The goal of the Holliston Public School Health Services Department is to promote an optimum level of wellness and remove health related barriers in order to enhance the education process. We believe that health and education are interrelated and that a healthy student is the best learner.
The Holliston Public Schools Health Office is committed to providing basic health services, health promotion and prevention of disease, health maintenance and a safe and caring environment for all students.
- Nursing Team & Contact Information
- COVID Guidelines
- Medication Administration
- Additional Resources
Placentino Elementary School
Catherine Harkin, RN, BSN, NCSN
Sarah Holmes, RN, BSN, NCSN
Miller Elementary School
Melissa Jordan, RN, BSN, NCSN
Brenda Barton, RN, BSN, Nurse Leader
Robert Adams Middle School
Lauren Farqui, RN, BSN
Amy Piselli, RN, BSN
Holliston High School
Tereza Rodrigues, RN, BSN
Michelle Donovan, RN, BSN
What To Do If You Test Positive for COVID-19?
- Isolate individual if possible
- Keep student home and notify school of absence
- Notify the pediatrician and then notify the school nurse of positive case
- Review return to school guidelines below
- Timeline starts at Day 0 (Day zero is the first day of symptoms or date of positive test)
- Isolate through Day 5
Can Return to School on Day 6 as long as:
- Symptoms have improved
- Individual is fever-free for 24 hours without medicine
- Should wear a high-quality mask through Day 10
Note: If positive individual tests negative on Day 5 or later, they do not need to wear a mask.
Department of Nursing Services Guidelines on School Attendance, Screenings and Exemptions
The purpose of the comprehensive school health program is to encourage the best possible health outcome for each student and to teach concepts that help students make responsible decisions regarding their own health in the future.
The members of the Nursing Department collaborate with parents/ guardians and staff to provide every possible educational opportunity for all students by providing services to support their health, well being, and safety in school.
The comprehensive school health program includes screening procedures, protocols to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, emergency care, and procedures to facilitate school attendance for children with special health care needs. Due to nursing assessment and intervention, more students are able to stay in school. The nurse identifies health related barriers to learning, and collaborates with teachers to accommodate students with special health care needs. The nurse may act as liaison between schools and physicians and/or refer students to appropriate resources within the school or community.
The Holliston Public Schools nursing department employs registered nurses licensed to practice by the Massachusetts Board of Registered Nurses (http://www.mass.gov/dph/boards/rn) and certified by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (http://www.doe.mass.edu/educators/e_license.html).
School Attendance Guidelines
School attendance is key to your child’s success in school. Children should be in school if they are rested, eating well, feeling good and are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. There are certain circumstances, however, when your child should stay home from school. Communication with your child’s school nurse about illness is very important so that nurses can track illnesses in the school and community, maximize the health and safety of all students and staff, and provide you with updated information. The following information should give you direction when making the decision to send your child to school or keep them home. Remember - your school nurse is an excellent resource if you need any guidance or direction when making this decision. Never hesitate to consult with your school nurse.
Please review the following information as guidelines for attending school:
- Fever and/or Flu - If your student has been diagnosed with influenza, the health office needs to know. Keep your student home until the student is fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.
- Vomiting and/or Diarrhea - Keep your student home until the student has a resolution of symptoms for 24 hours.
- Conjunctivitis / Pink Eye - Keep your student home until the student is on medication for at least 24 hours.
- Strep Throat - If your student has been diagnosed with strep throat, the health office needs to know. Keep your student home until the student is fever free without the use of fever reducing medication and has been on antibiotics for 24 hours.
- Chicken Pox - If a student has chicken pox, the health office needs to know. Keep your student home until all the student's blisters are crusted over.
- Contagious Skin Disorders (such as Impetigo) - Keep your student home until the student has been on medication for 24 hours and the lesions are dried or able to be covered.
- Rash - If your child develops a rash please consult with the school nurse. Rashes are very difficult to diagnose and many are viral in origin and should not prevent your child from attending school. There are cases of breakthrough chickenpox disease and a few other diseases that would certainly influence your child’s attendance in school and impact other students who may be medically compromised, so consultation with your school nurse is important.
