Our youth have a right to receive medically and scientifically accurate information to empower them to make informed decisions that promote their individual physical and mental health and well-being. Therefore, all schools offer a comprehensive health education curriculum for all students in kindergarten through high school that is aligned to the Colorado Comprehensive Health Education Standards. Areas covered include physical and personal wellness, emotional and social wellness, and prevention and risk management.
Right to Opt Out of Health Education Classes
Durango 9-R offers a health education curriculum that maintains, reinforces and enhances students’ health knowledge, skills, attitudes, and practices conducive to optimal health and reduction or elimination of high-risk behaviors.
Parents may request to inspect the district’s health education curriculum and instructional material at any time during school hours.
Parents will be notified when health courses are scheduled and may request that their child be exempt from a specific portion of the program or may elect to opt out of the entire health curriculum if desired. Requests for exemptions should be made to the teacher and school principal. Students who are granted an exemption shall be assigned an alternate educational assignment and must make up the credit toward graduation in another elective area.
Physical Activity and Education
All schools include in their curriculum physical education classes that focus on lifelong physical fitness, cardiovascular training, and conditioning. Elementary schools incorporate a minimum of 600 minutes a month of physical activity into each student’s schedule as enacted by HB11-1069.
High school students must take physical education classes as a requirement to graduate.
Family and Community Involvement
School staff can’t accomplish a student’s health and good nutrition alone. Our healthy school model includes family and community support wherever possible. Community involvement enhances the health and wellbeing of students with the support of the District Wellness Team. The District Wellness Team meets quarterly and is made up of parents, community members, and staff.
School Counseling Services
Counselors are available at all Durango 9-R schools to help students develop skills to make decisions, set goals, accept others, identify strengths, take tests, manage stress, resolve conflicts, understand self, cooperate with others, study effectively, communicate accurately, and evaluate information.
They also provide crisis intervention/problem solving, individual and group counseling, classroom guidance, and encourage parent/ family involvement.
Counselors work as a team with school staff, parents, mental health professionals, and the community.
9-R promotes staff health and wellness through an Employee Assistance Program which can be accessed at www.anthemeap.com.
Other wellness programs offered through Anthem include MyHealth Coach, 24/7 Nurse Line, a health assessment and healthy lifestyle programs such as smoking cessation, fitness and stress management. 9-R also has an agreement with the Durango Recreation Center to provide discounted memberships.
Healthy School Environment
All 9-R schools are encouraged to have a Wellness Team with broad representation of staff and parents. These teams identify and implement practices to model a healthy school environment. These teams address topics such as healthy classroom environment, school gardens, fundraising, classroom movement breaks, and coordination of school health fairs.
Giving medication at school is justifiable only in chronic or acute health situations. We encourage parents to give their children medications at home whenever possible.
School health service providers, in accordance with Colorado State Law, administer FDA-approved prescription and nonprescription medications. Parents must furnish a written authorization from an individual who is licensed to prescribe medications stating consent for giving the medication, dosage, frequency of dosage, and side effects.
Medication must be sent to the school in the original container with the prescription label intact.
A school shall permit a student to possess and self-administer emergency medications such as an inhaler, epinephrine, or insulin if a health care plan and a written contract signed by the parent is on file in the school’s health office. This contract confirms that the student has been instructed and is capable of administering the medication as well as meeting other stated criteria.
Durango 9-R makes student accident insurance available for those interested in purchasing coverage. A brochure explaining costs and options is available at registration or from each school. If a parent is unable to afford health insurance for a child, each school has information about community resources that assist with insurance enrollment.
Medicaid School Health Services (SHS) Program
The Colorado School Health Services (SHS) Program is administered by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. It allows participating school districts to access federal Medicaid funds for delivering Medicaid allowable services to students enrolled in Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program). Districts may also receive federal funding for providing administrative and outreach activities through the Medicaid Administrative Claiming component of the program. The SHS Program serves students under age 21 who are eligible under the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and to those enrolled in programs that require an Individualized Education Program (IEP), Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP), or other medical plans of care where medical necessity has been established. A one-time Parental consent is required in order to seek reimbursement for services provided. Reimbursement received through the SHS Program is used to enhance and expand health and mental health services for all students in the district.
When Should Illness Keep a Student at Home?
Are sniffles and sneezes a sign that students should stay home from school? What about a headache or slight fever? Families often wonder when students should stay home from school because of illness. For many families, deciding what to do can be even more difficult because of parental work responsibilities and the lack of childcare. As a general rule, consider the following:
- If your student has had a fever, keep your student home for 24 hours after the temperature returns to normal (without the aid of fever-reducing medication).
- If your student has vomited or has diarrhea, keep him/her home until 24 hours after the last episode.
- If your student has a rash that may be related to a disease, such as chicken pox, etc., or if the cause of the rash is unknown, contact your family physician before sending the student to school.
- If your student has a severe and persistent cough, he or she should be seen by your family physician before attending school.
- Remember that students who have infectious illnesses can spread the disease if they’re in contact with others. The best defense is frequent hand washing, so practice good hand washing habits.
- Remember to contact your school every day to report your student’s illness. Schools will do their best to provide you and your students with assistance to make up the work they’ve missed.
If your student becomes ill at school, he or she will be referred to the SBHC or health office staff for assessment, and if appropriate, the school nurse will call you regarding your child’s health care needs. All students are able to access general school nursing, without access to SBHC services.