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Jaffrey-Rindge School District

Student transportation, CPR policies reviewed

Drafts focus on use of private vehicles and emergency response

JAFFREY — The Jaffrey-Rindge School Board reviewed multiple draft policies regarding student transportation and duties related to the nurse’s office at its meeting Monday.

Two of the policies which the board reviewed relate to the use of private vehicles to transport students. According to the draft of the policy, the school advises that insured commercial transportation carriers should be used for activities that involve student travel, but use of private vehicles is not prohibited. When private vehicles are used for a school activity, prior written authorization must be obtained. Any driver involved in an accident while transporting students must report the incident to both law enforcement and the school, and submit a written report to the building principal.

Parents may request that their children be allowed to transport themselves to and from school, provided they fill out the district’s required forms. A separate draft policy on student automobile use and parking states that improper use of a car on school grounds — which includes leaving the grounds during the school day without authorization — can result in up to a five day suspension.

Superintendent James O’Neill noted that both policies should have a provision that would allow students to transport siblings or carpool with friends with parental permission. He also noted that the use of school “activities” in the draft policy may be potentially problematic, since events such as school dances or sports games would likely involve students driving themselves.

The School Board also reviewed several draft policies relating to the duties of the nurse’s office, and policies for when the nurse is not available. A draft policy for first aid clarifies that all school personnel have responsibilities to administer first aid, notify administration and parents and filing accident reports regarding injuries. The policy would require that if the school nurse is not available, at least one other person with first aid and CPR certification should be on school grounds for school hours and at all scheduled school activities.

School Board member Dan Whitney questioned how realistic it would be to have someone trained in CPR at all school events. Conant nurse Julie Getty said she would like to see staff development hours being put into a CPR training course, so that more staff could be certified. Most student activities require submission of approval, and it could be a requirement that the approval form have a line for the name of the CPR certified person on-site for after-school events.

In drafts for policies regarding physical exams and immunizations, students would have to complete a physical examination within one year of their first entry into school. No medical exam is required if a parent objects in writing on the ground of a medical examination being contrary to their religious beliefs. Students must have proof of all state required immunizations or valid exemptions in order to attend the first day of school. A student can be enrolled without full vaccinations, as long as parents present documentation of at least one dose of each required vaccine or an appointment date for the next due dose of the required vaccine. If immunization is against the family’s religious beliefs, a notarized documentation must be provided to that effect.

Getty noted that immunizations are required by law, and physicals are only required before the student’s entry into Kindergarten, which is why exclusion from immunizations must be notarized, while exclusion from physicals only requires written notification.

In another draft policy, the School Board addressed the administering of medicine to students. The draft police requires medication to be administered by the school nurse. If the nurse is absent, the principal or principal’s designee may give a student prescribed medication. If the medication requires administration, only the school nurse or the nurse’s delegate may administer it. As by law, students are allowed to carry medications that can be carried and self-administered, including inhalers and epinephrine auto injectors.

The School Board will be continuing to review and revise these policies at future board meetings.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari.

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