St. Michael’s Country Day School is proud to offer its students and families a host of health and wellness programming.
Megan Buchanan is our full time school nurse who, along with science faculty, helps coordinate the school’s health and wellness programs. These programs educate students on healthy lifestyle issues ranging from personal hygiene and fitness to nutrition and peer relationship building.
Additionally, we offer additional assets to our families, such as flu-clinics, flu-season health announcements, and more, all of which are intended to keep our community healthy.
This comprehensive school health program encompasses health education, health services for the St. Michael’s community, and policies and procedures to maintain a healthy school environment. Our program is designed to provide a ready tool and resource for Administration, Faculty, Students, and Parents.
Megan Buchanan, BSN RN
401-849-5970 ext. 389
As part of our comprehensive Health and Wellness program at SMCDS, we offer wellness screenings and health services to our families. Our ultimate goal is to raise healthy, happy children, and by partnering with parents we can collaborate to accomplish both family and school-based goals!
Health Examinations are mandated for all schools
Medical information and authorization for medical/surgical emergency care must be entered and updated every year in Powerschool.
Physical examinations are required at the beginning of the year for all students that are newly enrolled at St. Michael’s, entering Kindergarten or Seventh grade. Physical examinations must be completed by a licensed physician 12 months before the start of school, or within 6 months after the start of the school. Documented physical examinations and dates of required immunizations are submitted to the School Nurse.
Please note: SMCDS follows Rhode Island State Immunization requirements. If your child is not up to date on their vaccinations, please see your doctor to obtain signed Vaccination Exemption forms which are required to be kept in your child’s health record. Beginning this year all 8th graders should have received 2 or 3 doses of the HPV vaccination depending on the age at which the vaccinations were initiated.
Any student with a medical condition that may require emergency or regular medication administration at school (for example, severe allergies, asthma, or diabetes) must submit an individualized action plan. (Asthma and Severe Allergies form is below). Please contact Megan Buchanan directly if your child requires other specialized health action plan(s).
Completed forms (including physician and parent signatures) are to accompany the medication(s), in original packaging, with prescription labels attached. Student’s requiring EPI pens should send a complete set of 2 pens, if possible.
Please note: some of our students have a peanut allergy. Taking this into consideration, the following resource is available for ideas on “safe snacks”. If you have questions on peanut-free food, please contact Megan Buchanan. https://snacksafely.com/safe-snack-guide/
Immunization assessments are reviewed annually for all students. SMCDS parents must fill out a religious or medical exemption form if their student(s) does not meet Rhode Island State requirements. Contact the School Nurse if you need an exemption form. CLICK HERE to access the State of RI Immunization Office
A cumulative school health record is maintained for each student enrolled at St. Michael’s. The school health record will remain confidential and be stored in a secure location. Information on health records include health history, screening results, health exam reports, documentation of School Nurse visits, documentation of medications administered, Individual/Emergency Health Care Plans, and accident reports.
As part of our efforts to collaborate with our parent community, SMCDS offers online forms and links that facilitate parents’ education and best practices when it comes to working towards safe and happy families. Please download and submit the following forms to Megan Buchanan at the start of the school year. (Food Allergy and Asthma Action Forms only if they apply to your child).
The School Nurse is responsible for administering all medications that are to be given on campus when school is in session.
The only exceptions to this rule would be if the School Nurse was not available and a student had an acute food allergy that required an emergent epi-pen administration, or if a parent wanted to administer medications to their child in the school setting.
All medications that are administered by the School Nurse shall be kept in a secured cabinet. Prescription medications that must be given during school hours on campus must have a doctor’s order. Medications should be delivered with a prescription label and secured properly in a medication bottle, case, etc.
Medications given by teachers during off campus activities such as field trips, must be authorized by the parents and have a doctor’s order. (see Health Forms) Students in Middle School can, with a parent’s authorization, carry and self administer their own inhaler devices. A student’s medication that has expired cannot be administered by the School Nurse and must be replaced by the parents immediately.
Vision screenings are conducted annually by the School Nurse for grades Preschool – Grade 5 and Grade 7. The results are forwarded to SMCDS parents only when the student’s vision test warrants further evaluation by a physician. SMCDS parents are always welcome to inquire about their student(s) testing results.
Hearing screenings are conducted annually by the State of Rhode Island Hearing Center for students in Preschool through Grade Three, and for any student without prior history of a hearing screening.
SMCDS provides an annual dental presentation to the Second Grade to discuss dental hygiene.
A public flu clinic is held annually in October at St. Michael’s. Date and Time are TBD.
Medically approved written protocols and standing orders are in place and will be executed by the School Nurse and/or designated school faculty members in the event of a student injury, acute illness, or medical emergency (see standing orders). First aid training is provided by the School Nurse and or an outside source to specific school personnel who may be directly involved in managing an injury or medical emergency. The SMCDS procedures for health related emergencies are as follows:
Parents or Guardians are required to submit the following emergency information (updated annually in Powerschool):
St. Michael’s Food Policy is written with the goal of creating a health conscious guideline to promote a safe environment, inclusive of our whole community. How and what we eat are very personal family choices that develop from culture and upbringing – what we know. At school, the focus of our food education and choices will include learning about what makes up a nutritionally sound diet that fuel our bodies and supports learning and growth. We will utilize scientific research, government standards, and also, apply a culturally sensitive lens to encourage dialogue within the community about food choices.
Beginning this year, St. Michael’s will be a NUT SENSITIVE school. This means that no nuts will be brought onto campus in the lunches or snacks of anyone in the community. No nut containing products will be served in school lunches, or at any school events. This does not eliminate the chance of exposure to nuts, however it greatly reduces the risk and makes strides towards a safer and more equitable school environment.
*** Please note, this means NO NUTELLA at school.
Education for all students and teachers in regards to cross contamination and hand washing to further prevent likelihood of exposure to food allergens will begin in September and be revisited throughout the school year, as needed, and in conjunction with cross curricular health learning opportunities.
Protocol for bringing food into school for sharing:
Any and all food items brought to school and shared in the classroom (ex.: Birthday celebration or special cultural sharing activities) must be planned and brought to the attention of the school nurse 2 days prior to the event. This will allow the nurse to review the food items and reach out to parents of students with food restrictions so they may provide a food alternative for their child.
Food can be served during the school day as part of curriculum studies and when celebrating holidays, birthdays, and other cultural events. If there are certain foods you do not wish your child to be served during the school day, you must notify their teachers and the school nurse, in writing, at the start of the school year.
Daily use of a water bottle throughout the school day is recommended. No other drink should be contained in the water bottle used in the classrooms but water (no juices, milk etc.)
Recommended drinks for lunch include: