Health Services

Paula Rust
Coordinator of School Health Services

"You cannot educate an unhealthy child and you cannot keep an uneducated child healthy."
-Dr. M. Jocelyn Elders, former US Surgeon General

The Kenton County School District Health Services Department agrees with the opinion of Dr. M. Jocelyn Elders.  Our mission is to support education by advancing and promoting health for all students through the implementation of professional nursing skills, health education, and the development of individualize health management so that all students can achieve their greatest potential as lifelong learners and to be responsible, contributing citizens in an ever-changing global society.

We recognize each child's individual needs and acknowledge the importance of a cooperative relationship between families, health care providers, and the school community to provide a holistic approach and a supportive system that meets the needs of students.  Using this holistic approach and professional school nursing practice, our vision is to promote a supportive and health conscious environment which will provide optimal learning for all students.   


Health Requirements

Meeting health requirements for school attendance is an important part of making sure your child is ready for school.  These requirements provide the assurance that your child is not only up-to-date on necessary immunizations, but also that he/she is healthy to attend school.  Keep your child “on track” by making sure that he/she meets the health requirements every school year. The Essential Health Enrollment Information and Forms located on the right margin of this webpage outlines the health information required for students. If you have additional questions or concerns, refer to the school nurse assignments below and contact your child's school nurse or the District Health Coordinator.


Student Accident Insurance

The Kenton County School District has selected the Student Insurance Plan from K&K Insurance Group to make reliable coverage available to parents. If you don’t have other insurance, this plan may be a resource to consider. Additionally, even if you have other coverage, this plan can help fill expensive “gaps” caused by deductible and co-pays. Coverage may be purchased at any time during the school year by visiting

School Health Alert



March 30, 2016

Cases of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, continue to rise in Northern Kentucky. To date, a total of 182 cases have been reported. A majority of the pertussis cases found in this outbreak are in school age children ranging from 10 to 17 years old. Whooping cough is spreading among those who are immunized, too: Of the school-age children diagnosed, 74% have been fully vaccinated.

Pertussis has impacted many local schools, affecting children from preschool through high school. Approximately 36 schools have experienced at least 1 case of pertussis. The outbreak is widespread, with cases dispersed throughout Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton Counties.


Initial symptoms of pertussis are like those of a common cold. After a week or two, a persistent cough develops, sometimes ending with a high-pitched whoop, vomiting and/or breathlessness. Coughing attacks continue to occur for weeks and are more common at night.

Children who are vaccinated may present with milder symptoms, but still are nonetheless very contagious.

Suspected Cases

It is at the school’s discretion if a child should be sent home due to coughing while in this outbreak. If a child is sent home due to a cough, the Health Department recommends a negative pertussis test or for him/her to be put on antibiotics for five days before he/she can return to school.

Anyone who is a laboratory confirmed case of pertussis must be excluded from school until he/she has received at least five days of antibiotic therapy. This includes children and adults.


Joyce Rice, RN, MSPH, Epidemiology Manager


Visit this webpage to learn more about the importance of immunizations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Immunization Schedules


The Importance of Sleep

Many of the common complaints seen in the nurse's office (headache, stomachache, etc.) are the result of sleep deprivation.  The following article from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention discusses the importance of sleep and the recommended hours of sleep needed.

 “… Sufficient sleep is not a luxury—it is a necessity—and should be thought of as a vital sign of good health.”

Wayne H. Giles, MD, MS, Director,
Division of Adult and Community Health,
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion


Join our efforts to reduce obesity and improve physical activity and nutrition in Kentucky.  


                               A Look at the Numbers

KY ranked 10th highest in the US for adults who were obese.1

Kentucky is one of 12 states with obesity rates greater than 30%.1

66.2% of adult Kentuckians are overweight or obese.1

72.6% of men and 60% of women in Kentucky are overweight or obese.1

                                What’s The Cost?

Being overweight or obese greatly increases the risk of developing other chronic diseases and unwanted health conditions like diabetes, stroke, arthritis, sleep apnea, asthma, heart attack, and certain cancers.2

In 2013, Kentuckians are estimated to spend close to $2,402,000 in medical costs linked to obesity.3

Experts project Kentucky health care costs attributable to obesity will be $6 million in 2018, or $1,836 a year per adult.4

To find out more information on the health of our community, go to:

Looking for ways to get your family active, go to:

Parents are invited to use the MyPlate Kids' Place Resources for Parents and Educators for “teachable moments” that will influence children’s choices at home and at school. More materials for kids and parents with kids can be found on the Team Nutrition website.

Parents and caregivers of children 2-5 years old can explore ways to help preschoolers grow up healthy, play actively every day, develop healthy eating habits, try new foods, and more.

Public Health Concerns


Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body. About three out of 10 people who get measles will develop one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea. Complications are more common in adults and young children.

