Health Services

What Do School Nurses Do?

School Nursing is a healthcare specialty requiring specific expertise in nursing, public health, and education. Our school nurses are licensed, registered nurses educated to address the wide range of health topics that impact children at school:

  • Identify health concerns through assessments and observations
  • Provide health care counseling or guidance to students, families, and staff
  • Conduct Care Coordination including case management, chronic disease management, care planning, and assistance in finding a medical home or other health care providers
  • Provide medication management
  • Provide health screenings, referrals, and follow-up
  • Ensure immunization compliance and coordination of other health mandates according to state requirements
  • Provide Health education, promotion, and disease prevention


UCSD Nursing Mission:
To enhance the educational potential of students by fostering optimal health and wellness.


Health Policies and Procedures
  • Exclusion Guidelines / Illnesses At School
    • If your child has a temperature of 100.4 or higher, we ask that you keep your child home, observe for symptoms such as sore throat, rash, vomiting, or diarrhea, and follow up with your healthcare provider. Your child may return to school after your child has been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications, and other illness symptoms are improving. If your child visits a healthcare provider, please request a note from the doctor to excuse the absence(s).
    • If your child does not have a temperature, but is feeling ill and the illness prevents your child from participating comfortably in academics/activities, please keep your child home until illness symptoms have passed.
    • The illness prevents the student from participating comfortably in activities/academics as observed by the school staff.
    • The illness results in greater care than the school staff determines they can provide without compromising the ability to care for other students.
  • Medication Guidelines at School
    • Students are not allowed to have medications with them at school. All medication (prescription and over the counter) must be kept in the health office and will be administered under the supervision of the school nurse. Administration of medication at school requires parent/guardian signature on the district Medication Authorization Form, which can be found below, or in the school health office. Medication must be brought in the original container or labeled prescription bottle. It must be age-appropriate and will be administered according to label recommendations.
    • Students in middle school and high school may receive up to six doses per school year of either acetaminophen or ibuprofen, at the nurse’s discretion, with parent/guardian consent. The authorization form is available on the online registration or in the health office at UMS or UHS.
    • By Iowa law, students with asthma or other airway constricting diseases may self-administer their medication with written approval from the parent/guardian and prescribing physician. This form is available below or in the school health office.
  • Emergency Contacts
    • In the event of an illness or an injury, it is important for school staff to be able to contact parents/guardians in a timely manner. When registering your students please provide two or more contact numbers for each parent/guardian. During the school year, please inform your school office of any changes to personal or work phone numbers as well as emails.
  • PE / Recess Guidelines
    • State education laws require that all students be enrolled in and participate in a course of Physical Education. Students are required to participate in all PE classes. If a physician feels that a student should not participate or should only participate on a limited basis, parents must obtain a note from the physician with all restrictions noted and give this to the school nurse. Once the student is cleared by their physician to return to all activities, a clearance note must be given to the school nurse. In the case of an unexpected injury or illness, the school nurse may determine if a student is unable to participate in PE activities.
    • Students will be expected to go outside at recess each day unless there are individually approved circumstances or inclement weather conditions. If the student has returned from a lengthy illness, he/she may be held in from recess for no more than two days without a doctor’s note. Appropriate clothing for the existing weather conditions at the time is a must.

If You Test Positive For COVID-19 You Must Stay Home

Persons Who Test Positive For COVID-19 (applies to both students & staff)

  • Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must remain home for at least 5 full days (day 0 is the first day of symptoms or the date of the day of the positive viral test for asymptomatic persons).
  • Individuals may return to school on day 6 if they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.
  • It is highly recommended that individuals wear a mask when around others at home and in public for an additional 5 days.
  • For students who test positive while school is in session, families need to contact their School Nurse.
  • For students who test positive while school is not in session and are participating in school programming or Activities, families need to contact the supervisor of the program (e.g. Adventuretime or Summer School) or Activities Department.
  • For staff who test positive, employees need to contact their supervisor and Kate Johnson.
  • This guidance applies to both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals.

Reminder: All persons who are experiencing an illness should stay home while they are ill, even if they test negative for COVID-19 or receive an alternative diagnosis.

Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, or wear a well-fitting mask when they need to be around others. People in isolation should stay in a specific “sick room” or area and use a separate bathroom if available.

What to do for isolation

  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
  • Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask when you need to be around other people.


  • Vision— Required for all Kindergarten and 3rd grade students
  • Dental —  Required for all Kindergarten and 9th grade students
  • Lead —  Required for all Kindergarten students
  • Hearing —  Performed annually by AEA audiologist in K – 5th grade and on an as needed basis for 6th – 12th graders.

  • Immunization Requirements
  • Certificate of Immunization
  • Iowa Code, Chapter 139a.8(6) and Iowa Administrative Code, 641-7.7(139) outline the immunization requirement for students attending licensed child care centers and elementary or secondary schools. Students shall have received the required immunizations and submit the Iowa Department of Public Health Certificate of Immunization or have a valid Certificate of Immunization Exemption, or Provisional Certificate of Immunization.

Absence Reporting
  • In the event a student is absent or tardy, all schools require notification from the parent/guardian of the student.
  • When calling in your child absent from school, please be sure to contact your school’s attendance line leaving your student’s name, grade, symptoms, temperature, and the best phone number to reach you if your school nurse has further questions.
    • Urbandale High School 515-457-6805
    • Urbandale Middle School 515-457-6605
    • Karen Acres Elementary 515-457-5703
    • Olmsted Elementary 515-457-5803
    • Valerius Elementary 515-457-6503
    • Webster Elementary 515-331-8620