Important Health Information

Screenings: The Registered Professional nurses (R.P.N) of the Canastota Central School District are mandated by NYS Education Law to complete the screening procedures below. The goal of these requirements is to detect any problem that may impede the learning process. Screening will be done in the grades as indicated. Additional screenings may be performed at the discretion of the nurse. A referral will be sent home if any problem is detected. Unless you indicate in writing that your own physician will screen your child, he/she will be screened in school. A copy of the physician's results must be sent into the appropriate health office.

BMI: As part of a required school health examination, a student is weighed and his/her height is measured. These numbers are used to figure out the student's body mass index or "BMI". The BMI helps the doctor or nurse know if the student's weight is in a healthy range or is too high or too low. Recent changes to the New York State Education Law require that BMI of the student becomes a part of the school health examination. We will be reporting to New York State Department of Health information about our student's weight status groups. Only summary information is sent. No names and no information about individual students are sent. However, you may choose to have your child's information excluded from this survey report. Contact your school nurse for further information.

Physicals and Dental Certificates: School physicals will be completed during the school year in grades Kindergarten, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 10th, and any students undergoing reevaluations for special education services, and all new entrants will also receive a school physical. Please keep in mind that physicals are required for participation in all team sports, as well as working papers. Unless you indicate in writing that your own physician will examine your child, he/she will be examined in school. A copy of the physician's results must be sent in to the appropriate Health Office upon completion of the physical. Physical examinations must be dated no more than 12 months from the beginning of the school year, and must be submitted within 30 days from the start of the school year/entrance into the Canastota School District.

*A law was recently enacted that expands health screenings to include dental health of students in New York State. When we require that your child have a physical examination, we will be requesting a dental certificate as well.

Vision: All students in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, & 10th grade will be screened for distance acuity (far vision). All Kindergarten students and new entrants will also be screened for color perception (colorblindness) and near vision.

Hearing: A hearing screening will be done on all students in Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, & 10th grades as well as all new entrants.

Scoliosis (Curvature of the Spine): Scoliosis screening will be done on all students in grades 5-9. If the R.P.N. suspects a problem, the student will be re-screened at school by the school physician before a referral is made.

Immunizations: Per New York State Public Health Law, all entering Kindergarten students must receive the following immunizations prior to entrance to school: (3-5) Polio; (4-5) DPT; (1) MMR; (3) Hepatitis B; (2) Varicella. Students who turn 7 years old will be required to receive the second dose of MMR. Students entering 6th grade must be immunized against Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough as well as Varicella.

  1. The vaccine known as Tdap, is a combination of Tetanus and Pertussis, and will serve as the booster for both diseases. If your child is 10 years old, they will be exempt until their 11th birthday, in which case they are given 14 days to receive the vaccine and bring in proof of immunization. On the first day of the new school year, if your child is already 11 yrs old, they must be immunized with Tdap or they will be sent home and unable to participate until documentation is received.
  2. Students who enter the 6th grade have already received the first dose of Varicella after their 1st birthday. As of 7/1/14, students entering kindergarten and 6th grade must have a second dose of Varicella.

If a medical exemption has been approved, an annual review is necessary. Please forward any documentation from your physician regarding any health changes, and a renewed written request for medical exemption at the beginning of the new school year.


** As of September 1, 2016, the NYSED has mandated that all students in the 7th and 12th grade MUST have their Meningitis (Meningococcal) vaccine PRIOR to the first day of the 2016-2017 school year. If your child does not have this vaccine, they will NOT be able to attend until the vaccine has been administered and documentation has been received. Please visit the following link to view the flyer: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2169.pdf

Medications: If a need arises that your child must take medication during the school day, the State Education Department requires the school district to have a written request from both the physician and the parent. This applies to both prescription and non-prescription medications (ie, Tylenol, Motrin, cough drops, etc.).
Absences: As an additional safeguard for your child's welfare, we have established a policy regarding student absences. We would greatly appreciate it if you would call the school when your child is absent. If you do not contact the school, the school will call you. You may call the following numbers to report an absence: PSES(697-2027); SSES(697-6372); RSES(697-2029); Jr/Sr High School, 7th-12th grade(697-6307).

