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Health Services

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August – Immunizations

September – National Childhood Obesity Awareness 

October – National Bullying Prevention

November – Diabetes

December – Hand washing/ Influenza shots

January – Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention

February – Dental Health

March – Nutrition

April – Mental Health – Child Abuse

May – Asthma – Safe Kids – Employee Fitness

June – Sun & Home Safety – Fire works safety


Health Observance Calendar

421 S. 4th Ave
Walla Walla, WA 99362

Amy Ruff, Director

"Children should be healthy to learn, and learn to be healthy," "School nurses play a fundamental role in teaching students how to improve their overall health, and reduce unhealthy behaviors. School nurses serve to optimize a student's health, safety, and capacity for learning. American Nurses Association (ANA)

 Frequently Asked Questions

Summary of Services

  • Assessment of and referral for health conditions
  • Consultation about, and control of communicable diseases
  • Assistance with accommodation for health conditions in the school setting
  • Consultation about, training for, and monitoring of medication administration in the school setting
  • Provision of treatments required during the school day

Nursing Services / Health Services Overview

Health Clinicians

School Health Clinicians are medical professionals working in the school setting. Although WWPS requires only a Red Cross card and a high school diploma to hold this position, many of our clinicians hold Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees. School Health Clinicians are responsible for working together with families, students, staff and community medical professionals to ensure a safe learning environment for students with special health care needs or life-threatening condition (for example, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and severe food allergies). The health clinicians are responsible for training school staff in the care of medically-involved students under their supervision.  School Health Clinicians are also an integral part of the school life of our medically fragile students requiring tube feeding, intermittent catheterization and /or airway suctioning.

Everyday in the clinic, School Health Clinicians administer medication, care for students’ injuries obtained during the school day, provide a resting place for students who become ill during the school day, monitor blood sugar for students with diabetes, and monitor breathing capacity for students with asthma, among other duties.  School Health Clinicians can often be the first medical care a student may receive when symptoms of a serious illness or condition emerge. Screenings for vision and hearing are performed annually for children in specific grades.

Health Plans

Special Health Plans are required by law for students with life threatening condition, and are developed by School Health Clinicians, in coordination with parents, students and community medical professionals.  Plans include specific procedures for caring for the student’s medical condition in the school environment, delegating which school personnel will be responsible for various components of care, describes emergency procedures, and include plans for ongoing training of staff.  Plans are evaluated and adjusted frequently as health conditions and school factors change.  Frequently, collaboration with the Food services, Special Education, and Transportation is required in the development of these plans.

Health Services are committed to work with families, students, school staff and the community to promote health, safety and academic success for all students.

Student health issues and health concerns are the primary focus of the Walla Walla Public Schools’ Health Services Department. 

Vision and Hearing Screening


  • Health Services staff along with trained volunteers screen all students in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 yearly for near and distance vision problems. The schools use a state of the art SPOT Vision screener to perform this testing. 
  • Follow up vision screening is done if indicated.
  • A notification form is mailed home to parents for students who do not pass the vision screen.  The notification indicates the screen results and recommends follow up evaluation by a vision professional. Parents needing community assistance for professional eye examination may contact the school health clinician who serves their child's school.


  • Health Services staff along with trained volunteers screen all students in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 yearly for hearing problems.
  • Registered nurses perform a second screen of all students who did not pass the first screen.
  • A notification form is mailed home to parents for students who do not pass the second screen.  The notification indicates the screen results and recommends follow up evaluation with child's primary medical provider. 

Screening Services contact person:

Immunization Information

Washington State law requires that each child attending school be adequately immunized according to a schedule determined by the Washington State Board of Health.  Parents are asked to complete a Certificate of Immunization (CIS) (see Health Services Resource page) when they register their child for school.  Parents must provide the month, day and year for the required immunizations.  Registration and attendance are contingent upon either adequate immunization or exemption from immunization.

Immunization requirements for school attendance may be different than those requirements during an “outbreak” of actual vaccine preventable disease at school.  The local County Health Department determines when an outbreak is occurring and determines any additional requirements needed during the outbreak.  
For this reason, it is very important to continue reporting the dates of your child’s immunizations since you completed the original CIS form when you registered your child.  Dates can be reported to your child’s school office.

Child Profile (www.childprofile.org) is a statewide registry system for immunization data, which is provided by health care providers who administer immunizations.  More health care providers are providing immunization data to this registry every year.  Your child’s health care provider may be able to print off a CIS form from this registry for you to sign and bring to school. 

Click Here for Specific Information Regarding Immunization Requirements and Resources

Immunization information contact persons:

  • Office staff at your child's school
  • The school nurse or Health Room Assistant assigned to your child's school
  • Amy Ruff, Health Services Director, aruff@wwps.org

Consultation about the Control of Infectious Diseases/Conditions


When an outbreak of a communicable disease (such as pertussis, hepatitis A, etc.) occurs among students in the school district, school nurses, health clinicians and the health services director, work closely with the Walla Walla County Health Department  to identify the exact extent of the illness, inform parents of the potential for illness, and assist in every way possible in the prevention of further spread of the illness.  The Walla Walla County Health Department takes the lead in any situation, which might impact the health of the community.

