Health Policies at Chelmsford Public Schools

A nurse is in attendance during the regular school day and attends to ill or injured students during school hours and notifies parents when necessary.

It is the responsibility of the parents to inform the nurse of:

  • Your child’s chronic illness and to provide appropriate equipment for treatments and medications.
  • Any condition your child has which might precipitate an emergency situation (e.g. allergic reaction to insect bites, medications, or foods; asthma; diabetes; and/or seizures, etc.).

For any changes in a student’s medical condition, an updated medical note from the specialist providing care is required.

Revised 11/2021

Requirements for Entry to Public Schools

No child shall, except as hereinafter provided, be admitted to school except upon presentation of a physician’s certificate that the child has been successfully immunized against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles and polio and such other communicable disease as may be specified from time to time by the Department of Public Health.
– M.G.L. c. 76, & 15;105 CMR 200.000 section 15

Immunizations must follow the recommended intervals from the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. All K-12 students must provide the following immunization documentation prior to admittance:

Influenza vaccine required effective 2020-21 School Year:

Influenza vaccine will be required for all students. Influenza vaccine is always important to receive to reduce the risk of getting sick with influenza, reduce the severity of disease if one does get sick (including the risk of hospitalization) due to influenza, as well as preventing the spread of influenza to others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza vaccine will be especially critical to reduce the overall impact of respiratory illness on the population, protect vulnerable populations from severe illness, and decrease the overall burden on the healthcare system.

Dosage Requirements

  • 5 doses DTP/DTaP- unless 4th dose is given after age 4 ( Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis)
  • 4 doses Polio- unless 3rd dose is given after age 3
  • 3  doses Hepatitis B
  • 2  doses MMR ( Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
  • 2  doses Varicella (or a Health Provider’s documentation of month and year of disease)
  • Students going into 7th grade -12th  need one dose Tdap booster.
  • Students going into 7th grade- 1 dose of MenACWY
  • Students going into 11th grade- 1 booster of MenACWY

Medical waivers and religious exemptions must be submitted in writing if applicable.

View 2023-24 Massachusetts School Immunizations Requirements

Health Examinations, Immunizations and Exclusion of Students

Students entering Chelmsford Public Schools are required at the time of student registration to provide a copy of a physical examination dated within one year of entrance to school or within 30 days after school entry and at intervals of either three or four years thereafter.

A student transferring from another school district shall be examined as an entering Chelmsford Public Schools student. In compliance with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health state laws, our district requires physicals for students in:

  • Kindergarten
  • Grade 3
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 9

We follow Massachusetts General Law with regard to the vaccination and immunization of students. An up-to-date physician-signed vaccination and immunization record must be provided at the time of student registration. Failure to have proper documentation of mandated immunizations will result in the student’s exclusion from school. Please see reference below:

Chapter 76: Section 15. Vaccination and immunization

No child shall, except as hereinafter provided, be admitted to school except upon presentation of a physician’s certificate that the child has been successfully immunized against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles and poliomyelitis and such other communicable diseases as may be specified from time to time by the department of public health.

 A child shall be admitted to school upon certification by a physician that he has personally examined such child and that in his opinion the physical condition of the child is such that his health would be endangered by such vaccination or by any of such immunizations. Such certification shall be submitted at the beginning of each school year to the physician in charge of the school health program. If the physician in charge of the school health program does not agree with the opinion of the child’s physician, the matter shall be referred to the department of public health, whose decision will be final.

In the absence of an emergency or epidemic of disease declared by the department of public health, no child whose parent or guardian states in writing that vaccination or immunization conflicts with his sincere religious beliefs shall be required to present said physician’s certificate in order to be admitted to school. This must be submitted annually to the nurse.

Hearing/Vision/Postural/SBIRT Screens and Height/Weight Checks

Vision and hearing screening, postural screening, SBIRT screening and height/weight checks will be conducted on students as mandated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Screenings are conducted by Chelmsford Public Schools annually per Massachusetts Department of Public Health Regulation.

