Welcome to the School Nurses' Webpage!

5 days ago

Cherokee County Schools aspire to promote the health and well-being of all students.  The goal of each nurse is to build and maintain a healthy school community by implementing strategies that promote student, staff, family, and community health.   The Cherokee County Board of Education employs school nurses throughout the county to provide students and staff with the knowledge and care to ensure that each individual stays healthy and safe each day. 

Please help the school nurse care for your child by informing the nurse at your school (office phone/school email) if your child has:

  • any chronic or acute illness
  • a new medication or change in medication dosage
  • been exposed to communicable diseases such as strep throat infection, chickenpox, or conjunctivitis
  • a life-threatening or new allergy
  • a serious injury requiring hospitalization
  • a diagnosed head concussion
  • an injury requiring casting, sutures, a splint, or mobility assistance of crutches or wheelchair
  • vision or hearing difficulties

The school nurse will work with the child’s physician, parent, and other school personnel to meet special health needs in school so that the child may benefit from their educational program.  A child must provide a note from the doctor for activity restriction due to an injury or illness.

Please help the school nurse by:

  • Updating the phone numbers (home, work, and cell numbers) on your child’s school record so the school nurse can always reach you

Please keep your child home when the following symptoms are present (you may turn in the parent and/or doctor’s excuse when the student returns to school):

  • A temperature of 100.4 degrees F° or greater within the past 24 hours.  Your child must not attend school until fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.    
  • NOTE:  A doctor's excuse will be required if your child is sent home from school with a fever of 100.4 or higher.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea occurring within the past 24 hours
  • "Pink eye":
    • Bacterial- thick, yellow to green-yellow discharge and more crusting during sleep.  This may occur with the common cold and often begins in one eye and can spread to the non-infected eye.  A medical provider will need to provide treatment.  Your child must not attend school until the medication has been administered and symptoms are no longer present.
    • Viral- watery discharge or discharge that is thick, white or white-yellow in color.  This often involves both eyes.  Your child must not attend school until symptoms no longer exist.
  • Chickenpox - Doctor must culture lesions samples to confirm a diagnosis of chickenpox.  The doctor must report the confirmed diagnosis to the ADPH.  Your child must not attend school until all blisters have formed scabs.  
  • Strep Throat - your child must not attend school until completing 24 hours of prescribed medical treatment and fever is not present.
  • Infections of any kind, untreated ringworm, conjunctivitis, or impetigo.  These are all contagious infections and must be treated with medication for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
  • MRSA: "staph infection"- your child must not attend school until prescribed medical treatment is started, fever is absent, and the area is covered and drainage is not seeping through it.
  • Rash of unknown origin – this may indicate many different things and should be checked by your child’s physician.
  • Untreated lice infestation 
What Is Needed If Your Child Is Absent From School Due to Sickness...

Please send a doctor's excuse or a parent note/excuse* to the school.

*See the CCBOE attendance policy concerning absences and excuses (Code 6.1.4)

The Role of the School Nurse

5 days ago

The National Association of School Nurses defines school nursing as: A specialized practice of professional nursing that advances the well-being, academic success, and lifelong achievement of students. To that end, school nurses facilitate positive student responses to normal development; promote health and safety; intervene with actual and potential health problems; provide case management services; and actively collaborate with others to build student and family capacity for adaptation, self-management, self-advocacy, and learning (NASN, 1999).

The National Association of School Nurses identifies 7 core roles that the school nurse fulfills to foster child and adolescent health and educational success. 

