Westgate Health Room
The Fairfax County Health Department School Health Services Program, in collaboration with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), School Health Services staff and other Health Department employees work together to provide health support services in the school setting. While the School Health Aides (SHAs) and Public Health Nurses (PHNs) are Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) employees, they work with FCPS school staff to promote a safe and healthy educational environment to FCPS students. Through adherence to federal, state and local mandates, the health and wellness of students is supported and promoted.
School Health Aide
Nancy Owens, @email, 703-610-5710
- Trained paraprofessinal assigned to work in the FCPS school health room during school hours.
- Provides care to students with illness or injury that occur during school hours based on standard protocols and guidelines developed by the FCHD and FCPS.
- Facilitates student medication administration.
- Coordinates mandated vision and hearing health screenings for students.
- Responds to health emergencies.
- Monitors student absence data
Public Health Nurse
Vivienne Goldstein, @email
- Assesses the health of students by reviewing the information provided by parents/guardians.
- Coordinates care and, if indicated, develops health care plans to support the student with a health condition.
- Trains teachers, administrators and other school staff to support student health needs.
- Develops and implements health promotion and disease prevention programs to educate the school community about public health concerns such as nutrition, fitness, chronic and communicable disease, and emotional well-being.
- Trains and supervises School Health Aides in multiple schools.
- Investigates and responds to reports of communicable disease and increased absences in schools.
- Play an important role in school health by providing documented health information about their children, including the Health Information Form.
- Notify the Public Health Nurse and School Health Aide any time their child’s health needs change.
When Should I send My Child to School?
Review this Health Flyer for Parents: https://www.fcps.edu/node/35733
Children who need to take medication during school hours must have a signed Medication Authorization, Release, and Indemnification Form. Prescription medications require the signature of both the parent/guardian and the healthcare provider. Inhalers and EpiPens® require authorization forms.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are drugs that can be purchased without a healthcare provider’s prescription and are used for the relief of symptoms on a temporary basis. With parent/guardian and healthcare provider authorization, OTC medications may be given on an "as needed" basis throughout the school year. Parents/guardians may authorize limited use for 10 consecutive days with a completed Medication Authorization Form (such as cough medicine for cold symptoms). OTC medications for pain relief ONLY for headaches, muscle aches, menstrual cramps or orthodontic pain may be given with parental/guardian permission and appropriate documentation. The medication must be supplied by the parent/guardian in its original container. Examples include Tylenol, Advil, Pamprin®. Transport of Medications to and from School Parents/guardians must transport medications to and from school. All medications must be kept in the Health Room and taken under adult supervision. Only certain emergency medications, such as diabetes medications, Epipen® and inhalers may be carried by the student with the authorization of both their parent/guardian(s) and healthcare provider.
Scheduling Medical Appointments
Please make every effort to schedule appointments outside of school hours. When this is not possible, please send a note to the school on the morning of the appointment stating the time the child will be picked up. Children should bring appointment notes to the attendance secretary before homeroom. The student's name will then be shown on an early dismissal list. For safety reasons, parents/guardians must sign out children in the office.
When calling the attendance line, please leave the following information
- Your student’s name, teacher name, and specific information regarding the reason for your student’s absence.
- If your student is ill, and has seen a health care provider, please be specific about your student’s condition. Examples include strep throat or pink eye.
- If your student is ill, but has not seen a health care provider, please be specific about your student’s symptoms. Examples include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Release of Student from School
Only those individuals designated on the Emergency Care Information form will be contacted either to excuse or take your student home. If the Health Room contacts you to excuse your student from school, established release procedures as outlined in FCPS Regulation 2234, will require the emergency contact for elementary students to sign the school release log. For secondary students, release will be arranged through the school attendance office and must comply with established release procedures. In a health emergency, 911 will be called prior to contacting the parent.