- Health and Safety
When a student is not feeling well, they should be kept home from school until it is determined that no contagious disease is present. Having a student absent for a day is better than exposing an entire classroom to a communicable disease. We are required to report the following immunization preventable diseases to the Health Department immediately upon diagnosis.
PLEASE CONTACT US RIGHT AWAY IF YOUR CHILD CONTRACTS ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: Encephalitis, Haemophilus, Influenza-Type B, Hepatitis, Measles, Meningitis, Mumps, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), or Rubella.
In an effort to keep the number of illnesses at school to a minimum please consider the following guidelines provided by the Kent County Health Department in determining the appropriate amount of time to keep your child home from school. Many illnesses do not require exclusion. However, children may be excluded if the illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in school activities or if there is a risk of the spread of harmful diseases to others. Criteria include:
- Severely ill: A child that is lethargic or less responsive has difficulty breathing or has a rapidly spreading rash.
- Fever: A child with a temperature of 101°F or greater AND behavior changes or other signs or symptoms (e.g., sore throat, rash, vomiting, or diarrhea). The child should not return until 24 hours of no fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- Diarrhea: A child has two loose or watery stools. The child should have no loose stools for 24 hours prior to returning to school. Exception: A healthcare provider has determined it is not infectious. Diarrhea may be caused by antibiotics or new foods a child has eaten. Discuss with a parent/guardian to find out if this is the likely cause.
- Vomiting: A child that has vomited two or more times. The child should have no vomiting episodes for 24 hours prior to returning. Exception: A healthcare provider has determined it is not infectious.
- Abdominal pain: A child with abdominal pain that continues for more than two hours or intermittent pain associated with fever or other symptoms.
- Rash: The child with a rash AND has a fever or a change in behavior. Exclude until the rash subsides or until a healthcare provider has determined it is not infectious. Note: Rapidly spreading bruising or small blood spots under the skin need immediate medical attention.
- Skin sores: A child with weeping sores on an exposed area that cannot be covered with a waterproof dressing.
- Certain communicable diseases: Children and staff diagnosed with certain communicable diseases may have to be excluded for a certain period of time.
*These are general recommendations. Please consult your local health department for additional guidance on communicable diseases.
The school does not employ a medical nurse. The office staff has been assigned to distribute medication, handle emergencies, pass out band-aids, etc. Office staff and designated teaching staff have been trained in first aid and CPR. If a student has special circumstances, detailed information must be given to office staff.
Head Lice Policy
Although head lice do not cause great medical harm they are contagious and raise anxiety in students and families. We work to prevent the spread of head lice at school by checking the homerooms of students and siblings of students who have a confirmed report of head lice. Also, periodic checks are done in classrooms where there are students who have signs of head lice such as scratching or visible nits (eggs). Notification and treatment recommendations will be sent home in the event of a confirmed case. Students with head lice may not return to school until the condition is treated.
Grand Rapids Christian Schools, in accordance with Michigan law, requires that all students have and maintain adequate written records that a student has been immunized against illness required by Michigan statutes. Compliance with this policy is requested within fifteen school days after admission. Thereafter, your student may be excluded from school. Students who are exempt from required immunizations for medical or nonmedical reasons must have a copy of the certified waiver on file in the school office before a student may be enrolled.
Chronic Health Conditions
Students with chronic health conditions (ie. diabetes, asthma, etc.) may enroll at Grand Rapids Christian Schools and will be eligible for accommodations, modifications, and interventions of the regular classroom, curriculum, or school activity with every effort made to provide them the same access to education as students without disabilities. Designated staff will be provided with appropriate training specific to procedures in order to assist students’ needs.
Life-Threatening Allergy Policy
As a Christian school community, we have a legal and ethical obligation to follow a physician’s recommendations to safeguard the health of students who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy. Therefore, when students with life-threatening allergies are diagnosed and/or enrolled, GRCS will designate the school and/or specific classrooms as allergen-free zones. The office will notify all parents of the allergen-free zones on an annual basis or as changes arise. Parent cooperation is essential in implementing this policy. Please help us keep our students safe.
Grand Rapid Christian Elementary Schools relies heavily on parental cooperation to implement the following policy. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY.
Evergreen | Iroquois | Rockford Christian Elementary
Applies To All Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School and Elementary School-Age Students & Families:
- No food clearly identifiable as or clearly labeled as containing peanuts is permitted.
- Foods labeled as "processed with peanuts" or "processed in a facility that also processes peanuts" are permitted unless your child's classroom is specifically designated as a "Peanut-Free Zone".
- To avoid accidental exposure to allergens through residual contact, all students will be expected to wash their hands after meals.
