March Health Message re: Communicating With School Nurse

In order for the school nurse to be as well prepared as possible to care for students coming to the health room, it is helpful to have the “big picture” perspective for each child. Physical examination by a licensed health care provider is required upon entry to school, at three-year intervals in grades 3 and 6 and when participating in middle and high school athletics. In between, the nurse should be notified about changes in a student’s health such as significant illness, hospitalization, injuries, mental health issues and medications, even if not taken at school. This is the kind of information parents are probably used to providing to the school nurse. 

However, social and emotional changes are important for the nurse to know about, too. Examples include changes in the family structure such as a new sibling, parental separation, illness/death in the family or a parent traveling. It is also helpful for the nurse to know if a student is having trouble adjusting to school or if a parent is concerned about bullying or classroom issues.

The goal for the school nurse is to keep students in school whenever possible. These “big picture” kind of information, along with phone calls for parent consultation, are helpful to achieve this goal. Additional tips for communicating with the school nurse:

  • For urgent or time-sensitive matters, please call. Occasionally there is a substitute nurse who cannot access the email of the regular school nurse.
  • Parents should drop off medication directly to the school nurse instead of sending it with the student.
  • Keep contact information such as cell phone and work phone numbers updated.

Let’s keep in touch to meet the needs of your child. To reach the Newton South School Nurse, Gail Kramer, please call her at 617-559-6575 or email her at