School Health Services

School Nurses

Each school has a school nurse assigned to the campus. The school nurse operates the school’s health room. The nurse administers minor first aid for illnesses and injuries occurring at school and maintains a record on each child. However, students should be kept at home when they are sick, have a fever, or have undiagnosed rashes. A child should be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school.

Other duties of the school nurse are as follows:

  • identify health problems that interfere with learning and assist families and schools to resolve them;

  • work with students who have chronic illnesses to help them benefit from their education;

  • monitor the administration of medications;

  • assist with checking permanent records for complete medical records;

  • conduct health-related screenings as needed; and

  • provide health promotion activities as needed.

Health Room

Any student who becomes ill at school should request a pass from a teacher before reporting to the school nurse. If an extreme emergency exists, however, the student should report directly to the nurse. The nurse will contact a parent if the student needs to leave school. If parents are unavailable and the illness or injury is such that immediate care is required, the school will arrange for the student to be taken to the doctor or to a hospital for treatment. This action will not obligate the personnel of the school to assume financial responsibility for treatment. Optional student accident insurance is made available at the beginning of each year.

Under NO circumstances may an ill student remain in the restroom.

Immunization Requirements

According to South Carolina state law, every student must present a valid South Carolina Certificate of Immunization showing the minimum immunization requirements at the time of school entrance. If the student is entering from another South Carolina school, he/she must submit an immunization record at registration. Students from out-of-state have thirty (30) days to comply. Failure to comply will result in disenrollment.

Minimum Immunization Requirements

DTP, DT, DTP-Hib, DtaP, or Td vaccine
Grades 4K and younger - Four (4) doses of any combination of DTP, DT, or DTap vaccine
Grades 5K – 12-Four (4) doses of any combination of DTP, DT, DTP-Hib, DtaP, or Td vaccine with at least one (1) dose received on or after the fourth birthday.

Polio vaccine
Grades 4K and younger - Three (3) doses of any combination of oral or inactivated polio vaccine
Grades 5K – 7 – Three (3) doses of any combination of oral or inactivated Polio vaccine with at least one (1) dose received on or after the fourth birthday
Grades 8 – 12 – Three (3) doses of any combination of oral or inactivated Polio vaccine with at least one (1) done received on or after the fourth birthday OR four (4) doses before the fourth birthday (if all doses are separated by at least 4 weeks)

Haemophilus influenza Type b (Hib)
Grades 4K and younger - Current, age-appropriate Hib vaccination according to the currently published Immunization schedule

Rubeola, Rubella & Mumps
Grades 4K and younger - One (1) dose of MMR vaccine received on or after the first birthday
Grades 5K – 12: Two (2) doses of Rubeola (Measles) vaccine with both doses received on or after the first birthday and separated by at least one month
Grades 5K – 12: One (1) dose of Rubella (German Measles) vaccine received on or after the first birthday
Grades 5K – 12: One (1) dose of Mumps vaccine received on or after the first birthday

Grades 4K and younger - One (1) dose of varicella received on or after the first birthday or positive history of disease
Grades 5K – 5: Two (2) doses of Varicella vaccine received on or after the first birthday or positive history of disease
Grades 6 – 12: One (1) dose of Varicella vaccine for all children

Hepatitis B
Grades 4K and younger - Three (3) doses or Hepatitis B given and the appropriate ages and intervals
Grades 5K – 12: Three (3) doses of Hepatitis B given at the appropriate ages and intervals

Grades 4K and younger - Current, age appropriate pneumococcal vaccination according to the currently published immunizations schedule

One (1) dose of Tdap booster for all students entering grades 7-12

Medication at School

No aspirin and/or products containing aspirin will be given at school without physician and parent permission. Medication CANNOT be given to students without parent permission. The principal or his/her designee(s) may administer prescription medication only by parental request and/or physician request.

If a student is required to take over-the-counter medication during school hours, the student’s parent must complete the Medication Administration Request form and must include the following information: (1) student’s full name, (2) name of medication, (3) times to be administered, (4) dosage, (5) possible side effects (if significant), and (6) termination date for administering the medication.

If the student is to take prescription medications at school, the physician must also sign the form.

Medications are not supplied by the school or by the school nurse. All medication must be sent to the school in its original container. Students are not to keep ANY over-the-counter or prescription medicines with them during the school day.

Students who must keep an inhaler, epi-pen, insulin, or any other emergency medication on their person for emergency purposes must have an approved Medication Self-Administration During the School Day form and receive permission from an administrator and/or school nurse.

Parents should pick up all medications by the end of the school year. Any medications that are not picked up before the last day for students will be destroyed.

Student Medications

In order for student medications to be given at school, self-administered at school, or self-administered after school hours on school grounds or at school activities, the policies below must be followed:

Medications to be given at school, during school hours:

  • A completed School District of Pickens County Medication Administration Request must be on file.

  • All over-the-counter medication must be in the original container. No medication will be accepted in baggies or envelopes.

  • All prescription medication must be in individual pharmacy-labeled bottles and kept in the health room.

  • Only a one-month supply of prescription medication should be sent to school at one time.

  • Over-the-counter medications that are to be given daily for more than one week must have a doctor’s order.

  • Parents should bring any medication to school. Medications should not be brought to school or sent home on the bus.

Medications to be self-administered by the student during school hours:

  • This policy is for emergency medications and must be accompanied by a note from the prescribing physician as to why it is necessary to keep these medications with the student.

