Stay Up to Date with New Health Services Information
Published July 27, 2021
Keeping students healthy and in class is the goal of the WCS Health Services Department.
To help achieve this goal, school nurses are assigned to specific schools and oversee the healthcare in the school setting. The school nurse is an advocate for quality care, which leads to better academic achievements for students, and every school in Williamson County has a school nurse.
The updated WCS Illness Guidelines should be used to assist in determining if a student should be sent to school. When in doubt, keep students home to watch for worsening symptoms and consult a healthcare provider.
Keeping students healthy and learning this fall will be a combined effort between families and the district. To be successful, families are asked to be aware of the following:
If a family receives a call from the school that their child is ill, be prepared to pick them up promptly. Parents should make sure the school has current information, including emergency contacts and individuals authorized for pickup. Follow the WCS Illness Guidelines to determine when the student may return to school.
If a student has a medical need requiring accommodations or emergency care during the school day, a school nurse will work with the family and the healthcare provider to establish an Individual Health Care Plan addressing those needs.
All medications, both prescription and non-prescription, must be brought to the school nurse by a parent or guardian with a completed WCS Medication Authorization Form. A new form is required each school year, and all prescription medications require physician authorization to be administered in the school building. Other than certain emergency medications, students are not permitted to carry their medications in backpacks or pockets. This includes vitamins, cough drops and over-the-counter pain relievers.
Families should make sure students are up-to-date with all required and recommended vaccines.
An immunization record is required for each new student before the first day of attendance. Students entering seventh grade need an updated immunization certificate. Families moving from another state may make an online request for immunization records to be transferred by the health department. A Tennessee-licensed healthcare provider can also provide a Tennessee immunization certificate.
A COVID-19 vaccination is not required to attend school, and families should consult with their healthcare provider or the health department regarding vaccination information.
Families are encouraged to review and practice proper handwashing techniques at home, especially before and after eating and after sneezing, coughing or using the restroom.
A face mask is advised for those under the age of 12 since they have not been eligible to receive a COVID vaccination and encouraged for anyone else. The face mask is a mitigation strategy that helps limit spread of all school-related illnesses. Consider sending a mask with students to wear if they develop symptoms during the school day and need to use one while awaiting parent pickup.
If a child has a positive test result for COVID-19 or someone in their home has COVID-19, consult with a healthcare provider or the county health department to determine when the student may return to school.
The symptoms of COVID-19 will vary. These include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nasal congestion or runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea and skin rashes.
If a student reports these symptoms while in school, a school nurse will determine if they will be sent home according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines. If a student is sent home with possible COVID-19, the school requires confirmation from a healthcare provider or county health department that the disease is no longer communicable according to the WCS communicable disease policy. Without documentation, students will need to remain out of school for 10 days according to the CDC COVID-19 guidelines.
For more information, visit the WCS Health Services page.