Health Services

The Health Office is available to help students who are ill, have a school-related accident or wish to sign up for a school sport. A student desiring to see the nurse must secure a pass from his/her classroom teacher and sign in at the Health Office, except in the case of an emergency. If it is necessary for you to go home because of illness, you must be released by the nurse who will get permission to do so from a parent or guardian.

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Respiratory Virus Guidance 

The health and safety of all Guilderland Central School District students, staff, families and community members is our top priority and we remain committed to doing our part to minimize the potential impact of respiratory viruses. The district is following the latest respiratory illness guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the New York State Department of Health, which brings a unified approach to addressing risks from a range of common respiratory viral illnesses, such as COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The guidance provides active recommendations on core prevention steps and strategies, which include:

  • staying up to date with vaccination
  • practicing good hygiene by covering coughs and sneezes
  • washing or sanitizing hands often and cleaning frequently touched surfaces
  • taking steps for cleaner air, such as bringing in more fresh outside air, purifying indoor air, or gathering outdoors

When individuals are sick with a respiratory virus and have respiratory virus symptoms that are not better explained by another cause, the updated guidance recommends they stay home and away from others. These symptoms can include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • headache

The recommendations suggest individuals can return to normal activities when both of the following are true, for at least 24 hours:

  • symptoms are improving overall
  • if a fever was present, it is resolved without the use of a fever-reducing medication

Once individuals resume normal activities, they are encouraged to take additional prevention strategies for the next 5 days to curb disease spread, such as enhancing hygiene practices, wearing a well-fitting mask, keeping a distance from others, and/or getting tested for respiratory viruses. Enhanced precautions are especially important to protect those most at risk for severe illness, including those over 65 and people with weakened immune systems.

Keep in mind that people may still be able to spread the virus that made them sick, even if they are feeling better, so it is important to take extra precautions after resuming normal activities. If individuals develop a fever or start to feel worse, they should stay home and away from others again. They should use the same criteria for returning to normal activities as when they first had symptoms and take added precautions over the next five days.

GCSD Guidelines: When to Keep a Child Home with Illness

Your school nurses have always asked that parents keep students home when they are ill. Now with COVID-19, keeping students home will help to reduce transmission.

Please keep your child home and/or contact your child’s doctor for:

  • Covid-19 symptoms (fever, shaking and/or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.)
  • Fever greater than 100.0F (37.8C)
  • Flu-like symptoms, (fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches)
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea within the last 24 hours
  • Severe sore throat along with fever and feeling ill for more than 48 hours, or after exposure to Strep throat infection
  • Honey-crusted sores around the nose or mouth or rash on other body parts
  • Large amounts of mucous (liquid) from their nose, with facial pain or headache
  • Severe ear pain or fluid coming from the ear
  • Severe headache, especially with  fever

If your child has a fever, we strongly discourage giving them fever reducers like Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen and then sending them to school. When the medicine wears off, the fever may return and you will be called to pick up your child. Even with fever reducers, your child will expose others to their illness while in school.

Children must be fever-free for 24 hours without taking fever reducers before returning to school. They must be free of vomiting and diarrhea for 24 hours before they return. If your child has been placed on an antibiotic, they can not return until they have been on the antibiotic for 24 hours.

Based on current directives from the NYS Department of Health, if your child is sent home from school because they exhibit symptoms of a contagious disease, you may be required to obtain appropriate clearance from a medical professional prior to returning to school activities.

Please be prepared to pick up a sick child from the nurse’s office within 30 minutes of notification. Make sure you have designated an emergency contact person who may pick up your child in the event that you are unable to. This emergency contact person should be listed in your child’s contact information in eSchoolData. To update this information, please call your child’s school main office.

Please call your child’s school nurse with any questions or concerns.


With the start of the new school year approaching, parents should be aware that the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Department recently updated immunization requirements for children entering/enrolled in public school. Among the changes are requirements that all children have their complete series of MMR, DTaP and polio immunizations prior to beginning the school year. Previously, the final doses of each vaccine could be administered up until age 6.

Parents should consult with their child’s physician regarding their child’s immunization schedule. Immunizations must be completed by the first day of school in September or your child will be excluded from school. Documented proof of immunizations should be sent to the nurse’s office as soon as possible. Parental recall is not acceptable. For more information on immunization requirements, please contact the nurse at your child’s school.

Please note: Proof of immunizations completed over the summer for 6th-graders should be sent to the nurse’s office at Farnsworth Middle School.

