Student Health Services

Healthy students means students who can better focus in the classroom, enjoy activities with their classmates and be ready to take on new challenges each day. 

Our school nurses and health room aides provide numerous health related services for our schools, including:

  • Supervision of health room activities
  • Maintenance of district compliance with state-mandated vision, hearing and scoliosis screenings and immunization documentation
  • Overseeing student health issues and development of individual health care plans
  • Distribution of health information to students, families and staff
  • Overseeing student medication administration

 

General Health Guidelines

Student Health Services suggests the following to help insure good health:

  1. Begin your child's day early enough to make time for:
    • washing, dressing, hair combing, tooth brushing
    • an unhurried and adequate breakfast
    • walking to bus stop or school.
  2. Send your child to school happy.
  3. Visit the dentist at least once a year.
  4. Obtain prompt medical treatment for illness or injury.
  5. Obtain required immunizations and keep records
  6. At bedtime, make sure your child:
    • bathes/washes and brushes their teeth.
    • sleeps for 11 to 12 hours if they are in kindergarten through Grade 2 kindergarten through 2, 8 to 10 hours for Grades 3-12.
  7. Give the school your current home, work, cell, and emergency phone numbers in case your child becomes ill or is injured during school time. Update the numbers when they change.
  8. Illness -- Parents can often sense when their child is "coming down with something." By attending to the subtle signs that mark the onset of an illness, you are practicing preventive care measures to protect the health of your child as well as others. Keep children home, as needed, if they have:
    • An earache or severe headache
    • Fever (oral temperature 100 degrees or more)
    • Sore throat or swollen glands
    • Coughing, chilling or runny nose
    • Skin rash or sores
    • Inflammation of the eyes
    • Nausea, vomiting or other stomach flu symptoms
    • Pain, swelling of any kind
    • Communicable disease.
    A child can return to school when symptoms have subsided and his or her temperature remains normal for 24 hours. It is important that the school nurse be informed about your child's allergies, handicapping conditions or serious illness that might need attention or that might affect your child's performance at school. If needed, the school nurse will develop a health care plan with input from parents. The care plan will provide written instructions to school personnel for responding to your child's needs.

Immunizations

Vaccinations required by Washington state law for school attendance

Washington state law requires pre-school and school age children to receive specific immunizations in order to attend school.  Richland School District works with the Washington State Department of health to comply with state laws on required vaccinations. 

The responsibility for a child meeting immunization regulations falls to parents, including foster parents and guardians. Parents should keep accurate and up-to-date immunization records for their children. Parents must submit a complete Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) which is required for their children to attend school or preschool.  Schedule your child’s vaccination appointments well in advance of the new school year to ensure that your child has received all the vaccines required for school attendance. 

Required documentation

Washington state law requires that all children show proof of immunization or certification of exemption to attend school.  Students cannot start school without the required documentation.

View vaccination requirements and other resources from the Washington State Department of Health

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Field Trips

Field trips and before and after school activities that are school-sponsored activities follow the same district policy govern that governs medication administration during the school day. If a student with a life threatening condition is going on the trip, the school nurse will review the student's emergency health plan and medication usage with the teacher. Teachers will also be trained in medication administration for other students who have medications at school. The teacher will then be responsible for the medications and emergency health plans during the field trip. If a student must take medications on the trip that are not usually administered at school, the following conditions must be met in order for your child to receive medications during the field trip. Medication is defined as all medicine whether prescription or over-the-counter.

  1. At least one week before the trip, the parent must give the school nurse a completed Medication Authorization Form, signed by a licensed health care provider and the parent or legal guardian.
  2. At least one week before the trip, the medication must be brought to the school nurse by the parent or legal guardian in the original container in an amount not to exceed the days of the field trip. The container must be labeled with the student's name, health care provider's name, drug name and dosage.
  3. The school nurse will then prepare the medication paperwork for the trip and train the teacher in medication administration.

Medication At School

Medication At School

Medication is defined as all drugs whether prescription or over-the-counter. If your health care provider has ordered medication to be taken by your child while he or she is at school, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The parent must submit an Oral (or Injectable) Medication Authorization Form, signed by a licensed health care provider and the parent.
  2. The medication must be brought to the school by the parent or legal guardian, in the original container, in an amount not to exceed a 20-day supply. The container must be labeled with the student's name, health care provider's name, drug name and dosage.
  3. Medication requests shall be valid for the current school year.

For the safety of all students, please do not send medication of any kind to school with your student. This includes Tylenol and cough drops. If you or your student bring medication to school without the signed Oral Medication Authorization Form the staff will note be able to administer the medication. You, the parent, are always welcome to come to school to administer the medication yourself.

