Health and Safety

The goal of our school-based health center and our school nurses is to support students’ wellbeing and serve as an important resource in our schools to enable all students to achieve their full potential.

School Nurses

The nurses’ offices in each school are available to help students who are ill, have a school-related accident or are interested in playing a school sport. To visit the nurse’s office, students must secure a pass from their classroom teacher, except in the case of an emergency. If it is necessary for you to go home because of illness, you must be released by the nurse who will get permission from a parent or guardian.

Watervliet Elementary School

Sue Vogel, RN
Phone: 518-629-3402
Fax: 518-273-5312

Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School

Dakota Hewitt
Phone: 518-629-3304
Fax: 518-629-3256

Whitney Young School Based Health Center

Whitney Young Health began offering school-based health center services in the Watervliet City School District in September 2018. Health services through Whitney Young Health are available to all elementary, junior and senior high school students. The School Based Health Center is located at Watervliet Junior-Senior High School, 1245 Hillside Ave. Learn more about the WYH School Based Health Center

2023 Hours – Whitney Young School Based Health Center

Call for appointments: 518-573-2556

School Health Policies and Information

Student Physicals

As of July 2018, NYS has mandated that physicals are required for all students in K, 1, 3, 5, 7 and 11 grades and any student that is new to our district.

Health certificates are required to be submitted within 30 days of the start of the school year [Education Law §903, 8 NYCRR §136.3 (c)(1]]. If the parent/guardian has not furnished a health certificate to the school within 30 days, then school officials must provide a written notification to the parent/guardian of the school’s intent to provide a physical examination by health appraisal of their child at school by the district medical director as per Education Law §903(3)(a) and 8 NYCRR §136.3 (c)(1)(iii)if the parent/guardian does not provide the school with a health certificate within 30 days from the date of the notice.

These examinations must be completed on the required NYS Student Health Examination Form. Please provide completed forms to your school nurse.

Dental health certificates are requested, but are not required


Public Health Law prohibits schools from permitting any child to be admitted to or to attend school, in excess of 14 days without sufficient evidence that the child has received all age-appropriate required vaccinations. The 14 days may be extended if the student is transferring from out of state or from another county and can show a good faith effort to get the necessary evidence or if the parent/guardian or other person in parental relationship can demonstrate that a child has received the first age-appropriate dose in each immunization series and that they have appropriate scheduled appointments for follow-up doses to complete the immunization series in accordance with the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommended Immunization Schedules for Persons Aged 0 through 18.

Acceptable proof of immunizations is a health care practitioner record, signed by a practitioner licensed in New York State. Records acceptable without a signature include: NYSIIS Record; Official registry from another State; Official record from a foreign nation, Electronic health record; School health record, (must be transferred directly from one school to another).

Please be advised that students not in compliance with the required immunization requirements, or those lacking proof of satisfactory progress toward completion, will be excluded from attending school until adequate proof is submitted.

Under a law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo (Chapter 35 of the Laws of 2019), exemptions based on religious beliefs will no longer be allowed for the childhood vaccines that are currently required for entry or attendance at schools in New York State.

If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school nurse or building principal.

Please visit the New York State Department of Health website for a complete list of immunization requirements for school attendance.

Student Medication

School personnel (nurse, principal, assistant principal) may administer medication to schoolchildren if the following guidelines are met:

  1. A written request from the physician is provided indicating the diagnosis, name of the medication, the frequency and the dosage of the prescribed medication.  This may be faxed to the school’s health office: 
    Elementary School fax: 518-273-5312  •  High School fax: 518-629-3256
  2. A new request is needed each school year.
  3. The parents must submit a written request to administer the medication as specified by the doctor.
  4. The medication must be in a pharmacy container that clearly states the name of the student as well as the name of the medication, the dosage and the frequency of the medication. All inhalers must have a labeled box.
  5. The medication must be delivered by an adult – no medication should be brought into school by the student, unless specifically written and ordered by the physician. 
  6. All medication must be picked up by the end of the school year or else it will be discarded. No medication will be kept until next year.

Please call the school health offices with any questions.

  • WES: 518-629-3402
  • WJSHS: 518-629-3304

Student Illness

Please call the main office of your child’s school to report any absence. While not required, it is helpful to note your child’s major complaint or illness.

We strongly encourage parents/guardians to keep your child home if any of the following symptoms are present:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Fever: A student must be fever-free for 24 hours without medication, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) before returning to school.
  • Any unexplained rash (if your child is sent home with a rash he or she will need a physician’s note to return to school).
  • Strep Throat: Your child will need three doses of antibiotic and must be fever-free before returning to school.
  • Live lice or nits (lice eggs) present in the hair. If your child has had lice or nits, he or she must be brought to school to be checked before returning to class.
  • Pink Eye: Redness or drainage from the eyes. Your child must be on medication at least 24 hours before returning to school.

