The staff at your child’s school cares about the physical, emotional, and social well-being of your child, in addition to their academic success. We are committed to providing education in a safe, healthful environment allowing all students to reach their full potential. Many of the available programs and professional staff may be used to help support your child’s education.
The Falmouth Public Schools are committed to providing a safe place for our students. The district has policies and procedures in place to ensure student safety. If you ever have questions regarding the safety of your child, please feel free to speak to your child’s teacher and/or the school’s principal.
Each school has an adjustment counselor on staff available to provide support to the students, staff, and parents/guardians. The adjustment counselor helps to resolve conflicts and assists with normal developmental issues. The adjustment counselor acts as a student advocate. Students view the counselor as someone who is available to listen to their problems, worries, and successes. We view the self-esteem and self-confidence of each student as strong predicators of a child’s academic success. We believe each student is unique, possessing intrinsic worth with specific rights of unconditional positive regard and respect. The types of services offered by the School Adjustment Counselor include
- individual check-ins, where the student, parent/guardian, or teacher can request to speak with the counselor;
- support groups depending on the needs of the student population at a particular time such as a “lunch bunch” or groups covering divorce, bereavement, social skills or self-control,
- crisis intervention;
- counseling with staff members and family members;
- referrals and contact with outside agencies and services;
- follow-up on disciplinary matters, if appropriate;
- classroom discussions or lessons if requested by a teacher;
- monitoring of student population attendance;
- problem solving and mediation; and
- Peace Building ambassador.
When you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, you should immediately contact the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Area Office serving the child’s residence and ask for the Protective Screening Unit. Offices are staffed between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. weekdays. To make a report at another time, including after 5:00 p.m. and on weekends and holidays, please call the Child-At-Risk Hotline at 1-800-792-5200.
If you are a mandated reporter, you are also required by law to mail or fax a written report to the Department of Children and Families within 48 hours after making the oral report. The form for filing this report can be obtained from your local DCF Area Office. Falmouth Public Schools’ employees are mandatory reporters.
Each school has a registered nurse on staff to support student learning by implementing strategies that promote health and safety. The nurse is available to intervene with actual and/or potential health problems. School nursing services include
- identification, assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation of student health concerns;
- illness and injury assessments and interventions;
- immunization surveillance;
- state mandated health screenings of hearing, vision, height, and weight. Parents/guardians may opt their child out of any screening. Your child’s school nurse must be notified by email or by written note;
- medication administration and monitoring;
- skilled nursing care and case management for students with special health care needs;
- health education and information for students, staff, and parents/guardians;
- assistance to families who have no health insurance; and
- mandated reporting of abuse and/or neglect, etc.
Any student who is not up-to-date with their immunizations by the third Friday in September may risk exclusion from school. Please contact the school nurse for information regarding local immunization clinics.
State Health Mandates
Health measures that are required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for students to attend school include immunizations and physical exams at specific grades. Immunization verification requests are for any newly enrolled student, students entering preschool, and students entering Kindergarten. A copy of a current physical exam is required for any newly enrolled student, students entering Kindergarten, and students entering third grade.
Many children have allergies or sensitivities to various foods or other products. Some children have life-threatening reactions to these allergens, such as peanuts or latex. Please inform the school nurse/principal if your child has any allergies so that safety accommodations can be put in place. Please note, no homemade/baked products are allowed in peanut/nut free classrooms (e.g., parties) for class consumption. Items purchased at the store must have a clearly marked label stating all ingredients.
Latex Gloves and Balloons
Because of the potential for serious latex-related allergic reactions, as well as the choking hazards associated with latex balloons, only non-latex gloves and balloons will be allowed in the school building or on school grounds.
Parents and guardians need to remember that there are very specific criteria that must be met when medication is administered at school. Please contact the school nurse with any questions.
