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Where all students learn, grow and succeed
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Health Services
What's New
Summary of Services
School Nursing
School Nurse Directory
Influenza Prevention
& Response
West Nile
Medication Policy / Forms
Health Information
What's New
Food Allergies
Guidelines for the Care of Students With Food Allergies At-Risk for Anaphylaxis (PDF)

Zika Virus
CDC Website - Zika Virus
DCHHS Website - Zika Virus
DCHHS Zika Virus Brochure Jan. 2016 (PDF)
DCHHS Zika Virus Fact Sheet Jan. 2016 (PDF)

Pediculosis (Head Lice)
Letter to Parents (PDF)
Guidelines for Managing Students with Pediculosis May 2015 (PDF)
Tips for Checking for Head Lice (PDF)
Letter to Parents (Spanish) (PDF)
Sugerencias Sobre Cómo Examinar a su Hijo en Caso de Piojos (PDF)

Measles Health Alert
CDC Measles Multistate Alert 01-23-15 (PDF)
Measles FAQs (PDF)
Measles Overview for School Nurses (PDF)
CDC Website - Information About Measles
Kids Health Website - Information About Measles

Pertussis Prompts Texas Health Alert
The Texas Department of State Health Services is urging people to make sure they're vaccinated against pertussis after projections show the number of people sick with the deadly disease this year is on track to reach the highest level in more than 50 years.

"This is extremely concerning. If cases continue to be diagnosed at the current rate, we will see the most Texas cases since the 1950s," said Dr. Lisa Cornelius, DSHS infectious diseases medical officer. "Pertussis is highly infectious and can cause serious complications, especially in babies, so people should take it seriously."

DSHS issued a health alert today advising doctors on diagnosing and treating pertussis. The state health department also strongly encourages people to make sure their children's and their own vaccinations are up to date. While infants remain the most at risk, people of all ages can still get pertussis.

DSHS has reported nearly 2,000 pertussis cases so far this year, and the annual total likely will surpass the recent high of 3,358 cases in 2009. There have also been two pertussis-related deaths in Texas this year, both of infants too young to be vaccinated.

To better protect babies, DSHS recommends pregnant women get a dose of pertussis vaccine during every pregnancy, preferably between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. This helps protect the baby before he or she can start the vaccination series at 2 months old and helps keep the mother from getting sick and infecting the baby. Fathers, siblings, extended family members, medical providers and others who will be around newborns should also be vaccinated. Many babies get whooping cough from adults or older brothers or sisters who don't even know they have the disease. While symptoms are usually milder in teens and adults, pertussis can be life threatening for babies because of the risk of apnea, an interruption in breathing.

Pertussis is a bacterial infection that often starts with cold-like symptoms and a mild cough. After a week or two, severe coughing can begin and last for several weeks. Coughing fits may be followed by vomiting or a "whooping" sound, the reason the disease is also called "whooping cough." Pertussis spreads easily through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. People with pertussis are most contagious while they have cold-like symptoms and during the first two weeks after coughing starts.

Anyone with an unexplained, prolonged cough or who has had close contact with a person with pertussis should contact their health care provider. Early diagnosis and treatment may reduce the severity of symptoms and shorten the contagious period. Doctors who suspect a pertussis infection are required to report it to their local health department within one working day. Patients who have pertussis should not go back to work or school until they've completed five days of antibiotic treatment.

Parents are urged to check their children's shot records to be sure they are completely vaccinated against pertussis and should keep infants, especially those less than 6 months old, away from people with a cough. Adults should talk to their medical provider about receiving a booster dose of the Tdap vaccine.

Meningococcal Vaccine for College Students
In response to outbreaks of meningitis at Texas universities, which resulted in the death or near-death of students, the Texas Legislature recently passed SB 1107 which requires college students to provide proof of vaccination against bacterial meningitis within the past 5 years. This law expands on a previous law which required only those students living on-campus to receive the vaccine. According to SB 1107, new college students, transfer students, and students returning to college after taking a semester break must provide documentation of the vaccine 10 days before classes begin. The law does not apply to students only enrolled in online or other distance education courses, or for those students who are 30 years old or older.

Meningococcal meningitis, a form of meningococcal disease, is a serious bacterial infection. Unlike viral meningitis, it can potentially kill or disable an otherwise healthy young person within 1 day after the first symptoms appear. Even people who are usually healthy can get meningitis. However, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have shown that the risk of getting meningitis increases in teens and young adults. For more information visit

Students currently in grades 7-12 are required to receive vaccination against this form of bacterial meningitis in order to attend school. Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a booster dose of the vaccine for 16 – 18 year olds who received the vaccine between 11 and 15 years of age, since studies have shown that protective immunity to the disease declines after a 5 year period. This decline in protection is what led to SB 1107 requiring documentation of the vaccine within the past 5 years for students entering college.

Immunization Requirements
In March 2009, the state of Texas approved new immunization requirements for school enrollment.  Beginning in the 09-10 school year, additional immunizations for kindergarten and 7th grade students were required.  Some changes involve only an additional dose of a previously required vaccine; others are vaccines that were not previously required.  The immunization requirement changes approved in 2009 will be phased in over the next several years, adding grade levels each year. Information regarding the newly required vaccines and a list of current school requirements can be found by clicking here.

Automated External Difibrillators (AEDS)
Currently, RISD has AEDs in all elementary, junior high, and high schools, as well as administrative offices.  Several employees at each campus are certified in CPR/AED.

An AED is a small, portable device that analyzes the heart's rhythm and prompts the user to deliver a defibrillation shock if it determines one is needed. Once turned on, the AED guides the user through each step of the defibrillation process by providing voice and/or visual prompts.

AEDs are specially designed for easy use by a "first responder", who would be the first person to typically arrive on the scene of a medical emergency. A first responder can be an emergency medical services worker, a firefighter or police officer, or it can be a layperson with minimal AED training.

Time to defibrillation, the most critical factor in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival, can be reduced if an AED is "on-site" and can be brought to the victim quickly. This is one of the reasons that survival rates improve in communities with active AED programs. The goal is to improve SCA survival rates, and on-site AEDs can make the difference.

Bacterial Meningitis
In 2001, the Texas Legislature passed SB 31, which requires that a school district provide information relating to bacterial meningitis to all students and their parents each school year.  The following documents on bacterial meningitis are for your information only and do not indicate an outbreak in our area.

English Version (PDF)
Spanish Version (PDF)

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) governs the privacy of protected health information. Information regarding a student’s immunizations, health information, diagnosis, and medical treatments will not be released by your health care provider to your school nurse, who will require this information to meet district and state regulations. The responsibility will fall on our parents to obtain this information directly from their health care provider and bring it to their school nurse.

Your cooperation in expediently providing any health information that is requested by the school nurse will be greatly appreciated.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records, which also includes student health information such as immunizations and state-mandated screening results. 

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:
    • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
    • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
    • Accrediting organizations;
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
For more information visit:
Health Services
701 W. Belt Line Rd.
Richardson, Texas 75080
Fax 469-593-7407
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