Student Health Services

Promoting student health, preventing disease, and fostering optimal well-being for focused learning and achieving full potential.

About Student Health Services

School nurses help students understand normal growth and development, promote health and safety, intervene with actual and potential health problems, and provide case management services.

We actively work with other members of the medical and educational teams to promote each student’s optimal level of physical, mental and social wellness and encourage success and achievement during and beyond the school setting.

We work with teachers, principals, parents and outside support staff to meet students’ medical and health needs by performing state-mandated screenings and maintaining immunization compliance and safety procedures set forth by the state.

School District Nurses:

  • provide medical care for student illnesses, injuries and emergencies
  • maintain health and immunization records on all students
  • perform state-mandated health screenings
  • administer doctor prescribed medications
  • perform nursing procedures
  • assist physicians and dentists with school examinations
  • provide health counseling and referrals
  • provide classroom instruction on health related topics
  • serve as a parent and classroom consultant in health related matters

The School District of Philadelphia has over 270 Certified School Nurses serving the public and nonpublic schools in the City of Philadelphia. If you wish to speak to a member of the health services department concerning your child, please contact the school nurse in your child’s school building.

No Cost Eye Exam & Glasses

Provided by Eagles Eye Mobile

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Immunizations & Physicals

CityLife Heath

All K-12th grade District students can receive immunizations, and school/sports physicals at any CityLife Heath location.

Make an Appointment
1-877-926-9272

Health Forms

Annual Student Emergency and Medical Information Form (S-865): 

  • Must be filled out every year by parents or guardians
  • Gathers information about a child’s health history. This history can be vital in case of emergency or should the need for any type of medical treatment arise while a child is in school.
  • Allows the school nurse to administer Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen, or if needed Albuterol inhaler or EpiPen as prescribed by the School District’s medical Officer/pediatrician
    • Nurses cannot administer these medications without parental permission

Mandated Health Screenings Performed in School

Keeping your child healthy is essential to their educational success. The School District of Philadelphia takes this responsibility very seriously. And, we acknowledge that we are best able to serve all students equally well when we establish strong working relationships with parents and the community.

The Pennsylvania Public School Code requires specific health screenings, based on grade level, to be provided for all students in Pennsylvania. These are considered screenings and are not to be a substitute for regular checkups with a pediatrician.

School nurses will perform the following health screenings:

  • Growth Screening (height and weight)-All grades K-12
  • Vision Screening –All grades K-12
  • Hearing Screening –Grades K, 1,2,3,7,11
  • Scoliosis Screening (curvature of the back)-Grade 6,7

Partner Health Care Services

In addition to the screenings provided by the school nurse, The School District of Philadelphia has partnered with various health care providers to provide services for children who may have a difficult time obtaining the services they need to reach their optimal health. These health care providers may offer services to your child during the school year through their school. Parents will be required to complete a written consent form prior to their child receiving services from any Health Care Provider working with the School District.

The School District will provide complete information to parents/guardians regarding the services being offered, schedule for services and a follow up report of the service provided. Please contact your school nurse if you have any concerns or questions regarding the Partner Health Care Services.

Required Immunizations & Physicals

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Vaccinated! Keep your child safe by staying up to date on their vaccinations. Pennsylvania law requires all students (K-12) be vaccinated while attending school. Students that DO NOT have the required vaccines may be EXCLUDED from school until they have received the appropriate vaccines or an exemption form has been submitted to your school nurse. It’s the Rule, Don’t Miss Out on School

Families or students with questions are encouraged to speak with their school nurse or call (215) 400-4920.

Where do I go for vaccinations or physicals, if my child is uninsured or doesn’t have a doctor?

City Health Centers: Philadelphia’s city health centers offer vaccinations to school-aged children, regardless of insurance. City health centers are operated by the Department of Public Health.

Federal Health Centers: There are also community Federally Qualified Health Centers available around Philadelphia. If you are uninsured, your student may be able to receive free or low-cost vaccinations. Health centers can also help you apply for affordable health insurance.

