Enrollment Requirements
Written by Judy Hoffman, District Nurse   

The School Nurse acts as a liaison between home, school and community. If there is a problem concerning a student's health, the parent/guardian is encouraged to contact the Health Office. The School Nurse will be glad to help in any way possible.

The Ithaca City School District follows New York State Education Law regarding physical exams. All students in grades Pre-K, Kindergarten, 2nd, 4th, 7th and 10th grades are required to have a physical exam. Students who are entering the Ithaca City School District for the first time must provide proof of a physical exam done within the past 12 months by a licensed Physician, Physician's Assistant or Nurse Practitioner. Students are not permitted to participate in physical education classes, intramural or interscholastic sports or recess activities until this requirement is met. The school nurse may allow temporary participation in PE and recess with written verification of normal health history from parents.

NYS Law requires physician verification of dates for the following immunizations for legal entry into any NYS school:

  • Diphtheria: (DPT or DT)
    • 3 Doses
  • Polio:
    • 3 OPV or 3 EIPV
  • Measles
    • Pre-K: l Dose of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
    • K-12: Born before 1985: l Dose of MMR
    • K-l2: Born on or after l/l/85: 2 Doses of measles
      containing vaccine and l Dose each of mumps
      and rubella (preferably as MMR)
  • Hepatitis B
    • Pre-K: Born on or after l/l/95: 3 Doses
    • K-l2: Born on or after l/l/93: 3 Doses
      and Grades 7-9
  • HIB
    • Pre-K: 3 Doses if less than l5 months of age OR
      l Dose on or after l5 months of age
  • Varicella
    • Pre-K: Born on or after l/l/2000: l Dose
    • K-l2: Born on or after l/l/98: l Dose
    • 6th Gr: Born on or after 1/1/94: 1 Dose
  • Tdap
    • 6th Gr.: At age 11years old

-- A certificate signed by a physician licensed in NYS stating the specific reason or condition why immunizations(s) are detrimental to the child's health.
-- Physician's certification that the child has had the disease or serological proof of immunity.
-- A written statement signed by the child's parent/guardian that they hold religious beliefs contrary to the practice of immunization. The statement must describe the beliefs in sufficient detail to permit the school to determine that (a) the beliefs are religious in nature (not health or philosophical), and (b) the beliefs are sincerely and genuinely held.

Students who are exempt from immunizations will be excluded from school in the event of an outbreak of disease for which the student is not immunized.

Boards of Education, as corporate bodies, are not authorized to provide care beyond first aid. First aid is given to protect the life and comfort of students until authorized treatment is secured. Further treatment or diagnosis becomes the responsibility of the parent/guardian. The principal and school health personnel must be able to contact parent/guardian in case of an accident or illness in school. Therefore, it is essential that parents/guardians make certain the school has the ability to contact them. The school must have the parent/guardian home phone number, work phone numbers, beeper or cell phone numbers, and the names of two relatives, friends, neighbors or co-workers who can act for the parent/guardian in case of emergency.
When a student becomes ill at school, the parent/guardian will be called and they are responsible for seeing that the ill child gets home safely. All parents/guardians need to have a plan to care for sick children. Do not send a sick child to school. Children with minor illness will not be excluded from school unless:

  • The child has a fever (oral temperature of 100 or greater); students must be fever free for 24 hours
  • The illness prevents the child from participating in school activities
  • The child requires more care than the school staff can provide
  • The child has lethargy, difficulty breathing or signs of serious illness

When your child is ill, it is helpful for you to report his/her diagnosis to the School Nurse. The Ithaca City School District has a policy that prohibits students from attending school with a communicable disease or condition. If you have a question about whether your child can be in school with a specific diagnosis, please contact the Health Office. In the event of serious illness or injury the School Nurse can help coordinate your child's educational needs and plan for a safe and successful re-entry into school.

When it is necessary for students to have medication (prescription or over-the-counter) during school hours, the following procedure must be followed:

  • A written order must be received from the doctor stating the name of the medication, time to be given, effects of the medication, duration or order and side effects.
  • The parent must send a written, dated request for medication to be given.
  • The medication must be in the original container. If it is a prescription, the pharmacist will give you an empty labeled container for school.
  • The long term medications must be renewed annually.

The Ithaca City School District policy prohibits students from carrying medications to and from school. A responsible adult must transport all medications. Students are NOT allowed to self-administer medication.
When a physician and parent/guardian determine that older students are capable and responsible to self-administer medications (such as asthma inhalers) a special self-medication order must be completed by the child's physician and parent/guardian. This order is in addition to the original medication order and parent/guardian permission. The school nurse will also interview the child and make the final decision about the student's ability to self-medicate at school.

Physical Education is an important part of the school program as required by law. When it is absolutely necessary, a child may be excused from gym for 3 days upon the written request of a parent/guardian. A written statement from the family physician is required for any prolonged exclusion from physical education. This should include the reason and, if possible, the length of time for exclusion. No student may return to gym after such exclusion until the School Nurse has received a return to physical education order from the physician. Students who are excluded from gym may not participate in interscholastic sports, intramural sports, Ski Club, recess or any other formal physical activity.
If a student has partial limitation, it is possible to arrange for modified physical education. This allows the student to remain active with limitation on activities that would be harmful to the student's recovery. Please contact the School Nurse to arrange for a modified gym program.

Students who are entering the Ithaca City School District for the first time may not participate in physical education until the School Nurse has proof of a physical examination done within the past l2 months by a licensed Physician, Physician's Assistant or Nurse Practitioner.


Each student, Pre-K, K, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 10th grade receives a sweep check hearing test. Children whose sweep test results are below normal are given a more complete screening. If any hearing loss is detected, parent/guardian is notified. It is important that parent/guardian so notified have the child checked by the physician to obtain early treatment or to determine the need for any modification of the school program. Retesting is done throughout the school year whenever there is indication, need, or parent/guardian, doctor or teacher makes a request.

Vision screening tests are done for Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 10th grades and upon request of parent/guardian, teachers and/or other specialist. A student with problems are checked as frequently as necessary. Poor vision can be a deterrent to learning and there are visual impairments that can only be corrected at an early age; therefore, the State of New York recommends that all children have a vision examination before entering school. Parents will be notified of any abnormal findings.

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. All students in 5th through 9th grade are screened for scoliosis. The school clinician sees students with significant deviation from normal. The school clinician will determine if a student should be referred for further examination.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 February 2010 )