Luann Wojcik, MEd, BSN, RN
Amy Ludlow, RN
Sara Falk, RN, CSN
Sharon Wendler, RN, BSN
The purpose of school health services is to ensure that all students are healthy and ready to learn. The goal of school health services is to strengthen and facilitate the educational process by improving and protecting the health status of students and staff.
The school nurse is a health service specialist who assists students, families and staff in attaining and maintaining optimal health.
The Mountain Lakes School District Physician is Dr. Arnold Pallay, MD from Changebridge Medical Associates in Montville, NJ. Our school physician serves as health services director and provides consultation to the district board of education, administrators and staff. He conducts physical examinations and is responsible in the formulation of standing orders.
Does your child have a serious, potentially life-threatening allergy? In order to be best prepared to care for your child during the school day in the event of a life-threatening allergic reaction, it is our policy that we have the emergency medications and paperwork in place.
Students who have been properly instructed and deemed capable of self-administration, may now carry a single dose of antihistamine with them as well as the epinephrine auto-injector.
Talking to Your Teen about Food Allergy from The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network
Does your child have asthma? New Jersey State Law requires an Asthma Action Plan to be completed by your child's healthcare provider for asthma treatment at school. This Asthma Action Plan needs to be submitted annually to the MLHS Health Office.
Click Here for the Asthma Action Plan
Sports Physical Policy
Each student athlete who wishes to participate on a high school athletic team must have a physical exam within 365 days prior to the first day of practice. Sport Physicals are only valid for one year. Sport Physicals may be performed by the student's medical provider ( MD, DO, APN, PA ) or the school physician.
For the annual sport physical examination, we strongly advocate that all students be seen by their medical provider to foster an ongoing provider/patient relationship, to provide opportunities for specialist referrals, laboratory testing and assessment of vaccination status. However, since seeing a medical provider is not always possible, we will offer sport physical exams by our school physician periodically throughout the year to accommodate the need for this annual exam. If any student will see his or her medical provider for this annual sport physical, then there is no real need or reason to participate in the sport physical opportunity by the school physician. One annual sport physical examination is clearly sufficient.
Documents to be submitted via Genesis annually to the school nurse are as follows:
- Health History Questionnaire
- Physical Evaluation Form
- MLHS Athletic Emergency Card
- MLHS Training Rules
- NJSIAA Concussion Policy Acknowledgment Form
- DOE Sudden Cardiac Death Pamphlet
For all students planning to see their private healthcare provider for a sport physical during the summer or for that matter anytime throughout the year:
- Sport Physicals must be recorded on New Jersey Department of Education approved physical forms. NO OTHER PHYSICAL FORMS WILL BE ACCEPTED. Only the newest version of forms (revision 2014) will be accepted.
- The examining healthcare provider must complete all sections of the physical, including the date of the actual physical exam. All physical forms must be stamped with Physician Stamp. Sport physicals submitted with incomplete information will be returned to the parent for completion by health care provider.
- Submit all completed Sport Physical or Medical Update packets to the Mountain Lakes High School Nurse. Completed packets may be placed in the nurse's mailbox located in the High School Main Office.
Mountain Lakes High School will require the annual submission of the following:
- Pre-Participation Physical Evaluation - Health History Form; completed and signed by parent/guardian.
- Pre-Participation Physical Examination - documented on an approved New Jersey Department of Education form, dated, and signed by the student's medical provider or school physician.
The annual targeted deadline for submission of paperwork is as follows:
- Fall Sports: August 1st (or prior to first day of practice for fall sports)
- Winter Sports: November 1st (or prior to first day of practice for winter sports)
- Spring Sports: February 1st (or prior to first day of practice for spring sports)
No student will be allowed to practice or participate in any sport without a current, valid physical exam on file in the MLHS Health Office. Paper work packets are always available during the summer months in the MLHS Main Office and throughout the school year in the MLHS Nurse's Office or may be downloaded from the district web site. We are planning for total online management of sport forms sometime during this calendar year.