Find and download the Health Immunization form

Food Allergy Action Plan

Students with food allergies that need EpiPen and Benadryl at school are required to have their doctor fill out a Food Allergy Action Plan form, the doctor has to sign it, the parent/guardian has to sign it and bring it to school with the medication.

Find and download the Food Allergy Action Plan form

Medication Policy

In order for the school nurse, as directed by the NYS Education Department, to give children medication during school hours, school-sponsored activities and field trips, all of the following requirements must be met:

  1. An ORIGINAL SIGNED ORDER from the prescribing physician for all prescription and non-prescription medications. The order should include:
    • Reason for prescribing the medication; and
    • Adverse reactions that need to be observed and reported.
  2. All prescription medications must be in their original pharmacy containers and should be properly labeled with the following information: student’s name, name of the medication, dosage and frequency, and name of the prescribing physician. Please ask your pharmacist to dispense the medication in two containers – one for school and one for home.
  3. All non-prescription medications (over the counter) must be in its original unopened manufacturer’s container with the student’s name affixed to the container.
  4. A signed note from the parent giving the school nurse permission to dispense the medication as prescribed by the physician or the parent’s signature on the bottom of the district’s medication permission form.
  5. All medication must be delivered to the school nurse by an adult, preferably the parent.
  6. Students are NOT allowed to have medication on the bus, in their locker, or on their person with the exception of asthma inhalers and Epi-pens that may be self-carried. A doctor’s written order, as well as parent permission, must be on file in the nurse’s office and the approval of the school nurse must be given for a student to self-carry. In addition, students must demonstrate they can be self-directed, meaning can self-medicate.
    • A separate medication form may be obtained by calling the Health Office, for your physician to complete once he/she determines that the student can self-administer and self-carry.

Find and download the Medication Permission form

State Required Physicals

New grade-level requirements for health exams and screenings on the horizon

Families will soon need to comply with new grade-level requirements for health exams and screenings.

Beginning July 1, all new students enrolling in the district for the first time — along with children entering pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 in the fall — will be required to have a health exam.
Other changes for students include vision screening for distance and near vision acuity as well as hearing screening within 6 months of admission to school and for students in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1, 3, 5, 7 and 11.

In addition, girls in grades 5 and 7, and boys in grade 9 will require scoliosis screenings.

School officials are encouraging families not to wait to schedule medical appointments. Please also take the time to review your child’s immunization records with their pediatrician to ensure your child has the required vaccinations for their age and grade in school.

Starting in 2018 -19 school year physicals are required in grades Kindergarten, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. There is also changes for vision, hearing and scoliosis.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse or pediatrician.

Find and download the required NYS School Health Exam form

Registration Requirements: Health Office

The New York State Education Department mandates that all children who are enrolled in NYS public schools must have the required medical documents submitted to the health office prior to the start of school. We are requiring the documents by August 1. New students transferring within NYS have 14 days and students transferring from out of state/country have 30 days to submit the required documents from their first day of school.

  1. IMMUNIZATION RECORD*: (Official document only) must be signed/dated by a physician. Vaccines can also be combinations (Pediarix, Pentacel, Proquad, etc…)

    • 4-5 DTAP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis

    • 3 Hepatitis B

    • 2 Varivax (chicken pox)

    • 2 MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)

    • 4 Polio

    • TDAP (6th grade entry)

    • Meningococcal (7th/12th grade)

  1. PHYSICAL EXAM: Kindergarten/new students and 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, & 11th grades. Physicals must be completed within NYS and be signed/dated.
  2. HEALTH HISTORY: (Parent completes) This form contains a list of concerns that could impact your child’s performance and academics at school.
  3. DENTAL CERTIFICATE: Requested by NYS (completed by a dentist).

    Other forms/documents (if needed):

  4. MEDICATION ORDERS : A physician’s order and parental consent is necessary for any medication (including OTC) administered during school hours and must be transported to the school by a parent/guardian. Self-carry/administration orders are also available, if applicable.
  5. FOOD ALLERGY ACTION PLAN: A separate packet is available for parents.

As always, please contact your school nurse to review any medical concerns and/or additional care plans and visit GCSD Health Services for more information.

*Any child not having the mandated immunizations will be excluded from school per New York State Education Department Law, Section 66-1.3.
**Only medical exemptions are accepted for immunizations in NYS. Exemptions are required to be renewed annually by the child’s doctor and will be reviewed/approved by the GCSD medical director.

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