Onondaga Road-Notes from the Nurse

February 2020 – Notes from the Nurse – Posted on February 13, 2020

What’s going around at Onondaga Road?

There have been a lot of absences due to flu, strep, and stomach bug in February. Things have settled down this week with only a few students absent now. Did you know that there are two main types of flu, flu A and flu B? Unfortunately, a person can get both type A and type B in one season. In addition, if your child is diagnosed with a viral illness that tests negative for flu, they can still be very ill and they are still contagious. Follow the same guidelines for keeping them home – they may not return to school until fever, vomiting, and diarrhea have been gone for 24 hours and they feel well enough.

Staying Healthy

This is a good time in the winter to wash all winter gear – coats, snow pants, hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, etc. Gloves and mittens should be washed frequently because they are often used for wiping noses on cold days outside when tissues are not handy. So get rid of all this year’s germs with a run through the washer and dryer, and keep the kids healthy as we move toward spring!

February Break

Stay safe and enjoy the February Break!

January 2020 – Notes from the Nurse – Posted on January 21, 2020

What’s going around at Onondaga Road?

This week at Onondaga Road there have been some students with a virus that causes a fever and symptoms similar to the flu, but are testing negative for flu. A few have the stomach bug, and there are the usual colds and runny noses. If you don’t own a thermometer, put it on your grocery list. They are inexpensive, and more accurate than feeling a forehead.

Brushing teeth

Brushing teeth before school helps keep teeth healthy as well as getting rid of morning breath! The teachers will thank you. Older elementary children start to notice things like bad breath in others and themselves. Also, baby teeth help guide permanent teeth to come in correctly, so it is important to keep them in good condition. Don’t forget brushing before bed too!


Letters, emails, and phone calls will be going out in the next few weeks to parents of children who do not have a current physical in the Health Office. They are required by NY State law for grades K, 1, 3, and 5. If you are contacted but think you sent one in please call the Health Office (487-4655.)

Head Lice

Occasionally we find that a child at school has head lice. Head lice are an inconvenience, not a health hazard. They do not carry or transmit diseases. They are also not an indication that a person or a home is unclean. Head lice can survive all the shampoo, cleaning products, and soaps that you can use.
If you find that you need to get rid of them, there is a lot of good information on line. Use a trusted web site like www.gov or mayoclinic.com. Call your doctor first to see if they recommend a certain shampoo. After using the shampoo, combing out the nits (lice eggs) thoroughly is essential. Getting rid of head lice does not require a professional but there are several businesses in Syracuse that specialize in helping with this. The school does not advocate any one of these in particular, but some people have found them to be helpful.


Keep sending in those snow clothes for outdoor recess, and lip balm too!
Don’t have a sled? Try using a flattened cardboard box.

December 2019 – Notes from the Nurse – Posted on December 12, 2019

What’s going around at Onondaga Road?

This month most of the persistent fevers and harsh coughs have gone away. There is more vomiting and diarrhea going around now, and seems to be spreading quickly within families. Using hand sanitizer is often not effective against the organisms that cause these, so make sure everyone washes their hands with soap and water. Change the bathroom towels every day, and when a family member is ill you could have them use paper towels. Wash your hands as soon as you walk in the door of your house. Germs are picked up on shopping carts, door handles, and anything else other people have touched.

In addition, if you and your children haven’t had your flu shots yet, get them ASAP!  It is not 100% effective, but it gives you a better chance of staying healthy or having a less severe case of the flu. You cannot get the flu from having the flu shot.

Miss Manners

Children often come to the Health Office during lunch feeling queasy because someone near them has not used good manners while eating. It takes almost no effort for a child to chew with their mouth closed, not pick their teeth with their finger nails, and not mix left over foods together to see how gross they can be. Learning these niceties will also make the teenage years less embarrassing and eventually give you adult children who are pleasant to eat with. Even preschoolers are not too young to be practicing the good table manners that make lunch time a nicer experience for all.

