Welcome to the Smith School Health Office
UPDATE as of 1/18/2021 - Happy New Year!
On 1/18/2021, we were notified of a COVID-19 positive case in our school. This case is still being investigated and, as of now, it affects our 4th grade population. Additional information will be shared as it is received.
Several students are quarantining at home as a result of close contact with a positive COVID-19 individual or travel to non-contiguous states or out of country. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT SIBLINGS AND HOUSEHOLD CONTACTS OF STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS CLOSE CONTACTS OF A POSITIVE CASE DO NOT NEED TO QUARANTINE.
THE COVID-19 ACTIVITY LEVEL IN OUR REGION OF THE STATE (NORTHEAST) INCREASED TO THE "HIGH" LEVEL ON 11/19/2020 AND REMAINS AT THIS LEVEL.
Thanks for all you do to help keep our entire school community safe and healthy!
Northwest Bergen Regional Health Commission is the agency that provides public health nursing services to the borough of Hillsdale, including The Hillsdale Public Schools. Their phone number is 201-445-7217.
Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Testing - https://pmpediatrics.com/directory/
It's time to get your flu shot. Please see this link to the CDC for general information specific to the 2020-21 flu season.
MANDATORY DAILY STUDENT QUESTIONNAIRE (ITS IMPORTANCE IS EVEN GREATER NOW THAT WE ARE AT FULL CAPACITY AND AT THE HIGH ACTIVITY LEVEL!):
Please remember to complete the mandatory questionnaire every morning by 8:10 AM. A reminder will be sent at 8:15 AM if it has not been received. A final report will be run at 8:40 AM and students whose parent has not provided the electronic submission or hard copy will not be permitted to enter their homeroom until received. The questionnaire can be accessed and electronically submitted through the Parent Portal. If the Parent Portal is down, please complete one of the hard copies that were sent home and send it to school with your child. Only one questionnaire is to be completed each day. For students who reside with more than one parent, the parent who is with the student that morning should be the one to complete it. All staff members are also required to complete the daily questionnaire.
* If you answer "yes" to ANY symptom in the first and second questions and/or have a fever of 100.4 or above (without fever reducing medication), do not send your child to school. Consult your health care provider. A negative COVID test will be required to return to school.
* If you answer "yes" to one or both of the two COVID contact questions, do not send your child to school. Consult your health care provider. A negative COVID test will be required to return to school.
* If you answer "yes" to the pending COVID-19 testing question, do not send your child to school until you have received a negative result. A copy of these results must be provided upon return to school.
*For those not completing the MANDATORY questionnaire, you will receive a message from the district by 9:00 AM. Failure to complete the questionnaire immediately will result in the need for you to pick up your child.
* If you answer "yes" to any of the travel questions, please email me immediately providing the state or country to which you traveled and the date you returned to NJ. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. It is critically important that you remain aware of the NJ State Quarantine List if traveling within the US or to a US territory as well as the International Quarantine List if traveling outside of the US. The links are:
States and Territories on NJ Quarantine List: https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/travel-and-transportation/which-states-are-on-the-travel-advisory-list-are-there-travel-restrictions-to-or-from-new-jersey
International Quarantine List: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html
Please be sure that your child comes to school each day with a face covering or mask that fits well. It MUST fully cover the nose and mouth. It should feel comfortable and snug. Valved masks and gaiters are not acceptable. Please consider providing your child with a spare face covering or mask in the event of soiling or other need to replace it during the school day. Remind your child to wash his/her hands prior to applying a face covering/mask, when touching it, and AFTER removing it. We will reinforce these practices at school.
Kindergarten and New Students: All physical examination forms and immunization records are due NOW. This requirement applies to ALL students (including remote learners). These forms should be mailed, dropped off, or sent to school with your child to the attention of Rose Catton, School Nurse. I sincerely appreciate your anticipated compliance with this important state requirement.