  • Hearing: Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 7, 10
  • Scoliosis: Grades 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Height/Weight: Grades 1, 4, 7, 10
  • Vision with Stereopsis: Grades 1, 2, 3 Vision acuity: 4, 5, 7, 10


Upon entering kindergarten or within 30 days of the start of school, the parent/guardian shall present to school, Health Care Provider documentation within the previous 12 months that the child has passed a vision screening.

A parent may send a written request to exclude student from participating in school screenings.

SBIRT (Grades 7 and 9)

Massachusetts school districts are required to include a substance use preventive screening as part of their annual mandated universal health-screening program. Our district will use the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) protocol with students in grades 7 & 9.

The SBIRT protocol facilitates a one-on-one conversation between each student and a school nurse or counselor in an effort to prevent or at least delay the start of using harmful substances, such as alcohol and marijuana.

This program focuses on reinforcing healthy decisions and addressing concerning behaviors around substance use with the goal of improving health, safety and success in school. We will use the CRAFFT II screening interview, which is the most commonly used substance use screening tool for adolescents in Massachusetts.

All screenings will be conducted in a confidential setting in private one-on-one sessions with a nurse or counselor trained in SBIRT screening.

Emergency Health Forms

Health information forms must be completed and returned to the Nurse’s Office each year. Forms provide important phone numbers and contact persons for dismissals, emergencies, and signed permission for some over the counter medications including Tylenol. Forms will be sent home at the beginning of each school year and are available online or at your school’s nurses office.

View/Download Health Forms

Illness Policy

We recommend children do not come to school if they appear to be ill. We advise to keep your child home if he/she has a sore throat, severe cold, rash, fever, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Your child needs to stay home if he/she has any of the following:

  • Strep Throat: If strep throat is suspected and the child either has had a negative throat culture or has been on antibiotics and fever free for a full 24 hours.
  • A fever over 100: May return to school when he/she is fever free for 24 hours without medication (e.g. Tylenol or Advil).
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea: May return to school 24 hours after his/her last vomiting and/or diarrhea episode.
  • Red or pink itchy eyes with crusty and or green/yellow drainage: May return to school the day after treatment for 24 hours or has no further eye discharge.
  • Head Lice or nits (eggs): The nurse will assess the student for the presence of head lice or nits. If head lice or nits are detected, the nurse will contact the parent/guardian and provide education on lice treatment. Based on the discretion of the school nurse, some situations may warrant a dismissal from school
  • A rash of unknown cause: May require to MD clearance at the discretion of the school nurse.

If a child is too ill to remain in school the nurse will call parent/guardian and/or emergency contact numbers for dismissal. The student should not place the call from a school phone or mobile phone.

Parents/guardians are required to notify the school if your child contracts any contagious diseases (e.g. Chicken Pox, Strep Throat, Whooping Cough, Fifth’s Disease, Conjunctivitis, Scabies, Impetigo, Ringworm or Head Lice, etc.). If a child has been absent due to a communicable disease, a physician’s release may be required before returning to school.

Injury Policy

It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to notify the school nurse of all surgeries, injuries (i.e., concussions, fractures, sprains, stitches, etc.) When a student has sustained a concussion outside of school activities, parents shall notify the school nurse. Guidelines regarding injuries and non-participation in physical education (P.E.) classes and recess are as followed:

  1. Students with casts, stitches, or splints may not participate in Physical Education class or outdoor recess without written consent from both the parent/guardian and the attending physician.

*All injury notes from the doctor should include the type of injury, any limitations or allowance to participate in such activities and the date the child may return to full physical activities. Parent/guardian wishes may not supersede this medical prescription.

  1. Students need a subsequent doctor’s note when it is safe to resume normal activity in P.E. and/or recess.
  2. Some specified P.E. activities may also require non-participation for the safety of the student and others.
  3. If a student comes to school with a cane, crutches, wheelchair or an assistive device a doctor’s note is required. If applicable, the doctor’s note needs to indicate if the student can or cannot use stairs. An example of this would be a student with the need to wear a brace that would immobilize a knee.

