Middle School, Grades 6-8

Middle School

Middle school is a period of transition. During this time of great changes in growth and development, the adolescent is developing strategies to become self-sufficient and independent.

The adolescent may have sought out adults for information but now collect ideas from many different sources. Friends and peers become a large part of their lives and approval becomes a major goal.

Introduction

Middle school is a pivotal age for health teaching. Choices made during this time can have lifelong consequences. School nurses can evaluate children with acute and chronic problems and supply parents with information addressing both the physical and emotional needs of the adolescent. Prolonged changes in your adolescent’s behavior (for more than a few days), may signal problems that need to be addressed. These may be symptoms of something happening at school or in the adolescent’s private life. Parents are encouraged to contact the school nurse with any health concerns or situations that may effect the adolescent’s ability to learn.

The process of maturing is hard work and a challenge. Parental support is essential. Working through this time and in the upcoming years requires cooperation between the parent and the adolescent. Commit to listening carefully and talking with your adolescent. Offer guidance and emphasize positive choices related to healthful nutrition, sleep, exercise, risk taking and relationships. Monitor activities with your adolescent’s friends and close relationships. Adolescents do not automatically develop good character. Now is the time to reinforce family values that address and discourage destructive behaviors; violence, dishonesty, drug abuse, unsupervised body art/piercing, unsupervised internet relationships, and sexual promiscuity. Send a clear message about trust, respect, honesty and self control in developing relationships between boys and girls.

If you have questions or concerns about any of these issues, the school nurse would welcome an opportunity to listen and help.

School Nurse

Communication is the key to keeping your child safe at school. Call you child’s school and establish a connection with the school nurse. Some nurses serve more than one school so their schedules may vary. You may talk with your school nurse during school hours (7:30AM-3:30PM or 8:00AM-4PM). (School Nurse)

Health Problems

You may notify the school nurse. Depending on the health problem (asthma", seizures, Diabetes etc.), the school nurse may ask you for further information. You may be asked to complete specific health problem care plans. It is very important to return this information in a timely fashion. Your health provider’s signature may be required on these care plans. Keeping your school nurse informed and your child’s health care needs updated will provide a healthful learning atmosphere. (Parent Forms and Permits)

Absences

Children should be kept at home if they have the following: fevers above 100°, vomiting and/or diarrhea, rash with fever, eye infections with eye discharge, communicable diseases (scabies, impetigo, ringworm, head lice~ until treated appropriately), any illness that prevents the child from participating comfortably in program activities or disrupts the other students’ participation, and illness that results in a need for care that is greater than the staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of other children.

Note: It is recommended that children be fever free for 24 hours without the use of anti-fever medications (Tylenol®, ibuprofen, etc.) before returning to school.

Illness Care

School nurses and the child’s health care provider may furnish parents with up to date information about the general care of illness. Following FWCS Health Service recommendations and guidelines, parents can determine when additional care is indicated, when to keep the child home and when to contact their health care provider. (Care of Illness)

Medical Assistance

Health information can be accessed through your family health care provider or at a variety of other community resources. Information on children’s health and growth and development may be obtained at KidsHealth. 100% Campaign Covering Kids & Families of IndianaMany children may qualify for a state medical insurance coverage program called Hoosier Healthwise. To find out about the plan and if your child may qualify visit the Family and Social Services Administration

Medication

From time to time your child may be required to take medication during school hours. Parents, nurses and physicians are aware of the challenges that sometime occur when trying to balance learning, activities and medications. For this reason, we request that you discuss strategies with your health care provider in order to give medications at home. All prescription and/or over-the-counter medications must have a signed Authorization for Administration of Medications at School on file prior to administration. Over-the-counter medications such as cough drops, nasal sprays, cough and cold medications must meet the same requirements as for other medications. In addition to the required form, herbal supplements are considered as medications and need written instructions signed by a physician prior to administration. (Medication Permits)

Emergencies

Keeping the school and the nurse informed about changes in residence, telephone numbers (work and home), and emergency contacts is vital and the responsibility of the parent/guardian. We must be able to contact a parent/guardian or emergency contact during the school day. In case of an emergency involving your child, it is the policy of this school corporation to render first aid treatment while contacting the parents for further instructions. Only after reasonable efforts to reach the parents without success will we call a doctor and only in extreme cases will your child be taken to a hospital of 911 contacted.

Immunizations

Vaccine Update: As of August 2010, all children grades 6 through12 will be required to have a Tdap booster and Menactra, and 2 varicella immunizations for school. If your child has had chickenpox disease, the varicella immunizations can be waived. Parents must provide a statement in writing identifying the month and year when the disease occurred.

Sports Health Information

A student participating in athletics must have a physical every year prior to try outs and practice. Some physicals are offered by the individual schools. Check with the athletic office or your school nurse for the Sports Physical - Pre-participation Physical Evaluation and the scheduled dates.

Important Information about Concussions

Concussions are common injuries for students participating in sports. In order to prevent serious health consequences in the future, medical professionals now have new guidelines for the treatment of athletes that suffer head injuries and concussions. All student athletes and their parents are required to read information about concussions and sign a verification form that says they read this material before they may begin to practice for a sport. Further, coaches and trainers are required to remove students from participation in practice or competition as soon as a concussion is suspected. Students may not return to activity without written authorization from a licensed health care provider trained to evaluate head injuries. You can find parent and student concussion information and verification forms and health care provider return to play forms here.

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in Athletics

Transmission of MRSA among sports participants is a concern. Possible risk factors for infection include close physical contact, skin damage, and sharing of equipment or clothing. The risk for transmission of MRSA is much greater among sports participants than among students in a classroom. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published the following guidance for preventing staphylococcal skin infections in the sports setting:

  • Cover all wounds. If a wound cannot be covered adequately, consider excluding players with potentially infectious skin lesions from practice or competitions until the lesions are healed or can be covered adequately.
  • Encourage good hygiene, including showering and washing with soap after all practices and competitions.
  • Ensure availability of adequate soap and hot water.
  • Discourage sharing of towels and personal items, such as clothing or equipment.
  • Encourage athletes to report skin lesions to coaches and encourage coaches to assess athletes regularly for skin infections.

MRSA