Students with Life-Threatening Allergies: If your child has a life threatening allergy and requires access to an epinephrine auto-injector during the school day, please download the forms from the Health Office website and submit them NOW. Additionally, all medication listed in the plan must be provided to the Health Office.
Pediculosis (Head Lice)
In our ongoing efforts to minimize the spread of pediculosis (head lice), please be vigilant about checking your child's scalp on a regular basis. It is critical to remember that treatment should only be performed if active head lice and/or nits are found and treatment should not be applied as a preventative measure. As always, with contagious issues, it is imperative that you notify me if you find active head lice and/or nits in your child's scalp. Adhering to this practice promotes my ability to minimize the spread by screening others who may have been exposed as well notifying our parent community. All information is kept in strictest confidence. Please see this link for evidence-based information concerning its management. There is additional information under the "Pediculosis (Head Lice) Management" tab on this website. Parents are strongly encouraged to become familiar with our district policy related to pediculosis.
Medical Updates and Communicable Issues
Please notify me if your child has any communicable illness/issue (strep throat, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, MRSA skin infections, impetigo, pink eye, flu, head lice, etc.). Sharing this information is critical since it promotes my ability to keep you informed as to health-related concerns in our school community. As always, such information is kept in strictest confidence. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT STUDENTS MUST BE FEVER-FREE (and not taking fever-reducing medications) FOR 24 HOURS BEFORE RETURNING TO SCHOOL.
Do You Need a Medical or Dental Home?
If so, please see this link for free or affordable medical and/or dental care for your whole family.
Healthy School Snacks and Lunches
Please see this link from The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding nutritious school snacks and lunches.HandwashingHandwashing, Handwashing, Handwashing! You can help us limit the spread of illnesses by encouraging your family members to wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing. Washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds is ideal. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective. Remember to keep hands away from the face and avoid touching the mouth, nose, and eyes. Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or cough into the inside of the elbow. Stay home when sick.Please remember to review handwashing with your children. Specifically, be sure that they know HOW to wash, rinse, and dry; WHEN to wash, and WHY washing is important. Sending a hand wipe or hand sanitizer for use prior to snack and lunch should be considered and serves as an adjunct to washing with soap and water. Please know that the school will reinforce this practice with your children. As we all know, handwashing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infection.Permanent Medication Drop Box in the BoroughThe borough of Hillsdale is very fortunate to have a permanent medication disposal drop box. It is located in the Hillsdale Police Department’s lobby and can be accessed 24/7/365. Please utilize it on a regular basis and encourage your family, friends and neighbors to do the same. Why is this important? The nationwide heroin epidemic is linked to easy access to prescription opioids in homes. Across the country, efforts to address this epidemic are taking place at all levels: in homes, communities, and with prescribers. In Hillsdale, our School Health Leadership Team has been working with community stakeholders to intervene earlier to minimize substance abuse through education, appropriate disposal of ALL unused and expired medications, and the establishment of partnerships that will promote healthy decision making. What can you do? Please work with us as we do our best to keep our entire community safe. Stay tuned for future information concerning this issue and visit www.americanmedicinechest.com to learn more and take the 5 step American Medicine Chest Challenge pledge.Parents of Kindergarten, New, and 3rd Grade StudentsPlease remember to submit all physicals and immunization forms per district policy. For Kindergarten and new students, a physical examination is required. For 3rd grade students, a physical examination is strongly recommended. Please keep this in mind as you schedule your child's medical appointments.Medication AdministrationPlease remember that all medication administration forms must be updated annually and signed by both the physician and a parent. This applies to prescription and OTC medications.Health InsuranceIf you are interested in obtaining information about NJ Family Care, New Jersey's affordable health insurance plan, please contact me or visitRose Catton, MSN, RN, NJ-CSNSchool Nurse, Ann Blanche Smith SchoolTreasurer, New Jersey State School Nurses AssociationJohnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow201-358-4796