Health, Wellness, Nursing

Each morning families should symptom-check their children at home prior to leaving to identify signs and symptoms that may be related to COVID-19.  Likewise, all HPS staff should self-check their symptoms prior to leaving in the morning.  To serve as a guide for symptom-checking, the nursing team has developed a Daily Screening Tool which can be found here in English and Spanish.  Considering symptoms, exposure, and travel, this tool provides guidance as to when students and staff should stay home and when they should go to school. It also provides guidance for remote learners when they should contact their school nurse with symptoms or COVID-19 positive results.  You may also be interested in watching this short video about self-checking symptoms.  

Student and Staff Pledges to stay home when ill and follow precautions:

student or staff member must remain at home and not attend school if any of the following are true:
1) The individual may have been exposed to COVID-19.
2) The individual shows symptoms of COVID-19
3) The individual is waiting to get tested or waiting for COVID-19 results.
4) A household member has symptoms and is getting tested for COVID-19.
5) The individual tests positive for COVID-19. 
If a student or staff member has symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19, they must stay at home and away from others and we recommend contacting your health care provider,  notify the school nurse, and get COVID-tested.
Students and staff members may still need to stay home for other illnesses that have symptoms that are similar to COVID-19, such as the flu, strep throat, pink eye, upset stomachs, or the common cold. Contact your health care provider for guidance and the building’s nurse for information about when the student or staff member can return to school in these situations.
Regarding travel, those families and HPS staff who plan to travel should work with the building nurse to plan ahead for return to the district.  Travel information can be found here and reach out to your school’s nurse for more information. The Centers for Disease Control recommend delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people.
Medication Information for Families
In order to keep children’s established medication routines in place during the current coronavirus pandemic, we ask that families administer their child’s medications, treatments, and procedures at home whenever possible.  Further, we want you to know that state guidelines prohibit nebulizer treatments at school during the COVID-19 pandemic since nebulizer treatments can increase the risk of the virus being aerosolized.  Regularly scheduled medications that can be given at home should be provided to your child at home.
Emergency medication such as (but not limited to) an epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen), asthma inhaler, seizure medication, diabetic supplies, or other medication, treatment, or items needed for a procedure that your child must have available during school hours must be available at school when your child is attending school in-person. Medications, Procedures, and Treatments at School Require Current Written Orders and Parent/Guardian Signature – If your child needs medication, procedure or treatment during the school day, a current and proper order from a licensed prescriber must be given to the nurse at your child’s school before the student enters or re-enters school.  Orders will be renewed as needed, including at the beginning of each academic year.  Contact your child’s school nurse for more information or if you have questions. The Medication forms are located below.

Check out the new Flu Shot/Influenza Vaccine web page for more info and resources.

The flu vaccine should be given to everyone 6 months and older, as it is the best option for protection, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP tells us that the annual flu vaccine significantly reduces a child’s risk of severe influenza and death. Special effort should be made to vaccinate all children 6 months and older who have conditions that increase their risk of complications of flu. This includes infants born preterm and those with chronic medical conditions, including asthma and other chronic lung diseases, heart disease, diabetes and other metabolic problems, and weakened immune systems, among others. Influenza vaccine should be given to all women who are pregnant, considering pregnancy or are in the postpartum period or are breastfeeding during the flu season.  Contact your child’s School Nurse for more information.

COVID-19 Daily Screening Tool for Staff and Students

HPS has created a tool to be used by staff and students each morning to identify signs and symptoms that may be related to  COVID-19.  These symptom guidelines incorporate recommendations from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  In considering symptoms, exposure, and travel, this tool provides guidance as to when in-person learners and staff should stay home and when they should go to school. It also provides a guideline for remote learners in terms of when they should contact their school nurse with symptoms or COVID-19 positive results.

Download and print the Daily COVID-19 Screening Tool (PDF)| En Español (PDF).

School Nurses are key members of the education team and leaders of school health who keep students healthy, safe and ready to learn.  Healthy children attend school regularly, participate in their classes and do better on assignments and tests. Holyoke Public School nurses help make this happen!

HHS Dean Campus/STEM – Luba Pantus, RN,
phone: 413-493-1688, fax: 413-540-2429

HHS North Campus – Amber Piedra, RN,
phone: 413-540-2403, fax: 413-540-2416

Donahue -Brittney Kane, RN,
phone: 413-493-1614, fax: 413-540-2421

E.N. White – Isabel Gagnon, RN,,
phone: 413-493-1692, fax: 413-540-2418

Kelly –Stephanie Singh, RN,,
phone: 413-534-2115, fax: 413-540-2425

Lawrence – Alla Taku, RN,
phone: 413-540-2404, fax: 413-540-2424

McMahon – Nanishy Valentin-Franco, RN,
phone: 413-540-2405, fax: 413-540-2420

Metcalf – Sydney Diaz, RN,
phone: 413-493-1698, fax: 413-493-1639

Morgan – Camille Lopez, RN,
phone: 413-493-1667, fax: 413-540-2426

Peck – Mary Michaud, RN,
phone: 413-493-7040, fax: 413-540-2417

Sullivan – Sheneece Velazquez, RN,,
phone: 413-493-1696, fax: 413-540-2419

Veritas  – Kimberly Renzulli, RN,
phone: 413-493-7040, fax 413-540-2417
The Holyoke Public School Nurses support, coordinate, collaborate and lead health programming in the school district through Health Services, Healthy EnvironmentComprehensive Health EducationNutrition ServicesPhysical EducationMental Health ServicesFamily/Community Relationships, and Staff Wellness.
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