Student Health: Our Purpose
The American Academy of Pediatrics Council on School Health (COSH) defines school health as an integration of wellness, safety, growth, learning and development in the lives of school-aged children and adolescents within the context of their school, and with the coordinated alliance of the family and the medical home. Coordinated School Health includes eight interrelated components: health education, physical education, health services, counseling, psychological and social services, nutrition services, healthy and safe school environment, health promotions for staff and family and community involvement. The goal is to help young people establish healthy lifestyle behaviors and choices to increase health and well-being and reduce disease.
The Athens City Schools student health program's misson is to provide a safe and healthy environment in which students have the optimum opportunity to benefit from education and attain their maximum potential. Our school nurses collaborate with the Alabama State Department of Education and Limeston County Department of Public Health to provide specialized health care while maintaining state mandated health regulation compliance. We also implement strategies to prevent the spread of contagiousillnesses and address potential health issues. We provide coordinated school-based nursing services to ensure the delivery of quality individualized health services for students to facilitate daily school attendance and enhance academic achievement. School-based nursing service allocations are data-driven based on the number of students with documented health conditions, required therapeutic physician ordered treatments for individual students during school hours and school enrollment.
The student health program is staffed by Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses. Some of the services that may be provided are:
- Conducts regular vision, hearing, dental and scoliosis screenings of students and facilitates referrals for students requiring more in-depth evaluation.
- Identifies health problems that may interfere with learning and coordinates treatment referrals.
- Provides first aid, emergency care and prescribed medical treatments for children during the school day.
- Promotes the health and safety of all children by teaching and counseling them concerning the prevention of disease, illness and injury.
- Immunization surveillance for compliance with Alabama state requirements.
Parents and Community
- Consults with parents concerning the identified health needs of their children and provide advice and referral assistance.
- Provides preventive health education and guidance to parents and information concerning community health resources.
- Functions as an advocate for parents by identifying and seeking to eliminate health/safety hazards within the school environment.
- Assists parents and their physicians with the proper administration of prescribed medical treatments by providing staff training, monitoring and direct services as needed.
- Serves as a health education resource person for lesson planning in health and safety.
- Conducts in-service workshops with employees concerning the prevention, identification and treatment of communicable/transmittable diseases and other health threats.
- Informs teachers of health conditions of individual students and what their role will be in the overall treatment plan.
- Promotes the health and well-being of school personnel through counseling and consultation.
District Nurse Supervisor
Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Samford University Registered Nurse (RN)
Mrs. Laura Smith, RN
Laura Smith is a native of Athens and a graduate of Athens High School. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Samford University in 2003. Laura began her nursing career as a RN at Decatur Morgan Hospital where she worked in the Newborn Nursery Unit for 13 years. Laura has been employed by ACS since 2016 and is the school nurse at HEART Academy. She considers it a great privilege to work for ACS. She is very blessed to be able to serve her community. Laura is married and the proud mom of one son who is currently enrolled in Athens City Schools.