Guidelines for a Healthy School Year

Guidelines & Information for a Healthy School Year

The goal of the school nurse is to maximize your child’s potential to learn and grow by providing a climate of health and well-being. The nurse is always willing to listen to any concerns regarding your child’s health.

Medications During the School Day

Students requiring medication while in school must have a signed doctor’s order from his/her physician for each new school year along with documented parental consent. The medication must be brought to school by an adult in the original prescription bottle. If the decision is made to stop administration in school, a letter from the doctor and parent is required.

Short-term medications (antibiotics, allergy relief, etc.) can and should be given at home. Physicians can prescribe a convenient schedule to conform to this ruling. If this is not possible, the above rules apply.

The following over-the-counter medications have been prescribed as a “Standing Order” by the QPS doctor: acetaminophen (up to 650 mg), Tums (up to two tabs), and ibuprofen (up to 400 mg). These medications can be administered by your child’s nurse with signed parental consent (an option on the Student Health Information Update Form, which is distributed yearly).

Students should never carry medications of any kind to school in their pocket, backpacks or lunch boxes. This could be very dangerous to other students if the medication is lost and harmful to your child if the incorrect dose is taken.

We strongly urge you to provide your child’s nurse with a fast-acting inhaler, such as albuterol or Ventolin, if your child has asthma. It is always best to be prepared for a possible emergency. Asthma inhalers may only be carried by a student if the doctor indicates “may carry on self” on the medication order.

Please make plans with your school nurse to pick up any medication you supplied at the end of each school year.


Life-threatening allergies are a major concern for schools. Children with such allergies can be put in harm’s way if they come in contact with and/or consume certain foods such as: eggs, nuts and milk. Allergic reactions can vary with each child and can be life-threatening. QPS has guidelines based on the health needs of their students and parents are asked to comply.

Parents are asked not to bring in food for their child’s classroom.

Children with life-threatening allergies: Parents need to submit an “Allergy Action Plan” with a recent photo, medication orders from their child’s doctor (for Epi-pens and Benadryl) and the actual medications. Two Epi-pens are required for school so that one can be stored in the classroom and one in the nurse’s office.


The following screenings are state-mandated and are done as part of the regular school health program:

  • Vision: Grades K – 5, 7, and 9

  • Hearing: Grades K – 3, 6, and 10

  • Height and weight (BMI): 1, 4, 7, and 10

  • Scoliosis: Grades 5 – 9

The schedule for screenings varies from school-to-school. Unless a written document has been submitted that school year by a parent, all students will be screened. Screenings are done respectfully and discreetly. Parents will be notified if their child deviates from the normal. These screenings are important since they can reveal an issue that was overlooked in the past.


Physical exams are mandated for any student entering our school system.

An annual physical exam is also required to participate in sports. An M.I.A.A. health history form must be filled out by parents. Since only one exam per year is required for sports participation, any student suffering an injury during a sport must have a special release signed by their PCP, before returning to that sport or entering another sport. No one can participate in sports or even practice without a completed physical exam on file.

State law requires current physical exams (within the last 12 months) for students entering Pre-K, K, 4th, 7th, and 10th grades.


If your child sustains an injury during the school year that requires him/her to use crutches or another assistive device, please inform the nurse as soon as possible so that a plan can be created to ensure he/she is comfortable and safe throughout the day. Documentation from a doctor is needed in order to miss physical education classes without penalty and a clearance letter is needed before returning to all sports and exercise.

Healthier Generation

Quincy Public Schools has partnered with an Alliance for a Healthier Generation—a federally funded program focused on encouraging healthy choices among children. Through healthier foods options in the cafeteria and an array of sports and healthy activities, QPS encourages students to make healthy choices. During the school year activities such as organized walks or sporting events take place throughout the city. Visit throughout the year to see what events and activities are taking place. within your school and throughout the city.

When to Keep Your Child Home from School

A child who feels too ill is too uncomfortable to learn.

Your child cannot attend school when experiencing the following:

  • A fever, 100 degrees or higher, within 24 hours of school. Do not give your child medication in the morning for an elevated temperature and then send them to school. A fever signifies illness and should be treated as such with rest, fluids and Tylenol.

  • Vomiting or loose stools within 24 hours of school.

  • A cough that keeps your child awake, is painful or uncontrolled.

  • A sore throat for 24 hours, especially with swollen glands or fever. If your child has been diagnosed with strep throat, they must remain home for at least 24 hours after they start antibiotic treatment.

  • A suspicious rash or eye drainage should be evaluated by your child’s doctor before coming to school.

  • Lice needs to be successfully treated before returning to school.

To allow for surveillance of contagious illnesses, notify your school nurse if your child has been diagnosed with the following: Strep Throat, Pertussis (“Whooping Cough”), Conjunctivitis, Impetigo, Scabies, MRSA (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus), Lice, Fifth Disease, Influenza (the flu), or other contagious illnesses.


All students K-12 must be fully immunized against Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, Pertussis, Tetanus (DPT), Varicella, Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR). Failure to do so will result in exclusion from school. Please provide the school nurse with updated paperwork and an immunization record each time your child has a Physical Exam.

Children entering Kindergarten must present evidence of having received the following: 5 DPT, 4 Polio, 2 MMR, 3 Hepatitis B, 2 Varicella, a lead screening test and a TB assessment. Students entering Grade 7 must have a Tdap booster and a second Varicella.


Nurses must be informed of any concussion diagnosis, even if the injury occurred outside of school. A written document must be provided with information on any physical or educational modifications.

Concussion training is a pre-participation sport requirement for all students and must be completed prior to practice or competition. Training methods and schedule vary from each school.

QPS may use a student’s history of head injury or concussion as a factor to determine whether to allow the student to participate in an extracurricular athletic activity or whether to allow such participation under specific conditions or modifications.

Dental Clinics

Quincy Public Schools has partnered with Smile Massachusetts—the mobile dentist offering in-school dental care. Top-quality care is provided by local, licensed dentists right in the familiar surroundings of your child’s school. Dental care includes: complete exam, x-rays, cleaning, fluoride and sealants when needed, as well as restorative care such as fillings and simple extractions of baby teeth. Information and sign-up packets will be sent home with your child once a date for your school has been determined.