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Welcome to the Barre Town Middle and Elementary School Health Office

The BTMES Nurses believe that the goal of School Health Services is to promote the health and well-being of each student physically, mentally and socially. Current research shows that the student health has a direct effect on his/her ability to fully access his/her education.

To attain this goal, we:

  • believe that each student in our school has the right to access nursing care;
  • view each student holistically by acknowledging physiological, psychological, sociocultural, developmental and educational needs;
  • believe that collaboration with family and educational team is of utmost importance in planning, implementing and evaluating the student’s healthcare plan and needs. The nurses will assist families in obtaining optimal holistic healthcare goals for students when appropriate;
  • will respect the confidentiality of students under the FERPA guidelines as mandated by law, while functioning as a student advocate within the school, family, and community setting;
  • provide health teaching in various settings such as individual student encounters in the health office, personal contact with families, and within the school community;
  • strive to create an environment where every student/school nurse interaction is an opportunity for learning; and
  • acknowledge that professional growth and enrichment is an on-going process.

The nurses participate in continuing education to maintain a current and effective knowledge base. 


Health Office Recommendations For Health Absences:

Below are some guidelines for when a child should be kept home from school due to illness. Open communication with your school nurse is the best way to ensure that the correct decision is made. The guidelines below are the basics. However, situations/illnesses will surface that require a clinical assessment from the school nurse, and oftentimes a reflection of current guidelines by the CDC and the Vermont Department of Health. Sometimes the decision to send a student home, or to keep a student home is simple, other times it is not so clear. Knowing when to return to school after an illness is one of those times that can be tough to judge. This year, unlike last year, we are allowing students to return to school following an illness as long as they are:  1.)  ready to access their learning, 2.)  are largely recovered from their symptoms, and 3.)  are fever-free and/or vomit/diarrhea-free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication. 

When making clinical decisions surrounding health absences, school nurses will consider health history, trends in illnesses present at school, length of illness and whether or not the student is at the beginning and more contagious stage of illness, or whether they are on the tail-end with lingering symptoms, and recommendations from the CDC/VT DOH. These decisions are rarely cut and dry. Thank you for your communication and patience as we work to navigate illness at school following a pandemic.

  • Stay home when newly sick ~ Whether you have new symptoms of COVID-19, the flu, or another contagious illness, please stay home if you are sick and call your healthcare provider if needed. This helps keep germs from spreading, protects those who may be at risk of serious illness, and gives you a chance to get well. 
  • We know that people with new symptoms are more likely to be contagious and so would like people coming down with something to stay home. If you have lingering symptoms that have vastly improved; i.e. cough, runny nose, please feel free to return to school. 
  • Fever (greater than 100°) ~ Your child’s temperature should be back to normal (less than 99°) for at least 24 hours before returning to school without the aid of medication.
  • Coughing (excessive) ~ Your child’s cough should be “dry” sounding and easily controlled by a drink of water or cough drop before returning to school.
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea ~ Your child should be able to eat food and drink liquids without vomiting or diarrhea for at least 24 hours before returning to school. 
  • Red or Draining Eyes ~ Please keep your child at home and check with a physician to ensure your child does not have conjunctivitis. If being treated for an infection please follow the Infection recommendation below.
  • Excessive Nasal Drainage ~ Please keep your child at home and check with a physician to ensure your child does not have an infection. If being treated for an infection please follow the Infection recommendation below. 
  • Unusual Rash ~ Please keep your child at home and check with a physician to ensure that the rash is not contagious. If being treated for an infection please follow the Infection recommendation below.
  • Infection ~ If your child has been tested or treated for any contagious infection, please have them stay at home until test results are available. If positive for infection, they should have had their medication for at least 24 hours before returning to school. This is to best ensure the infection has not spread and your child does not have a medication reaction/allergic response in school. If medication is to be given at school, please contact the Health Office prior to your child returning to school to make arrangements. Parents/Guardians must personally give the medicine to the Health Office with the medication permission form. Forms can be found on the website or requested from the school.

"School nursing, a specialized practice of public health nursing, protects and promotes student health, facilitates normal development, and advances academic success. School nurses, grounded in ethical and evidence-based practice, are the leaders that bridge health care and education, provide care coordination, advocate for quality student-centered care, and collaborate to design systems that allow individuals and communities to develop their full potentials." Approved by the NASN Board of Directors June 2016

-  Approved by the NASN Board of Directors June 2016.

Additional Health Information:

Measles Information - Top 4 things parents need to know about measles

Immunizations - Facts and information for families on Immunizations

VT Dept of Health Immunization Regulations

VT Dept of Health Religious Immunization Exemption Form

Health Office Update - Latest information about what's new in our Health Office

How to Treat a Sprain Injury -  information for parents and students on how to treat a sprain injury

The B.R.A.T. Diet - information on how to treat an upset stomach

Head Injury Information - information on returning to school and play following a concussion

Head Lice Information - information on how to identify and treat head lice.