School health services programs are established by §381.0056 Fla. Stat. The mission of Florida’s school health services program is to appraise, protect and promote the health of students.  Preventive and emergency school-based health services are provided to public school children. Services are provided in accordance with a local School Health Services Plan jointly developed by the county health department, school district, and School Health Advisory Committee. School-based health services are an important component of the public health system and help to assure that Florida’s students are healthy, in the classroom and ready to learn. For a complete guide to school health services, procedures, and health forms visit the School Health website.

    500.1 — School Health Staff
    Care for students on a daily basis is provided by a health room aide and/or licensed practical nurse (LPN) under the guidance and direction of the school registered nurse (RN) who may or may not be on campus full-time. The school RN has the knowledge, education, experience and authority to manage and provide the full range of health services in the education system. The ultimate goal of school nursing practice is to support students’ optimal state of health to promote the capacity for successful learning. School RN services may include interpretation of medical records, assessment of students’ symptoms, health appraisals, health education, case management, direct care, counseling, advocacy and health screenings.  You can reach the school RN by calling your child’s school or the School Health Office at 941-927-9000, ext. 32101.

    500.2 — Health Insurance for Children
    Through Florida KidCare, the state of Florida offers health insurance for children from birth through age 18, even if one or both parents are working.  It consists of four different programs. When you apply for the insurance, Florida KidCare will check which program your child may be eligible for, based on age and family income:

    • MediKids: uninsured children ages 1 through 4 
    • Healthy Kids: uninsured children ages 5 through 18 
    • Children’s Medical Services Network: uninsured children birth through 18 who have special health care needs or ongoing medical conditions. 
    • Medicaid: children birth through 18. A child who has other health insurance may still qualify for Medicaid. 

    Visit www.floridakidcare.org or phone 888-540-5437 for more information.

    500.3 — Dental Insurance
    If a student does not have a dental provider and requires dental services, contact the nurse assigned to the school and ask for assistance.


    500.4 — Parent Responsibility
    It is the responsibility of the parent to notify the school of any health condition of their student(s) which may require medication, treatment or monitoring at school or on school-sponsored trips or activities.

    500.5 — Medications in School
    Whenever possible, give medications at home.School personnel will administer approved medications to students during the school day when it is necessary to help the child stay in school.

    • Only FDA-approved prescription and over-the-counter medications are allowed to be administered by school personnel. 
    • A Medication/Treatment Authorization Form (M/TAF), signed by a physician and parent, must be provided, and medication must be stored and administered in the manner described below.  See the forms section of the School Health Services Manual for a current Medication/Treatment Authorization Form at www.SarasotaCountySchools.net/departments/schoolhealth.

      Over-the-counter medication is received unopened, in its original container, and labeled with the student's name, directions for giving, and the dosage.  (If the licensed health care provider has given the parent sample bottles of medication, the bottle(s) must also be labeled as stated above.)  USFDA approved OTC medication for headaches only, will be allowed without parental consent and/or a physician’s prescription per HB 1537. “A student may possess and use a medication to relieve headaches while on school property or at a school-sponsored event or activity without a physician's note or prescription if the medication is regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter use to treat headaches.” 

      • No over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications such as a topical creams/ointments, eye drops, etc. may be given without a completed Medication Authorization For Over-the-Counter Medication Form or a Medication Treatment Authorization Form (M/TAF), whichever one is appropriate.  All medications to be administered in a school setting must be USFDA approved. 
    • An M/TAF is needed for EACH prescription.
    • The M/TAF is valid for the current school year only.
    • The parent needs to pick up medication at the end of the school year or if the medicine is discontinued. Medication that is not picked up will be discarded.
    • Medication must be in the original prescription or unopened over-the-counter container labeled with the child’s name, medication name, dosage, and times to be administered.
    • A parent must deliver the signed M/TAF and medications directly to the school health room or assigned school employee so that medications can be accepted and counted.
    • Homeopathic remedies are not FDA-approved and will not be administered by school personnel.
    • Dietary supplements are not approved by the FDA for use as drugs and will not be administered by school personnel.  
      Controlled narcotic medications for severe pain management are not administered in the school setting. Because these medications are known to cause decreased coordination and decreased levels of consciousness, they present learning and safety issues that can be dangerous to students.

    Treatment equipment such as nebulizers and glucometers must be supplied by the parent. An M/TAF signed by a licensed health care provider and the parent must be on file along with a signed notarized affidavit.  Both forms are only valid for the current school year. 

    When wheelchair, crutches or other temporary assistive devices are needed, they must be supplied by the parent. The school will need an Orthopedic Injury Assistive Device Authorization Form signed by the licensed health care provider and parent. This form is only valid for the current school year. See the Forms Chapter of the School Health Services Manual for the form.

    500.6 — Screening Services
    Screening for vision, hearing, scoliosis, height and weight are mandated by Florida Administrative Code 64F-6003 for specific groups of students, according to grade level. By signing the Parental Consent for Health Services, parents/guardians give permission for noninvasive screening.

    Screenings do not diagnose but are designed to identify students who have results outside the normal limits. When necessary, the school RN refers students to other health care professionals for evaluation. Early identification and treatment of physical problems are paramount to academic achievement. Parents must inform the school in writing if they do not wish their student to participate in any portion of this program.

    • Kg – Color, Vision, Hearing
    • 1 – Hearing, Height/Weight, Vision
    • 3 – Vision, Height/Weight
    • 6 – Vision, Hearing, Height/Weight, Scoliosis
    • 9 - Height/Weight
    • New to the State Grade 2 – Vision, Hearing
    • New to State Grade 4 & 5 – Vision, Hearing

    For more information regarding healthy lifestyles, please refer to the Healthy Sarasota link on the School Health Services section of the website.

    500.7 — Health Issues and Use of the Health Room
    Students too ill to remain in class must request permission from their course teacher to report to the health room for evaluation. A parent may be contacted to determine whether the student will go home or return to class.
    Students may not remain in school with these conditions:

    • temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
    • vomiting
    • unknown rash
    • diarrhea
    • active head lice

    Please be sure the school has up-to-date contact information.

    The student must be free from fever, vomiting and diarrhea for at least 24 hours without the aid of medication prior to returning to school.

    Children identified with health-related issues will be referred to the school RN for follow-up. The school RN may contact the parent for assistance in developing an individualized healthcare plan for the student.

    The Sarasota School Health Services Manual is a reference for all health-related topics in Sarasota County Schools.  It can be found at www.SarasotaCountySchools.net/departments/schoolhealth.

    500.8 — Food Allergies
    Food and Nutrition Services works with parents, students and nurses to make appropriate and reasonable accommodations to students with medically documented food allergies, and will assist them in navigating the school environment according to the procedures developed for food allergies in schools.  Food and Nutrition Services will follow Food Allergy Guidelines developed by the School Health Team (Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County Nurses and the Sarasota County School Nurses), the Food and Nutrition Services staff and the Sarasota County School Health Advisory Board.  

    • Approved Menu Modification Medical Statement (MMMS) request forms are required for all students with dietary restriction, food intolerances and food allergies. The MMMS forms are to be updated annually with the Food and Nutrition Services Central  Office.
    • If a student does not purchase foods or beverages from the school cafeteria, the MMMS form is not required. 
    • These forms are available on the Food and Nutrition Services website and require a physician’s signature.