LEARN MORE

Sports Physicals

All students are required to fill out the following medical form (the “CIPPE”) before participating in any athletic competitions sponsored by the School District of Philadelphia:

PIAA Comprehensive Initial Pre-Participation Physical Evaluation (CIPPE)

3 Ways to Comply

  • Schedule your student a well visit with their doctor, to ensure receipt of the required vaccinations. Have your student’s doctor provide you with a Certificate of Immunization. CERTIFICATE OF IMMUNIZATION
  • Obtain a medical certificate signed by your student’s doctor, detailing the plan to complete vaccines on the appropriate schedule. MEDICAL PLAN
  • Submit an exemption form if your student is exempt from any immunizations for a medical, religious or philosophical/ strong moral reason. IMMUNIZATION EXEMPTION FORM

Immunization Locations & Events

Kindergarten through 12th Grade – Locations

CityLife Heath
All District students regardless of grade can receive immunizations, and school and sports physicals at any CityLife Heath location.

Click here for a list of locations | Make an appointment or call 1-877-926-9272.


Delaware Valley Community Health Centers
The School District of Philadelphia is proud to announce a partnership with Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc. to provide required school immunizations throughout the month of August to ALL students who need them, including those who are undocumented and uninsured.

Maria de los Santos Health Center | 401 W. Allegheny Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19133
Tuesday, September 12th | 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM | Register for an Appointment


If you are unable to make any of the appointments available on the registration form, you always have the option to contact Fairmount Primary Care Center, or another Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to schedule a regular patient appointment for your child.

District Vaccine Guide

Select your language to download our vaccine guide.
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Immunization Requirements

For Attendance in All Grades (K – 12)
  • *Diphtheria, Tetanus, & acellular Pertussis (DTap) 5 doses
  • **Polio (IPV) 4 doses
  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) 2 doses
  • Hepatitis B (HepB) 3 doses
  • Varicella (VZV) 2 doses
For Attendance in 7th Grade
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, & acellular Pertussis (Tdap) 1 dose
  • Meningococcal Conjugate (MCV4) 1 dose
For Attendance in 12th Grade
  • ***Meningococcal Conjugate (MCV4) 2 doses

*DTap - Fifth dose is not needed if DTaP #4 was given after the 4th birthday
**Polio - Fourth dose is not needed if Polio #3 was given after 4th birthday
***MCV4 - Second dose is not needed if MCV4 #1 was given after 16th birthday

Children’s Dental Clinic

All K-12th grade District students are eligible to visit the clinic. Walk-ins Welcome.

Location

W.D. Kelley Elementary
1601 N 28th St, Philadelphia, PA 19121

Hours

Monday and Thursday 9am – 4pm

Services:

  • Dental Screenings
  • Checkups and Cleanings
  • Fluoride and Sealants
  • Fillings, Crowns, and Extractions Emergency Care
  • Oral Health Education

Register for a FREE Dental Cleaning!

  • Thursday, June 20th 10am- 1pm
  • Monday, July 8th 10am -1pm
  • Thursday, July 18th 11am-2pm
  • Monday, August 5th 10am-1pm
  • Thursday, August 22nd 11am-2pm

About the PASH Program

Promoting Adolescent Student Health (PASH) is a five-year grant that works to reduce youth risk behaviors that lead to unintended pregnancy, STIs, and HIV via three core strategies:

  • Sexual Health Education- Helps adolescents acquire the knowledge and skills to prevent HIV, STIs, and unintended pregnancy
  • Sexual Health Services- Increase students’ access to key preventive key Sexual Health Services
  • Safe and Supportive Environments – Focuses on factors within school and family environments that act as protective factors and reduce the risk of HIV, STIs, and unintended pregnancy.

Our mission is to empower and educate our community to make informed decisions about their sexual health and create a safe and supportive environment for all.

PASH provides access to evidence-based curriculum, technical assistance, workshops, and professional development to students, teachers, staff and parents on topics such as HIV/AIDS prevention, safer sex, LGBTQ+ support, healthy relationships, parent/child communication and peer mediation.

