Health Services

The Pickerington Schools Health Services Department is comprised of school nurses and health assistants. The goal of the staff is to promote optimal wellness among the students and to support student success. Health assistants work under the direction of the school nurse in order to provide health care for students during the school day.

Our Health Services Team

Sharon Schmitz
Sharon Schmitz
School Health Supervisor
(614) 835-2000
Rhonda Carmel
Rhonda Carmel
School Nurse
(614) 548-1808/ (614) 830-2908
Marnica Dreher
Marnica Dreher
School Nurse North High School and Heritage Elementary
North Clinic 614 830-2780
Jill Milam
Jill Milam
School Nurse
614.834.2600
Elizabeth Moody-Ganoom
Elizabeth Moody-Ganoom
School Nurse
Fairfield Clinic: 614-834-7608 Harmon Clinic: 614-835-2008
Diane Morris
Diane Morris
School Nurse
614.548.1400 Pickerington Elementary / 614.830.2200 Lakeview Junior High
Marcia Stewart
Marcia Stewart
School Nurse
RJH 614 - 548 -1700, SCE 614 - 834 - 6200
Tami Tackett
Tami Tackett
RN, School Nurse
834.6308; 834.6408

Your School Nurse

About Our Nurses
School nurses:
  • Provide first aid and care to students who become ill or injured during school hours.
  • Educate school staff regarding health matters that affect the students/community.
  • Collaborate with other school professionals, parents/guardians and the student’s healthcare providers as needed.
  • Provide healthcare counseling to students as needed.
High Schools
PHSC: Rhonda Carmel, BSN, RN
PHSN: Marni Dreher, MSN, RN
Junior High Schools
Ridgeview: Marcia Stewart, MSN, RN
Lakeview: Diane Morris, BSN, RN, LSN
Middle Schools
Diley: Rhonda Carmel, BSN, RN
Harmon: Liz Moody-Ganoom, BSN, RN
Toll Gate Middle: Tami Tackett, BSN, RN
Elementary Schools
Fairfield: Liz Moody-Ganoom, BSN, RN
Heritage: Marni Dreher, MSN, RN
Pickerington: Diane Morris, BSN, RN, LSN
Sycamore: Marcia Stewart, MSN, RN
Toll Gate Elementary: Tami Tackett, BSN, RN
Tussing: Jill Milam, MSN, RN
Violet: Jill Milam, MSN, RN

Pickerington Schools are 'Heart Safe Schools'

Pickerington Schools have been recognized for taking steps to prepare for cardiac arrest incidents in each of the district’s 14 buildings by obtaining HEARTSafe School Accreditation for every building in the district. The district is the first in the country to hold the designation districtwide. Read more to find out if your child is at riskThe HEARTSafe School Accreditation program is an initiative started in 2013 by Fairfield Medical Center and the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation. It has continued through a partnership between SADS, the cardiovascular institute and the Snider Community Heart Watch by which accreditation is granted to schools that meet criteria designed to ensure the safety of students, staff and school visitors who might suffer sudden cardiac arrest. Those criteria include having students undergo pediatric sudden cardiac arrest risk assessments, development of care plans for students with cardiac medical diagnoses and the establishment of medical emergency response drills. Additionally, automated external defibrillators must be available through the schools, their CPR-trained staff to student ratio must be one to 50 or better, CPR instruction must be provided to students as part of classroom instruction and education on sudden cardiac arrest in youth must be provided annually.

Administering Medications At School

General Information

Prescription medications
In the event your child needs to take prescription medication while at school, the Request for Administration of Medication by School Personnel form must be completed by the child’s physician and parents.

Nonprescription medication such as Advil, Tylenol, cough drops, etc. may be administered to students if the parent/guardian brings in the medication along with written permission for the medication to be given. All medications must be sent in the original container. Dosages cannot exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations for age and weight.  We must have a note from the doctor to give a dose of medication that is different than the dose stated on the bottle.

For additional information, see Board Policy 5330 and 5330 AG.

Epinephrine Autoinjectors (K-12)

Students’ possession of an EpiPen is permitted only if the student has written approval from the prescriber of the medication and, if a minor, from his/her parent/guardian. Written approval must be on file with the principal and the school nurse.

