School Health Services

  • The School Board and the Florida Health Department work together to address all school health matters as required by the School Health Services Act (F.S. 381.0056). The district, including the school health advisory committee and the Florida Health Department, work together to develop a school health services plan. For more information, see our Student Handbook and our School District Policies and Procedures.

    Immunization

    All new students seeking entrance into a public school in Monroe County are required by Florida Statute 1003.22 to present, at the time of entry, valid documentation that they have received the required immunizations against the communicable diseases as identified by the State of Florida. They may alternatively provide a Certificate of Medical Exemption (temporary or permanent) based on medical reasons. This exemption should be  filled out by a medical provider.

    The Florida Certification of Immunization that includes temporary and permanent medical exemption sections is available from either private physicians or the Florida Dept. of Health-Monroe.

    There is also a Certificate of Religious Exemption available only from the Florida Dept. of Health-Monroe. This type of exemption is not available from private physicians.

    Physical/Health Examination

    All new students seeking entrance into a public school in Monroe County are required by Florida Statute §1003.22 and School Board policy to present, at the time of entry, valid documentation that they have received a health examination performed within one year prior to enrollment. Students may opt out of a physical/health examination due to religious concerns and a letter written by the parent provided to the school.

    Mandatory Health Screenings 

    The School Health Services program conducts mandatory health screening each school year for kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, and 6th grades. Screenings are mandated by state statute and occur on a schedule which is determined based on guidelines established by the Florida Department of Health and the School Health Program. The screenings are scheduled by the Florida Department of Health – Monroe and the School Health Coordinator. 

    Mandatory health screenings include the following: vision screening, hearing screening, measurement of height and weight, with Body Mass Index calculations and scoliosis screening. Parents or guardians must inform the school in writing if they do not wish their child to participate in any portion of this program. Additionally, a health screening is required for all NEW students (grades KG-5), entering the school district for the first time.

    Communicable Disease 

    Students with symptoms indicating the possible presence of a communicable disease shall be isolated from other students. The parent or guardian shall be contacted and asked to take the student home. The student shall be readmitted with a written statement from a licensed physician and/or when, in the principal’s or designee’s judgment, the student meets the criteria for readmission. A student must be fever free for 24 hours without taking temperature-reducing medication (per CDC guidelines). Students with Religious Exemptions, per Florida Department of Health guidelines, may be excluded from school in the event of an outbreak as directed by the local Health Officer. 

    No Nit Policy 

    The School Board of Monroe County has a “No Nit” policy. If a child is identified as having head lice, he or she shall be excluded from school and shall not be permitted to return to school until his or her head is free from lice and nits. Nits are the white eggs that lice lay which adhere to strands of hair. Parents are responsible for providing the appropriate treatment to eliminate head lice and nits before the child returns to school. A child should miss no more than one or two days of school because of head lice. Excessive absences due to head lice shall be addressed according to the provisions of the compulsory school attendance law.

    Self-Carry Medications

    Effective school year 2024-2025, pursuant to Florida Statute 1002.20 K-12 Student and Parent Rights, students who are cleared to carry certain life-saving medications must also present a form signed by the parent and provider to the clinic allowing them to do so. These medications must be cleared by the nurse so that all appropriate plans of care and teaching may occur in case of emergency. The form is located below in the category "Start of School Forms" and from any school clinic. Please reach out to the nurse for further questions and/or concerns.

Contact:

  • Dana Portillo, RNC, BA School Health Coordinator
    Monroe County Department of Health
    Phone: 305-587-7703
    Email: Dana.Portillo@flhealth.gov

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