The information outlined below is under review and may not reflect the current policies of Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary. This content will be finalized by August 31, 2022.
The GMA school nurse may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 215-461-1025. To fax a form to the school nurse, please send to 215-646-7250.
In order to promote an optimal level of wellness, a nurse is on staff at all times during the school day. The nursing staff is able to dispense required medications, perform first aid and deal with student illness. The nursing staff at GMA works with the Wissahickon School District Certified School Nurse to ensure that all guidelines regarding youth health issues are implemented. The Wissahickon nurse maintains school health records and performs weight, height, vision and hearing screenings.
Students who have a temperature of 100.4° or greater should remain at home. The nurse will contact the parents/guardians of any student who arrives at school ill.
- Communicable Diseases and School Exclusion Criteria
- State-Mandated Immunizations
- State-Mandated Physical and Dental Exams
- State-Mandated Health Screenings
- Medical Care in School
- Absence Due to Illness
- Notify the School Nurse
- Guidelines for Administration of Medication in School
- Epi-Pen Opt Out
- Physical Education Exclusion
- Peanut/Nut Allergies
- Downloadable Forms
- COVID-19 Management and Resources
- Campus Visitor Guidelines
According to the Montgomery County Public Health Code, children will/may be excluded from school for communicable diseases including but not limited to the following:
- Streptococcal Pharyngitis (strep throat)
Note: Gwynedd-Mercy Academy follows Montgomery County Office of Public Health guidance in determining when the student may return to school.
GMA will exclude students who are exhibiting signs of contagious illness including but not limited to:
- Fever (temperature 100.4 or higher) - The child may return to school when fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication e.g. acetaminophen/ibuprofen
- Illness that prevents the student from participating in activities
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting during the previous 24 hours
- Head Lice
- Sore throat, cough, congestion
State-Mandated Physical and Dental Exams
The Pennsylvania School Health Law requires all students upon original entry to the district and when entering sixth grade or eleventh grade to have a physical examination.
Dental Examinations are required for all students upon original entry to the district and when entering third grade and seventh grade.
All examinations must be completed within one year prior to the new school year for which the examination is required. Families are encouraged to have these examinations performed by the student’s own health care provider.
Please visit the Health Services web page to download and print these forms: https://www.wsdweb.org/departments/health-services If necessary, you can also contact your school nurse to secure these forms. The completed forms must be returned to the school nurse by October 15th or no later than two months after your student enrolls at Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary.
State-Mandated Health Screenings
Each student will have state mandated screening which includes growth (body mass index), and vision. Hearing is tested in kindergarten, grades 1,2,3,7 and 11 and those in special ungraded classes. We will report deficiencies to you in these tests. These reports should be rechecked by your family health care provider and returned to the school nurse when problems are corrected.
Medical Care in School
Medical care in the schools is limited to first aid for accidents and illness until the parent can be contacted to take the student home or to their personal health care provider or hospital. Emergency information completed by you will give us the information to locate you when needed. It is important to keep this information updated each school year. School nurses are permitted by law to perform only those services written on the Standing Orders of the consulting school physician. Do not expect the school nurse to diagnose or treat illnesses. This is the proper function of your family health care provider.
It is important to contact the School Nurse for these special circumstances.
- If there are restrictions caused by a recent illness, if there are any continuous restrictions on your student’s school activities, or if your student is on daily medication.
- If your student has an allergy to foods, medicines or insect bites. Provide the school nurse a written plan completed by your physician with your approval signature outlining the directions to follow in case of an incident.
- As soon as possible if your student has a confirmed communicable disease to protect the safety and well-being of others.
If your student needs to take medication during the school day, the medication must be brought to the school nurse. Controlled substances must be brought directly to the nurse by a parent/guardian. All medication must be in its original, properly labeled container with a written prescription by the licensed physician or advanced practice nurse. The prescribing physician/advanced practice nurse must indicate the reason for the medication, dose, time and route, and possible side effects
The Wissahickon School District recognizes that parents have the primary responsibility for the health of their children. Although the District strongly recommends that medication when necessary should be given at home, it realizes that the health of some children requires that they receive medication / treatment while in school. Parents should confer with the child’s primary care provider to arrange medication / treatment time intervals to avoid school hours whenever possible. When medication / treatment absolutely must be given during school hours, certain procedures must be followed:
Any medication to be given during school hours must be delivered directly to the School Nurse. The medication must be brought to school in the original pharmaceutical dispensed and properly labeled container. All controlled medications must be delivered to the School Nurse by an adult, counted and recorded on the student’s medication log. As per the PA Controlled Substances Act, no more than a thirty school day supply for any one medication should be stored at school.
All Medication / Treatments must be accompanied by authorization in writing on the WSD “Prescription Medication Dispensing Form” by a board certified prescribing provider (i.e., physician, advanced practice nurse, psychiatrist, or dentist).
Print the Prescription Medication Dispensing Form. You may also request a copy in the school health office.
This form must contain the following information:
- Student name and grade
- Name of medication to be given
- Reason for medication/treatment
- Dosage (amount to be given may not exceed manufacturer’s recommended dosage); total dosage within 24 hours
- Route of medication/treatment f. Exact time medication/treatment is to be given
- Possible side effects and treatment of possible side-effects
- The “Prescription Medication Dispensing Form” must also be signed by a parent/guardian for ALL medications/treatments. (Note: this form is renewed annually.)
- No emails or telephone requests will be accepted.
- Students in grades 6 through 12 will be responsible for reporting to the Nurse at the time the medication / treatment is to be given. In grades K through 5, individualized plans will be made for the administration by the School Nurse.
- Prescription medications, including inhalers and Epi-pens/Auvi-Q, must be brought to school with the pharmaceutical label on the container that includes the student and prescribing health care provider names. The prescribing health care provider may fax written orders to the School.
