Student Health

Our Mission: Amherst County Public Schools is committed to providing a healthy environment for students and staff within the school environment, recognizing that individuals must be physically, mentally and socially healthy in order to promote wellness and academic performance.
For further information, please visit the CDC web site at:
VDH Communicable Disease Reference Chart
Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools, 3rd Ed, Susan Aaronson and Timothy Shope, American Academy of Pediatrics.
Childhood Obesity Infographic from Wheels for
We want your Feedback!
Here at Amherst County Public Schools, we are updating our Wellness Policy to address the changing health needs and concerns of students and to ensure that healthier options are available to everyone!  We want your feedback! Please feel free to email your comments, suggestions and ideas to
We recently completed an audit of our Wellness policy and action items were developed based on areas where we can improve. We are working on a revised policy that addresses these areas and reflects our values of "Every Child, Every Day." Please contact us with any additional ideas.

Action Items:

School cafeterias promote the importance of positive nutrition through signs and posters, but some have more information available than others. CNP will make sure all schools have access to a variety of posters and signs that promote good nutritional choices. Consideration will also be given to whether additional schools should be enrolled at Team Nutrition Schools.
Staff wellness has traditionally been promoted from the division level. While several of our schools have initiatives organized by individuals within their buildings, most administrators do not promote staff wellness, nutrition or physical activity on a regular basis. Administrators can promote the importance of physical activity and self-care during faculty meetings or through faculty newsletters, by encouraging after-school activities for teachers, and incentivizing participation in wellness activities. Resources will be provided to administrators.

Only a few schools are promoting the importance of families being active together, and this is mostly being done through PE fitness logs. Schools will be encouraged to include wellness and physical activity promotion during events and through communication with families. The division will provide resources to schools for this purpose and consider other ways to promote community wellness at the school level.

Division team is in the process of reviewing the current ACPS wellness policy and comparing it to guidelines from the USDA, Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s model wellness policy, and recent memoranda from VDOE. Revisions will be made and presented to the school board for implementation during the 2020-21 school year.

Mandated Health Screenings 
State Law requires that all NEW students (as well as ALL students in grades K, 3, 7, and 10) receive a vision and hearing screening within 60 administrative working days of the start of school.   The screenings will take place during school and the school nurse will contact parents if any problems or deficits are discovered.  If you have any questions, please phone Marie Petrone, Student Accountability Coordinator at 434-946-9342 or your school nurse. 
Medications at School 
This is a reminder that we are happy to give medications at school if students need them during the school day. However, we CANNOT dispense a medication to a student unless we have a signed ACPS Medication Consent Form on file and the medication is sent in and is properly labeled and in its original container.
Visit our nursing page to download our Medication Consent Forms. You can also call the clinic to have forms sent home for completion. 
Food Allergies 
FOOD ALLERGIES:  Please contact the school nurse immediately if a student is diagnosed with a food allergy, particularly one that is serious enough to require medication (such as a peanut allergy).
REMEMBER!!! It is very important that we have current phone numbers for all our students in case of emergency. Please call the school or the clinic if you have recently changed your home, work, or cell phone number so we can add that information to your child's Emergency Card. 
It’s the Rule Shots Before School!
Immunizations: Documentation must be provided to the school that students have received the required immunizations. The required immunizations include: 
DPT or DTap-a minimum of 4 doses, at least one dose of DTap or DTP on or after 4th birthday unless received 6 doses before 4th birthday. Tdap-booster required for entry into 6th grade if at least 5 years since last tetanus containing vaccine. 
Polio - Minimum of 4 doses - at least one dose after 4th birthday unless received 4 doses of all OPV or all IPV prior to 4th birthday. 
Measles- minimum of two doses - first dose on/after 12 months of age; 2nd dose prior to entering kindergarten. 
Mumps – a minimum of two doses – one on/after 12 months of age. 
Rubella- minimum of one dose on/after 12 months of age. 
Note: Measles, Mumps, Rubella requirements also met by 2 MMR- 1st dose on/after 12 months of age; 2nd dose prior to entering kindergarten. 
Hepatitis B- 3 doses required (2 doses if Merck adult formulation given between 11-15 years of age). 
Varicella- Children born after Jan. 1, 1997 must have one dose on/after 12 months of age.  Effective March 3, 2010, a second dose must be administered prior to entering kindergarten but can be administered at any time after the minimum interval between dose 1 and dose 2.
 Haemophilus Influenza Type b (Hib) Vaccine. Require only for children up to 60 months of age. The child’s current age and not the number of prior doses received govern the number of doses required.  Unvaccinated children between the ages of 15 and 60 months are only required to have one dose of vaccine. 
PCV Vaccine – Required only for children less than 60 months of age. One to four doses, dependent on age at first does, of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine are required.
Any student whose immunizations are incomplete may be admitted conditionally, if the parent or guardian provides documentation at the time of enrollment, that the student has received at least one dose of the required immunizations and has a written schedule for completing the remaining doses within 90 days. A certificate of immunization is not required of any student if his/her parent submits an affidavit to the school, which indicates that having the student immunized conflicts with the family’s religious tenets or practices; or (ii) the school is provided medical certification that one or more of the required immunizations may be harmful to the student’s health indicating the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstance that contraindicates immunization. 
See the Virginia Department of Health Web site for more information at
The Amherst Health Department provides immunizations Wednesdays from 8:30-10:00 a.m. and from 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are serious health problems that usually start in childhood or adolescence and affect both girls and boys. With early diagnosis, eating disorders are treatable with a combination of nutritional, medical, and therapeutic supports.  Recognizing the importance of early identification of at-risk students, the 2013 Virginia General Assembly passed a law requiring each school board to provide parent educational information regarding eating disorders on an annual basis to students in the fifth through twelfth grades. For more information please visit
Various "ailments" are common in all schools: strep throat, gastrointestinal viruses, "pink eye", and the common cold. Good handwashing is the best defense against all contagious illnesses, along with covering coughs and reducing exposure to ill individuals. The following students should stay home from school:  those with active vomiting or diarrhea, fevers over 100 degrees, undiagnosed rashes, serious untreated injuries, contagious illnesses, or who are obviously unwell. When in doubt call your nurse! 
Once the student is well enough for school, DON’T forget to send in a doctor’s note or written note from home to explain the illness.