Health Services at Fern Hill Elementary

  • The mission of the WCASD Health Services Department is to provide necessary, skilled nursing assessments and services in order to promote the education of all students.

    Nurses in schools have multiple responsibilities. They are responsible for treating all illnesses and injuries that occur during the school day. They perform several state-mandated health screenings for every student every year. They track and report the physical examination, dental examination and immunization requirements of the PA. Dept. of Health. They monitor public health, communicable disease concerns, and they provide a wide variety of medically prescribed daily procedures, so that all students may access the curriculum. CSNs take their role as wellness educators and health promoters seriously as well.

    Parents are encouraged to communicate directly with the nurses regarding any health concern that may impact the student’s day in school. The best nursing interventions occur with the most amount of information.

    The health office at FHE is covered by two nurses. Please feel free to contact us with any of questions or concerns about your child’s health at school.
    Phone: (484) 266-1606
    Ms. Kim Onderdonk,(Mon, Tues, Wed.) email:
    Mrs. Diane Webster (Thurs, Fri) email:

    Medications at School

    All medications must be kept in the nurse’s office. Parents must check the emergency cards to approve administration of Tylenol, Antacid (Tums) and Benadryl (for severe allergic reactions only)

    Ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) may be sent in with a parent note to administer.

    ALL other medications must have a note from the parent and health care provider. The note should indicate the name dose and time that the medication should be given. This includes Epipens, inhalers and prescription medications, as well as over the counter cold and cough medicines. Antibiotics and other medications that are given three times a day or less should be taken at home.

    Details of the medication policy can be found at:

    Physical Exams

    PA requires a physical examination be submitted to the school nurse at three separate times during your student’s education: upon entry (either Kindergarten or first grade), 6th grade and again in 11th grade. Students transferring in should have a physical exam on file already, or will need to provide a new physical. Written reports of physicals performed for other reasons are fine. The required physicals must have been performed anytime after the previous September of the required grade. Any computerized print-out from the physician is acceptable; it does not need to be on the exact Pennsylvania Private Physician Report form

    If your child receives an immunization during the visit, please double-check that the immunization is documented on the physical form. School nurses are required by the state to keep immunization records up to date.

    •  At this time there is a change in the immunization requirement that requires all students to have two Varicella (chicken pox) vaccinations, unless they have a documented history of chicken pox disease. The 2011-2012 is the first year that the second Varicella is required. Although your child may have received the vaccine, you may still need to update the immunization record at school.

    Dental Exams

    Students in Kindergarten or 1st grade, and 3rd grade are required to have a dental exam completed by their own dental provider. Reports must be submitted by May 1st of the current school year. If your child does not have a dentist, he/she can be seen by the WCASD dentist, who may recommend further treatment if necessary. Parents must sign a permission form to have their child examined at school. Dental forms can be downloaded.

    When to Keep Kids Home

    • Children should stay home anytime they have a fever (temp. 100 degrees or higher) and remain home until they have been fever-free for 24 hrs. without medication.
    • Any child with vomiting or diarrhea should also be kept at home until symptoms have subsided.
    • In case of contagious illness; chicken pox, impetigo, lice- Please contact the nurse, so that she can watch for other cases and advise you about when your child can return to school.
    • Respiratory illnesses must be determined on a case by case basis. If your child has a history of asthma, your health care provider should advise you about treatment. Even children without asthma have difficulty focusing on learning when they have a persistent, hacking cough. Please help us limit the spread of germs by keeping sick children home, and also reinforcing hand washing and proper cough etiquette.