In addition, the principal or school nurse must receive a backup dose of the medication from the parent or student.

  • Student’s name and address.
  • Name and dose of the medication contained in the autoinjector.
  • The date the administration of the medication is to begin and, if known, the date the administration of the medication is to cease.
  • Acknowledgement that the prescriber has determined that the student is capable of possessing and using the EpiPen appropriately and has provided that student with training in the proper use of the EpiPen.
  • Circumstances in which the EpiPen should be used.
  • Written instructions that outline procedures school personnel should follow if the student is unable to administer the medication or the medication does not produce the expected relief from the student’s anaphylaxis (allergic response).
  • Any severe reaction that A) the student may experience that should be reported to the prescriber; or, B) may occur to another student for whom the medication is not prescribed, if the student receives a dose of the medication;
  • At least one emergency telephone number each for contacting the prescriber and the parent/guardian; and
  • Any other special instructions from the prescriber.
Asthma Inhalers and Other Emergency Medication

Students may carry and self-administer emergency medication, including asthma inhalers, insulin, glucagon and EpiPens. In order to carry and administer such medications, a form (JHCD-E1 or JHCD-E-2) is to be completed by the physician or licensed prescriber, including special instructions to allow the student to carry medication.

The form (JHCD-E-1 or JHCD-E-2) must be presented to the school nurse to be maintained in the medical file.

Duplicate medication should be provided by the parent/guardian to the school district to be available in the school clinic. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that students who carry and self-administer medications have been trained in proper use and administration.

Additional Information for Asthma Inhalers

  • The physician or licensed prescriber must provide written approval and indicate that it is necessary to carry the medication.
  • Written instructions that outline procedures school personnel should follow in the event that the asthma medication does not produce the expected relief from the asthma attack.
  • Information as to any severe adverse reaction that may occur to another child for whom the inhaler is not prescribed should such a child receive a dose of the medication.

Additional Information for Other Emergency Medications (Glucagon)

  • The licensed prescriber must provide written approval and indicate A) that it is necessary for the child to carry the medication, B) that child is to self-administer the medication and has been instructed on proper use, and C)  in the licensed prescriber’s opinion, the child is capable and responsible enough to carry and self-administer the medication.
  • Written instructions that outline procedures school personnel should follow in the event that the emergency medication does not produce the expected relief or result.
  • Any severe adverse reaction that may occur to another child for whom the medication is not prescribed should such a child receive a dose of the medication.

Resources and Information

Immunization Requirements (General)

The Ohio Department of Health provides the following immunization summary for school attendance in Ohio.

According to Board Policy 5320 and 5320 AG, immunizations in compliance with state law and the Ohio Department of Health are required for each student unless the parent(s) file an objection.  The board of education also requires tuberculosis examinations in compliance with law.

Students eligible for kindergarten and students new to Pickerington Schools must present written evidence of similar immunizations, or written evidence to indicate that they are in the process of receiving immunizations, to be completed no later than the day of entrance.  Students failing to complete immunizations within 14 days after entering are not permitted to return to school.

Franklin County Health Department Immunization Schedule

Download the 2017 back to school schedule.

The Franklin County Health Department offers immunizations throughout the school year. An up-to-date schedule is always available from the health department online.

Health Concerns

Before the start of each school year, please be sure to contact your school nurse and child’s teacher to discuss any health concerns your child has, including severe allergies, seizures, diabetes, asthma, and current medications. During the school year, please be sure to update the school nurse and teacher of any new or changing medical conditions or medications.

Illness and Injury

Any student will be sent home if he or she has a temperature of 100 degrees or higher, vomiting, diarrhea, or signs and symptoms of a possible communicable disease.

Please keep students home until they remain fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of medication and are free of vomiting or diarrhea symptoms for 24 hours prior to returning to school. All children with suspicious rashes must be excluded from school until the rash has been determined non-contagious by a doctor.

Health Screenings (Including Hearing and Vision)

State-mandated health screenings (such as vision and hearing) are completed during the school year. Please contact your school nurse if you have concerns regarding your child and the screening process.

