidelines and in collaboration with the Needham Public Health Department and Needham Public Schools Physician. These guidelines pertain to COVID-19 as well as other illnesses.

 

- For additional information regarding health and safety measures for the Needham Public Schools, please refer to our FAQ.

 

 

Thank you, and we are looking forward to seeing your children soon!  


Susannah Hann, MEd, BSN, RN, NCSN
Director of School Health Services
Needham Public Schools

 

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