Baseline ImPACT Concussion Testing:
All incoming freshmen and any other new student athlete transferring into the district who is planning to participate in a sport, will need to have baseline ImPACT Concussion Testing before the first day of practice. All student athletes will have repeat ImPACT baseline testing every two years. In most cases that would fall before the 11th grade sport seasons. Individual and team athletes will be notified by the athletic trainer of appointment days and times.
Medical Update Process:
An annual sport physical needs to be submitted to the High School Nurse's Office. A medical update needs to be completed by the parent/guardian for each subsequent sport season during the school year after the annual physical was submitted. This medical update is in fact, an update of the student's health history or status since the last medical/physical exam. Either a sport physical or a medical update needs to be submitted within 90 days of the first practice session for every sport season whenever a student athlete intends to participate in a high school sport.
The Medical Update sport paperwork packet consists of the following documents:
- MLHS Athletic Emergency Card
- MLHS Medical Update
- MLHS Training Rules
- NJSIAA Concussion Policy Acknowledgment Form
- DOE Sudden Cardiac Death Pamphlet
Injuries and/or Major Illnesses and Medical Clearance:
If a student athlete suffers an injury or major illness, which requires medical care and treatment by a healthcare provider, they will need to be medically cleared by their healthcare provider to resume competitive sports. A simple statement of medical clearance should be provided to the MLHS Health Office. Any modifications or restrictions for activity should be clearly stated by the healthcare provider.
Sports Physical Forms
Part A: Health History Questionnaire is to be completed by parent and student and reviewed by examining provider at time of annual sport physical exam.
Currently, the New Jersey Department of Education version from 2014 is the only acceptable form.
Part B: Physical Evaluation Form is to be completed by the examining licensed provider MD, DO, APN, or PA.
Sport Physical paperwork which is incomplete with blanks or missing information will be returned to parent for completion by provider. Final page of evaluation form must be signed and stamped by physician/provider who performs sport physical along with the date of the actual sport physical exam.
Currently, the 2014 version of the New Jersey Department of Education is the only acceptable sport physical format form. No other version of any type of sport physical forms will be acceptable.
Briarcliff offers four interscholastic sports for boys and girls: Cross-Country & Soccer in the fall, Basketball during the fall/winter, and Baseball & Softball in the spring.
All students considering participating in a school athletic program are required by the NJSIAA (New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association) to complete the Annual Athletic Pre-Participation Physical Examination form. These forms can be picked up at the Briarcliff Office or downloaded below.
- Auditory Screening
- Blood Pressure Screening
- Measurement of Height and Weight
- Scoliosis Screening
- Vision Screening
The purpose of a school auditory screening program is to identify students with any hearing loss that may impact their intellectual, emotional, social, speech, or language development.
Enrolled in grade 10
Entering the district with no recent record of audiometric screening
Referred to the child study team for evaluation
Referred for screening by a teacher, a parent/guardian, or at the student's own request
At risk for noise exposure
High blood pressure in children can signal the possibility of serious underlying problems, such as heart or kidney disease. The American Heart Association and the Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend annual blood pressure checks for all children above the age of three. Identification of children who have elevated blood pressure allows their healthcare provider to evaluate the cause and institute proper treatment to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease as they grow into adulthood.
High School Blood Pressure Screenings are conducted for all students as per protocol. When a referral is necessary for additional evaluation by a healthcare provider, the parent/guardian will be notified in writing. The results of the school screenings will be included in this notification.
Annual height and weight measurements provide a simple, effective method of identifying significant childhood health problems. Deviation in normal growth patterns can result from any of the following:
- Systemic disorders (malnutrition)
- Intestinal conditions
- Psychosocial conditions (eating disorders)
- Congenital disorders
- Conditions of the endocrine system (hypothyroidism, growth hormone deficiency)
In addition, yearly height and weight measurements can be used as an educational tool for parents/guardians, students and school personnel by:
- Creating an awareness of the relationship between good nutrition and growth and good health practices and growth
- Stimulating interest in an individual's sense of responsibility for his or her own growth and development
The American Medical Association recommends screening adolescents annually for eating disorders and obesity by measuring height and weight and by asking about body image and dieting patterns.
High School Height and Weight Measurements are performed on all students annually per protocol and when screening results deviate from the norm, the parents/guardians will be notified in writing of these results and of the need for additional evaluation by a healthcare provider.