While any school in the District can request support from the PASH program, initiatives are focused on 17 Priority Schools – 16 high schools and 1 middle school.

View a List of Priority Schools

  • Academy of Palumbo
  • Ben Franklin High School
  • Roberto Clemente Middle School
  • Samuel Fels High School
  • Horace Furness High School
  • Philadelphia High School for Girls
  • Abraham Lincoln High School
  • Jules E Mastbaum Area Vocational High School
  • Martin Luther King Jr. High School
  • Motivation High School
  • Overbrook High School
  • Parkway Center City Middle College
  • Paul Robeson High School
  • Science Leadership Academy
  • South Philadelphia High School
  • The LINC
  • West Philadelphia High School

Health Resource Centers

The Health Resource Centers (HRCs) are part of the Sexual Health Services strategy of the PASH grant to increase student access to key preventive sexual health services, strengthen staff capacity and engage parents and community partners.

Services offered by the HRCs are free  and accessible to all students.

HRC Services include:
1. Counseling and education around abstinence, sexual and reproductive health, decision making, and sexuality.
2. Making available safer sex materials.
3. Screening for gonorrhea, chlamydia and pregnancy, as permitted by site.
4. Referrals to school and community-based resources,
including referrals to sexual and reproductive health care services and mental
and behavioral health services.

Visit one of the sites below for more information.

Have you recently visited an HRC? Select your language to rate your experience.
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Health Resource Center Locations

  • Bartram High School
  • Building 21
  • Central High School
  • Roberto Clemente Middle School
  • Crossroads Accelerated Academy
  • The Murrell Dobbins Career and Technical High School
  • Thomas A. Edison High School
  • Samuel Fels High School
  • Frankford High School
  • Furness High School
  • George Washington High School
  • Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center
  • The LINC
  • Martin Luther King High School
  • Jules E. Mastbaum High School
  • Northeast High School
  • Paul Robeson High School
  • South Philadelphia High School
  • Philadelphia High School for Girls
  • Philadelphia Learning Academy – South
  • Vaux High School
  • West Philadelphia High School

PASH Material Review Board

The School District of Philadelphia’s School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) is a group composed of parents of school district students, employees of the school district and individuals from health, social service and community-based organizations. This group advises the school district on various health topics in order to promote a coordinated school health program.

A subsection of the SHAC is the Materials Review Board. The Materials Review Board (MRB) is required to review and approve non-core related health materials including ALL sexual health related materials PRIOR to use with district students.

The MRB process is as follows:

  1. Submit ALL Sexual Health Related materials to the PASH Program via email: pash@philasd.org or in-person delivery: Central Office, Suite 374 – Student Health Services
  2. Materials will be submitted to the MRB queue.
  3. Submitted materials will be reviewed online and/or at the monthly SHAC meeting.
  4. Submitters will be notified of the outcome of the review.

The online review process, from submission to decision notification, is 21- 30 days. SHAC members reserve the right to request any materials be reviewed at a monthly SHAC meeting. Submitters also have the option to present their materials at a SHAC meeting, the length of this process is dependent on the date of the next scheduled meeting.

Step-by-step process: MRB Process

Link Text

What do I need to include in my submission?

  • A brief description of the organization/program
  • All documents submitted must be a Word document, PDF, or JPEG/PNG.
  • Any supplemental information for consideration, such as links, videos, etc.
  • Name, title, and phone number of contact person.

How many materials can I submit at one time?

Up to 6 submitted documents will be considered for online review each month.

How can I get involved with SHAC?

Email PASH@philasd.org

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBSS)

As part of the Promoting Adolescent Student Health (PASH) grant, the Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) administers the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) every other year.

The YRBS monitors six health behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults:

1) behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence
2) tobacco use
3) alcohol and other drug use
4) sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease
5) unhealthy dietary behaviors; and
6) inadequate physical activity

The YRBS includes a nationally representative sample of 9th- through 12th-grade students and is conducted every two years, typically during the spring semester. The survey is completely anonymous and voluntary.

