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ABECC School Health Information

Allergy Alert:

Spring showers bring spring flowers and seasonal allergies!  If your child has seasonal allergies, please plan ahead and give students their allergy medication before coming to school.  Allergy symptoms include itchy eyes and skin, sneezing, nasal congestion, wheezing, and rash. 


Many over the counter medications can help keep these symptoms at bay.  Please speak with your pediatrician about what might be best for your child if they typically suffer from allergies.  We want to help avoid any dismissals from school for symptoms that may also be consistent with COVID-19 symptoms!


If you anticipate that your child will be experiencing seasonal allergy symptoms this spring, please ask their pediatrician for a note so that we have record of their diagnosis and any medications they may be taking.

Kindergarten Registration for 2021-22

As we prepare for the fall, please be aware of the requirements from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for school entry:  


Documentation of a current physical exam (dated within one year).

Current preschool families:   If you submitted a physical when your child started our preschool program,  we need an updated physical for kindergarten (please submit a copy from their 5 year old well visit).  


Massachusetts State Law requires that all immunizations must be up to date for children to attend school.  Physician offices are open and pediatricians want to see their patients.  Please schedule an appointment if your child is due for their well visit or if they need to catch up on any immunizations.  If you have any barriers to getting your student's vaccinations on time, please contact us.  We can help connect you to local health centers.  

Preschool Entry Requirements:
Hib: 1-4 doses; the number of doses is determined by vaccine product and age the series began
DTaP: 4 doses
Polio: 3 doses
Hepatitis B: 3 doses; laboratory evidence of immunity acceptable
MMR: 1 dose; laboratory evidence of immunity acceptable
Varicella: 1 dose; a physician documented case of chickenpox or laboratory evidence of immunity acceptable

Kindergarten Entry Requirements:
DTaP: 5 doses; 4 doses acceptable if the 4th dose is given on or after the 4th birthday. 
Polio: 4 doses
Hepatitis B: 3 doses; laboratory evidence of immunity acceptable
MMR: 2 doses; laboratory evidence of immunity accepted.
Varicella: 2 doses; a physician documented case of chickenpox or laboratory evidence of immunity acceptable
Lead Test
Every child entering kindergarten and preschool must have documentation of a lead test.
Lead tests are typically done between the ages of 9-12 months, and  2-3 years.
If your child has not had a lead test, ask your healthcare provider to test your child or you can contact your local health clinic for a lead test.
Tuberculosis Risk
Each school-aged child in a Massachusetts public or private school should have a TB Risk Assessment completed and documented on the school health form. 

WHEN TO CALL THE SCHOOL NURSE In addition to the symtoms check listed above, please contact the school nurse if your child

  • has a contagious disease, such as strep throat, flu, or chicken pox. This information will help us take necessary steps to protect the health of other students. 
  • is hospitalized 
  • is excused from physical education. 
  • has an injury or illness that may require accommodations during the school day. Examples: 
    • An injury that restricts mobility (e.g., casts, crutches, wheelchairs) 
    • An illness that affects a child's ability to function in school for a full day such as a concussion, infectious mononucleosis (mono), Lyme disease, or recent surgery


Medications (both prescription and over-the-counter drugs) should not be taken during school hours if it is possible to administer them at home.  If your child requires a medication to be given during the school day, it must be brought in by an adult.  Please do NOT send medications in via backpack! We have standing orders for some medications (acetaminophen and ibuprofen) which we may administer as needed in school after consulting with a parent/guardian. For all other medications we need to have signed parent permission and an MD order. These forms can be found on the district website www.northandoverpublicschools.com under Health Services.


Healthy eyes and vision are very important to a child’s early development and education.  Growing children constantly use their eyes, both at play and in the classroom. Often vision problems in children are not obvious.  Poor vision can cause headaches, fatigue, and may cause children to be more distracted in class. Vision screening is the best way to catch problems early.  In accordance with Massachusetts Department of Health policies, we screen children annually in grades K-5, then again in grade 7 and grade 10. We also screen all of our preschool students.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has approved the use of instrument based screening for children up to age 5.  This year, all kindergarten and preschool students will be tested using the Spot Vision Screener. This is a hand held device that takes a series of photos of the child’s eyes. By analyzing those images, the machine determines if the eye measurements are "in range" or "out of range."    

