Medical & Health Services

Watertown Nursing Staff

 Name  Position  Location  Phone Number
Joie Mara, RN Nurse WHS 617 926-7758
 Fax: 617 924-4451
Kati Swift, RN  Nurse   WMS  617 926-7783 ext. 1046
 Fax: 617-924-4125
Deborah Nolan, RN, BSN, M Ed., CSN

 Nurse  Cunniff  617 926-9748
 Fax: 617 924-4149
Sabrina Spindler, RN  Nurse  Hosmer  617 926-7751
 Fax: 617 924-4218
Katherine Taverna, RN, BSN  Nurse  Lowell  617 923-6475
 Fax: 617 924-4191
 Guidelines for Keeping Home a Sick Student
  Head Lice Resources
 Is it a Cold or an Allergy
 What happens to you when your child has head lice?
Administering Medicines to Students

Parent/Guardian Head Lice Education
Certificate of Immunization (pdf)
Lice found on Children. What do I do?
Mass Public Health Blog

Roles & Responsibilities
Health Record Form (pdf)

NPA's Ten Tips for Head Lice & Nit Removal
Medication Order Form (pdf)

10 Steps To Help Keep Head Lice And Their Eggs Out Of Child's Hair
(OTC)Over the Counter Medication/Medical Update Form

National Pediculosis Association -
Sick Kids in School (pdf)

Michigan Head Lice Manual
Skin Infections (pdf)

Parasites, Lice & Head Lice
Tick Repellent Fact Sheet (pdf)

Warm Weather Tips (pdf)

Watertown School Health Services Winter Weather Recess


  A child must be healthy to learn and learn to be healthy. The school setting offers unique opportunities for children to learn healthy behaviors through education and to receive easily accessible, comprehensive health services.

The Role of the School Nurse


A liaison between home and school Regarding health concerns:

  • Takes health histories
  • Assess short and long-term illness
  • Participates in Parent-Nurse conferences
  • Provides information for community resources
  • Involves self with parent groups
  • Provides promotional activities for health care


  • Acts as a liaison between home, school, health care provider and community resources
  • Make referrals to appropriate community agencies
  • Participates in professional conferences
  • Serves as a resource person for community agencies
  • Is a member of community multidisciplinary teams
  • Provides expertise as a liaison to community service organizations
  • Serves as a liaison for recording and reporting child abuse to the Massachusetts Department of Social Services


Conducts health screenings:
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Scoliosis
  • Nursing assessment for growth, health and development Others screenings as needed
  • Provides emergency first aid
  • Evaluates and assesses health needs of students
Provides Health Counseling:
  • Chronic Illness
  • Nutrition
  • Disease prevention
  • Positive lifestyles
  • Implements and monitors compliance with state immunization laws
Education team member:
  • Interprets medical data
  • Writes objectives for the health component of Individualized Health Plans and 504 plans
  • Promotes wellness activities
  • Resource person Detect, plan, treat, refer and follow-up on the Health problems interfering with children's learning

Medical and Health Services

School Medical Services are designated to protect the student's health and to enable each student to reach and maintain the highest possible state of well-being for effective learning

Medication Policy

To insure the health and safety of the students needing medication in school, the following procedure must be followed:

  • Prescription medication must come in the original bottle with a prescription label showing the student's name, medication, doctor's name and instructions. A physician's medication form must be completed for each medication by the physician.
  • The parent or guardian provides written permission to the school nurse. Permission forms are available from the school nurse or on line. All medication must be delivered by a parent or responsible adult.
  • Specific over-the-counter medications can be administered by the school nurse, only with the written permission of the parent and the students own physician. This form can be obtained in the nurse's office or on line..
  • All orders or permission for medications must be renewed at the beginning of each school year
  • In the case where a student may self administer, the parent and physician must indicate this on the permission form. Self administration will be at the nurse's discretion.
  • At the end of the school year or when a student leaves the system, a parent must pick up any remaining medication or the medication will be discarded.

Sports Physicals

All students must have proof of a physical examination, done by the student's primary care provider within 13 months of the beginning of the sport season in which the student is participating. A report of this physical examination must be on file in the nurse's office.

School Health Records

  • Medical status and changes regarding student's health should be shared with the school nurse on a routine basis.
  • Physical Examinations are required for students entering kindergarten, fourth, seventh, and tenth grade. The physical must be dated within a year of entry to the grade or within thirty days following entry. Routine physical examination forms can be obtained from the school nurse or on line. They should be completed by a licensed practitioner and returned to the school nurse to be retained in the student's health record.

School Entrance Requirements

New students entering the school system must present the following information:

  • Transfer students must have a current physical examination (within a year of entry or with in thirty days of entry).
  • Proof of completed immunizations.
  • Lead screening and eye exam - prior to entering Kindergarten
  • Immunizations can be waived for medical or religious reasons. 
  • A letter from the student's primary care provider for medical reasons or from the parent for religious exemption must be provided to the school .

Mandated Screenings

  • Height and weight screenings are done in grades 1, 4, 7, 10. 
  • BMI's (body mass index) are computed for each student for grades 1, 4, 7, and 10. 
  • Vision and hearing screenings are performed yearly through grade five and then in seventh and ninth grade. 
  • Scoliosis( Postural) screening is done yearly on all students in grades five through nine.

Parents are notified when follow-up is required.

Emergency Illness or Injury

In case of a sudden accident or illness during school hours, a student will be dismissed to the parents or another adult designated by the parent. The school is responsible for providing appropriate care to the student until the parent arrives. It is essential that the school be provided with updated emergency contact information. A contact information form may be obtained from the nurse's office or on line. In the event that a student is in need of immediate medical care, the school will arrange for transportation to the hospital for treatment. When necessary, contact the school nurse for assistance when the student returns to school.

Guidelines for minor illnesses

Fevers are generally signs of infection or illness. Oral or rectal temperature of 100 F or higher is considered a fever. In most mild, 2-5 day childhood illnesses, fever is lowest in the morning, rises in the afternoon, and is highest in the evening and night. As a child begins to recover, morning temperature may be normal with fever still present later in the day.


If other symptoms such as cough, nasal congestion, stomachache, vomiting, or diarrhea are present, the child should remain home for an additional day(s).

Any child who presents in the nurse's office with a temperature of 100 F or higher will be dismissed from school based on assessment by the school nurse. A child who presents with a low-grade fever and is exhibiting other symptoms, may be dismissed from school based on the school nurse's assessment. A child dismissed from school with a fever may need to stay home from school the following day.

Special Needs

In accordance with Chapter 766 and Public Law 94-142, Watertown will identify, evaluate, and provide program services to maximize integration of students with special needs into regular classes. Each school is staffed with at least one resource teacher who works as part of a team. The evaluation team can consist of the principal, teacher, psychologist, school adjustment counselor, school nurse, parent, and administrator of special education services. Preschool and kindergarten screenings are conducted annually for the purpose of identifying students who may need more complete evaluations.

Watertown has additional programs to meet the needs of students: (1) preschool programs for children with specific needs; (2) intermediate and high school level programs; (3) home/hospital tutoring; (4) collaborative programs with Belmont and Arlington for school-age, severely disabled children; (5) collaborative programs with the EDCO communities; and (6) an in-house psycho-therapeutic counseling program. Services may also include speech/language and physical/occupational therapy as well as other required support services from a vision specialist , oral, or signing interpreter. All of these programs are provided to maximize the potential of each student. Parent involvement is a necessity when planning services for children.

Transportation, if necessary, is provided by the School Department. For more information, contact your school principal, guidance counselor, and/or the Office of Special Education Services at 617 926-7766.