  1. The school nurse provides direct care to students. The school nurse provides care for injuries and acute illness for all students and long-term management of students with special health care needs. Responsibilities include assessment and treatment within the scope of professional nursing practice, communication with parents, referral to physicians, and provision or supervision of prescribed nursing care. An individualized health care plan is developed for students with chronic conditions, and when appropriate, an emergency plan is developed to manage potential emergent events in the school setting (diabetes, asthma). The school nurse is responsible for management of this plan and communication about the plan to all appropriate school personnel. The school nurse has a unique role in provision of school health services for children with special health needs, including children with chronic illnesses and disabilities of various degrees of severity. 
  2. The school nurse provides leadership for the provision of health services. As the health care expert within the school, the school nurse assesses the overall system of care and develops a plan for ensuring that health needs are met. Responsibilities include development of plans for responding to emergencies and disasters and confidential communication and documentation of student health information.
  3. The school nurse provides screening and referral for health conditions. Health screenings can decrease the negative effects of health problems on education by identifying students with potential underlying medical problems early and referring them for treatment as appropriate. Early identification, referral to the medical home, and use of appropriate community resources promote optimal outcomes. Screening includes but is not limited to vision, hearing, dental and scoliosis (for grades 5th -9th grades). 
  4. The school nurse promotes a healthy school environment. The school nurse provides for the physical and emotional safety of the school community by monitoring immunizations, ensuring appropriate exclusion for infectious illnesses, and reporting communicable diseases as required by law. In addition, the school nurse provides for the safety of the environment by participating in environmental safety monitoring (playgrounds and potential hazards). 
  5. The school nurse promotes health. The school nurse provides health education by providing health information to individual students and families. Health education topics may include nutrition, exercise, smoking prevention and cessation, oral health, infectious diseases, substance use and abuse, and immunizations. 
  6. The school nurse serves in a leadership role for health policies and programs. As a health care expert within the school system, the school nurse is a leader in the development and evaluation of school health policies. These policies include health promotion and protection, chronic disease management, coordinated school health programs, school wellness policies, crisis/disaster management, emergency medical condition management, acute illness management, and infectious disease prevention and management.
  7. The school nurse is a liaison between school personnel, family, health care professionals, and the community. The school nurse also works with primary care physicians to make the community a healthy place for all children and families.

HNH FREE Flu Clinic NOV 13, 2023: ALL Cherokee County Schools

On-site flu vaccinations will be offered at each school to *all students during school hours. This is a free service provided to the students.

*Unfortunately, as of now, HNH Clinic will be unable to vaccinate the "PEEHIP-insured" children due to an exclusive contract with ADHP to provide all worksite wellness services for PEEHIP dependents. HNH Clinic understands that this is inconvenient and regrets not being able to offer PEEHIP families preventative care through the school-located vaccination clinics.

HNH Spring Immunization Clinic Coming 2024

DATE: TBA HNH Spring Clinic will be offering various immunizations to students in Grades 5th and 6th and 12th with a signed parent consent form. Contact your child's school nurse for more information. Exemptions include PEEHIP insured students.

Contact Information for School Nurses

3 days ago

Lead Nurse Supervisor: 

Shelley East, RN, MSN  256-927-1735 ext 905  


COUNTY SCHOOL NURSES:                                

Cedar Bluff School:

Leanne McCain, RN  256-927-1750 ext 257


Centre Elementary School:

Kacy Lemons, RN  256-927-1730 ext 401


Centre Middle School:

Leanna Martin, RN 256-927-5656 ext 611


Cherokee County High School:

Anna Hellums, RN  256-927-3625 ext 804


Cherokee County Career & Technology Center:

Andrea Henry, RN  256-927-3014 ext 309


Gaylesville School:

Brooke Sentell, LPN     256-927-1738 ext 706


Sand Rock School:  

Shelley East, RN, MSN  256-927-1735 ext 905


Tiffany Smith, LPN  256-927-1735 ext 915


Spring Garden School:  

Penny Young, LPN 256-447-7045 ext 518   


We are always interested in nurses joining our team as a Substitute School Nurse.  

The nurse must possess a valid Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) license and current CPR certification.  

Substitute school nurse application packets may be picked up at the Cherokee County Board Office.

For more information, you may contact Shelley East, RN, MSN, Lead Nurse Supervisor.   

Tetanus Booster Requirement for all students PRIOR to 1st day of 6th Grade AUGUST 2024:

All students are required to receive a tetanus booster PRIOR to the 1st day of 6th grade (August 2024) per the Alabama Department of Public Health. Contact your school nurse with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

5 days ago

May I send my child to school with a cold?

Your child must be fever free without fever-reducing medication for the past 24 hours. He/she should be able to control nasal secretions with proper use of tissues.  If there is a cough, it should be infrequent and not likely to be disruptive to the class.  If the nasal secretions are yellow/green, then you should consult with your child’s physician.  Your child should feel that he/she can get through the planned school day.

When is my child too sick to attend school? 

What do I do when my child needs to avoid or limit PE/gym activities?

A doctor’s order is needed for your child to avoid or limit gym and the length of time to avoid PE/gym activities/recess.  A doctor’s order written on any kind of form, such as emergency room instructions, or a note after a doctor’s appointment as a school excuse is sufficient.

What do I do when my child has a food and/or beverage allergy?

Parents should contact their child's school nurse to provide information about the food and/or beverage allergy.  Parents should also contact the school's lunchroom manager for any accommodations as required by the physician.  A special dietary form can be completed by the physician and faxed or mailed to the school nurse.