Kindergarten students will also have their hearing screened.  

These screenings are not diagnostic. If your child does not pass the school vision or hearing screening, you will be notified that your child needs to be referred to a specialist for further evaluation. It is important to make an appointment and return the referral form to the nurse's office when completed so that we can keep your child's health record up to date and make any recommended educational accommodations.

If you would like to exclude your child from any of these screenings, please send a note to the school nurse.


Our goal is to have our students outside for recess whenever possible.   If it is raining, snowing, or extreme cold the students will stay in for recess.  Otherwise, please prepare for the students to go out.   They should be dressed appropriately for the weather.  Proper footwear is also very important for this age group.  Closed toe sneakers/shoes are much better for moving around on the playground.  Jackets, hats, gloves and even snow pants and boots should be worn when needed. 

HEAD LICE: Children must be treated and checked by the school nurse before returning to school. Prevention is the key to controlling this pesky problem. Please inspect your child's hair frequently and call the school nurse if you have any questions.

For information about entry requirements and other health related news, please consult the Dept. links on the left.

Feel free to call us in the health office with any questions.  

Barbara Anne Donovan, BSN, RN, NCSN. DonovanB@northandoverpublicschools.com

Karen Doody, BSN, RN. DoodyK@northandoverpublicschools.com

COVID Information

What to do if your child has COVID-like symptoms?

Symptoms include:  fever (100* or higher), cough, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, new onset severe headache, muscle aches/body aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea


Fatigue (in combination with other symptoms)

Nasal congestion not due to other known causes (in combination with other symptoms)

If your child has Covid-like symptoms, we recommend that your child get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.  If your child does not get tested, they must remain at home for a minimum of 10 days from the onset of symptoms. 

Local testing sites available:


Lawrence Community COVID-19 Testing Center

70 General Street, Lawrence, MA

Monday - Friday. 9 am – 4:30 pm


Free, drive-thru, no appointment needed 


AFC Urgent Care North Andover

129 Turnpike St, North Andover, MA

Rapid and Molecular Testing

Book your COVID-19 test online  (Check with your insurance carrier for associated costs)


Or call your pediatrician for referral to another local testing site. Some pediatrician offices are doing rapid testing in the office. 

Many of our families have reported having a good experience at the drive through site at Lawrence General.  Wait times vary and general estimates are posted on their website.   There is no appointment necessary and the testing is free.  However, it is important to read the instructions about setting up a Patient Portal for your student if they don’t already have one.  You will not be given access to the Patient Portal for your minor children without filling out a "proxy" form. Without access to the patient portal, you may have to wait 3-5 days for results. If you sign up for the portal, results are generally available within 24 hours. Please visit the Lawrence General Hospital Medical Records website for more information on this process: https://www.lawrencegeneral.org/your-visit/before-you-arrive/patient-medical-records

Once you receive the results from the COVID test:



  • There will be a required minimum 10-day isolation period

  • If your student receives a positive test, please notify the school nurse so the district can begin contact tracing

  • The public health department will contact you to begin tracking and monitoring your symptoms.

If you have any questions, please contact us during school hours (978-794-1577)

The on-call nurse is available for questions between 6am and 8am at 978-794-4842. 

Planning to travel?

Please notify us if you have upcoming travel plans.  Click Here for a link to the current MA Travel Orders. 

If you are planning to travel outside of Massachusetts to a higher risk state or out of the country, please be aware of the testing requirements necessary in order to return to school. 


You may:

Show proof of a negative test result for COVID-19 from a PCR test administered on a sample taken no longer than 72 hours before your arrival in Massachusetts.


Upon your return, quarantine at home until you are tested in Massachusetts and receive a negative result


Quarantine at home for 14 days after your return to Massachusetts


Please note that Massachusetts Law requires a PCR (the FDA approved molecular version) test.  Not all COVID tests performed are PCR tests so please confirm it is beforehand.  Here is the state info which includes this information in greater detail including a list of lower/higher risk states.  


We all have an important role to play in order to keep our students in school this year. Masks, physical distancing, staying home when sick, frequent hand washing, and frequent cleaning/disinfecting are all key measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  We are asking each family to familiarize themselves with the new guidelines our district has put into place for the health and safety of the entire school community: 


Masks/Face coverings


    • All students and staff over the age of 5 will be required to wear a face covering that fits snuggly, but comfortably and covers the mouth and nose.  Exceptions will be made for physician documented medical/behavioral reasons.  Your student should arrive to school wearing a mask and we ask that you send in at least one extra in case they need to change their mask at some point during the school day. 

