Health Services

Health Services are services provided for students to assess, protect, and promote health. Research shows that children learn better and experience school success more readily if their health needs are addressed.

Comprehensive, high quality health services on-site at the school or through an effective referral system to the community leads to student achievement, improved test scores, increased attendance, and engagement in learning.

Health Services Professionals

Qualified professionals such as physicians, nurses, dentists, health educators, and other allied health personnel provide these health services to:

  • ensure access or referral to primary health care services or both,
  • foster appropriate use of primary health care services,
  • prevent and control communicable disease and other health problems,
  • provide emergency care for illness or injury,
  • promote and provide optimum sanitary conditions for a safe school facility and school environment, and
  • provide educational and counseling opportunities for promoting and maintaining individual, family, and community health.

Health Services Requirements

The health services that are provided in Rhode Island schools are guided by the RI Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs (See the frequently asked questions - FAQs - about the school health regulations). These regulations apply to both public and non-public schools. Required services include screenings, records review, acute care, chronic disease management, and health risk prevention.

RI School Nurse Teacher Toolkit

  • Regulations

    School health education, health services, and school environment are guided by the RI Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs. These regulations apply to all public and non-public schools. These regulations are jointly promulgated by the Departments of Education and Health, and are periodically updated to align with new statutes, best practices, and emerging issues.

    The Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Immunization and Communicable Disease Testing in Preschool, School, Colleges or Universities are established for the purpose of adopting standards pertaining to requirements for immunizations and testing of communicable diseases for child care workers in preschools and students at any preschool or school in grades Kindergarten-12 and students entering colleges and universities in Rhode Island.

    According to the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Reporting of Infectious, Environmental and Occupational Diseases licensed healthcare professionals and healthcare agencies are required to report selected communicable diseases to the Rhode Island Department of Health. In addition to reporting individual cases, outbreaks of disease should be reported as indicated.

  • School Health Manual

    The Rhode Island School Health Manual Model Guidelines development project was sponsored by the Rhode Island Department of Education in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Health. This project was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant funding, Promoting Adolescent Health through School-Based HIV/STD Prevention and School-Based Surveillance.

    These model guidelines serve as a tool and reference point for policy development, protocols and procedures, as needed, in a school health program. Utilization of these model guidelines is encouraged to develop or supplement district and non-public school health manuals.

    The Rhode Island Departments of Education and Health wish to thank the RI Certified School Nurse Teacher Association and all RI school nurse teachers for providing expertise and oversight for the provision of school health services and promotion of health education (NASN) and for their continued dedication to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all RI students to learn.

    A special acknowledgement is extended to the state School Health Advisory Council (SHAC), Health Services sub-committee members Linda Mendonca, RN, MSN, MEd, NCSN; Patricia Raymond, RN, MPH; Judith Russell, BSN, CSNT; Midge Sabatini, RN, MS, EdD; and Rhonda Sexton, RN, MEd, CSNT for their continued support, guidance, and contributions during the development process of this manual.

    Click here to download a desktop version or to print a copy of the RI School Health Manual Model Guidelines.

  • Health & Dental Cards

    Student health and dental cards with instructions are available at the following links:

    For additional information and for RI school nurse teacher access to the online reporting form, see Oral Health Information for Teachers & Schools.