PALCS Health Services

Overview

Our Health Services Department consists of 3 Certified School Nurses that serve that serve our students.

This page has a wealth of information regarding medical forms, health screenings, immunizations, PA's CHIP Program, and much more!

Additional questions related to our school's Health Services can be directed to:


Linda Kinneary RN, BSN, CSN Kindergarten through 6th grade students

lkinneary@palcs.org Phone 484-942-9742


Tammy Hartzell RN, BSN, CSN 6th grade through 8th grade students

thartzell@palcs.org Phone 484-947-3563


Tammy Swink RN, BSN, CSN 9th grade through 12th grade students

tswink1@palcs.org Phone 484-748-1727



General Health Services email healthservices@palcs.org

Immunization Records

Beginning of 2020-2021 school year, Pennsylvania Department of Health has issued a Temporary Regulatory Suspension of Requirements for Children Immunization entering Kindergarten, 7th grade and 12th grade. This is because of some difficulty getting immunizations during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Fall 2020, most doctor offices are giving priority to children who need vaccines. The new due date for required vaccines is November 1, 2020.

All students must comply with the requirements of the State Immunization Code (28 PA Code, Ch 23). Complete immunization records must be sent to the school prior to a student’s acceptance for enrollment. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify PALCS nurses when new immunizations have been administered to their child.


Children in ALL grades (K-12) need the following immunizations for attendance:


  • 4 doses tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (usually given as DTaP or DTP or
    DT or TD) - 1 dose must be given on or after the child’s 4th birthday
  • 4 doses Polio -- 4th dose on after 4th birthday and at least 6 months after previous dose given
  • 2 doses measles, mumps, and rubella (usually given as the combined MMR) -- 1st dose must be administered after the child’s 1st birthday
  • 3 doses hepatitis B (properly spaced)
  • 2 doses varicella (chicken pox) or proof of having had the disease (1st does must be given after the child’s 1st birthday)


Children in 7th Grade through 12th Grade: ADDITIONAL immunization requirements for attendance:


  • 1 dose tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap, Adacel, Boostrix)
  • 2 doses meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV, Menactra or Menveo) -- First dose is given between 11-15 years of age; a second dose is required at age
    16 or before entry into 12th grade
  • Exception: If the first dose was given at 16 years of age or older, only one dose is required.

There are three exceptions to the school laws for immunization, all of which require adequate documentation.


Medical Reasons - exemptions must be signed by a physician or physician’s’ designee; once the physician determines that the immunization is no longer detrimental to the health of the child, the child shall be immunized according to PA law.
Religious Beliefs - exemptions must be submitted in writing, signed by a parent/guardian.
Philosophical/Strong Moral or Ethical Conviction - exemptions must be submitted in writing, signed by a parent/guardian.
Please Note: If a child is exempt from an immunization, in the event of an outbreak of that disease, attendance at facilities or school activities may be prohibited according to the PA Department of Health recommendations.
NEW REGULATIONS!! The Pennsylvania Department of Health has changed the law to
require all returning/continuing students to have the mandated vaccines. Students who do not have all the required vaccines, including incoming 12th Grade
students and students entering Grade 7, will NOT be permitted to access their classes
until PALCS receives an updated immunization record.
New families have 5 days from date of enrollment to provide proof of immunizations.
Access to classes will be cut off if the 5 days have passed without providing proof of
immunizations.
Screenings (height, weight, vision, hearing (K-3, 7 & 11)) are required every year. Parents will be notified, of results that are not within normal limits, for student in the USP and CPFA programs. Screenings can be completed by a family doctor; or, through PALCS. Please contact a PALCS Nurse at healthservices@palcs.org to schedule your child's health screenings.

Physical Examinations are required for students in grades K, 1, 6 and 11.
Dental Examinations are required for students in grades K, 1, 3 and 7.

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

CHIP is Pennsylvania's program to provide health insurance to uninsured children and teens up to age 19 who are not eligible for or enrolled in Medical Assistance. Uninsured Pennsylvania children and teens who are not eligible for Medical Assistance have access to affordable, comprehensive health-care coverage for routine doctor visits, prescriptions, dental, eye care, prescriptions and much more. For most families, CHIP is free. Families with incomes above the free CHIP limits will pay low monthly premiums and co-pays for some services. Once enrolled, children are guaranteed 12 months of CHIP coverage unless they no longer meet the basic eligibility requirements. Families must renew their coverage every year in order for the coverage to continue. CHIP insurance companies send renewal notices 90 days before their benefits are going to end, and families
must fill out and send the renewal information back to their CHIP insurance company in order for benefits to continue. For more information, families are encouraged to visit the CHIP website
at: www.CHIPcoversPAkids.com.

How to Find a doctor or a dentist?

Health Resources and Services Administration

www.findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov

Enter your zip code and local HRSA Health Centers will pop up

Vaccine Info

How to Find a place to get a vaccine

www.vaccinefinder.org


Where to find out more information about vaccines

https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center

www.cdc.gov/vaccines

Where to find out more about Ages and Stages of Youth Development, Healthy Living, Family Life

Health Screening Requirements

For each student transferring to PA Leadership Charter School, we request an adequate health record from the previous school. Health Services accepts reports of privately conducted physical and dental examinations dated up to one year prior to the beginning of the mandated school year.

