HMS school nurses are committed to providing all students with a healthy, safe and supportive learning environment. The nurses promote the physical and social emotional health and well being of students through the provision of health services which may include: the identification and planning for care of students with individual health care needs; the performance of mandated health screenings, communicable disease prevention and control; emergency care of students, staff or faculty who are ill or injured; health counseling and education; and promotion of a safe and healthy school environment. The District recognizes that parents/guardians have the primary responsibility for the health of their child/children. Parents should inform the nurses of any change or potential problem in the health of their child/children. Strong communication between the school nurses, parents/guardians and primary care providers is essential.
Mandated School Screenings
Massachusetts State law mandates regular health screenings be completed at school to identify potential barriers that may interfere with student success and make appropriate referrals for assessments and treatment. Mandated screenings do not take the place of regular primary care provider examinations. These screenings include: vision and hearing, completed once in middle school, postural screening: completed in grades 6, 7 and 8, BMI (Body Mass Index) and SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment) screenings, both of which are completed in grade 7. Parents/guardians may opt their child/children out of any of the screenings with written notice to the nurses.
Illness/Injury During School
In case of illness, injury or emergency, the parent/guardian will be notified by the school nurse or other staff member. Parents/guardians MUST provide the school with emergency contact information in case they cannot be reached. It is imperative to keep this information up to date. Students who do not feel well enough to attend class must report to the Health Office for evaluation. Students should request a pass to the Health Office from their teacher if they become ill in school. The nurse will determine if the student will be sent back to class, monitored in the health office, dismissed from school, or referred for emergency medical intervention. Students dismissed with a fever (100 F or greater) must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication (e.g, Tylenol, NSAIDS) before returning to school.
A physician’s order is required for the use of crutches, splints, braces or other assistive devices. The order must specify any restrictions and note the estimated time of use.
HMS nurses work in collaboration with the Hingham Board of Health when there is an identified contagious illness involving a student. The Hingham Board of Health will determine the quarantine, isolation and notification requirements on a case by case basis. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Isolation and Quarantine Regulations mandates exclusion from school for contagious diseases. https://www.mass.gov/regulations/105-CMR-30000-reportable-diseases-surveillance-and-isolation-and-quarantine.
Physical Examinations and Immunizations:
School nurses are required to keep an immunization and health record for each student enrolled in the district. Physical examinations are required for new students registering at Hingham Middle School; this exam must have been completed within one year of school entry. Documentation of a physical exam is also required for students entering Grade 7.
All students attending school are required to be immunized according to Massachusetts State Law. Parents/guardians will be notified if their child/children do not have the Massachusetts immunizations requirements for school. Medical and religious immunization exemption waivers must be submitted to the Health Office annually. Note: When a case of a vaccine-preventable disease emerges in the school setting, susceptible individuals who are not vaccinated (including those with medical or religious exemptions) may need to be excluded as per Reportable Diseases, Surveillance and Isolation & Quarantine Requirements.
Medication at School:
The delivery of medication at school is regulated by the Department of Public Health and has specific guidelines in place for the health, safety and confidentiality of all students. Any student taking medication in school on a regular basis must have a new permission form signed by the parent/guardian and the prescribing physician every school year. Medication must be provided to the school nurse in a pharmacy or manufacturer labeled container. When getting the original prescription at the pharmacy, please ask for a second container with all the prescribing information attached so medication can be left at school.
No student is permitted to bring medications to school or carry medication in school with the exception of an inhaler, epinephrine auto injector, insulin, diabetes supplies or if wearing an insulin delivery system (pump).
The first dose of any medication will not be administered by the school nurse due to the possibility that an adverse event may occur.
Short-term medication (10 days or less), prescription or non-prescription, will only be given if the proper permission forms are signed and dated by a parent and physician if necessary. Parents/Guardians should contact the school nurse(s) to discuss the scheduling of medication or any health issue pertaining to the student. All medication forms can be found on the Hingham Public Schools web page under health services.
Allergies or Chronic Health Care Issue:
If a student has ANY type of allergy including food allergy or other chronic health issue, please contact the school nurse(s) to plan appropriate responses. Students with life threatening allergies or other chronic medical conditions may be eligible for a Medical 504 Plan after evaluation and an eligibility determination.
Please visit our Health Services Webpage for nurse contact information and more detailed health/wellness information and forms. https://hinghamschools.org/academic-programs/nursing/