Vision screenings are done for all new students and those in preschool, kindergarten, and grades one, three, five, seven, and nine. Hearing screenings are performed with preschool, kindergarten, first, third, fifth, ninth, eleventh, and new students. Referrals letters are sent home if the school nurse suspects a concern or if the student fails a screening.

Vision screenings are not meant to replace comprehensive eye exams, but can help find children at risk for eye problems.

Sometimes, parents or teachers can tell if a child is having a problem. Squinting, complaining of things appearing blurry, or holding reading material close to their face may be signs. Other signs may be less obvious. Sometimes having a short attention span or losing interest in activities that require students to use their eyes for an extended period of time may signal a vision concern. Children who lose their place when reading may be having difficulty seeing. Avoiding reading, drawing, writing or other close activities may also be a sign of a vision problem. Children with vision problems may also turn their heads to the side when looking at an object in front of them to see it better.

Success in school is closely tied to eye health. The earlier a vision concern is found and treated, the better off your child will be. Please contact your child’s school nurse if you have any questions about vision and hearing screenings.

Information about Common Childhood Health Issues

Severe Allergies

Students attending Pickerington Schools who have been diagnosed with potentially life threatening allergies require special attention while at school.

The district has developed Board Policy 5335 to address food allergies. The guidelines provided in that policy may be adapted in case of other life threatening allergies such as insect bites, medication reactions and latex allergies.

Role of the School Nurse

  • To collaborate with school personnel, health care professionals, students, and family members in order to develop appropriate management procedures
  1. If requested by parents/guardians, an allergen-free table will be available for use during lunch periods. Parents/guardians should be notified in advance of any in-class events where food will be present.
  2. On field trips, all food for the food-allergic student should be provided by the parents/guardians.
  • To utilize the information provided to plan and implement interventions and to provide allergy and anaphylaxis related education and training to pertinent school staff
  • To complete an Individualized Health Care Plan or Food Allergy Action Plan. These plans should be accessible to school staff.
  • To provide for the safety of students by educating and training school staff to assist in routine and emergency care whenever necessary. Training to include how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, how to administer epinephrine or other emergency treatment, and calling 911 as soon as possible when an allergic reaction is suspected.

Role of the Parent

  • To inform the school nurse of known allergy prior to the school year or with a new diagnosis.
  • To return the required medical forms to the School Nurse. Forms must be completed and signed by the healthcare provider in order to administer or self-carry any needed medication.
  • To provide a safe alternate snack/treat to be kept in the classroom for their student.
  • To work collaboratively with school staff to ensure optimal health and safety for your child.

Role of the Student

The long-term goal for individuals with life threatening allergies is to be independent in the prevention and management of their allergies and allergic reactions based on their developmental level.

  • Never share or trade food
  • Do not eat anything with unknown ingredients or ingredients known to contain an offending allergen.
  • Wash hands before and after eating.
  • Notify an adult if suspected allergen exposure.

Resources and Forms

Food Allergy Action Plan

Insect Sting Reaction Record

Epi-pen Authorization Form

For additional information, please check the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network or foodallergy.org.

Diabetes

Students attending the Pickerington Schools who have diabetes mellitus require special attention while at school.

The following are guidelines for the care of a student with diabetes.

The Role of the School Nurse

  • To collaborate with school personnel, medical professionals, and family members in order to develop appropriate management procedures.
  • To use the information provided to plan and implement interventions and to provide diabetes related education and training to appropriate staff members.
  • To complete an individualized health care plan (IHP) and or emergency care plan for each diabetic student. Copies of these plans should be located in the school clinic. The plan contains guidelines for treatment of potential complications such as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, signs and symptoms commonly experienced by the individual and detailed instructions for care in the event of an emergency.
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of the plan throughout the school year and implements revisions as necessary.
  • To provide for the safety of students, by educating and training school staff to assist with routine and emergency diabetic care whenever necessary.
  • To facilitate the development of the student’s self-care skills so they will be able to achieve independent diabetes management.

