Welcome to School Nursing
School Nurses in Somerville offer facilitate positive student responses to normal development, promote health and safety, intervene with actual and potential health problems, provide case management services, and actively collaborate with others to build student and family capacity for adaptation, self-management, self-advocacy, and learning. School Nursing services in the Somerville Public Schools are managed by the Somerville Health and Human Services Department.
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): With heavy media coverage of a new strain of Coronavirus and its appearance in the U.S., the City of Somerville and the Department of Health and Human Services is issuing regular updates on the City’s preparations and precautions, as well as steps you and your family can take to help ward off illness. The most recent update can be found at: https://www.somervillema.gov/departments/programs/novel-coronavirus-preparedness-and-information. If you are displaying any of the following symptoms please contact your primary care provider or visit the emergency room:
- Fever or lower respiratory illness
- Shortness of breath
Tips for Staying Healthy, and Protecting Those Around You
- Wash your hands frequently, using soap and water.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer until soap and water is available.
- Wear a mask if you have a cough.
- Monitor your temperature. (A fever is 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.) Remain home from work or school if you have a fever or you aren’t feeling well.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects frequently.
Epi-Pens: If your child has been diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy, you may be eligible for a free Epi Pen. For more information, download the flyer below or visit www.epipen.com.
Somerville Health and Human Services News
Flu Clinics: Somerville Health and Human Services Public Health Nursing staff are developing plans to administer flu vaccines to all Somerville residents in the Fall. Stay tuned for more information regarding possible Family Flu Clinic opportunities. For more information contact Public Health Nursing at(617) 625-6600 ext. 4320.
Health Screening Information
All Screenings are Mandated by Department of Public Health regulations. If you would prefer to have your PCP perform these screenings at your child’s routine physical and not at school, please send a note to your child’s school nurse informing them of your choice to “opt” out.
Height and Weight/BMI Screening
Schools in Massachusetts are mandated by Massachusetts General Law to obtain heights and weights on students in grades 1, 4, 7 and 10. Heights/weights/BMI screenings will be done at the elementary, middle schools and high school in November and December. If you would like your child to be exempt from the Massachusetts mandated screenings, you should provide the nurse at your child's school a written request to exempt your child.
Public Schools in the state of Massachusetts are required annually to screen students in grades 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 for postural screening. Postural Screenings will take place in your child's Physical Education class during the months of November, December and January. The exact dates are still to be announced. If you would like your child to be exempt from the Massachusetts mandated screenings, you should provide the nurse at your child's school a written request to exempt your child.
Vision and Hearing Screening
Vision and Hearing screenings are mandated by Massachusetts State Law in grades Kindergarten thru 5, 7, and 9, while hearing screenings happen in grades K-3, 7, and 9. The elementary, middle and secondary school screenings are conducted in November and December. If your child does not pass one of these basic screenings you will receive a letter in the mail asking you to follow-up with the child's physician and/or appropriate specialist. When you do receive a letter it is important you return the letter that will include information for your child’s medical record. If you would like to have your child exempt from the screenings, you must send a written note for each screening in which you do not want your child to participate. Please send the written notice to the nurse at your child’s school and it will be kept in your child's health file, for future reference.
Because school nurses and counselors are uniquely positioned to discuss substance use among young people, it is recommended that schools allow for opportunities for appropriately trained staff to reinforce prevention, screen for substance use, provide counseling and make referrals as necessary to all adolescents, including students in upper elementary grades. Adolescent Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) focuses on prevention, early detection, risk assessment, brief counseling and referral intervention that can be utilized in the school setting. Use of a validated screening tool will enable school nurses and counselors to detect risk for substance use-related problems and to address them at an early stage in adolescents.
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