Holiday Math

One Holiday Season minus 1 party minus more gifts minus 1 more trip to the store plus more fun time spent with your children = Happier Holidays!  Your time and attention are the gifts your child will love the best.

November 2019 – Notes from the Nurse – Posted on November 19, 2019

What’s going around at Onondaga Road?

We are seeing pretty much the same illnesses as last month. This is a combination on fevers, headaches, vomiting, and coughs which may take several weeks to resolve. A few children have been diagnosed with strep throat, pneumonia, or the flu.

As a reminder, if your child experiences vomiting, diarrhea, or a fever of 100 degrees or greater, please keep them home. They must be free from any of these conditions for 24 hours (without the use of medicines) before they can return to school.

Cold Weather Gear

To go out for recess in the snow students need to have a hat or hood, coat, gloves, snow pants, and boots. It is convenient to keep an extra pair of snow pants at school instead of carrying them back and forth. It is important that these outdoor clothes can be put on and taken off with a minimum of adult assistance to avoid wasting playtime. Please send in lip balm to be kept in a locker or back pack during the cold months.

A Comforting Note for Children

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me,  ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” ~Fred Rogers

October 2019 – Notes from the Nurse – Posted on October 10, 2019

What’s going around at Onondaga Road?

At Onondaga Road we have been seeing a few things this month. Some of the common symptoms are headache, vomiting, fever, sore throat, stomach pain, and a cough that lingers on. These are happening in different combinations for different children. They can be very hard to shake, and a child may seem well one day and be sick again the next. There have also been a surprising number of cases of pneumonia for this year already.

Does your child or family need health insurance?

It all seems so confusing – the “Marketplace,” NY State of Health, Child Health Plus, creating an account… it’s almost enough to make a person give up before they start!  Luckily, in New York State there are folks called Navigators or In-Person Assistors who are trained to help you get through this maze of words and find low-cost or no-cost coverage for your children and yourself.  No child needs to go without health care because they do not have insurance. Even if you have a job you can get coverage.

There are three places locally where you can find a Navigator to speak to in person. They are listed below, along with a website address.

ACR Health   315-475-2430   or email navigator@acrhealth.org

627 W.Genesee St, Syracuse NY 13204

Syracuse Northeast Community Center   315-472-6343 ext 204-214

Syracuse Salvation Army   315-479-1155

Please Send

Please send lip balm to school with your child to be kept in a backpack or locker.  Please DO NOT SEND cough drops. Hard candy like Lifesavers may be used instead with the teacher’s approval.

Hearing and Vision Screening

Routine hearing and vision screenings will start this week at Onondaga Road, starting with 5th graders. K’s, 1st, and 3rd will also be screened as the year goes along. Any results that are not within normal limits will be sent to the parent/guardian in a letter in a back pack. If your child is not in one of these grades but you would like to have their vision or hearing tested, just call the Health Office 315-487-4655, and we can discuss it.

Thank You

Thank You to all those parents/guardians who have sent in current physicals for their students. Your cooperation is very much appreciated!

June 2019 – Notes from the Nurse – Posted on June 6, 2019

What’s going around at Onondaga Road?

There have been very few students absent due to illness the past few weeks. There are always the usual colds and stomach aches being reported. What I am seeing most of in the Health Office are injuries that happen at home and on sports teams. Having children wear helmets and elbow and knee pads when on bikes, scooters, and skates may not be cool, but it helps prevent many painful injuries. Losing skin by skidding on the road really hurts! If a child is injured while playing on a sports team it may take a few days before they are healed enough to return to play. Pain in a joint after an injury is a good reason to skip a practice or a game!

Is That Me I Smell???

On these warm spring days students play hard outside at recess and gym. Classrooms are also warm and crowded and everyone needs to do their best to smell good. Children as young as second grade can benefit from using deodorant. Twenty sweaty children in a classroom without deodorant and daily showers or baths can be hard on the nose. Be kind to the teachers!