Non-illness Related Guidelines
- Injury - Any student who has sustained an injury that has been treated by a physician or in an emergency room and will have restricted activity for a limited period of time (cast, stitches, sprains, fractures, concussions, etc.), must bring a note from the physician stating the nature of the restrictions and when the student can resume participation in Physical Education class, recess, and sports in the upper grades. The student will not be allowed to return to Physical Education class, recess, and sports activities until this note is received. If your child sustains an injury, or you feel your child should limit their activity for 1 – 2 days, or that will affect their school performance, you will need to send a note to the nurse.
Dismissal Due to Illness or Injury
Students requiring dismissal due to an illness/injury will be dismissed to a parent/guardian or their designee from the nursing office. The student will not be allowed to walk home alone or drive home themselves, except High School students after consultation with the school nurse and the student’s parents. It is the expectation that a sick or injured student will be picked up as soon as possible.
Please notify the school when your child will be absent and whether it is due to illness or injury. By leaving information about your child’s absence allows for the school nurse to track and trend illness in the school and begin interventions.
Please keep the emergency information on your child current to facilitate contacting you if your child is ill or injured. Work numbers, home telephone and cell phone numbers change throughout the school year and the school needs to be informed of these changes so that you or your designee can be contacted quickly in the case of an emergency.
Massachusetts state law requires that students be fully immunized against DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus), Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B and Varicella in order to attend school. Students MUST meet all the immunization requirements before beginning school. The statute does include exemptions from this law for medical and religious reasons. These exemptions must be updated annually in accordance with the statute and submitted to your school nurse. Your school nurse can answer any questions regarding your child’s immunization status.
Examinations by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant are required for all students entering Kindergarten and any new student entering the district regardless of age or grade. These examinations must be within one year prior to entering school or within 30 days after school entry. Examinations are also required for all students in grades 4, 7 and 10.
In order to participate in any interscholastic sport, documentation of a physical examination within the last 13 months by the student’s primary health care provider must be on file with the school nurse prior to tryouts.
Vision and Hearing Screenings are conducted according to guidelines provided by MDPH (http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/). A referral letter is sent home when the student does not meet the screening parameters recommending evaluation by your physician.
- Vision screening is performed in grades PK, K-5, once in grades 6-8, once in grades 9-12.
- Hearing screening is performed in grades K-3, once in grades 6-8, once in grades 9-12.
Postural screening is conducted annually for students in grades 5 through 9. A report from the student’s doctor is required in order to be excused from the school screening. A referral letter is sent home when the student does not meet the screening parameters so that further evaluation can be done.
Heights and weights are done on students in grades 1,4, 7, and 10. Body Mass Index (BMI) and corresponding percentile is calculated and recorded following guidelines from the MDPH for each student. The results will be recorded in the student’s cumulative health record at school. Parents are welcome to call the school nurse to discuss the findings.
SBIRT Screening (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral for Treatment) will be conducted for all grade 7 and 9 students. SBIRT is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to prevent and/or delay substance use and to identify early the small percentage of students thought to be at risk for substance abuse.
Annual Screening Exemptions
A student may be exempt from scoliosis screening, vision, hearing, and BMI screenings upon written request from the parent/ guardian. Immunization exemption and communicable diseases is addressed in Massachusetts General Law ( M.G.L. c.71, s.57) http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/. The law in Massachusetts does not allow philosophical exemptions. There are only two situations in which children who are not fully immunized may be admitted to school.
- Medical exemptions are allowed if a physician submits documentation stating that an immunization is medically contraindicated for the child.
- Religious exemptions are allowed if a parent/ guardian submits a written statement that immunizations conflict with their sincere religious beliefs.
Does your child need medication administered at school by the nurse or themselves?
You will need to provide the following:
1. PHYSICIAN ORDER
All Medications need an order from you child's provider. Order dates
should go through the entire schoolyear whenever possible.
Care plans are also acceptable if the specific medication and dosage is
2. PARENT/GUARDIAN PERMISSION
Please complete all sections of the Medication Authorization Form.
Including the self-carry / self-administration sections on page 2.
