School nurse

February 2020

Dear Families,

The flu has been declared "wide-spread in Rhode Island" by the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Influenza-like illness is defined as “a fever plus cough” or “fever plus sore throat”.  Some children may also vomit or have diarrhea. It is important to contact your primary care provider if these symptoms occur. There are medications given to some people with pre-existing conditions that may help control the virus if given within the first 24-48 hours of the illness.

The best way to prevent the spread of flu is to get vaccinated.  If you have not done so it is not too late. Please contact your primary care provider for more information.

The recommendations for prevention mimic the guidelines in the Gordon Health Policies.  Any child with a temperature greater than 100 degrees F should stay home.  Any child found to be 100 degrees F at school will be sent home. These children should remain home until they have remained under 100 degrees F for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication. Children diagnosed with the flu may need to stay home for 5-7days.  

While sharing public spaces it is important to remember:

  • Stay home if you are ill
  • Wash your hands (preferably with soap and water)
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Do not share water bottles, chapstick, etc.

If your child shows signs of illness and you have any questions or concerns please contact your primary care provider immediately. 

For staying healthy in general try to remember to make sure everyone in the family eats well, gets enough sleep, stays active, and drinks plenty of liquids. Reminding everyone to wash their hands when they get home will help as well. 

Thank you,

Sandy Horton, RN

Dear Gordon Families:

State law requires proof of an annual physical for all students. Your pediatrician may use their own form, and it must include immunization history, allergies, chronic conditions, and permission for PE and sports. Please have these forms sent to the health office no later than August 24th.

I may need to share information such as allergies and chronic conditions with members of the faculty, after school staff, and administration. If you prefer I did not do this, please let me know.

Illness Policy

A student should not attend school and will be sent home if he or she has:
   a. vomiting
   b. a temperature of 100 degrees or higher
   c. diarrhea
   d. persistent severe pain anywhere
   e. severe cold symptoms
These students must remain home for until they are free of fever, vomiting, or diarrhea for 24 hours.

Concussion Policy

If a child shows symptoms of a concussion, they will need to have written permission from their primary care provider to resume PE, sports, and recess.

Lice Information

Late summer and early fall is lice season. Please check your child’s scalp thoroughly before the first day of school, and once a week during the school year, and treat accordingly.

Medication Policy

Families are encouraged, in cooperation with their physicians, to find ways to limit the need to medicate in school.

Over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen cannot be given without parental consent in writing.

The school nurse must supervise the administration of all medication, and all medication is to be stored in the health office, with the exception of inhalers or Epi Pens that students carry.

The self-administration of prescription medication is not encouraged and will only be allowed in limited circumstances when the following is in effect:

  • A physician's order is in place, indicating that the child can self-administer without supervision.
  • A written document is on file signed by the parent indicating approval and releasing Gordon of all responsibilities and any damages, which may arise.
  • The medication is taken by the student in a designated area.
  • The school nurse agrees that all necessary and reasonable conditions have been met.

Prescription medication may be taken at school under the following conditions:

  • A document is on file in the school from a physician indicating permission for the student to have the medication. The document must identify the drug, indicate the proper dosage, route, possible side effects, and when it is to be given.
  • A document is on file in the school from the parent or guardian indicating permission to have the student take the medication at school.
  • The documents on file in the school office from the physician and parent have been renewed annually.
  • Medication is in a properly labeled container from the pharmacy. Pharmacies will provide a second labeled bottle for school.
  • All medication stored within the school building is located in a secure area designated by the school nurse.
  • Medication is brought to school and taken from school by the student's parent or guardian.
  • The school nurse has verified that the above requirements are met.
  • The medication is taken in the presence of one of the following
    • school nurse
    • parent or guardian
    • a responsible adult designated by parent or guardian in writing, signed and dated by the parent or guardian

Please see that all health forms are returned no later than August 24th.

Sandy Horton
School Nurse

Concussion policy

Gordon has adopted a formal concussion policy which documents the ways that teachers, staff and coaches respond to head injuries.
To comply with state regulations, when a student's injury meets certain criteria, the parents will be asked to obtain a physician's permission before the student can participate in PE, athletics or other vigorous activities.
Concussion policy
Center for Disease Control symptom checklist referenced in the policy