Medications and Care Plans

If your child has medication of any kind at school please stop by and pick it up before the end of the school year. Medications cannot be left at school over the summer. Anything left at school on June 28 will be disposed of.
If your child has a care plan for asthma or allergies please stop by the Health Office before the end of the school year to review and sign it again for next year.

Medications and new doctor’s orders may be brought to school on August 28 or later.

Food for the Summer

There are several free and low cost food options offered in the Camillus area this summer:

  1. St. Michael’s Lutheran Church on W. Genesee St. offers Free Community Dinners on June 19, July 17, and August 21. Dinners are held at 5-6:30PM. They are free and all are welcome to attend.
  2. Camillus 1st United Methodist Church, 12 Main St. Camillus offers Free Brown Bag Lunches on Mondays and Thursdays, 11 AM – 1 PM, June 27- August 29. Just stop by.  (To cover the rest of the week, additional lunches are also available on Mondays and Thursdays.) All are welcome.
  3. The Food Sense Program is offered by the Food Bank of CNY. It is an opportunity to purchase groceries at a discount. People of any age or income can participate. Call the Senior Center at 315-672-5820 to find out what the monthly specials are and to place orders. Orders must be in by July 15, and August 12 for delivery the next week. This program continues in the fall.

Enjoy the summer!

April 2019 – Notes from the Nurse – Posted on April 12, 2019

What’s going around at Onondaga Road?

We have had very few absences due to illness this week. As usual, a few children have colds, headaches, and stomach aches. The second half of March, however, brought with it many cases of the stomach bug for both children and adults. There is still a high incidence of flu in New York State, but none at this school recently.

Sunscreen Policy

Students can bring in sunscreen with written permission from a parent/guardian. It may be kept in the student’s locker and they can apply it to themselves. Sunscreen may not be shared with another student. A student who is not able to physically apply sunscreen can be assisted by school staff if the parent note states that this is permitted.

Vaccines Required for Middle School

All students, 11 years old upon entry into the 6th grade, must have a Tdap vaccine. If the student is 10 yrs old upon entry into the 6th grade, he/she must have the Tdap vaccine as soon as they turn 11 years old. Ask to have this done when you take your 5th grader in for a physical, and they will be ready when September rolls around!

News for the Nurse

If your child is diagnosed with a new allergy, condition,  or illness please call the nurse so that we may take the best possible care of your child. If they start any new long term medication we also need to know in case of an emergency. Many conditions and medications affect a child’s day in school.

March 2019 – Notes from the Nurse – Posted on March 8, 2019

What’s going around at Onondaga Road?

Since we came back from the February break our students have been pretty healthy. There have been a few students out with stomach aches, colds, and ear infections.


Our school doctor will be at Onondaga Road in April to do physicals for K’s, 1st, 3rd, and 5th graders who do not have a current physical on file and who do not have an appointment scheduled with their doctor. Letters to these parents will go out next week.


When a child has a cold they often come to the Health Office with a stuffy nose. Many of them do not know how to blow their nose, they only wipe it. This does not empty out their nose or stop the dripping, and they are uncomfortable. Believe it or not, this is a skill that, for many children, needs to be taught. Below is listed one web site with good instructions. There are also many good YouTube videos that you can look for. This is one more step in self-care that they will be glad to take. Good luck!



Did you know that missing 10% (18 days) or more of school days per year is considered chronic absenteeism? It is also a predictor of lower reading proficiency, math performance, graduation rates and college completion. Making school attendance a priority helps set children up for success in school and after. For example, a recent study showed that only 17 % of children who were chronically absent in both kindergarten and 1st grade were proficient readers by the end of 3rd grade as compared to 64 % for their peers who attended regularly. During the elementary years students are learning the groundwork to build on later. It is understood that some absences are unavoidable, but it is worth thinking twice about others, even if it is ‘only’ Kindergarten or 1st grade.