  • A completed School District of Pickens County Medication Self-Administration During the School Day must be on file in the health room and approved by the principal or his/her designee after a meeting with the student and parents.

  • Medications to be self-administered outside of school hours on the school grounds or at school activities:

  • This policy is for medications that the student will self-administer after school hours on school grounds or at school activities.

  • A completed School District of Pickens County Permission for Medication Self-Administration Outside of School Hours on the School Grounds or at School Activities form must be filled out and presented to the principal or his/her designee for approval and a copy kept on file in the health room.

  • Parents are only to send enough medication for that day, no more than two doses, in the original bottle that is labeled with the student’s name. Prescription medications must be in an original pharmacy labeled bottle that contains no more than two doses.

  • Medications under this policy are not to be taken at school, during school hours.

Field Trips:

  • Parents are responsible for sending medication for field trips.

  • Only enough medication for the field trip, in the original and properly labeled container should be sent.

  • A completed field trip permission form must accompany the medication.

  • The teacher will be responsible for administering the medication during field trips.​

No PRN (as needed) medications are given after 2:00 p.m. in elementary schools and 2:30 p.m. in middle/high schools without a parent notification.

All medications left at the end of the school year are destroyed. They are not held for next school year.


School nurses may conduct vision, hearing, and blood pressure by parent request.


If a child has severe food or other allergies, parents should notify in writing the school nurse and the child’s teachers. Written procedures for the school to follow in an emergency should be given along with a list of foods or items that the child needs to avoid.

In recent years, life-threatening food allergies have been the subject of concern in our country. Consistent with our commitment to serve the students of Pickens County, the School District of Pickens County has developed School Guidelines for Managing Students with Anaphylactic Food Allergies. Although no blanket policy can possibly address the individual needs of every child, the district developed these guidelines which may be used in conjunction with an Individual Health Care Plan or a Section 504 Accommodation Plan if appropriate. Of course, no one can eliminate altogether the risks associated with life-threatening food allergies, but we encourage parents of children with such allergies to contact the school for more information on how they may be able to help address their children’s needs.

Services for Students with Special Health Care Needs

Many health care services can be provided for students to keep them at school where they can learn and participate with other students. Our goal is to provide information to parents and legal guardians about some of the services and programs available for addressing the health care needs of students during the school day to help students succeed in school. It is important that the necessary health care information is shared with the appropriate people—such as teachers on duty during recess, bus drivers, and cafeteria employees—to make sure that the students’ needs are met throughout the school day.

Individual Health Care Plans or Individual Health Plans (IHPs)

Individual health care plans are also called individual health plans or IHPs. School nurses who are registered nurses write IHPs to guide how a student’s health care needs will be met while at school. The nurse works with the student, the student’s parents or legal guardians, the student’s health care provider, and other school staff to write the plan. IHPs are written for students who have special health care needs that must be met by school staff during the school day. IHPs are also written for students who have been approved by the school district to self-medicate or self-monitor. To learn more about IHPs, talk with your child’s school nurse or the SDPC coordinator of nursing.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)

To be eligible for services under Section 504, a student must have a condition that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The school’s 504 team determines if a student is eligible. The team should include the student’s parent or legal guardian, the student (if able), and others who know the student or know about the student’s disability, such as a teacher, a school counselor, a school nurse, and other school staff. If the student is eligible, the team develops an individual accommodation plan. The individual accommodation plan explains how the student’s needs will be met while at school and may include health services for the student during the school day if needed. To learn more about Section 504, contact the SDPC director of special education.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Students, ages 3 through 21 years, may receive services under the IDEA if the eligible student needs special education and related services to benefit from his or her educational program. A multidisciplinary team decides if a student qualifies for services under the IDEA. The team includes the student’s parent or legal guardian, teachers, and other school staff. The team develops an individualized education program (IEP) if the student meets federal and state requirements. The IEP outlines a plan for helping the student receive a free appropriate public education and meet goals set by the team. The IEP may include health services for the student during the school day if needed. Contact the SDPC director of special education to learn more about the IDEA.

Medical Homebound Instruction

Medical homebound instruction is a service that is available for students who cannot attend school for a medical reason even with the aid of transportation. A physician must certify that the student has such a medical condition but may benefit from instruction, and must fill out the medical homebound form that the school district provides. The school district then decides whether to approve the student for medical homebound services. The school district will consider the severity of the student’s illness or injury, the length of time that the student will be out of school, the impact that a long period away from school will have on the student’s academic success, and whether the student’s health needs can be met at school. To learn more about medical homebound services, contact the SDPC homebound secretary​.

Head Lice (Pediculosis)

When a student is determined to have head lice, the parent will be contacted to pick up the student from school. The student may not return to school until he/she is treated with a special shampoo made to kill head lice. Nits (lice eggs) should be removed from the hair to prevent a reoccurrence of the lice. In addition, a second shampoo treatment may be necessary. Parents should be aware that household items such as beds, linens, upholstered furniture, carpet, toys, clothing, hats, hairbrushes, and combs can be infested with head lice and will need to be cleaned to ensure extermination of the lice. Students who have been identified as having head lice will be checked before being permitted to return to the classroom.

School Exclusion List

SC Regulation #61-20 requires that SC DHEC publish each year an Official School and Childcare Exclusion List of Contagious and Communicable Diseases. It further requires that students should be excluded from school attendance if they have one or more of the conditions in the lists.

Please visit the South Carolina DHEC website for the full exclusion list. Parents may also request a copy of the exclusion list from their school nurse.