Please be aware that children who exhibit the symptoms above may be sent home from school.

Student Health Data

Because NY State is interested in data about children’s health, schools are required to keep height and weight data and to calculate students’ Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a way of checking for underweight or overweight youngsters based on their height and weight. Some schools will be surveyed by the state Department of Health each year and asked to share the number of pupils they have in each of six possible BMI categories based on students’ age and sex. If our district is surveyed by the state, we will only share group data (for instance, the number of second grade boys whose BMI is below the fifth percentile), not individual data, such as names or exact weight. However, if parents wish their child’s data to be excluded from such group calculations, they may do so by contacting the nurse at their child’s school (WES nurse: 518-629-3402, WJSHS nurse: 518-629-3304).

Health Alerts and Allergies

If your child is allergic to insect bites, bee stings or certain foods, please contact their school health office regarding emergency measures. If your child has any health challenges, please be sure your school nurse is aware of them.

Sports Physicals

Every student in grades 7-12 who intends to participate in interscholastic athletics (including cheerleading) must have a sport physical by the school physician. A student may choose to have a physical exam by his/her family doctor, but it must meet the requirements of the school physical and must be reviewed and approved by the school physician before participation may take place. No student may practice or participate before he/she has received a sports physical, which must be renewed each calendar year.

The Dominic Murray Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act

Students who display signs and symptoms of pending sudden cardiac arrest during athletics or physical activities must be removed from such activities and receive clearance from a health care provider. Learn more about the Dominic Murray Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act.

Automatic External Defibrillators

Public school districts are required to have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in each school building and available at athletic events.

School Insurance

The Watervliet School District is a member of the Pupil Benefits Plan, Inc.

  • Pupils are covered for benefits once they get on the school bus on the way to school and until they depart the bus on their way home. Pupils who walk, drive or ride bicycles to school are not covered until they enter the school.
  • Benefits are available only after all other insurances have been used. It is the parents’ responsibility to file their claim with their own company prior to submitting any balance to the school.
  • Injuries that require medical treatment must be filed with Pupil Benefits Plan, Inc. within 30 days. Non-athletic injuries will be filed with the school nurse, athletic injuries with the athletic director.
  • All claims should be submitted as promptly as possible.

Accident Regulations

Accidents that occur during school hours or school-sponsored activities must be reported immediately to the teacher, school nurse, advisor or coach. If your child has had an accident in school, please call the elementary nurse (518-629-3402) or the high school nurse (518-629-3304).

Fight Flu at Home and School

Flu, or influenza, spreads easily and can make people very sick, especially young children. You can help stop flu! More information

Safety Policies and Information

Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

The goal of the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), which took effect July 2013, is to provide students with a safe, supportive educational environment that is free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment and bullying. DASA states that no student shall be subjected to harassment or discrimination by employees or students on school property or at a school function based on their actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex. Learn more about the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

If you witness or hear about a bullying/cyberbullying incident/behavior, harassment and/or discrimination, please report it to your building principal within 24 hours and put it in writing on the district’s DASA form within 48 hours. DASA forms are available in the guidance offices, main offices and you may download a copy of the WCSD Bullying Prevention and Intervention Incident Reporting Form. Complete the form and drop it in the anonymous bully boxes are located in the WES main office and the WJSHS guidance office and 2nd floor office suite.

If you are a victim of, or witness to, an act of bullying, harassment or discrimination, talk to your teacher, guidance counselor or one of the district’s  Dignity Act Coordinators listed below:

District Safety Plan

Emergencies and violent incidents in school districts are critical issues that require comprehensive planning and training. The New York State Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) law requires school districts to develop a school safety plan to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and natural/manmade disasters and to facilitate the coordination of state, local and county resources in the event of such incidents or emergencies. Review the District’s Safety Plan for more information

Safety Drills

The Watervliet School District conducts various drills throughout the year designed to provide the school community with an opportunity to practice emergency procedures, as well as give administrators a way of gauging the effectiveness of these procedures. These drills include: fire drills, shelter-in-place drills, lock-down drills and one go-home early drill. If you have questions about the district’s safety policies, please call the district office at 518-629-3200, or contact your child’s building principal. Read more about school safety drills

Water Quality Testing

In September 2016, a state law went into effect that requires all public school districts in New York to test water for lead. The law requires school districts to sample all water outlets currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes in buildings that may be occupied by students and to submit those samples to a state-approved lab for analysis. Regulations call for testing to take place again in 2020 and every five years thereafter, unless the state Commissioner of Health requires testing sooner. Read more about water testing in schools

Child Abuse Hotline

If you suspect a child is being abused or maltreated (neglected), report it by calling 1-800-342-3720, a toll-free 24-hour hotline operated by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police department. Information about reporting child abuse and maltreatment (neglect) is available online at