Welcome to the
ECS NURSE'S OFFICE
Catherine Alderman, RN, BSN, CSN
Nurse Cathy joined the staff at ECS in September 2008. She earned her BSN from Drexel University, and holds a certification in school nursing from Rutgers University. Her background in nursing includes emergency room, and ICU. She has been a nurse since 2006 and worked in school nursing since 2008.
Mary Ostaszewski, RN, BSN, CSN
Nurse Mary joined the staff at ECS in September 2015. She earned her BSN from UMDNJ & NJIT, and holds a certification in school nursing from Rowan University. Her background in nursing includes pediatric emergency room, NICU, CICU, and Nursing Education. She has been a nurse since 1994, and worked in school nursing since 2013.
The National Association of School Nurses defines school nursing as: A specialized practice of professional nursing that advances the well-being, academic success, and lifelong achievement of students.School nurses play an essential role in keeping children healthy, safe, and ready to learn.
MISSION STATEMENTThe mission of the Eastampton Community School Nurse's Office is to promote the physical, emotional, and social well being of our students, and support their success in the learning process. We seek to increase access to quality services, education, and information. We address and care for ongoing health conditions; assess and care for students who become ill or are injured while in school; perform health screenings; educate students, staff, and the community on health and wellness; and support overall school safety.GOAL OF THE NURSE'S OFFICEOur goal is to provide prompt and appropriate nursing interventions that minimize time out of class or away from school, and to promote understanding and confidence in healthy habits and self care.
SCHOOL NURSE = "Nurse, Advocate, Counselor, Educator, Negotiator, Dentist, Orthodontist, Optometrist, Orthopedist, Life Saver, Seamstress, Dry Cleaner, Cobbler, Chef, Waitress, Hair Stylist, Cheerleader, . . . Multitasking Ninja"
School Nurse's Office TOP 10
- DO NOT send medication to school with your student. This can be dangerous both for your child and other students.
- DO NOT bring us medication in baggies or envelopes. This too is very dangerous. Everything should be in original packaging.
- If your child had a fever in the last 24 hours, DO NOT send them to school. Even if you medicate them, they are still considered contagious.
- Keep contact and health information up to date. Make sure your voicemail is set up and your mailbox is not full. Illness and emergencies happen!
- Contact/call us directly with critical new health info. If your child will be arriving to school on crutches, should not be participating in gym/recess, had surgery, was hospitalized, etc, please call us directly. Notes and forms can take a while to get to our desk, or can end up in your child's locker. Which is also why it is a good idea to keep copies (or take photos) of health info.
- Proof of 6th grade immunizations should be submitted before your child starts 6th grade.
- Please be prompt and thorough about filling out and returning the entire sports physical packet.
- Accidents happen! Younger students (especially Kindergartners) should have spare clothes at school. The presence or absence of spare clothes can make the situation very easy or very difficult.
- Students should have appropriate outdoor recess and gym clothing available every day. Sneakers for safe exercise/running, and warm clothing (coat etc.) to keep warm.
- If your child is "excused from physical activity until cleared by a physician", then at a follow-up appointment, you need to get an additional MD note stating "Cleared for physical activity".
"Tie your shoes. Wash your hands. Keep your fingers out of your mouth."
The Nurse's Office is just one part of a community working to keep our students and our school healthy and safe. Therefore, we offer the following information and suggestions, to help us all work together.
SENDING MEDICAL INFO OR NOTES TO SCHOOL
All notes to school, either from a doctor's office or hand written from a parent/guardian, should include the following;
- Students FULL NAME (first and last)
- Student's GRADE
- Student's Teacher (Homeroom)
If the information in the note is critical (medical instructions for that same day), then we suggest you also call the nurse's office directly. To expedite any future matters, we advise you to maintain your own copies of medical information (either paper, scanned, or a photo).
UPDATE EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION
Please remember to notify the Main Office when any of your contact information changes. This is important in general, but particularly important if your student is sick, or has a medical emergency. Beyond that, it is also helpful if you make sure that your voicemail is set up, and not full. This will minimize any potential delay in us communicating important information to you regarding your student.
UPDATE MEDICAL INFORMATION
A student's health and medical history enables us to more accurately address student's individual needs. Over the years, we find that some of the information contained in our students permanent health record can become outdated. Therefore, we ask that you complete a new Health History form each school year. In the event of an emergency, this is the first place we look for information. Therefore it is important that you (1) return a new card each September, (2) be thorough and honest on that form, and (3) update us as soon as possible if anything changes during the school year (diagnoses, medications, surgeries, hospitalizations, etc).
In accordance with state mandates, the nurse's office periodically screens students for height, weight, blood pressure, vision, hearing, and scoliosis. This is strictly a screening process. If there are concerns, then we will send home a referral recommending your student see their doctor for further evaluation and possible treatment(s). If you have any questions regarding this process, you are welcome to contact the nurse's office at any time.
CLASSROOM SNACKS and NUT FREE ROOMS
Depending on their lunchtimes, some elementary grades may have the option of a snack in the classroom during the day. If your student does have snack time, please make sure that (1) they bring their own snack, and (2) that the particular snack is permitted in the classroom. The nurse's office does typically have saltine crackers, but those are for illness or emergency. We can not provide multiple routine snacks.
