Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does West Virginia have nonmedical exemptions for compulsory school entry/attendance?
A: No, West Virginia only allows for medical exemptions by a reputable physician, according to W.Va. Public Health Code §16-3-4
Q: Does West Virginia allow attendance without completion of all immunizations?
A: Yes, West Virginia will allow student’s to provisionally enter school with one dose of each required vaccinations listed in W.Va. Public Health Code §16-3-4 and WVDHHR/BPH-Immunization Interpretive Administrative Rule 64CSR95. The provisional enrollment period is based on the ACIP recommended time frames for next dose administration.
2014 Recommended Immunization Schedules
The schedules and the MMWRs describing the 2014 changes to each are listed below:
Immunizations for School Entry:
W.Va. Code §16-3-4(online version) requires all children entering school for the first time in West Virginia to be immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough. The CDC, WVBPH-Immunization Program and American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP) recommends immunizations at specific ages to prevent communicable diseases. Please view these recommendations to ensure your child stays healthy.
To download the WORD document click on the following link, W.Va. Code §16-3-4 .
2008 Bureau for Public Health Immunization Interpretive Rule (64CSR95)- effective on February 28, 2008. This new interpretive rule was based on multiple laws with focus on the current 21st century recommendations and school population thus including the PreK population, current immunization reccommendations such as Varicella, Mumps and Hepatitis B and recommendations for other age appropriate vaccinations.
Immunization FAQ for WV Public Schools:-2009 Immunization FAQ
2008 Immunization Requirements for WV Public School New Enters and PreK:
Starting in the 2012/13 school year, grades 7 and 12 will be required to show proof of certain vaccinations. Please go to http://www.dhhr.wv.gov/oeps/immunization/requirements/Pages/default.aspx to view the new requirements.
Please click on the above to read the two week grace period memo for the 2012/13 school year.
Immunization Requirements for WV Public Schools prior to Febuary 28, 2008:
The requirements and interpretation below pertains to students who entered a WV Public School system prior to Febuary 28, 2008.
CDC-National Center for Infectious Disease website with frequently asked questions about immunizations.
Launches Voices of Meningitis!
Q: What is MRSA?
A: See websites below
West Virginia Bureau for Public Health Information:
Please visit the WVDHHR-Office of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology for UP-TO-DATE information at http://www.wvdhhr.org/idep/a-z/a-z-staph.asp.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) MRSA Information:
Please visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/index.htm.
Q: What screenings are required prior to enrollment into a West Virginia school?
Speech and Language
Developmental- Preschool and Upon parent/guardian request prior to kindergarten entry)
Dental- Preschool only
Comprehensive Physical Exam(i.e.HealthCheck)- Preschool only
Q: What if my child completed a comprehensive physical exam or HealthCheck or physical within the past year, will the school accept this for their required screenings?
A: Yes, West Virginia public schools will gladly accept a comprehensive physical exam or HealthCheck within the past one year from the child’s physician or mid-level provider. West Virginia public schools will rescreen students during their academic career when signs and symptoms are identified. The process of duplicating screenings are not a productive utilization of time for school nurses or school personnel
W.Va. Code §18-5-17 requires county boards of education to conduct preenrollment hearing, vision, and speech and language testing to detect any impairments. This law pertains to all children entering public school for the first time in West Virginia.
W.Va. Code §18-5-22 requires county boards of education to provide proper medical and dental inspections for pupils and specialized health care procedures under the direction of the school nurse.
W.Va. Code §16-3D-3 requires students transferring from a school outside of the state of West Virginia to have a read and evaluated Tuberculosis (TB) test prior to attending public school. The above link will take you to the W.V. Code site then find 16-3D-3 listed and click on it. Dowload the WORD document of WV Code 16-3D-3.
Q: What if my school has a “No Nit” policy?
A: Current research and No Child Left Behind do not support “No Nit” policies. Lice are not a communicable disease only a social stigma with time consuming treatment. School should move toward a “No lice” policy since most nits do not hatch unless ¼ of an inch from the scalp and many nits are misdiagnosed by school nurses and school personnel who should not be diagnosing. Please review research and policy statements from Centers for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics, Harvard School of Public Health and the National Association of School Nurses at:
Treating Head Lice Infestation by the Center for disease Control and Prevention-Down Load the PDF version
Harvard School of Public Health headlice information and frequently asked questions-Down Load the Lice Information Sheet
Role of Parents in Teens' Sexual Decisions
Positive parent-teen relationships, high parental awareness and monitoring of whom their children are with, and family dinner routines are all linked to delayed sex among teens, according to a recent Child Trends research brief. The brief, Parents Matter: The Role of Parents in Teens' Decisions about Sex located at http://www.childtrends.org/Files//Child_Trends2009_11_11_RB_Parents&TeenSex.pdf, explores how parenting practices that occur before adolescents have had sexual intercourse are associated with the probability of first sex by age 16.