Parent’s Responsibility

  • To return the required district medical forms to the school nurse. The forms must be completed and signed by the health care provider directly involved in the management of the student’s diabetes care.
  • To provide all diabetic supplies and snacks to be utilized during the school year.
  • To work collaboratively with school staff to ensure optimal health and safe care for your child

Student’s Responsibility

  • Demonstrate age-appropriate responsibility for self-care while at school.
  • Be independent or work towards independence in performing their own diabetes care, such as blood glucose testing and insulin injection, is strongly encouraged. Assistance with these tasks may be provided by the school nurse, health care assistant or other trained non-medical staff on an as needed basis depending on the student’s age, level of independence and maturity, health care provider’s order’s, etc.
  • Test blood sugar and perform insulin injections in the school clinic unless the health care provider specifically requests an alternative site.
  • Dispose of all sharps, such as lancets and needles, in the provided biohazard containers.
Head Lice Management Guidelines

Pickerington Schools operate using no exclusion evidenced-based practice, which means that a student suspected or confirmed to have head lice or nits shall remain in school and is not isolated or otherwise subjected to restrictions of activities.

The student’s parent or guardian shall be informed that their child is suspected of being infested by head lice and will be offered information and guidance on the biology and management of the condition. It is expected that the parent or guardian will provide appropriate treatment for the condition and the student will return to school the next day.

Guidelines for Management of Head Lice and Nits

PLSD operates on a no exclusion evidenced-based practice supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control, and the National Association of School Nurses.

Reminders to staff and parents or guardians on lice prevention and management will be sent home to families at regular intervals throughout the school year in an effort to sustain a positive attitude toward containment of head lice/nits and discourage head-to-head contact.

When a school staff member is notified by a parent or guardian that a student has lice, the staff member will notify the building school nurse. The school nurse will contact the parent or guardian to provide information about diagnosis and management of lice. The nurse will offer services (if needed) to support the family.

Confidentiality of a student with suspected or confirmed lice or nits will be maintained.

By the end of the school day, the school nurse will notify parents or guardians of students with suspected lice or nits by phone. The student will not be excluded from school and may be transported home by bus.

The school nurse and building principal shall work with the parents and guardians of any student who has been determined to have a chronic infestation of head lice. This will be done through advocating for the education of staff, students, and parents or guardians about head lice and promoting evidenced-based management for students with head lice.

What are head lice?

Head lice are tiny, wingless insects that live close to the human scalp. They feed on blood. The eggs, also called nits, are tiny, tear-drop shaped eggs that attach to the hair shaft. Nits often appear yellowish or white and can look like dandruff but cannot be removed or brushed off. The nymph, or baby louse, is smaller and grow to adult size in one to two weeks. The adult louse is the size of a sesame seed appears tan to grayish-white. An itchy and inflamed scalp is a common symptom of lice. Although not common, persistent scratching may lead to skin irritation and even infection.

Who is affected by head lice?

Head lice are not related to cleanliness. In fact, head lice often infest people with good hygiene and grooming habits. Infestations can occur at home, school or in the community. Head lice are mostly spread by direct head-to-head contact—for example, during play at home or school, slumber parties, sports activities or camp. Less often, lice are spread via objects that have been in recent contact with a person with head lice, such as hats, scarves, hair ribbons, combs, brushes, stuffed animals or bedding.

What to do if an infestation occurs?

If you think your child has head lice, it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider to discuss the best treatment approach for your family. Resistance to some over-the-counter head lice treatments has been reported, but the prevalence of resistance is not known. There are new prescription treatment options available that are safe and do not require nit combing.

Bedbugs

Bed bugs have been an issue in Central Ohio for several years.

Bed bugs are a nuisance, but their bites are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs are usually active at night and feed on human blood. The bite does not hurt at first, but may become swollen and itch, much like a mosquito bite.

Symptoms of exposure include clusters of bites, usually in a line on exposed areas of the body. If you have medical concerns for you or your child, please contact your doctor.

The source of bed bugs often cannot be determined. Bed bugs may be found in many places, including hotels, planes, and movie theaters. They can be found anywhere, not only in “dirty” locations.

It is unlikely for bed bugs to infest a school, but Pickerington Schools inspects as necessary and, if needed, will work with licensed pest control specialists assist with management if needed.

Contact your physician or school nurse for proper care and treatment of bed bug bites.