For more information, explore our selected resources below or visit the CDC’s YRBS site.

Resources for Students and Families

Coming Soon!

Health Guidance for School Attendance

Your child should attend school if they are generally healthy, well and able to participate in their usual day-to-day activities. To provide a healthy school environment for students, the following guidance has been prepared to assist families in making the best decision for their child’s health and school attendance.

  • If your child is not feeling well and you are uncertain about sending them to school, it is best to keep them home and observe them for worsening symptoms.
  • When you make the decision to keep your child home, notify the school secretary or nurse of their absence and what type of symptoms or illness they have.
  • Keep your child home until their symptoms are not present or have improved and they have no diarrhea, vomiting or fever (without taking fever-reducing medications) for at least 24 hours.
  • If your child’s symptoms are not improving or are getting worse, visit the doctor.
  • Once your child’s symptoms have improved or are no longer present and they have no diarrhea, vomiting or fever (without taking fever-reducing medications) for at least 24 hours they should return to school for in-person learning.

This is general guidance and school nurses may use clinical judgment to determine whether or not to exclude a student due to illness. This guidance does not cover all situations.

  • Bed Bugs – If a bedbug is found on a student, the parent/caregiver will be notified. The student’s clothes and belongings may be examined for bedbugs. Parents/caregivers should dry clothes in high heat or place them in a plastic bag to destroy the bugs. Students will not be excluded or dismissed early from school for bed bugs.
  • COVID-19 – Students may return to school when they are feeling well, symptoms are not present or have improved and are fever-free for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication. Wear a well-fitted mask 5 days after returning to school.
  • Colds/Flu/RSV – Students need to remain home if they have an excessive runny nose, excessive coughing, difficulty breathing, fever, or looks or acts very ill.
  • Diarrhea – If a student has diarrhea 2 times in a day, they should remain home until the diarrhea stops and there are no signs of illness. If the student wears diapers, they need to remain home until the diarrhea stops. (for those children without a known medical condition)
  • Ear Infection – Students who complain of ear pain should be evaluated by a doctor. Early treatment can help prevent damage to the ear which can result in hearing loss. Students will not be excluded or dismissed early unless with other concerning symptoms.
  • Eye Infection – Eye redness with drainage or watering of the eyes requires assessment by a doctor to determine the cause of the possible eye infection or eye injury. Students should be excluded if the eye is red/pink with white/yellow discharge. Students need to remain home until treated with medication for at least 24 hours or eyes are no longer red with discharge.
  • Fever – Students should be excluded from school if they have a fever (temperature at or above 100.4oF). Students may return to school when they are fever-free for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication.
  • Headache – Students can remain in school unless unable to participate or other concerning symptoms. Return to school when symptoms resolve. If severe headache with a stiff neck or vomiting, contact your doctor immediately for evaluation.
  • Head Lice – If a student has active head lice, the parent/caregiver will be notified. The student should be treated at home. Students will not be excluded or dismissed early from school for head lice. Head lice checks of students without symptoms are not required or recommended.
  • Rash – Students may remain at school unless rash has oozing/open areas that cannot be covered. Student needs to stay at home or be sent home if the rash is accompanied by a fever, behavior changes, feeling ill or severe itch. If student has been diagnosed with impetigo, scabies or ringworm, they may return to school once treatment is started.
  • School Injuries – The nurse or other school staff will assess the injury, administer first aid, and notify parents as soon as possible, as to the type and status of injury.
  • Serious Injuries and Surgeries – The school nurse is to be notified when a student has sustained a serious injury or has had surgery. A note from the doctor must describe any limitations or special needs when the student is cleared to return to school. Possible modifications to school schedule, physical activity, and mobility in the school should be evaluated.
  • Sore Throat/ Strep Throat – Student needs to stay home if they cannot swallow, have excessive drooling, difficulty breathing, fever or behavior change. Student needs to be treated with antibiotics for 24 hours before returning to school if there is a positive throat culture.
  • Stomachache – Students should be excluded with severe pain causing doubling over, crying, screaming, abdominal injury, diarrhea, vomiting, looks and acts ill. Students may return to school when pain resolves and/or is symptom free.
  • Vomiting – Students are to remain at home if they have vomited within the past 24 hours. For a student who has one occurrence of vomiting at school, they may remain at school if there are no other signs or symptoms of illness.

Source: Philadelphia Department of Public Health Yellow Book

Health Insurance Resources

Health Insurance and Benefits Resources

Student Health Services is partnering with Benephilly to provide free help to apply for health insurance and determine eligibility. Register for a benefits screening and application assistance appointment at 440 N. Broad:

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Questions about public benefits to help with food, heat and utilities, and paying for college?

Benephilly provides free one-on-one help applying for public benefits. Parents/caregivers can go to a BenePhilly center located at the following community-based organizations. You can also learn more HERE.

Medicaid and CHIP - Signing up or renewing your child’s health insurance

Signing up or renewing your child’s health insurance

If you or anyone in your family gets health insurance through the state you must renew every year! Renewals are happening now.


To make sure you keep your Medicaid, Medical Assistance, or CHIP insurance:

  1. Update your information in Compass or call 1-877-395-8930 or 1-215-560-7226 for help.
  2.  3 ways to renew:
    • Look for your renewal forms in the mail and complete it
    • OR complete your renewal in Compass
    • OR call 1-866-550-4355 to renew by phone

If you are no longer eligible for Medicaid, the state also offers free and low-cost health insurance options at www.pennie.com or chipcoverspakids.com if you have kids under age 19.


Help is available:

Register for Benefits Screening and Application Assistance!

Get FREE help to apply for health insurance.

Appointments at the District Office (440 N Broad) are available now! Register HERE to sign up. Find a Benephilly Center close to your home here.

Homebound Instruction

Homebound Instruction provides students with some level of instructional services during a temporary period of absence so that when they return to school they will not fall behind in their class curriculum. Homebound Instruction is intended as a temporary accommodation to keep the student engaged in the school program. It is not intended, nor can it be construed, as a method of delivering the full curriculum.

This is a service the District may provide for a student

  • during a temporary period of excused absence
  • for up to three months

Note: if you are interested in homeschooling or other alternative options for students, visit HERE.

Homebound Instruction should be used as a last resort after all other options and /or alternative schedules (i.e. half-days, work packets, etc.) have been exhausted, and is not a replacement or substitute for school attendance.

  • All requests for Homebound Instruction are made through the student’s school nurse.
  • Students will receive grades from Homebound Instruction by a designated homebound teacher.
  • Grades should be submitted to the principal or assistant principal at the homebound student’s school.

Pregnant students are expected to abide by the School District of Philadelphia’s attendance policy.

  • If a pregnant student is unable to attend school for a certified medical reason (i.e. requires continuous bed rest, at risk for premature delivery, etc.) for more than four weeks, they are eligible to apply for Homebound Instruction.
  • Once the pregnant student delivers they are not considered automatically eligible for Homebound Instruction.

How to Apply

To apply for Homebound Instruction: 

  1. the student’s school Principal or Assistant Principal will refer all requests from parents/guardians, agencies or other responsible parties to the school nurse.
  2. The school nurse will provide the requestor with the Physician’s Referral form (SEC-137A), the Parent Agreement letter (MEH- 210) and will inform the parent/guardian of the Homebound Instruction approval process.
  3. A Homebound Coordinator will email the student’s principal and school nurse with the decision and,
    1. If approved, the number of hours allowed and end date of services.If the Homebound Instruction request is approved, and the student is in regular education, a CSAP team convenes to complete the “Education Plan for Homebound Instruction” (MEH-211), for the student. (See CSAP/IEP Team section).
    2. If the request is denied, the student must attend school, and will be marked as truant if he or she does not return to school.