Q: Will West Virginia public schools administer dietary supplements?
A: No, Dietary supplements no longer fall under the safety of the Federal Drug Association (FDA) thus eliminating research to prove the efficacy and safety of these supplements utilized for medical treatment. No school nurse or school personnel will be able to administer these supplements to students in West Virginia public schools. Currently the American Academy of Pediatrics and the West Virginia Board of Nursing do not recommend the administration of these supplements to children Parents/Guardians are welcome to come to the school and administer a dietary supplement to their child at anytime during the school day. Please view the AAP research at http://www.aap.org/pubed/ZZZFP21YQ7C.htm?&sub_cat=1 or the WV Board of Nursing response.
Q: Are West Virginia schools required to provide nursing services for all field trips?
A: Schools are to provide nursing/health services only if the field trip is curricular or co-curricular and related to the Content Standards and objectives. Schools will make every effort to provide school health services to children with specialized procedures but must check the ability to delegate certain procedures in other states and the time frame for delegating or practicing nursing in another state.. Arranging a field trip can be a lengthy process and requires ample notification to the school nurse and parent. The school will do everything in it’s power to ensure health services to any student but state limitation in practice of school nursing may inhibit schools from providing services and require parent/guardian involvement, please work closely with the school system to ensure a collaborative, coordinated effort in meeting the needs of your child. Sometimes school are forced to make decisions which are best for the majority of students in an emergency situation, again please work with the schools in all arrangements.
Off-label Use of Medications in Medical Practice:
Please review the following information:
American Academy of Pediatrics, Use of Off-Labeled Drugs at http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics;110/1/181.pdf
Institute of Neurological Research at http://www.nrimed.com/offlabel.htm.
Each county board of education is required to develop a medication administration policy utilizing the guidelines set forth in Policy 2422.8. Please review your county's medication administration policy for county specific question.
W.Va. Code §18-5-22b requires children with asthma medication to be allowed to self administer after a parent/guardian written authorization, a written statement from a physician or advanced practice registered nurse with specific requirements, and passing an assessment by the school nurse technique of self-administration and knowledge. Please review the law in it's entirety.
Asthma in Schools:
The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) have developed "Asthma Talks". Asthma talks is a compilation of AASA members and partners discussing asthma in schools. Please listen to their voices from the field at http://www.aasa.org/focus/content.cfm?ItemNumber=7449.
School Nursing Services:
There are approximately 215 Certified School Nurse serving 279,457 students in 765 public schools in the state of West Virginia. In 2002-03 school year, approximately 36% of these students had a medical diagnosis.
Current law, W.Va. Code § 18-5-22, requires each county board to employ 1 school nurse per every 1500 children in grades kindergarten through seven; provided that each county shall employee full time at least one school nurse.
Who Is YOUR School Nurse?
What is a School Based Health Center?
Clinics located in schools that: 1) are sponsored and operated by community based health organizations 2) provide primary health care services (including but not limited to diagnosis and treatment of acute illness, management of chronic illness, physical exams, immunizations and other preventive services) to students who are enrolled in the health center; and 3) follow state and federal laws, policies, procedures and professional standards for provision of medical care.
There are presently 40 School-Based Health Centers and one School-Linked program serving 50 schools in 24 counties in West Virginia. To learn more about school based health centers go to West Virginia School-Based Health Assembly's web site. A directory can be found by clicking on "Research".
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the difference in School Nursing Services and School Based Health Centers?
A certified school nurse is an employee of the county board of education and functions in West Virginia public schools to provide health services. School nurses are available to all children participating in public schools. School Based Health Centers provide medical services to students who enroll in the centers for primary health services.
Health services in the school setting are those activities rendered by professional school nurse:
Medical services in the school setting are those activities rendered by a physician and/or advanced nurse practitioner, which include but are not limited to the following:
The professional school nurse and school based health center also provide the following comprehensive health services by:
Both the school nurse and the SBHC have distinct roles and each contributes to students' health, academic outcomes, life-long achievement, and over-all student and staff well-being. One does not replace the need for the other.
National Association of School Nurses (June 2001). POSITION STATEMENT: Joint Statement on the School Nurse/School-Based Health Center Partnership.