Accidents & injuries: Any student who is injured while at school must report to the appropriate health office as soon as possible. The school nurse will examine the student and take the necessary steps, including the filing of an accident report. In the case of an emergency, the school nurse should be summoned immediately. If a doctor is necessary, the nurse will notify the student's parents and give them the opportunity to take the student to their family physician. if the parents cannot be reached, 911 will be called. It is extremely important that we are able to contact a parent or relative if the need arises. Student information sheets will be sent home for your child. Completed forms will be kept on file in the main office of each building. Please be sure to provied all pertinent phone numbers, including home, work, and cell for each parent/guardian. It is also necessary to provide additional emergency contacts, with phone numbers in the event that you are unavailable. If a student needs to be excused from physical education class for more than 2 days, a note from a physician is required stating the date the student will return to class.

Illness/Going Home Sick: If a student is going to be released from school due to illness, the student must first report to the school nurse to receive permission to leave. Please be advised that you will get a call from the school nurse if your child is unable to remain in school due to an illness/injury. For safety reasons, the nurse must speak to the parent or guardian directly and obtain verbal assurance that they will in fact be picking the student up from school. If the student is to walk or drive home, permission must also be obtained from the parent/guardian. Students in grades K-6 will not be allowed to walk home under any circumstances. The parent, or other designated adult, must sign the student out at the main office. This person must be listed on the student's information sheet. The office has the right to require identification at the time of pickup. If a student arranges transportation other than that of parent/guardian the parent/guardian must be notified and verbal consent obtained. At no time will another student be allowed to transport the student. A parent/guardian who picks up a student without notifying school personnel assumes responsibility for the safety of the student. Leaving school without following the above procedure is considered truancy.

Returning to School: A student experiencing any of the following symptoms should not return to school for at least 24 hours: Fever (more than 100 degrees F without Tylenol or Motrin), vomiting, or diarrhea. If antibiotics have been prescribed, your child should have completed a 24 hour schedule of medication before returning to school. These measures are necessary to help reduce the spread of infection within the school and we greatly appreciate your cooperation.

Hand Sanitizer Use: At this time we are not recommending or using alcohol based hand sanitizers. The New York State Education Department recommends that hand sanitizers should only be used where traditional soap and water are not readily accessible. The elementary school nurses have been in each Pre K-6th grade classroom to teach the proper hand washing technique. Careful hand washing with soap and water is still the most effective way of preventing the spread of germs.

Health Plan for Children: New York State has a health insurance plan for kids called Child Health Plus. This plan is available through dozens of providers throughout the state. Child Health Plus has great coverage for children under 19 who are not eligible for Medicaid and who have limited or no health insurance. Even if your family is income high, you may be able to enroll your child in Child Health Plus. For more information or to obtain an application contact your school nurse or call Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network at 1-877-267-6193.

Overnight School Sponsored Trips: In order to assure the health and safety of all students participating in overnight school-sponsored activities, it is necessary that the Health Office be made aware of any over-the-counter and/or prescription medications your son/daughter regularly takes while at home in addition to any medications administered in school. A written order for each medication from the prescribing provider and parent/guardian permission to administer the medication need to be on file in the Health Office prior to the trip departure. Authorization forms are available in the Health Office and on the district website. (One medication per form) All forms must be returned to the Health Office at least one week prior to the trip departure date. Forms can be faxed to the appropriate Health Office: PSES (697-6355), SSES (697-6364), RSES (697-6343), CHS (697-6314).

According to the NY State Guidelines; "Administration of Medication in School Setting", a self-directed student is "an individual who is capable and competent to understand a personal care procedure, can correctly administer it to him/herself each time it is required, has the ability to make choices about the activity, understands the impact of these choices, and assumes responsibility for the results of the choices". If your provider does not determine your son/daughter to be self-directed, please contact the Health Office directly so the appropriate steps can be taken to ensure your son/daughter receives his/her medication while on the trip.