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Health & Wellness

Hello! My name is Melissa DeFonce, I am the school nurse for the Garrison Union Free School District. My goal as the Garrison School Nurse is to keep your kids healthy and happy. Please contact me if I can help your family in any way to accomplish this mission. I can be reached anytime via call or text at 845-494-1758.

New York State has new physical examination requirements. Health Examinations are now required for all new students and students in grades K, 1, 3, 5, and 7 at our school. Students in these grades will have a vision and hearing screening at school if they have not had one with their pediatrician.

I am often asked when a child should stay home from school. This is a tricky question and often you are the best judge, knowing when they won't be able to focus in school. Here are times your child should NOT come to school:

  • Flu
  • Vomiting or diarrhea twice in the past 24 hours
  • Fever (over 100.4) in past 24 hours (they should be fever free without medication for 24 hours prior to return)
  • Strep Throat (unless they have had two doses of an antibiotic)
  • Bad cold, with a very runny nose or a bad cough (especially if this keeps them up at night)
  • Rashes: please talk to Nurse Melissa about when to keep your child home
*Please use School Dismissal Manager for reporting absences*

Please note the nurse can give no medication (including over the counter medication) without a physician's order and written parental permission. Below you will find the medication administration form should your child need medication while at school. There are two sections of this form, one to be complete by a physician and another to be completed by the parent.

Education Law Article 19 and Regulations of the Commissioner of Education (8 NYCRR) require physical examinations of public school students: Entering the school district for the first time, and in grades K, 1, 3, 5 and 7; in order to participate in strenuous physical activity, such as interscholastic athletics (8 NYCRR §§135.4 and 136.3(a)(8)); in order to obtain an employment certificate (Education Law §3217); and when conducting an individual evaluation or reevaluation of a student suspected of having a disability or a student with a disability (8 NYCRR §200.4 [b]). Please provide the health office with a copy of your child most recent physical examination. f you child meets any of the above criteria and an examination has not been provided the school physician may exam the student (parents will be given this option and informed of the exam).

As part of a required school health examination, a student is weighed and his/her height is measured. These numbers are used to figure out the student’s body mass index or ‘BMI’. The BMI helps the doctor or nurse know if the student’s weight is in a healthy range or is too high or too low. Recent changes to the New York State Education Law require that BMI and weight status group be included as part of the student’s school health examination. A sample of school districts will be selected to take part in a survey by the New York State Department of Health. If our school is selected to be part of the survey, we will be reporting to New York State Department of Health information about our students’ weight status groups. Only summary information is sent. No names and no information about individual students are sent. However, you may choose to have your child’s information excluded from this survey report. The information sent to the New York State Department of Health will help health officials develop programs that make it easier for children to be healthier. If you do not wish to have your child’s weight status group information included as part of the Health Department’s survey this year, please call Melissa DeFonce at 845-424-3689 x226 or email mdefonce@gufs.org by January 2 ,2022 and indicate "Please do not include my child’s weight status information in the 2021-2022 School Survey."

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