The student’s school principal is responsible for selecting and assigning homebound teacher(s) to the student upon receipt of notification of approval of Homebound Instruction from the school nurse (Refer to the Teacher Identification section). The principal will also monitor the attendance, payroll procedures for the service.

What Does it Entail?

A Homebound Instruction schedule includes:

  • Two one-hour sessions weekly for K-8 students, and three one-hour sessions weekly for grades 9-12.
  • Graduating high school students carrying three or more major subjects may receive up to a total of five hours weekly.

General Health & Safety Guidance

Stay up to date with all vaccines and immunizations

  • Vaccines are the best protection to prevent your child from getting sick and spreading disease to others
  • Certain vaccines are required to attend school (unless there is an approved exemption on file). In addition, other vaccines like the flu, COVID and HPV vaccine are recommended. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about vaccines.

Stay home when sick

  • Keep your child home until their symptoms are not present or have improved and they have no diarrhea, vomiting or fever (without taking fever-reducing medications) for at least 24 hours.
  • Talk to the school nurse and let them know your child is sick
    If your child has COVID symptoms, test your child and have them remain home until their symptoms are not present or have improved and they have no diarrhea, vomiting or fever for at least 24 hours. When your child returns to school they should wear a well-fitted mask for 5 days.
  • If your child’s symptoms are not improving or are getting worse, visit the doctor.
  • Consider wearing a well-fitted mask to prevent the spread of respiratory viral illnesses
  • Once your child’s symptoms have been improving or are no longer present AND they are fever free without fever reducing medications for at least 24 hours they should return to school for in-person learning.

Practice good hand hygiene

  • Wash hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitizer for at least 20 seconds
  • Teach your child to cover their cough and sneezes with a tissue. If tissue is not available, cough into your elbow

Visit your primary care provider and dentist regularly

  • If you need a primary care provider, you can make an appointment at the city health centers by calling (215) 685-2933 or visit a federally qualified health center.
  • Some children with chronic medical conditions may need to visit the primary care provider more frequently. Your doctor will help manage your child’s medical condition to keep them healthy and decrease the need for emergency department visits.
  • Get a yearly physical and dental examination and give a copy of the records to the school nurse.
  • If you need help getting health insurance visit a Benephilly Center.
    • Almost all children in Philadelphia are eligible for health insurance
    • Health insurance makes it easier for your child to get the health care they need, and it helps with the cost of provider visits and prescribed medications.
    • The Benephilly benefits navigator is available to help families sign-up for health insurance in-person every Wednesday from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Family Welcome Center at 440 North Broad Street. Walk-ins are welcome!

In general, the more prevention strategies you follow, the better protected you and others around you will be from getting sick.

Health & Safety Protocols

Updated COVID-19 Guidance

Effective April 1, 2024, the School District will no longer require a 5-day isolation period for those who test positive for COVID-19.

This shift to treating COVID-19 like other respiratory viral illnesses is in alignment with guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), and comes as the data in our region has shown greater immunity against the virus, with declining hospitalizations and deaths. That said, it is still important to be careful. Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 should still take the following precautions:

  • Stay home if you have symptoms and remain home until are symptom-free and fever-free for at least 24 hours (without medication).
  • Wear a well-fitted mask for 5 days after their return to school.
  • Practice good hygiene – wash hands regularly with soap and water or hand sanitizer, and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
  • Parents/guardians should notify the school or school nurse if their child tests positive for COVID-19 or is diagnosed with any contagious illness.

In the event of a school-wide or classroom outbreak, impacted students and families will continue to be notified.

Parent Family Resources

Protect Your Family by Storing Medicine in Your Home Safely

In an effort to decrease the number of accidental deaths and near deaths in children due to drug ingestion, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS), in partnership with DBHIDS and the Health Department asks that parents/guardians keep opioids and all medicines locked away and out of reach of children.


Health Forums

Contact Us

School Nurse work hours are the same as their school. School hours are listed on each school’s website. School websites can be found in the School Directory.

The best way for families to contact their student’s School Nurse is to email them. Click Here to find your school’s nurse.

Program staff can be reached between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm

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