Medications Policy

It is the policy of Chelmsford Public Schools to administer medications during the school day only when necessary. If at any time during the school year your child requires the administration of any medications during the school day, then please refer to the following:

Medications in School

All medication orders and/or consents must be on file in your child’s health record before any medication is given at school (these orders and/or consents must be submitted every year or at the start or restart of any medication treatment.) Medication consent forms are located on the school web site. Each medication must have:

  1. Signed consent by parent/guardian to give the medication- This includes prescription medications as well as non-prescription medications or “over the counter” medications such as, but not limited to non-prescription eye drops and cough medications.
  2. Signed physician medication order- This needs to be obtained and returned to the school nurse for both prescription medications as well as non-prescription medications.

Short-term antibiotics are the only prescription medications that do not require a separate signed physician medication order. The instructions on the bottle will be sufficient if the current label is intact, and a parent or guardian’s signed consent is provided for the short term antibiotics.


  • Students who have had surgery, dental procedures, or injuries and are taking any type of narcotic pain reliever (i.e. Percocet, Vicodin, Tylenol #3) are not allowed to return to school until their pain can be managed with a non-narcotic analgesic such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol. Narcotic pain relievers will not be administered in school.
  • Over the counter medications such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen will not be administered within 30 minutes of the end of the school day as the effects of the medication can not be evaluated.

Medication Delivery/Pick-up Requirements

All medications must be delivered to the school and retrieved from the school by a responsible adult. 

All medications can be picked up from the nurse’s office anytime during the school day. Medications will be disposed of if they are not picked up within one week following termination of the order, if they are expired or if they are not picked up by the last day of school.

All prescription medications must be in a pharmacy labeled container that includes the child’s name, name and correct dose of the medication, physician’s name, and current date. Please ask your pharmacy to provide separate bottles for school and home. Not more than a thirty-day supply of medicine should be delivered to the school. All non-prescription medications must be in the original manufacturer’s container. 

Additional Medication Information

  • Students are not permitted to have medicine in the classroom or on their person without a doctor’s note permitting the student to carry the medication and without informing the school nurse.
  • No medications that are scheduled to be given after the early release dismissal time will be given on school half-days unless specifically requested in writing by a parent and/or guardian.
  • In order for your child to receive any medications on a field trip or for any medications to be sent on a field trip, the appropriate field trip consents must be completed before your child goes on the field trip. Please note that all the appropriate forms and items must be sent in prior to the day of the field trip in order for any medication to be sent on any field trip. If a field trip is approaching and you have not received the appropriate forms, please contact the nurse’s office immediately.
  • It is important for the school nurse to be informed of any medication that your child is taking- even if your child does not need to receive these medications during the school day. It is also important for the school nurse to be informed of any medication changes; please contact the school nurse in a timely manner.
  • First dose of a new medication: For students taking the first dose of a new medication, please administer the dose at home so that the student can be monitored in the event of an adverse reaction.

As noted on the emergency form, the school physician has approved after a nurses assessment and if deemed appropriate for the safety and welfare of a student, the use of Acetaminophen/Tylenol, Caladryl, Benadryl, Oragel, Vaseline, Sting Relief Wipes, Saline eye solutions, Bacitracin, Silvadene Cream, Hydrocortisone cream, Motrin, Tums and First Aid Cream. Students showing signs a of life threatening allergic reaction or anaphylaxis may be given EpiPen and Emergency Medical Services will be summoned.  Parent/guardians are to contact their school nurse if they do not want any of the listed medications or ointments used.

Students with Life Threatening Allergies, Asthma and Seizures

For the well being and safety of students with asthma, seizures and allergies, parent/guardians should submit a medical plan of care from a Health Care Provider for that student even if you as a parent/guardian do not send in a related medication to the school. Plans of care are available on the school’s website.

Sports Physical and Screenings

All students who are candidates for interscholastic athletic teams at Chelmsford High School must have a physical examination within 13 months on file prior to participating in any try-outs or practice. If cost is an concern, please speak to your school nurse.

Visit the Chelmsford High School Athletics page