NA Protocol Masks / Facial Coverings

    • For the safety of all, we strongly encourage masks for preschool students under the age of 5.  Please start practicing with them at home and send them to school with a mask.  We will work with them to increase their mask tolerance. 


    • Mask breaks will occur throughout the day when students can be greater than six feet apart.  Staff will work with students in a developmentally appropriate way to increase their mask tolerance if they are struggling with this. 

Hand Hygiene


    • Students and staff will be required to wash or sanitize their hands upon arrival to the school, before eating, before putting on and taking off masks, and prior to dismissal.

    • Hand washing is the preferred method for removing germs, however, soap and water are not always readily available.  When hand washing is not possible, students will be asked to use hand sanitizer at school.  Hand sanitizers are considered to be over the counter (OTC) medications.  If you do NOT want your student to use hand sanitizer while at school please sign and return the attached form to the health office by September 15, 2020.  

Hand Sanitizer Opt Out:  NA Opt Out hand sanitizer letter

Physical Distancing

    • Our goal is to maintain a physical distance of six feet between individuals when possible.

    • Students will be seated at least six feet apart in classrooms.

Daily Symptom Check



    • Families must screen students every day prior to sending them to school

    • Do not send your child to school if they are feeling ill.  Do not administer any fever reducing medications prior to sending your student to school.  

Students should not come to school if they have any of the following symptoms

    • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills 

    • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)

    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

    • New loss of taste or smell

    • Sore throat

    • Muscle aches or body aches

    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

Students should not come to school if they have any of the following symptoms in combination with other symptoms:  

    • Headache (in combination with other symptoms)

    • Fatigue (in combination with other symptoms)

    • Nasal congestion or runny nose (in combination with other symptoms and/or not due to other known causes, such as allergies) 

If you have questions about whether or not you should send your student to school, a nurse will be available by phone before the start of school for any questions.

The nurse on call will be available from 6 am-8 am and can be reached  at:  978-794-4842  (please call us directly at ABECC if it’s after 8 or if your child is in the pm kindergarten group)

If your student is out sick the nurse will be in touch with you about when your student may return to school.  We must follow specific protocols this year in determining when students can return to school if they are out sick.  

NAPS COVID-19 decision tree: 9/5/20

COVID-19 Related Medical Waiting Room


    • We have set up a space separate from the nurse’s office to evaluate and treat any student displaying COVID-19 symptoms at school.  If a student becomes symptomatic at school they will remain in this medical area until they can be picked up.

We feel strongly that you as parents/caregivers will play a significant role in helping us to make this year a smooth and successful experience for every member of our school community.  It is critical that you screen your student  for Covid-19 symptoms each and every day before school, and that we are provided with at least three phone numbers for contact persons who are available to pick your child up immediately if they become ill at school.

Before the start of the school year it is also important to make sure that you have rescheduled any pediatrician appointments that may have been previously cancelled, and that all of your child’s immunizations are up to date.  An updated physical (dated within the last year) and immunizations are required for kindergarten/preschool entry. 

As you discuss returning to school with your children, please encourage them to practice wearing a facial covering, good hand hygiene, and demonstrating proper social distancing of six feet before the school year begins. We look forward to getting to know your children and watching them grow and learn and thrive in this new normal.  We have included some links to a few videos that you may find helpful in explaining the “why” we are taking all of these additional safety measures right now. 

Please reach out with any questions or concerns.  

Barbara Ann Donovan, RN, BSN, NCSN

Karen Doody, RN, BSN 

Masked Heroes | Cincinnati Children's

Wearing A Mask Helps Stop the Spread of Germs - YouTube

wearing a mask to school.pdf

 Nursing Staff 

Barbara Ann Donovan, BSN, RN, NCSN
Karen Doody, BSN, RN, NCSN

Anne Bradstreet Early Childhood Ctr 
115 Phillips Brooks Road
North Andover, MA 01845

978-794-1577 - Main Number
978-738-1324 - Main Office Fax

When should you keep your child home from school?

Please see the