School health services at RCS are provided by professional registered nurses. Our school nurses have a multi-faceted role within the school setting, one that supports the physical, mental, emotional, and social health of students and their success in the learning process. A variety of school health services, functions and programs are provided for students and staff. These services are based upon current evidence, best practices and professional school nursing standards in collaboration with our district medical director.
Beginning Sept. 1, 2016, students entering seventh
and 12th grades must be vaccinated against meningococcal disease in
order to attend school in New York state.
The state Department of Health notified school districts on Nov. 24 that a new law, approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in October, requires immunizations against meningococcal disease for children at ages 11 or 12 and again at 16 years of age or older, as recommended by the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The law is scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1, 2016.
Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection that can lead to meningitis (inflammation of the lining covering the brain and spinal cord) and bloodstream infections such as septicemia. Symptoms of the disease include a high fever, headache, vomiting, a stiff neck and a rash. The meningococcus bacterium is treatable with antibiotics, but each year it causes approximately 2,500 infections and 300 deaths in the United States.
Those who contract the disease may experience permanent brain damage, hearing loss, kidney failure, loss of arms or legs, or chronic nervous system problems.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found the highest rates of meningococcal disease to be among preteens, teens, and young adults, as well as among infants with certain medical conditions. The new law targets many in this age group and aligns with the CDC’s recommendation to vaccinate 11- to 18-year-olds against meningococcal disease.
New York State Department of Health answers frequently asked questions about the new law and meningococcal disease.
One way RCS and its nurses provide care for students is by performing the health screenings as mandated by the State of New York. During this school year, the following screenings will be required or completed at school:
Distance acuity for all newly entering students and
students in Kindergarten, Grades 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10.
Near vision acuity and color perception screening for all newly entering students.
Hearing screening for all newly entering students and students in Kindergarten, Grades 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10.
Scoliosis (spinal curvature) screening for all students in Grades 5 – 9.
A physical examination including Body Mass Index and Weight Status Category Information is required for all newly entering students and students in Kindergarten, Grades 2, 4, 7 and 10.
A dental certificate is requested for all newly
entering students and students in Kindergarten, Grades 2, 4, 7 and 10.
A letter will be sent home if there are any findings on the screening done at school that would cause concern or need medical follow-up. Please call the school’s Health Office if you have any questions or concerns.