January 2019  – Notes From the Nurse – Posted on January 15, 2019

What’s going around at Onondaga Road?

Right now we are seeing some headaches with fevers, some colds, and a few confirmed cases of the flu. All of these illnesses are caused by germs, not by cold weather. Children should wash their hands as soon as they get home from school every day. Everyone should wash hands before holding or touching young babies. Wash gloves, hats, and scarves during the season. To keep from spreading illness through the family, use paper towels when a family member is sick.

K, 1st, 3rd, 5th:

There are quite a few students in these grades who do not yet have a current physical on file in the Health Office. Phone calls, e-mails and letters will soon be going out to their parents, so please don’t set it aside if you receive one. Physicals may be faxed to the school at 315-487-2598 from a doctor’s office, or sent in from home.  If you have requested your doctor to fax one, they might not have done so and they will need to be asked again. As we do every year, our school doctor will be coming to O. Road this spring to do exams on any children who still need them. Parents will be notified in advance.

Partnership for Drug Free Kids

The Partnership for Drug Free Kids has a great website. It suggests ways for adults to talk about drugs and drug abuse to children of all ages. With drug use and drug overdose being so widely spread, it is important to discuss it at home as well as in school. Don’t be afraid that you won’t say the right thing. Your children need to hear your voice tell them how important it is to stay safe and drug free.

December 2018  –  Notes from the Nurse – Posted on December 11, 2018

What is Going Around at Onondaga Road?

Students have been staying very healthy this year.  This week, however,  we are seeing a  bug that is spreading around that includes stomachache, headache, and vomiting.

Just a reminder – a child must be free of fever and/or vomiting for 24 hours before they return to school. This is without use of fever-reducing medications. They must be on antibiotics for 24 hours as well, if they have been prescribed.

Food Sense Program

Food Sense is a program of the Food Bank of Central New York. It is an opportunity to purchase food at a discount.  They offer both Monthly Specials of single foods, and Monthly Packages which contain a variety of foods. Everyone can participate – there are no age or income requirements.  Call the Camillus Senior Center for more information at 315-672-5820. This program is for people of all ages, not just seniors. The food is offered at a substantial discount from what you would pay at the grocery store. Please check the WG District website next week for additional information on local food pantries.

Did You Know….

When school starts in September it is a routine fact that occasionally a child may wet or soil their pants at school until they get used to the routine and the location of the restrooms. By October this situation usually resolves itself.  Children of any age may have an accident when they are coming down with something. However, if you find that your child is still having accidents at school routinely, it is a good idea to make an appointment with their pediatrician to see if there is any underlying health problem, and to seek their advice on how to proceed. Having accidents at school becomes increasingly embarrassing to children as they get older, so it is important to address this issue as early as possible.  As a parent, you may think that your child is the only one at school in this situation, but they are not. Seeking help only makes sense. You are not alone.


Hearing and vision screenings have been completed at Onondaga Road for all children who are new to the district this year. Screening on 5th graders has started and will probably be done by the Holiday break. Screening for 3rd graders will start after the break, followed by 1st graders and Kindergarteners. Parents will be notified by the nurse if their child does not pass any of the screenings. Second and 4th graders are not screened for hearing and vision unless there is a concern by the teacher or parent.


Snow clothes, lip balm, send in physical forms, less screen time – more outdoor play, apply lotion to face before sledding, more veggies – fewer snack foods.

Wishing you the very best for the Holidays and in the New Year!

Notes From the Nurse November 2018-Posted on November 19, 2018

What’s going Around at Onondaga Road?

We have been a pretty healthy bunch at O. Road the past few weeks. A few students have been absent with colds and coughs, and a few have had stomach upsets. Let’s keep it up!

Cold Weather Gear:

Now that it is cold and snowy outside please make sure your child brings in everything they need for outdoor recess. This includes: warm coat, snow pants, hat, gloves, and boots. It works well to leave an extra pair of snow pants at school. They get wet and are bulky to carry in a back pack.
Students should keep an extra pair of pants and some socks in their lockers for those days when they get wet right through snow pants and boots. And don’t forget to send in some lip balm!