What happens to my child's medication that is in the school nurse's office at the end of the school year?

All medications that are not picked up by the parent/guardian by the last day of school will be destroyed per the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) medication disposal policy. 

Why must medication be in the original container?

The original container provides information from the manufacturer about over-the-counter medication, including the name of the medication, the proper dose, how the medication should be given, how often the medication can be given, possible side effects, and when the medication is no longer effective (an expiration date.)

Does the school provide medications?

No, the school does not provide medication. Any medication you want your child to have available must be brought to the school nurse's office by the parent/guardian. A "Prescriber Authorization Form" (for any prescription and/or over-the-counter medicine) must be completed as well.

Why can't I put medicine in my child's lunch box or book bag if he/she has to take medicine at school?

Medication in a lunch box or book bag could be lost or taken by another child. If a staff member found the medication, it could be considered as a drug with consequences according to the Code of Conduct. To ensure the health and safety of all of our students, all medication must be brought to the school nurse's office by the parent/guardian in the original and properly-labeled container.

Is there someone I can contact to discuss my child’s special health care needs?

Parents are encouraged to call or email their child’s school nurse.

How can I help my school nurse?

The following is a list of supplies school nurses’ use on a daily basis to care for student’s medical and health care needs.  If you would like to help support your local school nurse, please consider donating one or more of these items.  This is strictly voluntary and would be greatly appreciated.

  • Band-Aids (assorted sizes): latex-free only
  • Disinfectant spray (such as Lysol)
  • Disinfectant wipes (such as Clorox)
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Kleenex
  • Ziploc bags (snack, sandwich, quart, gallon sizes)

CCBOE Employees' Worksite Wellness

5 days ago


Worksite Wellness is making a healthy difference for Alabama's state and public education employees. The Worksite Wellness Division’s main purpose is to plan, develop, implement, and evaluate worksite wellness programs. The Division’s state-level staff work in coordination with the Wellness staff in county health departments to provide Wellness services statewide.

​The Public Education Employees' Health Insurance Program (PEEHIP), in partnership with the Worksite Wellness Division, offers health screenings and influenza vaccinations. The following PEEHIP members are required to participate and be screened as part of PEEHIP's Wellness Program if enrolled in the PEEHIP Hospital Medical group #14000 plan: active employees and their covered spouses, non-Medicare-eligible retirees, and non-Medicare-eligible spouses on retiree contracts. Each wellness plan year is August 1 through July 31, and all eligible members must be screened either by an ADPH nurse at PEEHIP worksites, at a local county health department, or by a local healthcare provider through submission of a Healthcare Provider Form. Please visit our PEEHIP Wellness page for information about upcoming screenings, or visit PEEHIP Wellness Program for more information.

Public Education Employees' Health Insurance Program (PEEHIP) Wellness Program

PEEHIP Wellness is a joint venture between ADPH and the Public Education Employees' Health Insurance Program (PEEHIP). PEEHIP Wellness is a voluntary program, available during work hours, at no cost to public education employees. PEEHIP Wellness screens for potential health problems, makes referrals to the medical community, and educates participants about preventive measures.

Health screenings consist of measurements for diabetes, pulse, blood pressure, fasting lipid profiles, metabolic syndrome screening, risk factor assessment, body mass index (BMI) calculation with weight loss goals, and referral to medical providers. With certain abnormal test results, you may be eligible to receive a voucher to waive the co-pay for a follow-up physician's visit.

Employees must go on line and schedule and appointment using the online calendar.  You will be able to find the clinic of your choice easiest by entering the date of the clinic and Cherokee County and then search. You will only be able to set up these appointments 3- 4 weeks prior to the event. Scheduling is closed 24 hours prior to the event.

Online Calendar Instructions

Healthcare Provider Form

Naloxone (Narcan): In stock at all Cherokee County Schools

The drug Naloxone (Narcan) is available in our county schools through the guidance of The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). School nurses and school administrators have been trained on how to administer Narcan in the event it is needed to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose in the school setting. In the Cherokee County school system, Narcan was stocked at each high school campus in April 2019 and the remaining school campuses became stocked with Narcan in September 2022.

Scoliosis Screening for 5th - 9th Grade Students

If you have a child in Grades 5th - 9th grade, now is the time for the yearly scoliosis screening during these ages. You can have your child's physician perform the scoliosis screening at your child's wellness screening appointment.

If you are interested in having your child screened for scoliosis at school, please contact your child's school nurse. Written parental consent must first be obtained prior to the scoliosis screening.