Health Services

Tara Dorrough, RN

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Mission Statement
The mission of the Van Buren School District Health Services is to maintain high health standards for children living within our community through services aimed at prevention and early identification of health problems and by working with students, families, educators, physicians, and other service agencies to provide quality health care and supervision for students with health impairments. We believe healthy children make better students.
The Van Buren School District Health Services believes health and learning are inextricably connected and we provide health care in accordance to that belief. That is to say, healthy children do learn better and children must be educated to assure their optimal health. Thus, our goal as school nurses is the promotion of good health and healthy choices.

Who are we?
All VBSD school nurses are professional, registered nurses (R.N.’s) licensed to practice in accordance with current Professional Standards of School Nursing Practice, as stated by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Each Nurse serves as an advocate for children’s health and safety within the educational setting. Every school within our district has a Registered Nurse assigned to it for a minimum of 15 hours per week.
To better serve the students, your School Nurse has expertise in the following areas:

  • Pediatric, public health and mental health nursing with strong health promotion, assessment, and referral skills.
  • Education and health laws impacting children
  • Teaching strategies for the delivery of health education to students and staff

What do we do?
The primary role of the School Nurse is to support student learning. The nurse accomplishes this by implementing strategies that promote student and staff health and safety. As the health services expert, the School Nurse serves as the health professional for the school community and provides the following services:

  • Illness and injury assessments, interventions and referrals
  • Identification, assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation of student health concerns
  • Pediatric nursing procedures
  • Screening for health factors impacting student education i.e., Vision and Hearing screens, Scoliosis Screens, and BMI measurement according to state mandates
  • Supervision, management, and education of chronic diseases in the school setting
  • Individualized Nursing Care Plans/Medical Fragilties for indicated students with disabilities and/or health conditions
  • Crisis Team participation
  • Coordination of state and county mandates and reporting guidelines
  • Employee CPR and 1st Aid Certification/re-certification
  • Medication Administration, supervision and training of paraprofessionals/ secretaries
  • Training and in-servicing staff about health related issues

What Services do we provide?
Including but not limited to:
Medicine Distribution is administered according to the guidelines outlined by the by the School Health Services Program of the Arkansas Department of Education and include:

  • The medication must be in the original container with child’s name on the prescription.
  • The Prescription cannot be altered in any way, i.e. written on.
  • No medication to be given three (3) times daily or less will be administered at school. EXCEPTION: Medication used to treat ADD/ADHD
  • All medication used to treat ADD/ADHD will be given during the child’s lunch break unless specifically stated differently on the prescription. The morning dose should be administered at home unless 8:00a.m. is specifically stated on the prescription.
  • No over-the-counter drugs will be given at school as school personnel are not trained to determine when medications are needed and this is a form of prescribing. If it is necessary to take an over-the-counter medication at school, it must be prescribed by the student’s physician – a doctor’s note will be accepted.  A parent must provide then supply the school with the prescribed Over-The-Counter medication.
  • The consent form must be signed before any medication will be given at school. HANDWRITTEN NOTES OR PHONE CALLS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE.
  • Medication brought to school in a container that is too large for our secure storage container may be placed into a smaller container. The original label will be removed and placed on the new container. .
  • Any medication not picked up by the last day of school will be disposed of.