If you have any questions regarding bed bugs in your home, refer to the Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force website at www.centralohiobedbugs.org.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Pertussis  (whooping cough) is a serious respiratory illness spread through face-to-face contact and by being in confined spaces for extended periods of time with those who already have whooping cough. That is part of the reason the illness tends to be transmitted within close-knit student groups, such as athletic teams.

It is not unusual for the district to have cases of whooping cough each year. Some important facts about pertussis:

  • Pertussis is most contagious early on, before symptoms become severe.
  • Early symptoms can be mild, resembling a mild cough, cold, or allergies.
  • Vaccines help protect your child, but do not guarantee that your child will not get pertussis. Everyone’s body is different and protection can decrease over time.

If your child has been exposed and has these symptoms, even if they are mild, please see your doctor for testing. Keep in mind that the classic “whoop” sound, fits of coughing, and vomiting after coughing often don’t appear until later. Also, vaccinated children may have a milder illness due to the protection they have. However, even mild illness is contagious.

What should parents do?

  • Keep your child home when they are sick.
  • If your child is tested, please keep your child home from school while awaiting results.
  • If your child is diagnosed, he/she must stay home for 5 full 24-hour days after starting the antibiotic.

Please see the attached fact sheet or visit the Franklin County Health Department website for more information about whooping cough (pertussis).

10 Ways to Stay Healthy

Encourage good hand washing. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) the number one method for controlling the spread of disease is hand washing. Make sure you use soap, warm water, and wash all surfaces of the hands. A simple way to ensure you have washed long enough is to silently sing the “Happy Birthday” song to yourself twice while washing. Follow washing with a good rinse, pat hands dry, and use the towel to turn off the faucet to avoid getting hands dirty again. Wash hands after blowing the nose, playing with pets, before eating, after using the restroom, or when they are visible dirty.

Make sure your child gets enough sleep each night. Children should get between nine and ten hours of sleep each night in order to feel rested. Those who do not get enough sleep are often groggy, irritable, and have decreased alertness in school. It’s easy to see how school performance and behavior are negatively affected when children are not rested.

Make sure your child eats breakfast each day. Studies have shown that children who eat breakfast actually do better on tests, and are better able to fight off disease and infection. Breakfast should consist of wholesome nourishing foods such as cereal, fruit, juice, milk, eggs, peanut butter, toast, etc.

Encourage your child to drink plenty of water. Many of the complaints that bring students to the clinic can be attributed to dehydration, such as headaches, stomachaches, sore throats and nosebleeds.

Dress your child appropriately for the weather. Children who are too hot or too cold will have difficulty concentrating. During the winter months hats decrease heat loss through the head, and gloves protect against frostbite. Proper footwear should also be considered: boots during snowy times, shoes and socks during more mild weather. “Flip-flops” are never appropriate footwear for school.

Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing. Cold and flu germs are spread though the air. Covering the mouth and nose can decrease the spread of germs. Teach your student to cough/sneeze into his/ her bent elbow, thus decreasing the amount of germs in the air, and keeping the hands cleaner.

Keep your student home if he/she has a fever. For school purposes, a fever is 100 degrees F. Your child needs to be fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication prior to returning to school. Even if your child feels better, fevers often return if he/she is sent to school too soon. Keeping your child home will also help limit the spread of disease to other students.

Keep your student home if he/she vomits during the night. As with fevers, vomiting often occurs again if the child is sent to school too soon. Keeping him/her home allows for rest and recovery, and protects other students from exposure.

Follow directions on medication prescribed for your child. If your child has been prescribed antibiotics or eye drops for pink eye, please make sure the medication is completed, even if your child feels or looks better. This medication must be taken in its entirety in order to ensure the condition is resolved. Failure to finish antibiotics may allow the condition to return.

Consider your home environment. Remember the old adage: Children learn what they live. Modeling healthy behavior can help your child learn healthy habits. Children are more likely to adopt healthy behaviors such as good diet, daily exercise, and not smoking when the home environment encourages it. Also, studies have shown that second hand smoke increases the likelihood of respiratory illness in children.

Health and Medical Forms

Health Forms

Most district health forms can be found on our forms page under “Health and Medical.”