Smart Source 2015-16 Executive Summary - Page 12

Health Services School health services include assessing and managing student health needs, developing and housing plans for students with chronic health issues, and screening and referral procedures, all carried out by qualified staff (e.g., school nurse/school nurse consultant). Regarding staff capacity, the National Association of School Nurses recommends a maximum caseload of 750 well students for every school nurse full-time equivalent (FTE). The recommended ratio decreases as the number of students with significant health needs increase (2015). While most schools have some access to a school nurse, fewer than 40 percent report having one school nurse present for 31 to 40 hours per week (Figure 6.1). In absence of a school nurse, participating schools designate other staff to address daily health emergencies and chronic needs of students, including health clerks/health aides, administrators, and administrative assistants. FIGURE 6.1 Percetage of schools with access to a school nurse The ability to see and hear are essential for student learning in standardized classrooms. To identify any sensory impairment, the hearing and sight of all students in kindergarten, first, second, third, fifth, seventh, and ninth grades must be tested during the school year by qualified personnel (CDE, 2004). Among participating schools, approximately two-thirds of elementary and one-third of secondary schools provide hearing and vision screenings and referrals in all grades and for new students, while roughly one-third of elementary and half of secondary schools do so in only certain grades (Figure 6.2). Once referrals are made, over 90 percent of schools have a follow-up procedure for hearing and vision problems. FIGURE 6.2 Percentage of schools with annual health services screenings & referrals • 10 •