- Any activities involving food in common areas must be allergen-free and proper cleaning of tables and common areas must occur after any events in common areas.
- Threats to students with life-threatening allergies will be considered bullying and will be addressed by GRCES’ student discipline process.
- Information about peanut allergies, how to read labels, peanut-free lunch alternatives, or birthday treat ideas will be available at the GRCES school office.
Applies To All GRCES Students and Families In Classrooms With A Peanut-allergic Student:
- Children in classrooms who bring peanut products in their lunch will have these products removed and will be provided with a reasonable alternative if available.
- GRCES maintains the right to declare a classroom a "Peanut-Free Zone" depending on the age of the allergic child and the severity of the allergy.
- If your child is in a "Peanut-Free Zone" classroom, you will be notified directly. (Peanut-Free Zone: Area where no products containing, processed with, or processed in a facility with peanuts is allowed due to risks of cross-contamination and accidental exposure.)
Applies to Staff at Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School and Staff of Elementary School-Aged Students:
- The school (in partnership with parents, health officials, and other agencies) will participate in ongoing school community education programs.
- The school will train staff on allergies, sources of allergens, avoidance techniques, identification of an allergic reaction in progress, and emergency response procedures.
- Teachers in classrooms where life-threatening allergies are present may confiscate food that poses a danger to another student and may provide a safe alternative if one is available.
- Peanuts or peanut-contaminated materials will not be utilized in any teacher-initiated activities (i.e. art projects, baking projects, games, etc.)
Grand Rapids Christian Middle School
Yearly, GRCMS has students who are diagnosed with severe and potentially life-threatening allergies to peanuts and nut products. As a Christian school community, we have a legal and ethical obligation to follow their physician’s recommendations to safeguard their health.
GRCMS is not a completely nut-free school. When we are officially notified of a child’s diagnosis and/or their need for this kind of accommodation, GRCMS will designate peanut-free/nut-free classrooms where no nut products of any kind are allowed into the classroom.
Medication Policy — Administration of Oral Medication
The act of administering oral medication to students constitutes the practice of medicine. The Grand Rapids Christian Schools recognizes that the law authorizes school administrators, teachers, and other designated employees to administer oral medication when requested in writing by a parent, guardian, or adult student in accordance with the instructions and supervision of the student's physician.
In order to assist parents/guardians and adult students in promoting and maintaining the health of students and to maintain the highest possible level of functioning of impaired students, the Board of Education authorizes the administration of prescribed and non-prescribed oral medication to students by school administrators, teachers, or other school employees designated by the school administrator, pursuant to a written request of the students' parent/guardian or adult student. The oral medication must be administered in compliance with the instructions of a physician.
*If prescription medication is to be administered at school, We will need a physician's authorization form completed by the prescribing doctor. This form can be found on the website, under a parent’s login in ParentVue (called Forms).
The Board recognizes that, as stated in the School Code of 1976, Act 451, S1178 "a school administrator, teacher, or other school employee designated by the school administrator, who in good faith administers medication to a pupil in the presence of another adult pursuant to written permission of the student's parents or guardian and in compliance with the instructions of a physician, is not liable in a criminal action or for civil damages as a result of the administration except for an act of omission amounting to gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct.
Procedure for Administration of Medication:
Oral medication may be administered to students by school personnel only according to the following conditions:
- The parent/guardian has requested the school in writing to administer medication in compliance with label instructions, and:
- Has brought the medication directly to the school office, or
- Has given the medication to an adult staff person in a properly labeled container
- The medication is administered by an administrator or staff person(s) designated by the administrator
- The administrator will designate one or more persons to administer all medication in the building.
- Medication is administered in an appropriate place so as to preserve the dignity of the student.
- A permanent written record is kept of all medication administered. Long-term medication shall be noted in the cumulative file at the time of transfer.
- Medication is kept in a locked location.
- The student's physician must have prescribed the medication and submitted written instructions for its administration.
- Administration of medication must cease at the written request of the parent/guardian or at the end of the time period of the prescription.
- Changes in the medication dosage may only be made according to the written instructions of the student's physician.
- The student's parent/guardian shall provide the school with a renewal physician's order at least annually for students needing to receive medication over a length of time. Renewal orders will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian.
- Noncompliance with policy and rules will lead to discontinuation of the administration of medication at school
- Parents/guardians will be notified of students observed with or taking medication apart from this policy and rules.
- Where conditions are not followed, staff may refuse to continue the administration of medication.
NOTE: An aspirin-free pain reliever will only be administered to students with parental permission obtained on the Emergency Contact & Consent Form filed at the beginning of each school year through ParentVue verification.