Health Services

Scroll down for updated ADPH & CDC guidelines regarding contacts and distancing.
For individual department reset plans, please visit the Department Reset Plans page.

Welcome to Health Services

The School Health Services Program promotes the health of all students, affording them an opportunity to better participate in learning and receive the maximum benefit from their instructional program. Barriers to learning that can accompany a variety of chronic and acute health conditions must be identified and minimized for students to participate and learn to their maximum potential.

The Health Services program is designed to focus on the health status of students; to educate and counsel students, teachers, and parents related to health issues; to help prevent and control communicable disease; to provide emergency care for injury and/or sudden illness; to promote optimum conditions in school buildings; to promote health education as an integral part of the curriculum.

Health Services Coordinator

Andrea Penn

Updated Procedures
Face Covering Procedure

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey's statewide masking order will be lifted as of Friday, April 9th.  However, the district would like to remind all constituents and stakeholders that, pursuant to Huntsville City Board of Education Policy 4.18, all individuals – including students, employees, visitors, and vendors – must wear a face covering that covers both the nose and mouth at all times while at or inside any building, facility, or bus or other vehicle owned, leased, or operated by the school board. The exceptions to the face covering procedures are listed as follows: 

  • Extracurricular and Extracurricular Events: HCS Extracurricular Protocols will be followed. 
  • Athletics and Athletic Events: HCS Sports Guidelines - Covid-19 will be followed. 
  • Driving Alone in District Vehicles: Face coverings are not required when driving alone. 
  • Exigent Circumstances:  
    1. A face covering will not be required if a person is experiencing acute difficulty breathing, is unconscious or incapacitated, is receiving health care where removal of the face covering is necessary or is personally unable to remove the face covering without assistance.   
    2. A face covering shall not be required for persons who present school officials with a documentation from a licensed health care provider that the person has a medical, physical or psychological contraindication that prevents the person from being able to safely wear a face covering.  
  • Indoors or Outdoors when Alone: Face coverings shall not be required for people inside school district buildings when they are alone in an enclosed space such as an office space or a classroom, or outdoors of a school district building or school district facility when person is alone. 
  • Infants: Face coverings shall not be required for people younger than two (2) years of age. 
  • Instructional Delivery: Face coverings shall not be required for employees working with hearing impaired students, providing phonetic based instruction or while providing speech related services. 
  • Mealtimes: Face coverings shall not be required for any person inside or outside a school district building or facility while the person is eating or drinking; however, face coverings must be worn when not actively eating or drinking. 
  • Strenuous Physical Activity: Face coverings shall not be required for any person inside or outside of any school district facility or school district building while such a person is engaged in strenuous physical activity. When people are not engaged in physical activity, the face covering shall be immediately replaced.  

This HCS procedure shall stand independently and supersede any local or state revocations of mask ordinances and will remain in effect until rescinded or amended by the Superintendent. 

Updated CDC & ADPH Guidelines
Elementary Schools

CDC recommends all students remain at least 3 feet apart in classrooms where mask use is universal* --- regardless of whether community transmission is low, moderate, substantial or high.  

CDC has identified lower susceptibility and incidence among younger children compared to teenagers suggesting that younger students are likely to have less risk of in-school transmission due to in-person learning than older students in middle schools and high schools 

*HCS continues to require universal masking on all campuses and facilities.

Middle & High Schools

In middle and high schools, CDC also recommends students should be at least 3 feet apart in classrooms where mask use is universal* and in communities where transmission is low, moderate, or substantial.

Middle school and high school students should be at least 6 feet apart in communities where transmission is high, if cohorting is not possible.

Cohorting is when groups of students are kept together with the same peers and staff throughout the school day to reduce the risk for spread throughout the school.  This recommendation is because COVID-19 transmission dynamics are different in older students.  Older students are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 and spread it than younger children.

*HCS continues to require universal masking on all campuses and facilities.

Distancing & Contacts

CDC continues to recommend at least 6 feet of distance:

  • Between adults in the school building and between adults and students
  • In common areas, such as school lobbies and auditoriums
  • When masks can’t be worn, such as when eating
  • During activities when increased exhalation occurs, such as singing, shouting, band practice, sports, or exercise.  These activities should be moved outdoors or to large, well-ventilated spaces whenever possible.
  • In community settings outside the classroom.

Close Contacts:   The new CDC guidance does not change the definition of “close contact”.  All persons identified to be exposed to a person with confirmed of suspected COVID-19 when less than 6 feet away for 15 minutes or more, will still have to follow isolation requirements.

Other CDC & ADPH Updates
Other Back to School CDC Updates:

For more information, please visit the ADPH Schools K-12 webpage.  Scroll to the bottom for the full K-12 Toolkit.

Additional Health Resources
Student Illness Exclusions

For more information and a full list of student illness exclusions, please contact your school nurse or Health Services at 256-428-6830

Medical Forms

For all medical forms, please visit the ALSDE Health Resources page.

Immunizations, Meningitis, and Flu

The Jessica Elkins Act (2014-274) provides awareness and vaccine information regarding meningococcal meningitis disease and its vaccine to parents and guardians of students. 

For information regarding immunizations, meningitis, and flu, please visit the ALSDE Immunizations Page, and click on the appropriate tab.

Impact of Heavy Backpacks

Carrying too heavy of a backpack may affect children’s health and have long term effects.  Research shows that children carrying more than 10% of their body weight is damaging to their spinal and postural health. 

What are the possible problems related to carrying heavy backpacks?
  • Strain to the shoulders and back affecting overall ease of movement and causing pain/discomfort
  • Affects balance and posture
  • Spinal problems such as:  scoliosis (crooked spine) and disc degeneration
  • May alter nerve communication
  • Pull bones out of alignment by stretching ligaments/muscles
What should I do?
  • Your backpack should weigh no more than 10% of your body weight
  • Make sure you wear your backpack with both straps over your shoulders.  Wearing your backpack over just one shoulder puts your spine out of balance and stresses that side
  • See your physician or chiropractor for an exam for early detection or if you are symptomatic
  • For more information visit the bacsupport website.
Sunscreen in Schools
  • Students may possess and use federal Food and Drug Administration regulated over-the-counter sunscreen at school and at school-based events
  • Any student, parent, or guardian requesting a school board employee to apply sunscreen to a student shall present to the nurse a Parent Prescriber Authorization Form (PPA) containing a parent or guardian signature. A physician signature or physician order shall not be required
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