The model of health services in Willmar Public Schools uses a combination of Licensed School Nurses (LSN), Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), and paraprofessionals and office staff. The goal of the health care staff is to support a healthy learning environment for all students and staff.
School nurses provide a variety of services, including health screenings for vision and hearing, administration of daily medications to students and providing basic first aid and episodic care. The Licensed School Nurse develops individualized health plans for those students who have specific medical needs and who may require medical attention during the school day.
To contact Health Services staff for your child, please click on the school they attend listed to the left.
Commonly Used Forms
Click on the link to download these commonly used forms:
Minnesota Statutes chapter121A requires that all children who are enrolled in a Minnesota school be immunized or have a legal exemption on file before starting school. These requirements can be waived only for medical reasons or if you are conscientiously opposed to a particular immunization. For more information, contact Minnesota Department of Health website at health.state.mn.us/immunize.
Willmar Public Schools adhere to a “No Shot, No School” Policy (or legal proof of exemption). All students must have the required immunizations or be actively in the process to receive the series or have proper documentation of exemption on file in order to pick up schedules and begin the school year. Contact your primary health care provider, your local public health agency, or the school nurse to determine if your child is compliant with Minnesota state law.
Illness and Communicable Diseases
General Guidelines are listed below; however, exceptions may occur when there are attendance concerns or special health conditions. A child should not come to school (and will be sent home from school) for the following reasons:
- If your child has a fever of 100°F or more, the child should stay home for at least 24 hours after the temperature returns to normal, without fever-reducing medication.
- If your child has vomited or has diarrhea, the child should not return to school until at least 24 hours after the last episode.
- If your child has an undiagnosed rash, please contact your health care provider before sending the child to school.
- If your child feels ill enough that it interferes with their learning process and they would not benefit from being at school, consider keeping them home.
- If you have questions or concerns about sending your child to school due to illness, please contact the health office at your child's school.
When your child is ill, please call the school daily to report the illness; please indicate the type of illness when calling.
What if my student becomes ill or is injured during the school day?
- If a student becomes ill or is injured during the school day, they will be sent to the health care office for assistance and further evaluation. If it becomes necessary for the student to leave school, the health office staff will contact the parent/guardian to pick up the student or to obtain permission for the student to leave the building. Students that leave the building without parent/guardian permission will be considered unexcused.
- It is expected that you make arrangements to have your student picked up within one hour after being contacted by the health care office.
Please make sure contact phone numbers are updated regularly and you have alternative plans in place if you are unable to pick up your child during the school day.
Influenza - COVID - Chicken Pox - Pertussis
The school health office, by request of the Minnesota Department of Health, is asking for parental assistance. Parents are asked to report to the school nurse any student with chickenpox, shingles, influenza, COVID, or pertussis (whooping cough) which has been diagnosed by a medical professional.
Staff and students who have been diagnosed with influenza or COVID should remain home until they have been free of fever (without fever-reducing medications), vomiting, and/or diarrhea for at least 24 hours prior to returning. It is also strongly encouraged that a mask is worn for 5 days following return to work/school. Staff should continue to contact Patti Johnson, LSN, Health & Wellness Coordinator, if they test positive for COVID.
Head Lice Information
Head lice is common in childcare and school settings and is a nuisance. However, it is not a sign of uncleanliness and has not been shown to spread disease. Head lice and their eggs (nits) live on human scalps and are often the cause of anxiety, misinformation, and embarrassment. The most common symptom of having a lice infestation is itching of the head and scalp, especially at the back of the neck and behind the ears.
Lice are unable to fly or jump; therefore, direct head-to-head contact is the most common means of transmission as well as sharing of headwear. Encourage your child not to share hats, combs/brushes, or other headwear.
Treatment methods vary from over-the-counter and prescription products to home remedies. Pulling and combing out the nits and live lice should be a part of the treatment - this should be done consistently for a couple of weeks after treatment. Clothing, bedding, hair accessories, or other items that have been in contact with the infested person should be cleaned and dried with high heat.
If your child has head lice, they must receive treatment prior to returning to school. Most shampoos do not kill all the eggs, so it is extremely important to remove the eggs by combing to prevent them from hatching. Please refer to the links below for more general information on head lice, prevention, and treatment.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/
2. Minnesota Department of Health: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/headlice/headlice.html
3. American Academy of Pediatrics: Head Lice: What Parents Need to Know
4. HeadLice.org: Welcome to HeadLice.Org
Physical Education/ Recess Excuses
Generally, a physician’s note is needed to be excused from physical education class/recess; the health office staff does not provide physical education participation excuses.
Administration of Medication in Schools
If it's necessary for prescription or over-the-counter medications to be given during the school day, please provide the following:
- A completed Medication Consent Form. This form MUST be completed and signed by the licensed health care provider and signed by the parent/guardian.
- A new form is required annually and for all changes in medication.
- All medication MUST be supplied by the family in the fully-labeled original container.
- All medication MUST be picked up at the end of the school year or it will be disposed of by the district; no medications are kept on site over the summer break.
- Review the District Student Medication Policy.
School Health Records/Health Conditions
Minnesota State Law requires schools to maintain a permanent health record for every child registered in the district, including immunizations and health conditions. Health information pertinent to the student’s safety and ability to learn in school is requested upon entrance to the Willmar Public School system. Parents are encouraged to notify the school of health concerns, updated vaccines, or diagnosis of infectious disease. Information is considered confidential and shared with school personnel only as needed.
***School nursing services are only available during regular school days/school hours. It is the parent/guardian's responsibility to inform their bus company or after-school programs, including sports, of any health concerns for their child.
The Minnesota Department of Health recommends health screenings for students. In Willmar Public Schools, the health office staff make reasonable efforts to screen:
- Vision: Grades K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9.
- Color vision: Grade 1 boys.
- Hearing: Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9.
If at any time during the school year you have concerns regarding your child's hearing or vision, feel free to contact the health office in your child's building.
If your child fails any part of the hearing and vision screening, the health office will rescreen them to verify the results. If they fail the second screening, a referral letter will be sent to the parent/guardian with findings and recommendations.
It is important to bring the referral letter to your child’s appointment and ask the examiner to complete it and return it to school.