For medications being administered for ten (10) days or less:
- only medication taken four (4) times a day or less can be given at school;
- a labeled container from a pharmacy for prescription medications or original purchased container for over-the-counter medications is required. If needed, ask the pharmacist for an extra labeled container that can be left at school;
- the Parent/Guardian Medication Consent Form is to be filled out and signed by the parent/guardian; and
- the parent/guardian, or a responsible adult, must bring the medication and form to the nurse’s office.
For medications being administered for more than ten (10) days:
- the medication must be in a labeled container from the pharmacy;
- no more than a 20-day supply of medication may be kept at school;
- the Physician Medication Order Form is to be filled out by the doctor;
- the Parent/Guardian Medication Consent Form is to be filled out and signed by the parent/guardian;
- the parent/guardian, or a responsible adult, must bring the medication and form to nurse’s office; and
- students are not allowed to bring any medications into school themselves.
The school nurse needs to be aware of all children taking medication at home and in school at all times. All medication is to be stored in the health office. An adult must pick up all medications at the completion of treatment or on the last day of school. Any medications left at school will be disposed of at the end of the school year. All medication must be provided by the parent/guardian.
Missing School due to Illness
Your child should stay home from school if your child has
- a contagious illness, such as strep throat, until they have been on antibiotics for 24 hours;
- a fever or has had a fever within the past 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medication;
- vomiting or diarrhea in the past 24 hours;
- an unknown rash; and/or
- untreated head lice – contact the school nurse regarding the protocol for returning to school and to ask any questions about treatment.
All students are covered by accident insurance paid for by the district while they are on their way to or from school, on school grounds, or participating in an approved school activity. If your child is injured at school and the injury is observed by a school staff member then the school staff member will then determine if treatment or further action is needed. If your child is injured at school and a school staff member does not observe the injury then your child needs to report the accident and injury to a member of the school staff who will then determine if treatment or further action is needed. If your child requires treatment by a doctor then reimbursement requests must first be submitted to the family insurance carrier. If your child has no coverage or the expenses are not completely covered, then a bill can be submitted to the school insurance carrier and the school must verify the accident by means of an accident report.
Town of Falmouth Accident Insurance
The Town of Falmouth provides two types of accident insurance. Each of the policies is described below. The 24-Hour Student Insurance is an optional policy that is available to any interested parent or guardian. While the Falmouth School Committee does not formally endorse this optional coverage, it is available to those who are interested in obtaining it and should be considered in light of other insurance coverage a family has.
- School Time Compulsory Accident Insurance: The Town of Falmouth provides School-Time Compulsory Accident Insurance to all students. Students are insured for accidents that occur during school time or at school sponsored events, for example, field trips. This insurance policy provides excess coverage above and beyond the individual’s primary insurance.
- 24-Hour Student Insurance: This is an optional insurance policy available to all Falmouth students. This optional policy provides primary coverage with limits established by the policy. Individuals have the option of selecting medical coverage and/or extended dental coverage. Flyers are available to all students with a cover letter explaining this optional policy at all school buildings including the Superintendent’s Office. Any parent/guardian who wishes to take advantage of this optional insurance coverage may request an application form at any of our school buildings. Parents/Guardians are responsible for the cost of this insurance. No enrollment form for this accident insurance is included in your forms packet.
Promoting Your Child’s Well-Being
- Fill out the Student Information/Medical Form and all health forms relevant to your child.
- Take your child for regular physicals.
- Follow-up on any health concerns that the school nurse brings to your attention regarding your child.
- Speak with the nursing staff about any issues that will help them better support your child.
- Have your child get plenty of sleep.
- Support your child in developing good time management skills for homework and extended projects.
- Dress your child appropriately for the outdoor weather and the indoor temperature.
- If appropriate, send your child to school with a change of clothes.
- Talk with your child about bullying, making sure they speak to an adult if there is ever a problem.
- Talk with your child regularly about their day.
- Talk with your child about making good choices.
- Talk with your child about making healthy food choices and that sharing food at school is discouraged.
- Send in a water bottle, so your child can stay hydrated during the day.
- Send in a healthy snack for your child, avoid sugary foods and drinks such as candy or soda.