Infectious Diseases Resources


One of the most prominent and frustrating communicable conditions commonly found in schools is head lice.  Although there may be other conditions, which can be passed to others (such as scabies), head lice are the focus of on-going concern in the schools. http://www.cdc.gov/lice/head/schools.html Evidence does not support any efficacy and cost-effectiveness of classroom or school-wide screening for decreasing the incidence of head lice among school children.

The following information has been provided by the Walla Walla County Health Department for schools to send to parents of children in a classroom in which lice has been discovered.


Schools are asked to report the occurrence of specific communicable diseases to the Walla Walla County Health District.  The incidence of these diseases is tallied by the health department and the numbers forwarded to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC receives these same types of numbers from every state, and with them is able to identify disease trends in the United States on an on-going basis.

In order to identify the specific diseases, which require reporting, school staff communicate with parents to request the reason for a student's absence.

Communicable disease reporting contact persons:

Nancy Taylor, Risk Manager, 526-6717 (see Business office web page)
Amy Ruff, Health Services Director, aruff@wwps.org

Administration of Medication and or Treatments

Medication Information Resources

According to Washington State law, students may receive medications at school under very specific conditions, which are reflected in the school board procedures and outlined in the Letter to Parents.

The Medication Request Form can be obtained at the school office or on the Health Services Resource Page, (Self carry requirements included on this form)

Please note:

  • It is the responsibility of the parents to contact their health care provider to obtain professional medication administration orders for school.
  • Parents are responsible for ensuring the school has the medication order.
  • Parents are asked to bring all medications to school.
  • Whenever possible, medications will be counted in the presence of the parent, and both parent and school staff members will sign the medication record.
  • Parents are asked to bring no more than a 30-day supply of medication for use at school.
  • State law requires that any change in medication type, time, or dosage must be accompanied by an order from the student's professional provider and a parent's signature.
  • Parents may ask school staff to stop giving medication without a physician's order.

Designated school staff are trained by registered nurses to correctly and safely administer medication, record each does given, count all medication received at school, check to see that pharmacy labels match physician's orders, and assure that all conditions are met before medications are administered.

Registered nurses monitor each school administering medications.

Information about medication administration contact persons:

  • School office staff
  • School nurse or Health Room Assistant 
  • Amy Ruff, Health Services Director, aruff@wwps.org

Home/Hospital Services

Home/Hospital Resources

Program Purpose and Goal

The purpose of the Home/Hospital (H/H) Teaching Program is to provide continuing instruction for students who, for health reasons, are temporarily unable to attend school for four weeks or longer. The state guidelines allow for a minimum of four weeks and sets the maximum at 18 weeks that teaching services can be provided.

The goal of the Home/Hospital Teaching Program is to provide instructional support in the home or hospital setting to maintain academic progress during the temporary absence from school.

Eligibility and Referral Process

Walla Walla Public School students are eligible to apply for services and may be referred by school staff, parents or primary health care providers.
Documentation in the form of an order (see Health Services Resource Page) from the student’s health care provider is required to provide specifics about the medical condition and the number of anticipated weeks the student will be out of school.

To access services, please contact Amy Ruff, Health Services Director (contact information below) or your school to request a Home Hospital Packet. (see Health Services Resource Page)

To qualify for services the following information is needed:

  • Student name, school and grade level
  • School contact name and phone number (teacher, school counselor, principal)
  • Primary health care provider’s name and number
  • Primary health care provider’s order to direct care.
  • Parent agreement signature form

Return the packet of information to your school clinician or health services director and then a H/H teacher will be assigned to the student. The primary provider may fax the order to the school clinic or director. 

Program Design and Performance Responsibilities

Teaching services will include all subjects possible for a maximum of two hours per every 5 educational days (including coordination time with the home school and travel time). The student remains on the classroom teacher’s enrollment and is not removed during the illness; thus, the student is not counted as absent.

The H/H teacher will obtain assignments and materials and will act as a liaison between the school and the student. The student’s classroom teacher(s) must provide lesson plans, assignments, handouts, tests and grades for the H/H teacher. The classroom teacher(s) may evaluate student performance on the basis of H/H teacher observation and input.

H/H teachers serving elementary aged students generally work directly with the classroom teacher(s). School counselors are generally responsible for collecting assignments and facilitating communication with the teachers for students enrolled at the secondary level.

Once assigned to a particular student, the H/H teacher will arrange dates and times agreeable to the parent, student and H/H teacher. The parent must arrange for an adult to be present and provide as quiet a setting as possible if teaching takes place in the home.

If you have questions regarding the Home/Hospital Teaching Program, please contact:

Amy Ruff, Health Services Director, aruff@wwps.org

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

SS-logo-alert-transparent Safe Schools Tip Line: 855.976.8772