About the SCSD Office of Health Services
The Health Services department staff includes 51 nurses working directly with students in the schools with 32 health aides supporting the nursing staff with clerical services and basic first aid. The school nurses provide care for the majority of the health issues seen in our schools. They are a compassionate and passionate group working to keep your child healthy.
Health Services monitors physical exams and hearing and vision screenings for mandated grades. The department also approves transportation and homebound instruction for medical reasons. Additionally, we provide medical reviews and clearances for employees returning to work after illness.
Comprehensive health services are offered at eight of our schools: STEAM @ Dr. King Elementary , Dr. Weeks Elementary , Delaware, PSLA at Fowler, HW Smith, Syracuse STEM at Blodgett, Franklin Elementary, and Grant Middle School. For more information, please visit our School Based Health Centers Page.
Immunization requirements for school attendance
As a reminder, immunization requirements for students must be met for school attendance. A student may not be permitted to attend school without proof of required immunizations. There is a 14 day grace period following the 1st day of school to provide documentation of required immunizations. For those students who are transferring from out-of-state or from another country and can show a good faith effort to get the necessary evidence of immunization(s) there is a 30 day grace period.
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Health Appraisals and screenings are required for new students and at mandated grade levels.
- Scoliosis screening for girls in grades 5 & 7 and boys in grades 9.
- Vision screening for distance, near vision acuity & color perception required within 6 months of admission to school; distance & near vision acuity in grades Pre K or K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, and at any other time deemed necessary.
- Hearing screening to all students within six months of admission to the school and in grades Kindergarten, 1, 3, 5, 7, and 11, and at any other time deemed necessary.
- Physical exams for all new students to the district and in grades Pre-K or K, 1,3,5,7,9 and 11.
- All student athletes and students needing working papers are required to have a physical preferably performed by their own healthcare provider and completed within one year of the beginning of the athletic season or employment.
Mandated vision and scoliosis screenings, if not completed on the physical exam provided by your child’s medical provider will be done for required grades by the school nurse. Mandated hearing screenings, if not completed on the physical exam will be done for required grades by the audiology department.
New Cardiac Arrest Prevention Information
The Dominic Murray Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act is a new law as of July 1, 2022. This law requires schools, students, and parents/guardians have information on sudden cardiac arrest risks, signs, and symptoms.
Please note that sudden cardiac arrest in children and youth is rare. The incidence of sudden cardiac death (SCD) on the playing field is 0.61 in 100,000. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is an emergency that happens when the heart suddenly stops working. SCA can cause death if not treated immediately, and even with treatment death may occur. Immediate treatment is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED). All public schools must have a staff member trained in the use of CPR and AED in school and at all school athletic events.
Preventing SCA before it happens is the best way to save a life. Both your family health history and your child’s personal history must be told to healthcare providers to help them know if your child is at risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Ask your child if they are having any of the symptoms listed below and tell a healthcare provider. Know your family history and tell a healthcare provider of any risk factors listed below.
The signs or symptoms are:
Student’s Personal Risk Factors are:
- Fainting or seizure, especially during or right after exercise or with excitement or startled
- Racing heart, palpitations, or irregular heartbeat
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or extreme fatigue with exercise
- Chest pain or discomfort with exercise
- Excessive shortness of breath during exercise
- Excessive, unexpected fatigue during or after exercise
Student’s Family History Risk Factors are:
- Use of diet pills, performance-enhancing supplements, energy drinks, or drugs such as cocaine, inhalants, or “recreational” drugs.
- Elevated blood pressure or cholesterol
- History of health care provider ordered test(s) for heart related issues
- Family history of known heart abnormalities or sudden death before 50 years of age
- Family members with unexplained fainting, seizures, drowning, near drowning or car accidents before 50 years of age
- Structural heart abnormality, repaired or unrepaired
- Any relative diagnosed with the following conditions:
SCA in students at risk can be triggered by athletic activities. To decrease the chance of SCA in a student, theinterval health history questions for Athletics on FamilyID must be completed and signed by a parent/guardian before each sports season. These questions help identify changes since the last physical examination or health history was completed. School personnel may require a student with health or history changes to see a healthcare provider before participating in athletics.
- Enlarged Heart/ Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy/Dilated Cardiomyopathy
- Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy
- Heart rhythm problems, long or short QT interval
- Brugada Syndrome
- Catecholaminergic Ventricular Tachycardia
- Marfan Syndrome- aortic rupture
- Heart attack at 50 years or younger
- Pacemaker or implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD)
Finally, the law requires any student who has signs and symptoms of pending SCA be removed from athletic activity until seen by a physician. The physician must provide written clearance to the school for the student to be able to return to athletics.
Please contact the State Education Department’s Office of Student Support Services for questions at email@example.com or 518-486-6090.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after being in a public place; hand sanitizer is also acceptable if it contains 60% alcohol
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
Stay at home as much as possible
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Keep 6 feet between you and other people
Cover coughs and sneezes
Clean and disinfect surfaces
Please click the link above for multi-language resources to keep you, your family and your community safe and healthy. No login required.
Important Note to Families: Religious exemption from immunizations for religious reasons
On June 13, 2019, the New York State Legislature passed an amendment to public health law section 2164, eliminating the exemption from immunizations due to religious beliefs for school attendance. The new law is effective immediately. All families of previously exempt students will receive a letter with more details on what is now required.