School Health and Safety » School Nurses Welcome

School Nurses Welcome

Welcome Back from the School Nurses! 

School nursing is a specialized area of professional nursing that promotes student health and learning.  Swain County Schools has school nurses available to assist with health care needs in the school setting.  To better help serve the students in our community, the Swain County school nurses would like to share the following important information:

Requirements for School Entry

Each child entering into North Carolina public school for the first time must submit proof of a current health assessment within the first 30 calendar days of starting school.  This is due to NC House Bill 13 which went into effect in the 2016/17 school year.

Pre K and Kindergarten students must be up-to-date on their immunizations and both must have  a current health assessment on file at the start of the school year.  Kindergarten students must have received a dose of Polio vaccine on or after their 4th birthday.  A current dental screen is required only for Pre K students.  Health assessments and immunizations must be complete within the first 30 calendar days of starting school.

Students entering the 7th grade need one dose of Tdap and one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) if they have not already received them.  Please note, starting the 2020/21 school year a booster dose of MCV is required for 12th grade.

Garrett's Law was enacted in 2004.  It mandates schools provide parents and guardians with information about meningococcal meningitis and influenza and the vaccines that protect against these diseases. The law was expanded in 2007 to mandate that information also be provided about human papillomavirus (HPV) and the vaccines available to protect against HPV.  Paper copies are available upon request.

You may contact your child’s healthcare provider or the Swain County Health Department at 488-3198 to obtain the required vaccines.  Be sure to give your school an updated copy of your child’s immunization record.  Please remember to keep a copy for your records too!

Medications at School

To ensure the safety of all of our students, no medications are allowed to be given on school campus without a doctor’s order and written consent from the parent/guardian.  This includes all over-the-counter medications.

All non-emergent medications should be given at home, whenever possible.

If a medication is needed while at school, parents/guardians can choose to complete a Medication Administration form and have it signed by their child’s health care provider. This will allow the school nurse or staff to administer the medication.  Parents/Guardians will also need to bring an unopened, properly labeled container of the medicine to the school.  No over-the-counter medications are kept on hand.  This includes Tylenol, Advil, Tums, cough drops, etc.

To be sure that medications are handled safely and correctly, medications must be brought to school by a parent/guardian or other adult and given to the school nurse, or school staff if the school nurse is not available.  Do not send medications of any kind to school in your child’s book bag.

Please remember to pick up all medication at the end of the school year.  Medication that is not picked up will be disposed of.

Special Health Care Needs

The school nurses work closely with families to develop individual plans of care to meet the growing and diverse health care needs of the students in Swain County.

Medical Health Care Plans and Emergency Action Plans related to diabetes, seizures, life threatening allergies, and asthma need to be updated yearly.  Please inform your child’s school nurse of any health care concerns to assure that there is a plan in place.  Plans should be completed within the first 10 days of the start of the school year.

Be sure that your child’s emergency medications are brought the first day of school and check to be sure they have not expired.  This includes Glucagon and diabetic supplies, epinephrine auto-injectors, asthma inhalers, and Diastat, among others.

If your child has had a head injury/concussion in the past year please alert the school nurse.

Please fill out and return the Student Health History form that will be sent home with your student at the beginning of each school year, and always make your child’s school aware if you should change your phone number or contact information.

Feel free to contact your child’s school nurse or visit the School Health weblink located on the Swain County Schools’ website if you should have any questions or concerns.   We look forward to working with you and your child this coming school year.  Thank you for your help in supporting our belief that healthy, active children learn better!

Your Swain County School Nurses,

East Elementary School Nurse
Kayla Wike RN
828-488-0939 ext 5436
West Elementary School Nurse
Rebecca Winchester RN, BSN, NCSN
828-488-2119 ext 5533
Swain Middle School Nurse
Carole Shell, RN, BSN, NCSN
828-488-3480 ext 5333
Swain High School Nurse
Samantha McFalls, RN, BSN, NCSN
828-488-2152 ext 5231