- In order for a student to carry an inhaler or Epi-Pen/Auvi-Q for self-administration, a form requesting such must be signed by the physician and parent/guardian stating the student has been given instruction regarding the medication and direction to report to the School Nurse if self-administered as per Policy 210.1. (Obtain form from the School Nurse or print by clicking the links below.
- If there is a change in medication or dosage, a new form must be completed by the physician and signed by the parent.
Over the Counter Medications
- Over–the-counter (OTC) medications must be provided by the parent/guardian and accompanied by a written note with the information outlined above. No OTC medication will be administered without a written note. No homeopathic or herbal product will be administered without a primary care provider order.
- The Wissahickon School District Consulting Physician allows for administration of certain OTC medications including acetaminophen, ibuprofen and caladryl lotion. In the event of an unexpected allergic reaction in your child, liquid diphenhydramine and Epi-Pens/Auvi-Q are also available. The parent/guardian must continue to provide Epi-Pens/Auvi-Q for children with known severe allergic responses.
- The School Nurse reserves the right to withhold administration of an OTC medication within the first two hours and the last one hour of the school day to protect the student from excessive medication ingestion. All medication, both prescription and OTC, must be kept in the Nurse’s Office other than medication covered under Policy 210.1.
Epi-Pen Opt Out
The Pennsylvania Public School Code, Section 1414.2 (g) allows parents/guardians to request an exemption to the administration of an epinephrine auto-injector for their student. In order to request this exemption, contact the school nurse to make an appointment to discuss this decision, review and sign the opt-out form.
Physical Education Exclusion
Students who are to be excluded from physical education classes (or recess) for medical reasons must bring a note from the parent/guardian stating the reason for that exclusion. In cases involving exclusion for more than one physical education period (or recess period), a medical doctor’s statement with the reason for exclusion and the anticipated length of exclusion must be provided. The student still will attend physical education class and be expected to participate within the constraints delineated by the medical doctor. A physician’s note must be provided to the school nurse before student returns to full physical education activities without restriction.
It is the goal of GMA to partner with parents to ensure a safe environment while children are attending school. With the understanding that GMA is not a “peanut free” school, if a student with a peanut allergy attends GMA, the school will partner with the student’s parents to educate teachers, students, and other parents.
Teachers and staff have been trained on what it means to have a life-threatening allergy, precautions, and treatment. They also have procedures to adhere to and are familiar with students who have life-threatening allergies. They have also been trained on the use of the epi-pen.
In the lunch room, there is a designated “peanut free zone.” GMA does not prohibit peanut products at lunch or police the lunches of students. Parents are encouraged to make careful decisions about sending peanut products to school.
GMA will require that an Emergency Action Plan be completed by the parents and the health care provider. The plan will include signs and symptoms of a reaction as well and interventions to minimize the reaction. Any required medications, such as an epipen or Benadryl, will need to be prescribed by the child’s physician and attached to the Emergency Action Plan.
The following forms will download in Adobe .pdf format. After downloading they can be printed, filled out and sent in to the school nurse to be included in the student's confidential medical file.
- Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Absence Note - please print, fill out and send in with your child upon returning to school
- Guidelines for Dispensing Medication during the School Day
- Physician Request for the Administration of Prescription Medication During School Hours
- Parent/Guardian Request for the Administration of OTC Medicine During School Hours
- Montgomery County Health Department - PA Immunization Requirements
- Asthma Action Plan
- Inhaler Self-Administration Form
- Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan
- Permission to Carry Epinephrine Auto Injector
- Private Physician's Report of Physical Exam (new students and grade and 6)
- Private Dentist Report (new students and grades 3 and 7)
Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary will follow the guidance of the Montgomery County Health Department and the CDC regarding cases of COVID-19 in our school community.
Gwynedd-Mercy Academy strongly recommends that parents screen their children using the CDC tools provided below daily:
If your child has symptoms of COVID-19, please keep him/her home from school, inform the nurse and follow CDC guidance regarding Isolation and Quarantine.
If your child has been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with or has tested positive for COVID-19, please refer to the CDC Guidance.
Parents will be contacted and students dismissed from school if they have:
Two of the following symptoms: fever (100.4 or above), chills, fatigue, myalgia, headache, sore throat, congestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or new loss of taste or smell OR One of the following symptoms: fever (100.4 or above), cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Next steps will be determined on an individual basis. (This may change based on MCOPH updates.)
Helpful COVID-19 Links for Families:
- CDC Guidance for K-12 schools
H COVID-19 Guidance
- Detailed COVID Vaccine Information in Montgomery County
- Montgomery County Data Hub
- Montgomery County COVID-19 Testing Resources
- CDC link - COVID-19 Community Level
- Isolation and Quarantine - Detailed information for individuals who have been diagnosed or exposed
- CDC - What to do if you are exposed
- Quarantine/Isolation Calculator
Campus Visitor Health Guidelines
When visiting the the GMA Campus property, all parties are expected to be in good health and free of the symptoms of communicable disease.
- MUST have a temperature below 100.4
- MUST NOT be experiencing any of the following symptoms of communicable diseases: cough, shortness of breath, or recent loss of taste or smell, OR two of the following: chills, diarrhea, fatigue, new onset of severe headache, muscle pain, nasal/head congestion, runny nose (not related to seasonal allergies), nausea or vomiting.
Must be following the CDC recommendations regarding Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/
If you have been diagnosed or tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks, you MUST have completed five (5) full days of isolation. You MUST wear a well fitting mask Day 6 through 10 when around others.
If you have traveled within the last two weeks, please refer to the CDC guidance to see if any recommendations apply to you: https://www.cdc.gov/