Regarding any snack restrictions to a classroom, we are simply asking your help in protecting our students with food allergies. Eastampton Community School (ECS) has multiple students with a variety of food allergies, which could be triggered by eating, touching, or sometimes just smelling the allergen. Some of these students’ allergies are even severe enough to require Epi-Pens (injectable epinephrine) on hand to reverse potentially life-threatening reactions. Emergency medication is helpful, but avoidance and prevention is the best approach. So in order to create a safer school environment for these students, ECS (1) educates our staff on school wide protocols and (2) designates allergen free rooms and tables as needed.
If your student is in a NUT FREE ROOM (peanut, almond, cashew, pecan, walnut, etc.), then we ask that you follow the life-saving protocol listed below.
- Snacks that your child will eat in the classroom must be peanut and nut free. Please read labels carefully. Even foods that are ‘manufactured on the same equipment as peanuts/nuts’, or ‘may contain peanut/nuts’, should not be eaten in the classroom. Note that lunches are not eaten in the classrooms, so you may pack whatever your child likes in there. A nut free table is designated and monitored in the cafeteria.
- If your child has eaten peanut/nut products prior to coming to school, please be sure their hands and face have been washed before coming to school. If your child has peanut/nut products for lunch, please encourage the habit of keeping clean or washing hands at school before returning to the classroom. Frequent hand washing by everyone will not only help protect those with any food allergies, but it will benefit everyone by reducing the spread of illness.
- Regardless of ingredients, students should not trade or share any food at school. Please reinforce this rule with your child.
- If you are planning a craft project or game for a party, please make sure the items do not contain peanuts/nuts. For example, no peanut butter or birdseed allowed.
There is much to think about as we work together to protect the children in our care. We hope that with this advance notice, you can partner with us to make a safe school environment for all children. Thank You!!
EXCUSES FROM PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - CRUTCHES, CASTS, SLINGS, AND THINGS
If for medical reasons, your student can not participate in physical education classes, a doctor's note must be submitted. If the note does not include a return to activity date, then the student will not be permitted to participate until they have an additional doctor's note indicating that they are cleared. For example, most emergency room and urgent care notes will state 'Please excuse from physical activity until cleared by physician." That means you will need to follow up with your pediatrician, orthopedic, or other doctor, to determine when the injury is sufficiently healed.
If your student has an injury that requires crutches, a cast, boot, sling, etc, in addition to sending in a doctor's note, please contact the nurse's office directly. We can work together to determine what accommodations your student might need during the school day. For example, a buddy to carry books, extra time between classes to travel in empty hallways, or changes in recess location. We also appreciate the opportunity to reinforce proper crutch technique and general safety.
DRESSING FOR SCHOOL
Please refer to Board Policies and the student handbook for full information regarding dress code. The Nurse's Office is more involved in safety, wellness, and spare clothes.
A large percentage of our students are walkers, and K-5 recess is outdoors whenever it is not too cold or too wet. Therefore, students should dress appropriately and be prepared for the weather. On rainy days, umbrellas, jackets, and boots will help keep kids dry and ready to start their school day. Remind your students to be cautious of puddles and snow that could result in damp feet all day. Student should be prepared for potentially cold days by having warm jackets, gloves and a hat available. Dressing appropriately will help keep students healthy, comfortable, and ready to learn.
Reminder regarding shoes, Eastampton's current dress code states 'For safety reasons, sandals, flip-flops, or any other open-toed footwear must not be worn.' At recess and in school, wearing sneakers (or other appropriate footwear) will greatly reduce the risk of slips, falls, or injuries. For gym class, sneakers are a must.
Students at school may experience bathroom accidents, spills, slips in mud, step in puddles etc. Therefore, we ask that ALL Preschool and Kindergarten students have a spare change of weather appropriate clothes to keep in the classroom. As needed, students in other grades may decide to keep something in their backpacks, cubbies, or lockers. Students with a medical need for frequent changes, may keep something in the nurse's office. We do keep a limited supply of clothing for emergency loan, but unfortunately those are often not returned. If your child has their own extra clothing available, that will avoid us having to call you to bring them clothes. If your child has borrowed clothes, please wash and return them to the nurse's office. We do not reuse underwear (ours are band new), so that does not need to be returned.
Please be aware that our limited spare clothes are meant for bathroom accidents, blood, vomit, etc. Please understand that not all situations merit a change in clothing. If students have their own clothes available, it is not a difficult decision. Student who are damp from water, or who have a little dirt or food stain, may simply be assisted in cleaning up a bit. It is also not our intent to provide backup for gym clothes or dress code violations. That is the students responsibility.
RESOURCES for HEALTH INFORMATION and low cost HEALTHCARE
NJ FamilyCare - New Jersey's publicly funded health insurance program - includes CHIP, Medicaid and Medicaid Expansion populations. Qualified NJ residents of any age may be eligible for free or low cost health insurance that covers doctor visits, prescriptions, vision, dental care, mental health and substance use services, and even hospitalization. If you are a NJ resident and you need more information on this program, please visit www.njfamilycare.org
Burlington County Health Department - Children's Immunization ClinicRaphael Meadow Health Center15 Pioneer BlvdWestampton, New Jersey 08060Phone: (609) 265-5548South Jersey Family Medical CentersBUTTONWOOD MEDICAL AND DENTAL CENTER600 Pemberton-Browns Mills RoadPemberton, New Jersey 08064Phone: (609) 894-1100BURLINGTON CITY HEALTH CENTER651 High StreetBurlington City, NJ 08016Phone: (609) 386-0775Rowan College at Burlington County Oral Health ServicesDental Hygiene Center
Health Sciences Center / RCBC Mount Laurel Campus1000 Briggs Road
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054Phone: (856) 291-4215