In compliance with School Code, all students are required to follow the state’s health and dental exam policies:


  • Each child shall submit to the school nurse a comprehensive dental examination upon original entry into school Grades K or 1, and while in the third and seventh grades.
  • Each child shall submit to the school nurse a comprehensive physical examination upon original entry into school Grades K or 1, and while in the sixth and eleventh grades.
  • In compliance with PA Public School Code, PALCS offers dental and physical exams arranged by the West Chester school nurse with parents’ written requests. Parents/Guardians of students who require physical or dental exams shall be notified of the date, time and location of scheduled school health exams. The parent/guardian may choose to attend the school exams with their child, or may opt to provide Health Services with a copy of a privately conducted exam at the parent’s expense. To promote continuity of care for your child, PALCS Health Services recommends private exams scheduled with your family physicians and dentists.


These exams should follow the timelines established by the school for the respective year requested and not carry over from year to year. A student who presents a statement signed by his/her parent or guardian that a medical examination is contrary to his/her religious or moral beliefs shall be examined only if the Secretary of Health determines that the student presents a substantial health threat to the health of other persons.


In Addition:


  • All students must have yearly far and near vision screenings and height/weight, BMI(Body Mass Index) screenings.
  • All students in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 11th grades must have documented hearing screening results on file with the school nurse.
  • All students in grades 6 and 7 must have a scoliosis screening; the results are to be reported, in writing from the healthcare provider that provided the screening, to the school nurse.


Annual Health Screening results may be performed during your child’s annual physical exam and results sent to PALCS Health Services. PALCS nurses will schedule health screenings to be performed in the nearest PALCS facility, at parent/guardian request. All student health information is maintained as a confidential health record, and its contents shall be divulged only when necessary for the health of the student or at the request of the parent/guardian to a physician.

First Aid and Illness

First aid is defined as immediate, temporary care given in case of an accident or sudden illness. First aid will be given by the school nurse or designated assistant following PALCS Health Procedure Guidelines. If emergency care is deemed necessary for the student, school personnel will attempt to contact the parent/guardian or other contacts listed on the Emergency Care Form, including the doctor. If we are not able to reach your listed contacts in an emergency, we will make the arrangements necessary to assist your child, at no expense to PALCS. Children should not attend school or field trips when they are ill, or when they are not well enough to participate. A child should not have a fever and/or vomiting, diarrhea, or rash for at least 24 hours prior to returning to school to prevent the spread of infection. When a child exhibits any of the following symptoms, he/she should be kept at home.


Some general guidelines are:

  • Fevers: A child running a fever of 100 degrees or higher should stay home.
  • A child running a fever of 99+ degrees may have trouble keeping up with normal school activities and may well become sick before the day is over.
  • A child with a low grade fever (99+ degrees) combined with other symptoms should stay home.
  • The rule of thumb is: “Fever free for 24 hours without medications” before returning to school.
  • Severe or Persistent Coughing
  • Congestion or Very Runny Nose
  • Unexplained Rashes
  • Contagious Disease or Infection
  • Untreated Head Lice


Please alert Health Services if your child has chickenpox, head lice, or any other communicable disease. Children with communicable diseases will be excluded from school or school activities. Allergies: For students who attend school activities or on-site programs and who have serious allergies, i.e., nuts or latex, parents/guardians should contact the school nurse to discuss appropriate accommodations necessary for their child’s well being.


Communicable Diseases: Students are excluded from on-site school programs and activities for the following:

  • Strep Throat: 24 hours after prescription antibiotics are started;
  • Conjunctivitis: 24 hours after prescription antibiotic ointment is started;
  • Head Lice: Until the condition has been treated with a pediculicide or approved shampoo;
  • Impetigo: Until adequately treated by a physician and lesions are no longer draining;
  • Ringworm: Until adequately treated by a physician;
  • Chicken Pox: Until all lesions are dry (usually at least six days);
  • Scarlet Fever: 24 hours after prescription antibiotics are started;
  • Scabies: Until adequately treated by a physician;
  • Pertussis: After five days of prescription antibiotic have been completed.

Medications: School and Field Trips

It is recommended that no medications be given during school hours; most medications can be given prior to or after school hours. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has issued new guidelines for medication administration in schools which the Department of Education and PA law support.

No Medication will be given in school without written consent from a parent/guardian and specific written orders from a health care provider.

This refers to any medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter, that is to be administered to a student while attending a PALCS sponsored function, i.e., field trips without parent supervision, the University Scholars Program, or Center for Performing and Fine Arts. Each medication must be accompanied by a copy of the physician’s authorization and directions for administration and the parents’/guardians’ written permission for their child to receive the medication. (Medication Authorization Form)


If a medication must be given during school or during a school field trip, it must be in its original container accompanied by a completed Medication Authorization Form. PALCS school physician has approved that students may receive Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Benadryl, or Tums as directed on the bottle while attending school sites with their parents/guardians’ written permission.


NO medications will be sent from PALCS Health Services for field trips; it is the parent’s responsibility to provide any medication their child may need during a field trip accompanied by a completed Medication Authorization Form.


Please contact the school nurse with any questions regarding health requirements or the medication policy