Health Care Policy

Health Care Policy

Illness Policies 

If your child shows signs of illness prior to coming to school, please plan to keep him/her home where s/he will be most comfortable. We understand that it may be a stress on families for someone to stay home with a sick child, but we are not able to care for sick children in the school environment.  Please be considerate of other children and teachers who will be exposed and may become sick if your child attends school ill.

If your child becomes ill during school hours, we will contact you immediately. Please be aware that the school does not have an infirmary where your child may be kept for an extended period of time, so please arrange for your child to be picked up as quickly as possible.  Any child who becomes ill during school will be separated from the group and supervised by a staff person until a parent or emergency contact person can be reached.

 Parents will be asked to pick up their child for the following reasons:

Fever  Any temperature greater than 100 degrees F is considered a fever.  Children must be fever-free for 24 hours without using fever reducing medications (such as Tylenol, Motrin, Advil etc) in order to return to school.

There is some confusion about fevers, since there are various methods for taking temperatures in children.  At school, we use an ear thermometer which registers about the same temperature as a rectal temperature.  Both of these methods register a half to a full degree higher than an oral temperature.  So if your child's typical temperature is 98.6 using the oral method, it will be 99.1 to 99.6 with an ear or rectal thermometer.

Vomiting  If your child has vomited the night before or in the morning, please do not send him or her to school.

Diarrhea  Children with diarrhea should remain home until they are symptom free for 24 hours.  The only exception is if the diarrhea is the result of a chronic condition, then a note from the doctor is needed indicating the diarrhea is not infectious.

Excessive Coughing  Children can't focus on activities and interactions with others if they are coughing persistently. 

Runny Nose    During the first day or two of a cold, children often exhibit excessively runny noses or mucous of an opaque yellow or green color.  Please keep your child home during the beginning day(s) of a cold.  After that, symptoms are more minor and more easily managed in school.

Lethargic Behavior  Teachers know your children well enough to recognize unusual behavior, such as lethargy or falling asleep during the morning.  This is often a sign that a child is coming down with an illness.

Sore Throat  If a child is complaining of a sore throat,  this is an indication of an illness needing care.

Suspected Conjunctivitis  Conjunctivitis is highly contagious and teachers may ask you to take your student to the doctor to rule out conjunctivitis.

Impetigo or Other Skin Rashes  Rashes can be confusing to identify.  We will call you to try to help identify what a rash may be from.  The student may need to visit the pediatrician to identify whether a rash is contagious or not.

Head Lice   A child must be treated for head lice and nits removed from hair.  See Massachusetts Department of Public Health Fact Sheet:

The school must be notified of any communicable disease your child may have, so that we can alert other parents to be aware of possible symptoms in their child. Medication will only be administered by staff who are trained in medication administration. Staff will be evaluated annually on their ability to administer medication.


Return to school policy

Children may return to school after a communicable disease according to the following schedule:

Chicken Pox: 7-10 days after appearance, and after blisters have scabbed over.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye): 24 hours after medication begins.

Head Lice: If treated thoroughly (see Massachusetts Department of Public Health Fact Sheet:, a child may return to school the next day.

Impetigo: 24 hours after medication begins

Scarlet Fever, Strep Throat: 24 hours after medication begins.




Non-Prescription Medication   PVMS requires a written authorization from a physician in order for a teacher to dispense non-prescription (cough syrup, cough drops, aspirin, etc.) to a child. This must also be accompanied by written permission from the parent in order to be dispensed by a teacher.

Prescription Medication   Prescription medications must have the child's name, physician's name, dosage and directions on the original label and be accompanied by written permission from the parent in order to be dispensed by a teacher. The staff cannot dispense medication under any other circumstances, per Commonwealth of Massachusetts regulations.

Medication should always be handed directly to a staff member, and never put in a child's lunch box or backpack. Please do not instruct your child to take medications on his/her own.  All unused medications will be returned to the child's family for disposal.

Parents will be permitted, with the written permission of their child's health care practitioner, to train staff in implementation of their child's individual health care plan.

Medication will only be administered by staff who are trained in medication administration. Staff will be evaluated annually on their ability to administer medication, following the medication administration procedures specified by the Department of Early Education and Care.




Parents must notify the office of all known allergies.  In a case where a child has a life-threatening allergy, parents must meet with the Teacher  to discuss the allergy and fill out an emergency plan signed by the parents and child's physician.  If a child requires an epi-pen, these forms, along with a parent consent form, and a physician's order form, must be filled out and on file prior to the child's entry to school.  The epi-pen must be provided by the parent, and will be kept in an easily accessible place in the child's classroom, or on the child's person, when appropriate.  Children with life-threatening allergies requiring the use of an epi-pen, children with extensive multiple allergies and children with allergies to commonly used foods, such as eggs, milk, flours should talk with the Head Teacher about providing snacks to supplement what is available at school.   The teachers will be happy to assist you in making arrangements to store safe snacks and special snacks for your child.


We ask the parents of children in Children's House and Kindergarten to support our policy of limiting foods brought to school with peanuts/nuts in them.  If your child has something with peanuts/nuts in their lunch box, please label the lunch box and bring it to the attention of a teacher.  All parents are asked not to bring in foods with nuts or peanuts when providing general snacks for the classroom. 


Children in elementary/middle school classes, may bring in peanut and/or nut lunches, and these are to be eaten in the lunch room at designated tables only.  Children must also wash their hands/use wipes after eating a peanut or nut lunch.  No peanuts or nuts are allowed in the classrooms or in any common areas at the school, other than the designated lunchroom tables. 


We ask parents to refrain from bringing in peanuts or nuts into the school for any other occasion.  This includes children, who are not students at the school (such as younger siblings). Your cooperation is appreciated in order to keep the school as safe as possible.  Take a moment to check the labels for ingredients; some peanut/nut sources are not immediately obvious.  If you have any question on the appropriateness of a food, please ask your child's teacher.  We also ask that you label food ingredients if you are bringing in a snack for general consumption.



Pioneer Valley Montessori School, 1524 Parker Street, Springfield, MA 01129 • 413-782-3108

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