The following conditions will be referred by the nurse:
- Weight for age or height greater than the 95th percentile
- Weight for age or height, or height for age, less than the 5th percentile
- Dramatic change in student growth pattern for example a student who has been consistently at the 50th percentile drops to the 10th percentile or rises above to the 90th percentile
- Significant weight loss (10% or more of body weight)
Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine most commonly detected during the adolescent growth period. It is estimated that between 5% and 10% of school children have such a curvature to varying degrees. However, only about 2% of these curvatures are significant. If someone else in the family has scoliosis, the likelihood of incidence is much higher—approximately 20%. The effect of scoliosis depends upon its severity, how early it is detected, and how promptly it is treated.
By law, every school in New Jersey must provide scoliosis screening of every student between the ages of 10 and 18 every two years. The goal of this mass screening is to identify scoliosis in its earliest stages, because curvatures can often be controlled if detected early. Students diagnosed with scoliosis should be under the care and supervision of a healthcare provider.
All students in The Mountain Lakes School District will be screened for scoliosis in grades 5, 7, 9, and 11.
Prior to the scoliosis screening, all parents/guardians are notified in writing. At the high school level, a general letter explaining the health screenings and specifically the scoliosis screenings is sent home at the end of the summer. Any student may be exempt from the scoliosis examination upon the written request of a parent/guardian. Please see the exemption letter that may be submitted to the school nurse at anytime.
Scoliosis screening is performed as per protocol and when screening results deviate from the norm, the parents/guardians are notified in writing of these results and of the need for additional evaluation by a healthcare provider.
In order to detect visual impairment, the vision screening process is essential for all students enrolled in school.
Impaired vision in children can:
- Seriously affect their learning abilities, leading to educational problems and limited academic success
- Lead to poor self-esteem and social isolation
- Result in emotional and behavioral problems
- Negatively impact on the student's educational and vocational choices
National studies indicate that among 15-19 year olds; 30% of students have vision problems that require professional eye care. School screening programs generally focus on visual acuity and are designed only to identify students who may need further evaluation.
Vision Screenings for High School Students are performed annually.
Additionally, the following students should be screened for vision problems:
- All new students
- All students registering for driver education
- All teacher referred students who show signs or symptoms of visual problems
- All students at high risk of having vision disorders that is students with disabilities and special needs
- All students referred to child study team
Visual Acuity Screening is performed using Snellen Eye Charts as per protocol. When screening results deviate from the normal, parents/guardians are notified in writing of these results and of the need for additional evaluation by a healthcare provider.
Every student's immunization records are reviewed to ensure compliance with New Jersey state requirements for school admission. Please see the current New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services: Minimum Immunization Requirements for School Attendance in New Jersey
Official school/childcare records
Records from any public health department
Physician's certificate/letterhead stationary/prescription pad listing specific vaccines and administration dates signed by a licensed physician or advanced practice nurse
- The reason the immunization is medically contraindicated
- The specific period of time for which immunization is medically contraindicated
- The signature of a licensed physician or advanced practice nurse
In order for many students with chronic health conditions and disabilities to attend school, medications may have to be administered during school hours.
- Herbal remedies and nutritional supplements are not considered medications and should not be administered in school.
- Parent/guardians are encouraged to administer medications at home whenever possible. Medications should be administered in school only when necessary for the health and safety of the student.
All medications, including all over-the-counter drugs, to be taken by any student in school will be administered by the School Nurse following the guidelines below:
- Students requiring medication at school must have a written statement of permission to administer medication from their physician which identifies the type of medication, dosage and time schedule and reason for medication.
- A parent's permission note to the school nurse must accompany the physician's permission also with the identity of medication, dosage and the time schedule.
- All medication must be in the original container, both for prescription and nonprescription medication, with the label clearly visible and updated, as needed.
For children needing medication on any trips away from school, the parents are responsible for making the necessary arrangements for their child to receive medication during that time. Teachers and aides are not responsible for medication.
End of School
All medications kept by the school nurse must be picked up by a parent at the end of the school year or they will be discarded. We cannot be responsible for items left over the summer.