Student Health and Wellness

Your child’s health impacts his/her ability to attend school and reach his/her full academic potential. In order for the District to provide a safe and healthy environment for your child, we need to be informed of any health or medication needs on an ongoing basis. All related paperwork for the health requirements listed below can be obtained from your child’s school secretary or by clicking on the related links below.

Administration of Medication

Students who need to take medication (prescribed or over-the-counter) during the school day may be assisted by designated school personnel or allowed to self-administer certain medication as long as it is in accordance with law, Board policy, and administrative regulations. Berkeley High students receive these services at the Health Clinic on campus. A BUSD Medication Authorization Form must be signed by a student’s parent and physician in order for school staff to administer medications, both prescription and over the counter, on site.

  • Medication Authorization forms must be renewed each year.
  • Medications must be clearly labeled with the student’s name, date, instructions for administration and the physician’s name.
  • All medications must be in their original containers.
  • Please remember to pick up your child’s medications from the office before the last day of school.
  • Get ready for the new school year: If you see your physician over the summer, have him/her sign a medication authorization form for medications that your child requires while at school.

Administering Medication and Monitoring Health Conditions – BP 5141.21

Special Care Plans

Students with conditions requiring special care during their school day must have a care plan on file to guide designated school personnel in procedures required for the student’s health and safety. The district can provide forms for plans for asthma, seizures and severe food allergies, to be completed by the student’s medical provider on at least an annual basis and as the child’s care needs change.

Medical Emergencies

If your child is in need of minor first aid, it will be administered in accordance with District first aid training. If medical attention appears to be necessary, but not required immediately, the parent/guardian or other listed emergency contacts will be contacted to pick the child up. Should immediate medical attention be necessary, the school will call an ambulance. Every effort will be made to contact the parent or other emergency contact person(s).

Dismissal Due to Illness

A child may be sent home early from school if s/he is ill, or appears to be suffering from an infectious or contagious disease.  Parents/ guardians or emergency contacts listed will be contacted to pick up the child.

Head Lice

If a student is found with active, adult head lice, he/she shall be excluded from attendance. The parent/guardian of an excluded student shall receive information about recommended treatment procedures and sources of further information. The student shall be allowed to return to school the next day if the student is free from active adult head lice; the student shall be checked by the nurse or designee before returning to class.

Immunizations and Other Health Requirements

To be admitted to school, children must be fully immunized in accordance with the law. Children shall be excluded from school or exempted from immunization requirements only as allowed by law.
Parents are required to provide documentation that their child has been immunized against the following:

  • Haemophilus Influenza (Hib) children under 5 years old
  • Polio
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Varicella (chickenpox) 1 dose or physician documented varicella disease meets requirement for kindergarten entry
  • 7th – 12th Grade Students: all entering students must provide proof of a pertussis-containing vaccine (whooping cough) booster (e.g. Tdap) on or after their 7th birthday in addition to the immunizations listed above.

Parent permission must be given in writing before any child can participate in any immunization program sponsored by the District.

Additional information on immunization requirements, including SB277
Additional information on local general vaccination clinics

Health screenings in schools
  • State mandated Vision screening occurs at your child’s school in Kindergarten, 2nd, 5th and 8th grade.
  • State mandated Hearing screening occurs at your child’s school in Kindergarten, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 10th grade.
  • Dental screening is provided by Alameda County and City of Berkeley Public Health Departments and occurs at your child’s school in 2nd and 5th grade.
School Linked Health Services Program

There may be times when families or the District have concerns about a child’s health or safety at school. The District’s partnership with the City of Berkeley School Linked Health Services program can assist elementary school families with resources and referrals for a variety of health-related issues. These include health/dental insurance, health care providers, consultation on health-related issues, and health education workshops for students, families and staff. Call Berkeley Public Health at 981-7687 for more information.

Should My Child Stay Home From School?

Parents frequently have questions about when it is appropriate to stay home from school because of illness. Here are some guidelines to help with your decision.

  • If your child feels ill enough that he/she would not be able to benefit from school.
  • If having your child at school would significantly put others at risk for contracting your child’s illness
  • If your child has vomited within the past 24 hours
  • If your child has/had a fever in the past 24 hours
How can I help keep my child healthy?

Following the WHACK the flu program at home can help keep kids in school.
W: Wash your hands often;
H:  Home is where you stay when you are sick;
A:  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
C:  Cover your coughs and sneezes;
K:  Keep your distance from people who are coughing or sneezing.

What do we know about the correlation between health and academic achievement?

Good health is a reliable predictor of academic achievement.  That is why the Berkeley Unified School District works closely with the City of Berkeley Public Health Department to provide access to health services for children and youth.  The 2020 Vision (link) is working toward the goal of good health for all of Berkeley’s children.
For more information on the correlation between health and academics, visit this link with information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.

Student and Family Privacy Rights

Board Policy mandates that personal information concerning students and their families should be kept private in accordance with the law.  Parents have the right to exempt their children from participating in (a) surveys that request personal information, and/or (b) physical exams or screenings.  For example, every other year the District administers the California Healthy Kids Survey, a confidential and anonymous survey to students in grades 5, 7, 9 and 11 to help schools assess student health-related behaviors.  Parents will be notified in writing in advance of this survey, as well as any other health surveys or screenings, and the procedure to opt out will be clearly explained.

Health Information Sheets

For more information on common school-age illnesses, please click on the information sheets below from the City of Berkeley Public Health Department.

Chicken Pox Chicken Pox (Spanish)
Conjunctivitis/Pink Eye Conjunctivitis/Pink Eye (Spanish)
Mononucleosis Mononucleosis (Spanish)
Pertussis/Whooping Cough Pertussis/Whooping Cough (Spanish)
Ringworm Ringworm (Spanish)
Streptococcal Streptococcal (Spanish)
Head Lice Head Lice (Spanish)
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