STUDENT HEALTH PHILOSOPHY
Student health shall be defined in the broadest possible terms and shall include physical health, mental health, emotional health, social health, and educational health. The School for the Blind will use a holistic model in dealing with student health issues. The staff members at WSSB will work to ensure that each student receives the best available level of health care. Staff members shall work cooperatively so that each student learns to consider and to care for all aspects of their own health and well-being as independently as possible.
Health Education for Elementary & Middle School Students: Health instruction shall be taught as an integrated instructional element of the Physical Education Program.
Health Education for High School Students:
- ½ unit of Health will be a mandatory class at WSSB.
- Students will need to successfully complete the Health class prior to graduation.
- Health will be taught in the Physical Education Department.
- High School Health will be taught as a separate entity, not as an integrated instructional element in Physical Education.
- Health classes will not interfere with regular Physical Education classes.
WSSB will teach sex education in the earliest grades through 12th grade on a yearly basis. Sex Education will be integrated with Physical Education, with the exception of High School grade, where it will be taught as an instructional unit in the required Health/Wellness class for graduation.
AIDS/HIV instruction is mandatory. WSSB will teach it to elementary and middle school students as an integral part of their sex education curriculum.
For high school students, AIDS/HIV information, all high school students will be brought together once each year with the instruction given as a short intensive session.
Adopted curriculum for sex education and AIDS/HIV shall be Family Life and Sexual Health (FLASH) published by King County Health and Seattle Public Schools.
POLICIES FOR INTEGRATING INFORMATION & DECISION-MAKING REGARDING A STUDENT’S HEALTH ISSUES AND HEALTH CARE
The Washington State School for the Blind has in place, an ADVOCATE SYSTEM in which each student is assigned an Advocate who is responsible for communicating information to the child’s parents. The Advocate System is the ideal mechanism for integrating information and assisting the decision-making process regarding a child’s health care needs.
Consistent with the broad definition of HEALTH described in the Philosophy of Health Care at WSSB, the following kinds of issues fall under the definition of “health care needs”:
- Physical medical problems requiring the attention of health care professionals
- Minor physical injuries that could be or were treated by non-professionals
- Mental health concerns requiring the attention of mental health professionals
- Evaluations that need to be done off-campus (hearing, physical therapy, etc.)
- Social conflicts that arise between students or student and adults
- Social situations that could lead to greater problems if left unattended
- Behavior problems
- Failing grades
- Lack of expected progress in acquiring skills
The Advocate system shall be used in the following manner to meet a student’s health care needs:
- In order to be prepared to communicate information to a child’s parents, a student’s Advocate must be fully informed by other staff members about any and all issues regarding a student’s health care needs.
- In the case of minor or major injuries or situations of an “immediate” or crisis nature, the Advocate must be informed as fully as possible, as soon as possible. (Medical issues and emergencies shall be communicated to the parents by the school nurse.) For all other issues, the Advocate shall communicate information to the child’s parents as soon as is practically possible, shall solicit their input, request they make any necessary decisions regarding their child, etc. The Advocate shall document this communication and any responses, questions, decisions made by the child’s parents.
- In situations that involve time to plan ahead, such as determining the need for and referring the student for a more complex medical examination or an ophthalmological exam, referring the student to a mental health service, dealing with progressive failing grades, long-term behavior problems, chronic social problems, etc., the Advocate MUST be involved in all discussions in order to (a) help integrate the decision-making process and (b) serve as a conduit to keep the child’s parents fully informed and involved in the process.
No staff member shall take such action as making a referral to a medical or mental health agency without first involving and informing the child’s Advocate.
- WSSB staff must recognize and respond appropriately to the changes in IDEA 97 that require the involvement of a child’s parents in all discussions.
POLICY REGARDING THE CONTROL & ADMINISTERING OF MEDICATIONS
It shall be the policy of the Washington State School for the Blind that ALL MEDICATIONS are the responsibility of, controlled by and administered by the school’s Nursing Services. This shall include “minor medications” such as aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, cough medicines, sinus medications, etc.
This policy is not to be read as inconsistent with Nursing Service's current procedures that involve teaching older students how to care for, protect, and self-administer their medications since Nursing Services still maintains final responsibility and control over individual students medications.
This policy is consistent with medication procedures followed by school districts throughout the State of Washington.
POLICY REGARDING WHO SHALL DEAL WITH MINOR INJURIES
It shall be the policy of the Washington State School for the Blind that MINOR INJURIES can and should be dealt with by Residential Life Staff or School Faculty at the site of the injury (residential cottage or classroom).
A minor injury is defined as a small cut, small abrasion or small bruise of the size and type typically dealt with at home by a child’s parents.
Residential Life staff or School faculty shall employ common first aid procedures in dealing with such minor injuries: cleansing of small wounds, applying topical antiseptic agents to help prevent infection, bandaging with Band-Aids or similar coverings, applying hot or cold packs to ease pain and prevent swelling, etc.
The responsible adult treating a child’s minor injury shall afterward fill out an accident report, describing the nature and cause of the injury and what was done to treat the injury, then route the form as indicated.
If a responsible adult questions the nature of the injury – i.e. whether the injury is minor enough to be treated on site or whether it should be referred to Nursing Services, it is recommended that the decision always be made on the side of referring it to the care of the school nurse on duty.