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Health Matters



Beth McVay, RN
District Nurse


Nimfa Laganapan, LVN


Nicole Harbaugh
Health Services Clerk

Fax: 335-5828







By District Nurse Beth McVay, RN

As we head into the cold and flu season it is important that parents know there are measures they can take to help keep their families healthy and to prevent the spread of cold viruses and influenza at school and in the greater community.

The first and most important step in protecting against the flu is getting vaccinated. Flu shots are widely available this time of year and parents should talk to their health care provider about getting their children the flu vaccine.

Other simple measures that can help keep your family and other families in the community healthy include:

  • Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to prevent the spread of germs. Teach your child to cough or sneeze into an elbow or a tissue and then to discard the tissue into the trash.
  • Remind children to wash hands regularly with soap and water.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Remind children to avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Teach your children to stay at least six feet away from people who are sick. They should avoid shaking hands, kissing, hugging or sharing cups and eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially when someone is ill.

It is important that parents keep children home if they do become ill with flu-like symptoms so that they do not spread the illness to their friends, classmates and teachers. Children should stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone (without the use of fever-reducing medicines), except to get medical care or for other necessities.

If you have any questions or concerns about you or your child’s symptoms, contact your health care provider.

Vision and Hearing Screenings

The state of California requires that all students get screened for vision and hearing deficiencies in Kindergarten, second, fifth and eighth grades. In the Martinez Unified School District these screenings are performed by the district nurse during regular school hours. Should your child not pass a screening, you will be notified by phone or letter within two weeks.

Parents who want their child excluded from the vision and/or hearing screenings should notify District Nurse Beth McVay at the start of their child’s Kindergarten, second, fifth and eighth grade year. Mrs. McVay can be reached at 925-335-5886 or at 


Head lice are a nuisance. There is no getting around it.  Most families won’t have to deal with the problem, but those who do will not soon forget the experience.

Fortunately, lice don’t carry disease and their presence on a child does not indicate neglect, poor hygiene or sloppy housekeeping. It just means the child got too close to someone else with lice.

Lice are tiny grey or brown wingless insects that live on the human scalp and move by crawling.  They spread from one person to another by head-to-head contact or by sharing personal items like hats, hair brushes and scarves.

Treating for lice requires diligence. The regiment includes treating the scalp, removing live (crawling) lice and their eggs, called nits, and washing and thoroughly vacuuming the home. 

For more information on treating and eradicating lice, click HEAD LICE





(Please read carefully)

Many of our students have medical conditions that require them to have medications at school. The proper documentation must be on file at the school for all medications whether they are prescribed life-saving medicines or over-the-counter pain relievers.

If a child needs assistance with the medication, the medication is kept in the school office.  If an older child is capable of carrying his or her own medications, the child may do so as long as a physician authorization form is on file at school. 

It is essential that parents and physicians complete all forms as directed, providing clear and precise directions for the dosage and administration of the medication.

No medications will be accepted at a child's school without the proper documentation from a physician and/or parent.

Medications that have expired will not be accepted and medications that expire during the school year must be replaced by the parent prior to the expiration date.

New forms must be submitted each school year. All medications must be picked up by an authorized adult at the end of the school year. Unclaimed medications will be disposed of.

CLICK HERE for student medication forms.



Students entering 7th grade in August must provide proof of a Tdap booster shot before starting back to school.  Students will not get a class schedule until they have turned in Tdap documentation.

Many doctors give their adolescent patients the Tdap at 10 or 11 years of age. If your child's immunization record does not show evidence of the shot, make an appointment with your child's health care provider as soon as possible.  A Tdap administered at 7 years or older meets the requirement.

The Tdap shot will help to protect your child against pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.  The California legislature passed a law in 2010 requiring the shot after a widespread whooping cough outbreak that year caused 10 infant deaths. Infants are most at risk because they are not fully immunized, but an older child can be sidelined for weeks or months by the serious cough caused by the disease.

Recent changes to California law also require incoming 7th graders to get caught up on their MMR and varicella vaccinations. Two MMRs and varicellas are required. Most students will have had these shots for Kindergarten entry, but two varicellas were not required until July 1, 2019. 

Pursuant to the new law, Personal Belief Exemptions (PBEs) are no longer valid once a student reaches 7th grade. Students with PBEs must get fully immunized or obtain a medical exemption signed by a physician (MD or DO) licensed in California. (Medical Exemption FAQs)

Parents who turn in shot documentation before Arena Registration should experience a quicker registration process. During summer break, shot records can be mailed to Martinez Junior High School, 1600 Court St., Martinez, CA 94553, Attn: Registrar; faxed to the MJHS Office at 925-335-5829; emailed to; or dropped off at the MJHS Student Services Office at the start of August.