Copies of the Medication Authorization Forms are available online. Additional forms are available in the school office or health room. Contact the school secretary or school nurse if you have any questions.

The district's medication policy allows high school students to carry one dose of medication with them. They must have approval from their parent, health care provider, principal, and school nurse. They must carry the single dose in the original, properly labeled bottle along with the permission form. The health care provider must check the Single Day Self-Carry box on the medication form.

Additional Health Information

Student Health & Wellness

Concussions in High School Sports - Fact Sheet for Parents

Concussions can happen to any athlete — male or female — in any sport. Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury, caused by a blow or jolt to the head that can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. We invite parents to learn more by clicking on the fact sheet link below.

Learn more about concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
 

Head Lice Information

Head lice are often a fact of life for school-aged children. While inconvenient, head lice cause no medical harm and can be effectively treated. A revised clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “Head Lice,” published in the August print issue of Pediatrics (published online July 26), clarifies and updates protocols for diagnosis and treatment, and provides guidance for the management of children with head lice in the school setting. Head lice are not a health hazard or a sign of poor hygiene and, in contrast to body lice, are not responsible for the spread of any disease. No healthy child should be excluded from or miss school because of head lice, and no-nit policies for return to school should be abandoned. Informed school nurses can help with diagnosis and suggestions about treatment. Because head lice are usually transmitted by head-to-head contact, parents should carefully check a child’s head before and after attending a sleepover or camp where children share sleeping quarters. There are many ways to treat active infestations, but not all products and techniques have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness. One percent permethrin lotion is recommended as initial treatment for most head lice infestations with a second application 7¬10 days after the first. Parents and caregivers should make sure that any treatment chosen is safe; preferred treatments would be those which are easy to use, reasonably priced, and proven to be non¬toxic. All products must be used exactly according to manufacturer’s instructions. Your pediatrician can help with diagnosis, treatment choices and management of difficult cases.
 

The Cold You Prevent May Be Your Own.

During the winter months we have a higher number of students staying home ill with the common cold, flu, strep throat or other respiratory illness. Too often, however, very ill students come to school and unwittingly expose their classmates and teachers to their illnesses. Exposure can occur by inhaling germs released during a sneeze or cough or by touching doorknobs, pencils, other items or other surfaces contaminated by the infected person and then by touching the eyes or nostrils, allowing the germs to enter the respiratory system. Sometimes exposure is inevitable. But we do have several ways to protect ourselves.

  • Frequent handwashing, with soap and warm water, scrubbing for about 15 seconds is most important.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes and nose.
  • Avoid people who are ill.
  • Don't share food, beverages or eating utensils with someone who is ill.
  • Keep your body in top form by eating right, getting enough rest and exercise, and by avoiding stress.

If you are ill you can avoid infecting to others.

  • Stay home during the most severe phase of your illness and especially if you have a fever. Don't be a hero! You'll recover faster and your friends won't resent exposure to your germs.
  • If your doctor prescribes medication, take it as directed. Take antibiotics until the prescription is gone.
  • Sneeze or cough into your sleeve instead of your hand to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Wash your hands every time you sneeze, cough or blow your nose in addition to those other times (see number 1, first section).
  • Use paper tissues instead of cloth handkerchiefs and dispose of them in a lined container.

More Student Health Information

Air Quality

Air Quality

Richland School District closely monitors air quality to ensure the health and safety of students and staff. 

The Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) scale. is used to determine when outdoor student and staff activities should be limited or cancelled because of poor air quality. Learn how activities are effected given specific air quality conditions.

The district references air quality readings from a monitoring station located on Metaline Avenue in Kennewick in notices of air conditions sent to district and school staff in the morning and afternoon. Periodic checks also are made before any outdoor event.

 

Emergency Plan

Providing students and staff with a safe, secure environment

Drills are an important component of the Richland School District emergency response plan.  In accordance with RCW 28A.320.125, Safe School Plans, the district conducts at least nine drills throughout the school year:

  • Three drills for fire evacuation
  • Three drills for lockdowns
  • One drill using the school mapping information system
  • One drill for shelter-in-place
  • One additional safety-related drill determined by the school

The district works closely with Richland and West Richland fire and police departments, and the Benton County Emergency Services, in the development and implementation of site emergency plans to ensure the safety of students, staff, and the community.


A Parent’s Guide to Emergency Evacuation

The district has a plan in place in the event an emergency or disaster situation occurs which requires the students be evacuated from a school building.  Parents and guardians play an important role in ensuring children are safely reunited with their family.  Please review and familiarize yourself with this plan.