Guidelines and Screenings to Support School Health Services

The purpose of the Guidelines for Health Screenings is to provide more detailed information on the rationale, proper procedures and recommendations for implementation of health screenings and services.

Delivery of Specialized Health Care in the School Setting As an increasing number of children with chronic health care issues are attending school, it is crucial that schools address the needs of these students to achieve optimal learning. Schools in Arizona need to arrange for adequate personnel to provide care during the school day. In addition, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandate that all disabled children must be provided an education in the least restrictive environment. This resource guide may assist school personnel in developing a plan of care in cooperation with the parent/guardian, medical provider and school nurse. To ensure the safety of the student, advanced planning and preparation are required to safely identify and train individuals who will be performing any medical task. Please click here for a printable copy of this document.

How to Handle Life Threatening Food Allergies the Arizona Department of Education in partnership with the Phoenix Allergy Network has provided the 2012 update of the “Arizona Resource Guide for Supporting Children with Life Threatening Food Allergies.” The purpose of this manual is to provide a guideline for supporting children with life threatening food allergies in the school setting. This resource is also to assist schools in developing individual plans for children. This printable version can be found on the Phoenix Allergy Network web site. Please click here for a printable copy of this document.

Supporting Special Dietary Needs in the School Setting In our efforts to provide guidance and support to families and schools with children having special dietary provisions, the Arizona Department of Education provides a comprehensive manual for addressing student’s special dietary needs in the school setting. This manual is currently being updated. Please check back soon for the latest information.

Additional Resources for Special Dietary Needs

Emergency Guidelines for Schools are guidelines for helping an ill or injured student when the School Nurse is not available. Click here for the PDF version of this manual.

Communicable Disease Flip Chart is a flip chart that was prepared jointly by the Arizona Department of Health Services, Office of Women’s and Children’s Health; and by Maricopa and Pima County Public Health Departments. It is a “best practice” resource designed for use as a reference guide for individuals who are responsible for the health and safety of children in group settings. Please click here for a printable copy of this document.

Care for Students with Diabetes in Schools For children and teens that have diabetes, that means meeting their diabetes needs at school, as they do at home. It also means that they will need trained adults who are willing and able to assist them as needed. Each student with diabetes has different needs and each must have an individualized care plan. Please click here to visit their website. Please click here for printable guidelines regarding the Care of Children with Diabetes in Arizona Schools.

CDC also provides guidance to help manage diabetes in schools. Click here to visit their website for more information.

National Association of School Nurses- Head Lice Statement – The following link provides the National Association of School Nurse’s position statement regarding best practice in the management of Head Lice in schools. Please click here to visit their website for more information

New Head Lice Educational Materials Lice Lessons is a new head lice educational campaign developed through collaboration between Sanofi Pasteur and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN). As part of this partnership, we worked closely with the experts at NASN to develop a portfolio of tools and resources to help school nurses, often on the frontlines in the battle against head lice, communicate the most current available information about the condition. The materials are designed to help dispel common misperceptions, educate about value of engaging healthcare professionals and build awareness of new treatment options. I encourage you to check them out, and let me know if there are other tools that might be useful in your school. These resources, including template letters for parents, tailored fact-sheets and a conversation guide. Please click here to visit their website for more information.

Immunization requirements for schools The Arizona Department of Health Services has provided information for schools regarding requirements for immunizations for students. Please click here to view the appropriate schedule. Please click here to visit their website for more information.

Mandated Hearing Screening Hearing screening is located under the Arizona Department of Health Services Sensory Program. Hearing screening is a legislatively mandated program that requires all Arizona educational institutions to provide hearing screening and referrals to school-aged children. The mandate requires that all private, charter and public schools make available to its students a systematic screening for hearing disorders in order to allow early identification and appropriate intervention. The Program’s primary objectives are to identify children with hearing and vision impairments and refer them to intervention services in the community; annually increase the numbers of schools complying with the hearing screening mandate; annually increase the number of hearing and vision screenings performed on school-aged children; and develop curriculums for hearing and vision screening and training that will enhance performance and outcome with any student population.

The Bureau of Women’s and Children’s Health Sensory Program at the Arizona Department of Health Services offers information on statutes, rules, hearing screening training, equipment, and provides printable documents. Please click here to visit their website for more information.

Note: In partnership with others, the Sensory Program would like to offer organizations the opportunity to borrow hearing screening equipment to screen children ages 1-5. In order to do this, we are loaning hearing screening equipment to trained hearing screeners to screen children ages 1-5. We will continue to loan equipment to screen school age children, trained hearing screeners or any organizations who would like to borrow hearing screening equipment.

Vision Screening Guidelines for Children Ages 3 and Older Vision screening is strongly recommended for children age three and older. Conducting vision screening can lead to early detection and correction of vision problems which positively impacts a child’s opportunity for academic success and learning potential. Therefore, ADHS in conjunction with others have developed Vision Screening Guidelines. In addition, the Sensory Program funds a train the trainer program for vision screening.

Recommended Vision Screening Guidelines

Height & Weight Requirements It is general practice for school districts across the state of Arizona to measure and record the height and weight of each student each year and record these measurements in the student’s health file. Given the alarming obesity statistics across the country, it is also recommended, though not required, that schools calculate and record each student’s BMI (Body Mass Index). Each district should determine whether or not they will calculate and/or notify parents of BMI results that are in the overweight and/or obese categories. If a district elects to notify parents of BMI scores indicating overweight and/or obese status and the accompanying health risks, a policy and procedure should be developed along with parent letters in languages appropriate to the specific school community. Below is a list of links to assist school districts in addressing this important health issue:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Obesity and Overweight

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Body Mass Index