From January 1 to January 30, 2015, 102 people from 14 states were reported to have measles. Most of these cases are part of a large, ongoing multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California.

Measles can be serious, especially for children younger than 5 years old. It can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and death. Learn how you can protect your child from measles.

Click on theses links for more information:


Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)

 Almost all of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed cases this year of EV-D68 infection have been among children. Many of the children had asthma or a history of wheezing. Many parents continue to be worried about the outbreak and want information about what they can do to prevent illness and protect themselves and their families. The CDC has developed information and resources for parents about EV-D68.  

Web Feature, “What Parents Need to Know About Enterovirus D68”

Fact sheet for parents, “What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68”

General questions and answers for the public

Recently the CDC developed a new lab test for EV-D68 which will allow more rapid testing of specimens. Because of this new test, confirmed cases of EV-D68 will appear to rise rapidly over the next 7-10 days as specimen testing accelerates. However, changes in case counts won’t represent a real-time influx of new cases.

Remember, too, as enterovirus season is expected to taper off, flu activity usually begins to increase in October. While there is not a vaccine to prevent illness from enteroviruses, the single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Many resources for parents and others can be found on the CDC flu website. CDC recommends that ALL children 6 months old or older get a flu vaccine.



Our national health system has the capacity and expertise to quickly detect and contain this disease and is working with states and school districts to ensure the safety of our students and school employees. As you likely know, the CDC is continually updating its information on Ebola; information that can be found here:

Ebola FAQ

Talking with Children about Ebola

Recognizing and Reducing Signs of Anxiety in Times of Crisis


E. coli

The Kentucky Department for Public Health is warning consumers about the dangers of consuming unpasteurized milk and other products (juices and ciders) that could lead to E. coli infection, following a recent outbreak in North Central Kentucky.

In addition to only consuming pasteurized milk, the public can help prevent E. coli infections by:

  • Thoroughly washing fruits and vegetables before eating
  • Washing hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom, handling raw meat and eggs, or petting animals
  • Thoroughly cooking meat
  • Cleaning and sanitizing food preparation areas
  • Avoiding swallowing lake or pool water
  • Drinking only pasteurized apple cider
  • Frequently cleaning and sanitizing restrooms, including door knobs and faucets
  • Reporting diarrhea to your physician.


Zika Virus Disease

Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly(, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.  To learn more about the Zika Virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website:

To help reduce the risk of virus transmission, students and staff should:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers if soap and water are not available use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and put your used tissue in the waste basket. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when feeling sick, and consult their health care provider as needed. Children with cold like symptoms that experience difficulty breathing should consult their health care provider for further evaluation.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as handrails and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • In addition, we encourage staff and students, especially those with chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma, to be vaccinated against influenza as soon as the vaccine becomes available. Getting the flu along with an upper respiratory virus could be very serious for someone with chronic respiratory diseases.
  • Do not come to school if you are sick.    

Use the following guidelines to determine when students should stay home. 

Please keep your child home if any of the following are present:

  • a fever of 100º F (37.8º C) in the past 24 hours
  • Tylenol or Ibuprofen used to control fever in the past 24 hours
  • an undiagnosed rash
  • vomiting or diarrhea in the past 24 hours
  • suspected conjunctivitis (pink eye) or yellow eye drainage
  • strep throat- if awaiting culture results or less than 24 hours of antibiotic treatment

It's often difficult to tell how sick your child is in the morning.  Remember if they stay home and improve, you can always bring them in to school. We appreciate your help as we work to prevent the spread of viruses and other communicable diseases throughout our communities. If you have any questions, contact the school nurse.

Information and resources available to help guard against the spread of flu

Each flu season, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands or sometimes tens of thousands of deaths.Vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Flu most commonly peaks during the month of February. If you have not gotten vaccinated yet this season, you should get vaccinated now— It's Not Too Late!

Healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to friends and loved ones.
Following are the most important steps to help protect your family against the flu this season.

For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website:

Flu facts from the

Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department

How do I know if I have a cold or the flu?
The symptoms of a cold and the flu are similar and it can be difficult to determine which one you have.

Typical symptoms of a cold include:

  • Scratchy sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Mild cough
  • Children may run a low fever (up to 102°F)

Typical symptoms of the flu include:

  • Sudden headache
  • Dry cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever up to 104°F

                                                 SCHOOL NURSE ASSIGNMENTS

2016-17 school year

Patti Blank, LPN FT. WRIGHT


Patricia Gausepohl, RN    



Kerrilyn Marzullo, RN SCOTT & WOODLAND

Patsy Piercefield, LPN TWENHOFEL  & PINER
Elizabeth (Niki) Hon, RN SIMON KENTON & KCAIT

Amy Marx






  • Medical Excuse Form