School Health Services
The number of students with complex physical and mental health conditions, along with the number of students at risk for health concerns, and students who are affected by societal issues, such as living in poverty is increasing dramatically. School nurses use critical thinking and provide highly skilled, evidence-based practices that meet the needs of students, families and school communities. Framingham Public Schools nurses lead the way to advance health and support education by ensuring that students are healthy, safe, and ready to learn.
School Health Requirements
All school health programs and requirements stated below comply with state and federal laws, Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations, and Framingham Public Schools policies.
To attend Framingham Public Schools, all students in grades Pre-K-12 must be fully immunized. Official documentation of required immunizations must be provided to your school nurse before your child can begin school at any age. Your school nurse can provide you with a list of required immunizations or you can access it from the link below. Only medical and religious exemptions from immunization requirements are acceptable. If there are medical reasons why your child has not been immunized, a statement from your healthcare provider must be provided to your school nurse. Please state a religious exemption in writing to your school nurse.
MA Immunization Requirements
Every student new to Framingham Public Schools must provide documentation of a physical examination performed by a healthcare provider, conducted within 12 months, prior to entry to school or within 30 days after school entry. Students must also provide documentation of physical examinations in kindergarten, grades 1, 4, 7, and 10.
School Health Screenings
Students receive annual vision and hearing screenings as required by Massachusetts law. Your school nurse will notify you of the dates of the screenings. The nurse will also notify you with any concerns or abnormal findings and refer your child to a vision care specialist for further evaluation, if warranted. You may waive your child’s vision/hearing screening with a religious exemption described in writing to your school nurse.
Postural screening is conducted annually for all students in grades 5-9 as required by Massachusetts law. It is done to assess for scoliosis and/or early signs of spinal problems. Your school nurse will notify you of the dates of the screenings. The nurse will also notify you with any concerns or abnormal findings and refer your child to a healthcare provider for further evaluation, if warranted. You may waive your child’s postural screening with a religious exemption described in writing to your school nurse.
Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening
Schools are required to measure the height and weight of students in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10 and use those figures to calculate each student’s BMI. The BMI screening is done in a confidential manner. Your school nurse will notify you of the dates of the screenings. You may waive your child’s BMI screening by stating your preference in writing to your school nurse.
SBIRT in Schools
In March, 2016, the Massachusetts Legislature enacted an Act relative to substance use, treatment, education and prevention (STEP Act) which outlines the requirements for public schools in the Commonwealth to engage in substance use screening and education. Legislation can be found here (see Sections 15, 63, 64, 66).
Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) focuses on prevention, early detection, risk assessment, brief counseling and referral for assessment that can be utilized in the school setting. Use of a validated screening tool will enable school health teams to detect risk for substance use related problems and brief intervention strategies will help to address these concerns at an early stage in adolescents.
Prescription medication may be given in school only after the school nurse receives written orders from the student's healthcare provider/dentist and signed consent from the parent/guardian. New medication orders are required at the start of the school year and expire at the end of each school year. Only medications in original prescription containers, currently prescribed by a physician and brought to the nurse’s office by a parent or other adult, will be given at school. All medications taken during the school day must be stored in the nurse’s office and be picked up by a parent/guardian before the close of the school year. Any medications that are not picked up by the last day of school will be destroyed. Under certain circumstances, in consultation with the school nurse, a student may self-administer asthma inhalers, insulin, or Epi-pens® during the school day. Contact your school nurse for more information. The Medication Administration Policy can be found on the Policies & Forms section of this website.
Over the counter (OTC) medications including Advil, Tylenol, etc. can be given during the school day after the parent/guardian completes an OTC medication permission form. The form must be completed each school year. Your school nurse can provide you with a copy of the OTC Medication Form or you can access it on the Policies and Forms section of this website.
Students with Special Health Care Needs
Families are strongly encouraged to communicate any student health concerns to the school nurse. If your child has asthma, allergies, diabetes, seizures, attention deficit disorder, or any other medical or mental health issue requiring special health services during school hours and/or is assisted by medical technology, please meet with your school nurse prior to school entry.