Nurse Notes
Important Health Paperwork

School Health Entrance Form
Immunization Requirement Form
BCPS Medication Form
BCPS Anihistamine Form
Influenza information
Zika virus information
-  Talking to your kids
-  Help to control mosquitoes                          


Welcome to Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.  As your school nurse, I have many responsibilities that include caring for sick or injured students, and to act as a resource for parents, students, and staff.

  I want to highlight a few important reminders.  Any medicine to be given to a student must be brought to the school by the parent/guardian in the original container. Please do not put medication in a sandwich bag with a note and send it to school with your child.  The “Physician/Parent Authorization to Administer Medication” form must be completed and signed by the parent and physician for any prescription medicine to be administered during school hours.  Please keep your emergency information up to date.  If your child gets sick or injured at school, this information is our only means of contacting you without delay. 

                                        Kindergarten 2017-18

Here are some important reminders regarding your child’s entry into Kindergarten.   Before entering Kindergarten, your child must have a complete Virginia State Physical form. Physical must be completed within 12 months prior to August 1, 2017. Immunizations need be up to date.  Physical and Immunizations must be sent to the school no later than July 17, 2017. Your child must have the required health information by this date in order to attend school. 

 Kindergarten students will have hearing and vision testing done during the school year if not completed on the physical. Pediculosis (head lice) infestation is a prevalent concern among young school age children.  I will periodically check your child’s classroom for head lice for preventative reasons.

 If your child needs to take medicine at school the “Permission to Dispense Medication form” must be completed and signed by a parent/guardian. Prescription medications must have signature from a physicianAll medication (over the counter or prescription) must be transported to school by parent in original container.

 Please notify the nurse about any health concerns your child might have. All paperwork needs to be filled out prior to starting school to address any of these medical needs. (Diabetes, allergies, seizures, medications etc.)   

 When your child is absent for any reason, please notify the school (call the office at 534-6159).  Also, when your child returns to school after an absence a note from the parent must be sent to the office so that your child can be excused.       

 As your school nurse I am responsible for caring for sick or injured students, and I am a resource for parents, students, and staff. I will encourage and talk to your children about staying healthy throughout the school year.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at the school. I look forward to meeting each of you and your children.


 Reminder to all 5th Grade Families

If you have a child that will be entering sixth grade/middle school in 2017, documentation of a Tdap vaccine is required before he/she can start school. Please try to get this vaccine as early as possible to avoid the rush at the doctor’s offices. If you get documentation before the end of this school year please send it in to the clinic at TJES so the nurse can document on your child’s medical file.




Strep Throat

Symptoms of strep throat include fever, red, swollen tonsils, white patches in the throat, tender or swollen glands (lymph nodes) in the neck, and stomach pain. These infections are common in school-age children, especially during the school year.


The bacteria that cause strep throat (group A streptococcus) spread by person to person contact with nasal secretions or saliva, often among family members. Sneezing, coughing, and shaking hands can spread the infection easily. If repeated cases of strep appear in your family, you might check to see if someone is a carrier. Carriers have strep in their throats, but the bacteria do not make them sick.


Call your doctor if your child has strep throat symptoms. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat strep throat. Symptoms will likely go away by the second or third day.


The following remedies may ease a sore throat:

  • Provide plenty of liquids. Warm soups and hot chocolate along with cold drinks and popsicles may soothe a sore throat. Avoid orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemonade, and acidic drinks.
  • Gargle several times a day with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup water).
  • Use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier to moisten and soothe a sore throat.
  • Try over-the-counter pain medications, such as Children’s Motrin or Acetaminophen. Do NOT give aspirin to children.


You can help reduce the spread of strep throat and viruses

  • Teach your children to wash their hands often with soap and water.
  • Keep sick children home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever without using fever reducing drugs.
  • If your child is taking an antibiotic, they must be on it for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Do not send your child to school if they are sick.
  • Teach your children not to share personal items like drinks, food, utensils, napkins, towels and to cover their cough and sneezes with their elbow when a tissue is not available.
  • Discard your child’s toothbrush once the antibiotic treatment is started and replace it with a new one.
  • Keep your families’ toothbrushes and utensils separate until they have been washed. It’s also good to label toothbrushes with your child’s name.


Please call your school nurse with questions or concerns.ds

How do you know when your child is sick??

Here are some guidelines to help you make this “morning decision” a little bit easier.  Suggestions for keeping your child at home:

  • Diarrhea and/or vomiting within the prior 24 hour period. (If your child has diarrhea and is vomiting he/she should see a doctor.  Children can get dehydrated very quickly.)
  • Cold with fever and thickened yellow or green drainage from nose. 
  • Sore throat with fever and swollen neck glands.
  • Cough that keeps your child awake at night.
  • Fever that is more than 100 degrees, taken by mouth or ear.  (Your child should be without a fever for 24 hours before returning to school.)
  • Earache that is severe and persistent. 
  • Redness in white of eyes, yellow eye discharge and matted eyelashes.  (This may suggest pink eye.)
  • Rashes with blisters, oozing and is painful. 

A good question to ask yourself as a parent is, “Would I want my child to sit next to a child with these symptoms?” 

Head Lice

Head lice infestation, or pediculosis, is spread most commonly by close person-to-person contact. Bedford County Public Schools has a “no nit policy.” Please notify the school nurse when your child has head lice.  Children must be checked by the nurse prior to re-admission to school. 

Head lice may be difficult to see but signs to look for include:

  • Persistent scratching of the head or back of the neck.
  • Visible crawling lice on the scalp and/or hair.
  • White specks in the hair that may look like dandruff. Dandruff is easily removed but nits (eggs) are glued to the hair shaft and very difficult to remove. 


Influenza (commonly referred to as the “flu”) is a viral disease of the respiratory tract. There are two main types of influenza virus: A and B. Illness is usually characterized by sudden onset with symptoms of high fever or chills, headache, congestion, muscle aches, and a dry cough. Some individuals may experience stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and conjunctivitis (inflammation of the lining of the eyes). Most people are ill with the “flu” for a week or less.

Transmission:  The flu is spread through direct contact with an ill person.  Infection with the “flu” does not make a person immune. The viruses that cause influenza frequently change, and people may be infected with a new strain.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older.

Diagnosis: Diagnosis is generally made presumptively based on symptoms. However, laboratory tests can be obtained to confirm this diagnosis.

Treatment: Health care providers generally advise individuals with influenza to drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest.

School Exclusion Guidelines:

If your child has symptoms of the flu, please consult their physician and keep them home from school

Until they are fever free and back to their normal self.

Thank you.

Valerie Cote, R.N.

School Nurse, TJES