Health - MCE Handbook

  • Health

    The Health Office promotes and protects the health of MCE students through a positive, constructive school heath program. Near the beginning of the school year, you will be asked to complete Emergency Contact cards and provide any pertinent medical information (e.g., allergies). It is imperative that school staff be able to reach you or your contact if necessary and that they be kept apprised of any pertinent medical information concerning your child. Please be sure to advise the Health Office of any changes in your child’s emergency contact/medical information that may occur during the school year.

    Absences Due to Illness
    If your child is staying home because of an illness, please call the Attendance Line at 267-1409 before 9:00 a.m. on the day of absence. When your child is ill, please keep him/her home until his/her temperature has been normal (<100.8 F) for 24 hours. This practice will help ensure that your child is again ready to participate fully in school activities.

    If a doctor has examined and cultured your child’s throat for a possible strep infection, please keep the child home until you are notified of the result. If your child is ill with an infectious disease or condition (e.g., strep throat, chicken pox, or lice), please call the Health Office as soon as possible so the School Nurse Teacher can alert other parents as appropriate. Please remember to send in a written excuse explaining your child’s absence when s/he returns to school (A Parent Permission Slip may be used for this purpose.)  Students absent for the school day will not be permitted to participate in after-school activities.
    Please advise the Health Office of any allergies your child has (including animal allergies). If your child has a serious allergy (e.g., latex allergy) that may be affected by school activities or programs it is your responsibility to inform the Principal, the School Nurse Teachers, and the child’s teacher so that appropriate accommodations can be made. When necessary, a sign noting a student’s allergy will be posted on the outside of his/her classroom door (e.g., “Food Allergy Inside”). Please educate yourself regarding any allergies in your child’s class.

    Birthday and VIP Days are celebrated within the classrooms in a variety of ways. Each teacher must carefully adhere to the needs of their students (e.g., regarding allergies) to ensure safety. In December 2004, the MCE Instructional Leadership Team decided that birthdays would not be celebrated with food items at MCE due to food allergies as well as the need to be sensitive to students who do not celebrate birthdays for personal reasons.

    Classroom Parties/Birthdays/VIP Days
    In accordance with our District Wellness Policy, teachers will work with parents in providing a balance of healthy foods for classroom parties.  Foods provided for parties should be prepared in accordance with the District Food Policy as follows:

    When planning classroom activities which include food, safe food preparation and handling is essential for preventing food borne illnesses.
    Safe food handling-If food items are being brought into the classroom for distribution, please note the following:
    <    Items containing mayonnaise, meat, cheese or any dairy products must be refrigerated.
    <    Wear gloves or wash hands with warm water and soap, for at least 30 seconds, before distributing food.
    Safe food preparation-If food items are being prepared in the classroom for distribution, please note the following:
    <    Clean all preparation surfaces and utensils with warm soapy water before you start.
    <    Wash your hands and have your students wash their hands with warm water and soap, for at least 30 seconds, before touching any food.
    <    Hands should be rewashed if they become contaminated during food preparation.
    <    Avoid food items that are communal in nature, such as a big bag of popcorn, dip and dipping bowls.
    <    Items containing uncooked eggs, raw meat, raw fish, home canned foods, or unpasteurized juice/cider are not permitted.

    Birthday Parties and VIP Days are celebrated within the classrooms in a variety of ways.  Each teacher must carefully adhere to the needs of their students (e.g., regarding allergies and dietary needs).  To ensure student safety and support District wellness initiatives of promoting non-food rewards in the classroom, we do NOT use food items to celebrate birthdays/VIP days at MCE.  Please talk with your child’s teacher if you would like to recognize this special day in an alternative way.

    Due to safety concerns regarding the possibility of contracting salmonella or other infectious diseases from certain animals, the district has developed guidelines on the instructional use of animals in the schools (available in the Main Office). Parents will be notified in advance if students will be coming in contact with live animals during school hours (e.g., during science instruction, on a field trip, or by being exposed to classroom pets or animals that are being brought in to visit the school). In each case, your child’s classroom teacher will instruct the class on the appropriate handling of the animals and on the required hand-washing procedures. All animals that are brought into the school must have appropriate documentation of vaccinations and health certificates and must be approved by the Principal.

    Because of their increased susceptibility to diseases, we recommend that children who are immunocompromised (e.g., children with cancer, HIV, organ transplants, or other diseases/conditions that suppress the immune system), or who are on immunosuppressive drugs (e.g., steroids or those used in chemotherapy) do not handle any animals in school.

    If your child is immunocompromised, has an animal allergy, or has other issues relating to animals, please contact the classroom teacher or School Nurse Teacher.

    Illness/Injury during School
    A School Nurse Teacher will contact you if your child becomes ill or injured during school hours. If you cannot be reached, the School Nurse Teacher will notify your emergency contact person.


    Immunizations must be up to date within 14 days of starting school. As of September 2000, required immunizations are:  Diphtheria—3 doses; Polio—3 doses; Measles—2 doses; Mumps—1 dose of live virus after one year of age; Rubella—1 dose of live vaccine after one year of age. The Hepatitis B vaccination is required for all children born on or after January 1, 1995. Varicella vaccine, or proof of having had chicken pox documented by your physician, is also required.

    According to New York State law, any medications administered at school (prescription and over-the-counter medications) require written permission from both a physician and a parent/guardian (Permissions may be faxed to the Health Office at 218-1441). In addition, the child’s own supply of medication must be in the original container. To ensure safety, medications must be brought to school by an adult.

    Physicals and Screenings

    Physicals completed by a doctor are required for new students and all students entering Kindergarten, 2nd, and 4th grades. They are also required for all students new to Pittsford Central Schools.  New students coming from outside of New York State are required to have a New York State physical exam.   Vision/Hearing and Height and Weight screenings are performed yearly in the school for grades K-5. Grade 5 students are screened for scoliosis. You will be notified if there are any concerns about screening results.

    Physical Education Excuses
    All students are expected to participate in physical education classes. Gym excuses should be submitted in writing to the School Nurse Teacher. A physician’s statement is required if your child will miss two or more physical education classes, or will have limitations due to illness or injury. A student who has been excused from physical education will not be permitted to participate in lunch hour recreational or after-school sport activities (e.g., roller skating) until they resume regular participation in the physical education program. (See also Physical Education.)

    Students may bring a snack in to school each day. All students study nutrition at each grade level, and you should encourage your child to help you choose healthy foods to pack for snacks. Please note that candy is not considered a snack and that no gum chewing is allowed in school.