Contact Information:

If your phone number (cell, home, or work) changes, please call the office right away to let them know. (315-487-4653) It is essential that we are able to reach you in an emergency. Information for additional people who can pick up your child from school can be also be added by calling the office.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nurse’s Notes October 2108-Posted on October 19, 2018

What’s going around at Onondaga Road?

Coughs, colds, fevers, and stomach bug have all been going around at O. Road, more last week that this week. They all seem to be letting up for now.
As always, wash hands frequently and keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. These are some of the best steps you can take to keep from getting or spreading illness.

Happy Halloween!

Check out the link below for some safety tips and good ideas for having a safe and happy Halloween! If you allow your child to bring candy to school, please limit it to one or two pieces each day.


Check out these links for inexpensive costumes to make!


Cough Drops and Lip Balm:

Chapped and cracked lips are already starting with the cooler weather. Lip balm may be brought to school and kept in a desk or backpack. Having it handy will save them a trip to the Health Office for Vaseline. Lip balm does not require a note from a parent or doctor.

Cough drops are considered an over the counter medication. They require a doctor’s note, and a parent note, must be kept in the Health Office, and must be carried in to school by an adult. PLEASE DO NOT SEND COUGH DROPS TO SCHOOL WITH YOUR CHILD. If they need something to soothe a scratchy throat, check with the teacher about bringing in a few Lifesavers or other hard candy.

Tdap Vaccine:

Students turning 11 or entering 6th grade must have a Tdap vaccine. Ask to have it done when you take your 5th grader in for their physical so you won’t have to make another appointment next summer.

Nurse’s Notes Sept. 2018-Posted on September 24, 2018

What’s Going Around at Onondaga Road?

So far we have seen a few cases of the stomach bug, some minor sore throats, and a few cases of a viral illness with a fever.

Please arrange to have someone ready to pick up your child during the school day if you are without a car or are not available. Children worry when they need to be sent home and they don’t know if anyone can pick them up, so let them know what your back-up plan is.

New Grade Levels for Physicals:

The NY State Department of Education has made a change in the grades for which physicals are required. Kindergartners, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th graders and new entrants to the school district will need to provide completed physical forms to the school. Most children have a physical each year, and physicals remain current at school for more than a year, so this should not create any extra work for most parents. Letters will go out later this fall if your student needs to bring in a new one.

Also, in the past, any physical form provided by a doctor was accepted at school. There is now a single form that must be used. It has been sent to all the doctors and is available on the West Genesee website. This form is being eased in, so all types of forms will be accepted in 2018-19, but only the new one can be used starting next school year.

School Anxiety:

A surprising number of children have trouble coming to school in the morning because they have feelings of fear, upset, or anxiety about coming to or staying at school. Even if you never figure out why this is happening for your child, there is help to overcome this distressing situation. Some things to try are:

  1. Being a good listener for your child and problem solving together can help. There may be a problem with a friend, or a situation on the bus or at recess that is easily sorted out.
  2. Talking to the teacher is also important. Teachers have a unique perspective on what happens with each child during the day.
  3. For some children, making morning goodbyes short and matter-of-fact and discussing the positive aspects of their day after school may be enough.
  4. Listening well, not dismissing a child’s feelings, and yet not sharing your own anxiety about their feelings seems like a fine line to walk. Not many words may be needed. Being heard is very healing.
  5. Our School Counselor, Barbara Randall, and our School Psychologist, Alison Conley are available to help if the anxiety persists and they may refer you to resources outside of school.

The two articles below are good sources of information about handling school anxiety. You are not alone.

  1. https://www.anxietybc.com/parenting/helping-your-child-cope-back-school-anxiety
  2. https://www.heysigmund.com – Article is called How to Empower Your Child to Deal With School Anxiety