Please check the expiration dates of the medication and make note of
that date. Nurses can only accept a 30 day supply (when applicable to the medication)
PHARMACY LABEL MEDICATION
Head Injury Medical Management
Student Name: Grade:
Date of Injury:
Diagnosis: Diagnostic testing done and results:
Recognizing that every student will present differently after a concussive event, the following accommodations serve as a guide in planning for an individualized plan of care for the above student returning to school after sustaining a head injury.
Full days as tolerated 1/2 day, may advance as tolerated
No school until ,then attempt half/full days as tolerated Academic Testing:
Extra time to complete tests Testing in a quiet environment
Allow testing across multiple sessions Reduce length if tests
Schedule no more than 1 test per day Eliminate tests when possible
Defer standardized or high stakes testing Curriculum Accommodations:
Extended time: Allow the student extended time to turn in assignments.
Workload reduction: Reduce overall amount of make-up work, class work and homework.
Make up/Keep up: Develop a plan for balancing the make up/keep up challenge of recovery.
Note taking: Allow student to obtain notes/outlines ahead of time to help with organization.
Breaks: Take breaks as needed. Rest time in the Health Office.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION ACCOMMODATIONS:
Non-contact sport , light cardio
No physical education class
Duration of restrictions:
Physician Signature: Date:
We would like to inform you of the medication administration policies that have been put in place to ensure the health and safety of students needing medications during the school day.
Our school district requires that the following TWO forms must be on file in your student’s health record before we begin to give any medicine at school:
Signed medication order by licensed provider. A completed written medication order from your student’s licensed provider. This order must be renewed as needed and at the beginning of each academic year.
Signed consent by the parent or guardian to give the medication. Please complete the enclosed HPS Medication Administration Plan and give it to your school nurse.
Prescription medications should be delivered to the school nurse in a labeled pharmacy container by a parent or guardian. Non-prescription medication should be delivered to the school nurse in an unopened manufacturer-labeled container by a parent or guardian.
No more than a thirty-day supply of the medicine should be delivered to the school. You may also visit the district website for further information regarding medication administration: https://www.holliston.k12.ma.us/district-departments/health-office
Thank you for your prompt cooperation in this matter.
Holliston Public School Nurses
Health Services Department
Sam Placentino School Fred W. Miller School Robert Adams Middle School High School
235 Woodland Street 235 Woodland Street 323 Woodland Street 370 Hollis Street
Holliston, MA 01746 Holliston, MA 01746 Holliston, MA 01746 Holliston, MA 01746
P (508) 429-0647 P (508) 429-0667 P (508) 429-0657 P (508) 429-0677
F (508) 429-0699 F (508) 429-0690 F (508) 893-6053
Student: ________________________________________________________ DOB: _______________
School: _______________________________________________________Grade: _______________
Name of Lic. Prescriber: _____________________________________________________________
Parent/Guardian Name: _________________________________________________________________
Cell Phone: ______________________________________________________________________________
Parent/Guardian Name: ________________________________________________________________
Cell Phone: ______________________________________________________________________________
Emergency Contact (other)______________________________________________________________
Allergy (if applicable): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Name of Medication: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Specific Directions (e.g., times to be given): _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Back-up Plans (e.g., school nurse unavailable): ❏ Call 911/EMS ❏Other: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Plan for Field Trip: ❏ Sent on Field Trip and administered by designated school personnel ❏Other__________________________________________________________________________
Other persons to be notified of diagnosis and medication: ❏ Appropriate school personnel necessary for student health and safety, including bus drivers
❏ Other: ________________________________________________________________________________________________
Plan for medication monitoring (e.g., temperature control): ❏ Not applicable ❏Other: ______________________________________________________________________________________
Plan for teaching self-carry/administration (as appropriate) applicable only for prescription inhalers, epinephrine auto-injectors, insulin delivery systems, and enzyme supplements: ❏ No ❏ Yes (MUST complete second page)
Storage Location of medication (check all that apply): ❏ Health Office ❏ Self-carry
*I give permission for the above medication to be administered as prescribed to my student. Non-medical staff can only administer epinephrine auto-injectors if trained.
