Effective August 17, 2015, several revisions and additions to the education statutes were enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly. Some of the changes affecting school health services are described below, effective for the 2015-16 school year and thereafter.
Vision Screenings will be done in Kindergarten, and grades 1, 3, 4 and 5 (formerly K, 1-6, and 9)
Audiometric Screenings (hearing) will be done in Kindergarten, and grades 1, 3, 4 and 5 (formerly K, 1,2,3,5, and 8).
Postural Screenings (scoliosis) will be done as follows:
Females - Grades 5 and 7 (formerly grades 5-9, with the postural documentation on the 6th grade physical being an acceptable substitution for the 6th grade school screening)
Males - Grades 8 or 9 (formerly grades 5-9, with the postural documentation on the 6th grade physical being an acceptable substitution for the 6th grade school screening)
There is no change in the procedure for providing written notice to parents or guardians who do not pass any school screening. However, if their child did not receive such screening, a brief statement explaining why shall be given.
Sports Physicals - Any student wishing to try out for a school sport at the Middle School or High School must turn in a completed sports packet every year to the school nurse, prior to the start of tryouts. Physicals for sports must be done annually. Sports packets can be downloaded from the district and school web sites. In addition to the physical, sports packets contain forms for the Parent Permission, Medical History and Code of Ethics, Concussion Education Plan, and Sudden Cardiac Arrest Plan.
ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATIONS
Schools are now required to develop policies and procedures for the administration of epinephrine as an emergency first aid to students who experience severe allergic reactions during regular school hours, even if they do not have prior written authorization from their health care provider or a parent/guardian. Under the new state law, epinephrine can now be given by a qualified school employee who has completed the required training, if the school nurse is absent or unavailable during regular school hours. All North Haven Public Schools stock epinephrine for this purpose. Parents or guardians who refuse to allow the emergency administration of epinephrine by a trained and qualified school employee in the absence or unavailability of the school nurse must submit their wishes in writing to the school nurse each year.
For FDA- approved medications being administered according to an approved study protocol, a copy of the protocol shall be provided to the school nurse along with the name of the medication to be given in school, and the acceptable range of dosage to be given. Previously, investigational or study medications could not be administered in school by qualified personnel, regardless of whether they were FDA-approved. For school readiness programs, and before and after school programs, investigational drugs or research/study medications are still not allowed to be given by the director, director designee, lead teacher or administrator.
For antiepileptic medication, if a student has a written order from a licensed physician and a parent/guardian, a school nurse can provide supervision to a qualified school employee to give antiepileptic medication, including by rectal syringe, to a specific student who has been diagnosed with an epileptic condition. This authorization is limited to situations when the school nurse is absent or unavailable. An annual training program must be completed by the qualified school employee (who can be a principal, teacher, licensed athletic trainer, licensed PT or OT employed by a school district, coach, or school paraprofessional), with monthly reviews to confirm competency.