Immunizations not only protect those who are vaccinated, but they also play an important role in protecting entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases, which reduces the potential for mortality. Immunizations also prevent the spread of disease to those at risk because of their age, immunodeficiency, and lack of being protected by vaccines. Per District 205 School Board policy, proof of compliance with all required vaccinations along with a completed State of Illinois Certificate of Health Examination form, must be submitted to the School Nurse in order to complete the schedule pick up/registration process, obtain a schedule of classes, and attend school. Attached is the Minimum Immunization Requirements for those Entering Schools in Illinois, Fall 2015.
On August 3, 2015, Public Act 099-0249 was enacted that changes the process for parents or legal guardians seeking a religious exemption to any required immunizations or examinations for their children. The new law, effective for the 2015-2016 school year, states that parents/legal guardians who have a religious objection to immunizations or health examinations must complete a Certificate of Religious Exemption form, signed by a health care provider.
The health care provider who signs the form attests to educating the parent/legal guardian about the benefits of immunizations and the health risks of not vaccinating their student. The Certificate of Religious Exemption form also requires the parent/legal guardian to attest to understanding that their child may be excluded from school in the case of a vaccine-preventable disease exposure or outbreak.
Thornton Township High Schools District 205 has policies related to student medication administration based on established Illinois’ regulations and guidelines. The overall goal of medication administration in school is to provide a safe means of effectively administering medication to students, in order to help each student remain in school which increases their chances of being academically successful.
The medications shall be those required, during school hours, which are necessary to provide the student access to the educational program. According to Thornton Township High Schools District 205 POLICY FOR ADMINSTRATION OF MEDICATION GUIDELINES, any student taking prescription and/or non-prescription (over-the-counter) medication must submit a completed THORNTON TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOLS DISTRICT 205 SCHOOL MEDICATION AUTHORIZATION FORM.
- Medication must be presented to the School Nurse in its original container with the student’s name appearing on the label.
- All physician orders and parent permission statements must be renewed at the beginning of each school year. The nurses' office must also be notified of any updates or modifications to all prescriptions.
- Student medication is kept in a locked drawer and an inventory is completed quarterly and with each prescription refill.
- Medications which require refrigeration are stored separately.
- Students who are allowed to self-administer medications, such as asthma medications, Epinephrine auto-injectors, and diabetes medications, must have permission on file in the nurse’s office to allow for self-administration of said medications. Students must also demonstrate responsibility, and proper care and administration of the medication, with the school nurse periodically monitoring each student and providing additional education and support as needed on an individual basis.
School nurses deal with students with chronic health conditions on a regular basis, including asthma. For asthmatic students in a high school setting, school nurse case management includes assessment, monitoring, teaching, management of surrounding environmental conditions, and pharmacotherapy, in order to prepare the student to correctly provide self-care to control their asthma symptoms. A student who is newly diagnosed with asthma may not be familiar with what their triggers are, and also may not know how to manage those triggers and symptoms. A student with a new diagnosis of asthma will need a lot of teaching in regards to symptom management and control, environments and potential triggers to avoid, and medication administration and management. They may not know the difference between rescue asthma medications and maintenance medications, and will need an ample amount of teaching to account for their knowledge deficits. For students who have physical education, an inhaler is to be used before beginning gym, in order to prevent an asthma attack.
The parent must provide an individualized Asthma Action Plan, developed by the child's physician, which provides instructions on how to prevent or manage asthma episodes. In addition to the Asthma Action Plan, an Individualized Health Care Plan is developed by the school nurse, which includes daily management and emergency care of asthma. If asthma medications are prescribed by a physician, a Thornton Township High Schools District 205 School Medication Authorization Form must be completed and turned in to a school nurse to be kept on file in the nurse's office. School nurses are to ensure students use the inhaler in accordance with the Asthma Action Plan and use a rescue inhaler before participating in physical activity. A metered dose inhaler priming chart is consulted before the student uses the inhaler for the first time or if a specific amount of time has lapsed since the inhaler was last used. Today's recommended evidence-based practice guidelines state that students are allowed to carry their inhalers during school hours. Please see the forms located in the Asthma in Schools folder for more information.