*I understand medication will be destroyed if not picked-up by the expiration date or the last day of school.
Parent/Guardian Signature _______________________________________ Date________________
*Medication order MUST be included with this form*
*ONLY COMPLETE THIS SECTION FOR SELF CARRY/ADMINISTRATION*
Self carry/administration will be allowed only when the criteria of the Self Administration Medication Plan have been met. The plan is effective only for the same school year it is granted and must be renewed each year.
Parent/Guardian Consent of Administration
I, the parent/guardian of _______________________________________________________________________, give permission for my student to self-administer the above listed medication.
Parent/Guardian Name (printed): ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date________________________________
Student Consent of Administration
1. Student demonstrates knowledge of the medication and when it should be used ❏ Yes ❏ No
2. Student informs the nurse if there are any issues with self administration ❏ Yes ❏ No
Student Name (printed): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
School Nurse Consent to Student Medication Self Administration Plan
Self-administration of medication in the school setting will be allowed if the following are met:
- A valid medication order and treatment plan from a licensed prescriber has been received.
- The student’s parent/guardian has completed and submitted to the school any written documentation required by the school.
- The school nurse has developed a Medication Administration Plan (MAP) which contains only those elements necessary to ensure safe self-administration of medication.
- The minor student’s parent/guardian has signed the Consent of Administration.
- The student has demonstrated to the school nurse the skill level necessary to use the medication and any device necessary to administer such medication prescribed and has reviewed and signed the Consent of Administration.
- The school nurse has determined it is safe and appropriate for the student to self administer the prescribed medication and has signed the Consent for Self Administration
- The signed consent for self administration in the school setting will be kept with the student’s medication orders in their medical file.
School Nurse Name (printed): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
School Nurse Signature ____________________________________________________________________________________Date_________________________
Medication Verification Chart
REQUEST FOR EXEMPTION FROM VACCINATION AND IMMUNIZATION
To: ________ _______________________________________
(Parent Name - Please Print)
As a parent (or guardian) having control of and responsibility for:
A minor enrolled in the grade, I request that said minor be exempt from the vaccination and immunization requirements on religious grounds in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 76, Section 15, General Laws of Massachusetts as amended by Chapter 285 of the Acts of 1971.
Parent/Guardian Signature: _________________________
Part of an act further regulating vaccination and immunization of school children:
Section 15 of Chapter 76 of the General Laws, as most recently amended by Chapter 590 of the Acts of 1967, is hereby further amended…
“In the absence of an emergency or epidemic of disease declared by the department of public health, no child whose parent or guardian states in writing that vaccination or immunization conflicts with his sincere religious beliefs shall be required to present said physician’s certificate in order to be admitted to school.”
Health Services Department
The HPS nurses would like to remind parents/guardians of the following topics:
PRIME Energy in cans (contain caffeine) is not recommended for children under the age of 18, women who are pregnant or nursing, or individuals who are sensitive to caffeine. PRIME Company FAQ page
PRIME Hydration in plastic bottles (caffeine-free) is not suitable for children under the age of 15, pregnant or breastfeeding women. This is stated as a disclaimer on its containers sold in Australia. We were made aware of this information from an article authored by a US nutritionist.
2. We have seen an increase in strep throat cases lately. Symptoms of strep throat can vary from student to student. Common symptoms include fever and throat pain. Less common symptoms can be stomach pain, with or without vomiting. Please see the Strep Throat Information Page from the CDC. If your student has been diagnosed with strep throat, the health office needs to know. Keep your student home until the student is fever free without the use of fever reducing medication and has been on antibiotics for 24 hours.
Health Office website:
It is the policy of the Holliston Public Schools not to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, color, homelessness, sexual orientation, age or disability in its educational programs, services, activities, or employment practices.
370 HOLLIS STREET
School nursing, a specialized practice of public health nursing, protects and promotes student health, facilitates normal development, and advances academic success. School nurses, grounded in ethical and evidence-based practice, are the leaders that bridge health care and education, provide care coordination, advocate for quality student-centered care, and collaborate to design systems that allow individuals and communities to develop their full potentials.