Head Lice:  Our district policy expects that all students will be lice free to attend school.  You will be notified by phone or in writing if lice are found.  Your child may return to school as soon as he/she is free of lice.   
Medication:  In order for your child to take medication at school it must be brought to the office by a parent or guardian and a permission form signed.  Permission forms are available in the school office and on the Van Buren School District web site.  MEDICATION BROUGHT TO SCHOOL BY A STUDENT WILL BE CONFISCATED AND WILL NOT BE ADMINISTEREDTransportation of medications via school buses is strictly prohibited.  All medication must be in the original bottle.  Prescription medications must also be properly labeled with the child's name, doctor's name, current date, and dosage.  We will not accept any over-the counter medication without a doctor's note.  Our medication guidelines are strictly enforced
Vision and Hearing Screenings are done as required by Arkansas state law.  Parents will be notified in writing if further examination by a doctor is indicated.
Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) screenings are done as required by Arkansas state law.  Students are exempt from this screening only for religious reasons and written notification must be received from a parent prior to screening.
BMI (Body Mass Index) screenings are required by the state of Arkansas and are conducted annually.  Students are exempt from this screening only if written notification from a parent is received prior to screening.  Results are available upon request at the end of each school year.
Growing-up Films are shown to fifth grade boys and fourth grade girls.  These videos are shown to each genter separately and contain information on hygiene, physical development, puberty, and the feelings associated with this period of their lives. Notes are sent home prior to the video to obtain parental permission.
Parents are notified of dates and cordially invited to watch the film with your child.
Fever:  If your child has an above normal temperature you will be notified to pick him/her up.  In order to minimize the spread of illnesses we ask that your child be free of fever for twenty-four hours before returning to school. 
Random Drug Testing:  All 9th through 12th grade Students who drive a vehicle to school and/or participate in extracurricular activities including sports, clubs, and organizations are subject to random drug testing. 

Immunization Requirements as set forth by the Arkansas Department of Health and Education beginning school year 2014 - 2015: Each child's immunization record is checked annually upon entry through the 12th grade to assure it is in keeping with the State Board of Education regulations. Periodically, statewide changes are made to the immunization requirements, which require additional immunizations. When this occurs, the VBSD nurses send out notices to inform parents.

All Students Kindergarten through 12th Grade:
4 DTaP Vaccines, 3 Polio Vaccines, 2 MMR Vaccines, *2 Varicella Vaccines*, 3 Hepatitis B Vaccines
In Addition, the following vaccines are required:
1 Hep A:  Enrolling Kindergarten and any First grader who did not get it in Kindergarten.
1 Tdap:  Every student age 11 and older. 
MCV4:  7th grade and age 16 (kids who have already had 1 will have to have a 2nd dose at age 16)
*Also, please note that No history of disease will be accepted for Varicella unless documented by MD, DO, PA, APN*

Flu Shot Clinics:  In conjunction with the Crawford County Health Implementation Office and according to the guideline set forth by the state, flu shot clinics are held at each school within the school district.  This is on a voluntary basis and written parental permission is required to take part in the this clinic. 

What difference do we make?
School nursing interventions improve student health to impact achievement and success. School nurses collaborate with administrators to promote a healthy, safe and nurturing environment. Parents are confident that their student’s health needs and injuries are appropriately handled during the school day. Teachers are freed up to devote their time to educating students because the School Nurse coordinates the health care needed by students.
It is our goal as School Nurses, to provide the services necessary to promote learning in the school setting. We strive on a daily basis to meet the needs of our students in a professional and timely manner. We believe family is an essential part of good health. Your input is welcome and valued. Please feel free to stop by the nurse’s office to ask questions, voice concerns, share your thoughts or exchange health information. Working together we can make our children the best they can be.

Parents – If you would like a copy of your child’s BMI results, please contact your child’s school nurse

VBHS: Tara Dorrough, RN
Freshman Academy: Rachel Bond, RN
BTMS: Amanda Reese, RN
Tate: Brooke Parks, RN
King: Krystal Reichen, LPN
Rena: Amber Anderson, RN
NRMS: Ashley Fleming, RN
Parkview: Erin Cochran, RN

OSE: Teresa McGuire, LPN

Central:Julie Richards, LPN

Additional Forms

Bus Medical Form Spanish.pdf

Emergency Call Form, Spanish.pdf

6th & 8th Grade BMI Waiver, Eng and Sp.pdf

Emergency Call Form, Eng 19-20.pdf

Beginning of the year letter to Parents English.pdf

6th & 8th Gr Scoliosis Waiver, Eng and Sp.pdf

Beginning of the Year Letter to Parents Spanish

BMI Waiver Elementary.pdf

Bus Medical Form.pdf