The mission of the AUESD Health Program is to provide holistic health related services to all students in order to improve student attendance, minimize health related barriers to learning, and to provide the link between health and education through collaboration with students, staff, families, and the community. The Health Services Team is comprised of a district-wide Credentialed School Nurse and a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). Both positions play an important role within the school setting and provides support for the physical, mental, emotional, and social health of students.
The Credentialed School Nurse is a licensed Registered Nurse (RN) and also holds a Public Health Nurse (PHN) license. A School Nurse Services Credential, which requires additional education and is issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, is also needed in the state of California to be able to work in the school setting. The School Nurse posses the expertise to identify, assess, plan, implement and evaluate the health needs of the school community. This care often begins with the development of a health care plan. The
School Nurse also educates staff regarding students’ health conditions and needs, and is involved in the IEP (Individual Educational Program) process, with the provision of health assessments.
While the School Nurse performs vision and hearing screenings, oversees medication administration and the performance of health care procedures, the LVN provides direct, hands-on, care for students in the school community. The LVN also assists in ensuring the California requirements for immunizations, oral health, and examinations for school entry are met and works closely with the School Nurse to help meet the needs of the Health Program, working within their specific scope of practice.
The School Nurse conducts annual hearing and vision screenings as required by CA law for grades Kindergarten, 2nd, 5th, and 8th, then once in high school. This screening is meant to determine whether a student may be having difficulty with their hearing or vision capabilities that may interfere with their learning process.
For hearing screening, a device is used where headphones are placed on the child's ears and then they must raise their hand when they hear the sound being played. Vision screenings are usually conducted using a device that looks like a large digital camera. It scans the eyes, then prints a report if there is something abnormal detected. If a student is screened and does not pass one or both of these assessments, a notice will be mailed home to the parents and they may also be notified by phone. It is encouraged for parents to follow-up with their healthcare provider for a more thorough exam if the student does not pass.
Please note that these screenings do not replace the recommendation for children to visit the optometrist (eye doctor) once a year and the dentist twice a year for examinations and care.
The School Nurse is responsible for keeping documentation of students' immunization records and reporting the school's percentage of fully immunized children each year. The state of CA requires certain immunizations to be obtained by every student in order to be able to participate in the public education program. In the last few years, they have become even more strict and exceptions are only made for very specific medical conditions.
It is very important to keep your student up to date on his/her immunizations to prevent catching or spreading communicable diseases like chickenpox or measles.
If you have specific questions regarding your student's immunization status, please contact the School Nurse.
Puberty (Hygiene) Education & Sex Education
Puberty/hygiene education (5th graders) and sex education (7th graders) are topics that are required by state law to be included in the annual curriculum. The goal of this law is to provide students with the knowledge and skills that they need to make healthy choices for their bodies. It includes topics like STD and pregnancy prevention, promotion of healthy body image and healthy relationships, and the understanding that sexuality is a normal part of human development.
At AUESD, the school nurse is responsible for helping to teach these topics in the designated grade levels. The school nurse is trained and properly equipped to teach health related topics. This is usually taught during the students' PE class, and instruction methods include PowerPoint presentations, videos, and Q&A sessions. Additionally, for the puberty/hygiene training, there may be sample products of things like deodorant or feminine pads that were supplied to the school for distribution to students.
The state of California mandates what must be included in the sexual health education curriculum. You will be notified ahead of time of the plans to educate your child in sexual health, and have the ability to access the materials if you wish. However, the school does not have to ask for permission to teach your child about sexual health, it is a requirement for it to be taught. If you choose to NOT allow your student to participate, you must submit your request in writing prior to the date of instruction.
If you would like more information regarding the California law on sexual health education in schools, please contact the nurse, or visit the FAQ page from the CA Department of Education, linked below.
According to CA Education Code 49426, the purpose of school health services "is the prevention of illness and disability, and the early detection and correction of health problems. The school nurse is especially prepared and uniquely qualified in preventive health, health assessment, and referral procedures."
There are many children that have medical conditions that require medications or other forms of treatment and monitoring during the school day. It is likely that without nursing staff on campus, many of these students would be unable to attend school due to their need for medical attention.
The school nurse has been trained in first aid and CPR to address acute health problems that may arise during the school day, but also addresses chronic health conditions such as seizure disorders, asthma, allergies, diabetes, and more. The nurse can administer medications such as inhalers, EpiPens, or oral prescriptions with proper documentation, perform procedures when ordered by a doctor (ex: urinary catheterization or blood sugar monitoring), and train other staff members on these topics as well. The school nurse is responsible for using doctors' orders to create healthcare plans and emergency care plans to ensure staff is prepared to handle changes in student conditions and emergencies that may arise. The nurse ensures these plans are distributed to staff members that are involved in the particular student's educational team, and that they are trained properly to keep the student safe while in the school setting. Ideally, the student will be able to participate in all school events and learn in the regular education setting with necessary accommodations and/or modifications in place.
For more information regarding the role of the school nurse and specialized nursing tasks, please visit: