A productive school experience requires at minimum a level of physical and mental health that allows students to engage with the experiences offered by our program.

The Ithaca City School District provides us with school nurses.  If there is a problem concerning a student’s health, the parent/guardian is encouraged to contact the Health Office. The School Nurse will be glad to help in any way possible.

First aid is given to protect the life and comfort of students until authorized treatment is secured. Further treatment or diagnosis becomes the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

Should a student become ill or injured at school, the parent/guardian will be called and they are responsible for seeing that the ill child gets home safely. All parents/guardians need to have a plan to pick up and care for sick children.

Do not send a sick child to school. If your child is not well enough to participate in recess, they should not come to school.

Children with minor illness will not be excluded from school unless:

  • the child has a fever (oral temperature of 100 or greater); students must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • the illness prevents the child from participating in school activities.
  • the child requires more care than the school staff can provide.

When your child is ill, it is helpful for you to report their diagnosis to the School Nurse. The Ithaca City School District has a policy that prohibits students from attending school with a communicable disease or condition. If you have a question about whether your child can be in school with a specific diagnosis, please contact the Health Office. In the event of serious illness or injury the School Nurse can help coordinate your child’s educational needs and plan for a safe and successful re-entry into school.

Mental Health

There are times when a child’s impaired mental health can significantly affect their ability to function successfully or safely as a student in our environment. EACMSI is not a therapeutic setting, therefore we may not have the resources to meet the needs of students during periods of mental illness. At such times, we work with families to determine if EACMSI is an appropriate placement or whether a leave of absence is best.


All medications given at school (prescription, non-prescription, homeopathic, etc.) require a licensed medical provider’s order. Our school nurse will administer necessary medication to children during the school day. In order to do so safely, parents/caregivers requesting this service must provide the following:

  • Completed medication form signed by a licensed health care provider
  • Signed request by parent/caregiver requesting medication be administered as instructed by health care provider
  • Medication must be in its original labeled container (must match information on medication order)
  • Signature acknowledging date medication is received along with name, form and amount of medication
  • Long term medications must be renewed annually
  • The parent or guardian must bring the medication to school and give it directly to the nurse


NYS law requires physician verification of specific immunizations for legal entry into any NYS school.  Current immunization guidelines are available from your local health care provider and our school nurses.

Exceptions to this requirement are as follows:

  • A certificate signed by a physician licensed in NYS stating the specific reason or condition why immunizations(s) are detrimental to the child’s health.
  • Physician’s certification that the child has had the disease or serological proof of immunity.
  • A written statement signed by the child’s parent/guardian that they hold religious beliefs contrary to the practice of immunization. The statement must describe the beliefs in sufficient detail to permit the school to determine that (a) the beliefs are religious in nature (not health or philosophical), and (b) the beliefs are sincerely and genuinely held.

Students who are exempt from immunizations will be excluded from school in the event of an outbreak of disease for which the student is not immunized.

Further Health information can be found at under Health and Wellness.


We are a peanut free school.

Please read ingredient lists carefully. If a product has been processed where peanuts have been processed, we cannot have it at school.

Our Main Building is also tree nut free.

Please read ingredient lists carefully. Please read labels carefully and note that even non-nut foods may be contaminated if processed in a plant where tree nut or peanut products were prepared.

We encourage using whole grain products, and making low sugar and low fat choices for lunches, snacks and treats to share.

All children must bring a lunch and beverage to school. Please include any necessary utensils. Children will be required to bring home all lunch leftovers. Please pack food in reusable containers.

Candy, gum and soft drinks are not permitted at school.

Middle School students supply their own snacks. Please have your child pack extra food in their lunch box.

Physical Education

Physical Education is an important part of our school program. When it is absolutely necessary, a child may be excused from 2 PE classes upon the written request of a parent/guardian. A written statement from the family health care provider is required for prolonged exclusion from PE. This should include the reason and, if possible, the length of time for exclusion.  No student may return to PE after such exclusion until the School Nurse has received a return to PE order from the health care provider.  Students who are excluded from PE may not participate in recess or other physical activity at EACMSI.  Sneakers only are considered proper footwear for PE class.

Upon enrollment to EACMSI, students must submit proof of a physical examination done within the last 12 months by a licensed Physician, Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner in order to participate in PE.

Footwear & Labeling

Each child needs to have a pair of indoor shoes to wear in the classroom.  These can be indoor sneakers also used for indoor physical education. In addition, children need outdoor shoes or boots for recess play and outdoor physical education sessions. Crocs, clogs and flip-flops or any open toe shoes are not permitted for recess or gym.

Please label lunch boxes, hats, mittens, sweaters, jackets, shoes, etc. with your child’s name. This enables them to recognize their own things and assures that they get returned if misplaced.

Required Recess Clothing

All temperature determinations take wind chill into account.

Below 10 F:  Indoor recess

Over 10 F:  Outdoor recess for everyone

We recommend children wear face protection when sledding.

10 – 30 F

  • Down or heavily lined coat, hat, waterproof gloves/mittens, snow pants, insulated boots

30 – 40 F

  • Down or heavily lined coat, hat, gloves/mittens, snow pants (if sledding or sitting in snow), boots (if snowy or ground is wet)

40 – 50 F

  • Coat, hat and gloves, boots (if conditions are wet – water, mud or snow), outdoor shoes for paved surfaces, gravel or stone

50 – 60 F

  • Coat, polar fleece, sweatshirt, or sweater with one layer
  • Outdoor shoes for playing on paved surfaces, grass or stone

Proper Snow Clothes for Primary and Extended Day Children

With the cold weather approaching, we take this opportunity to remind you to provide your child with proper snow clothes. We will go outside everyday as long as the wind chill is above 10 F.

Some suggestions for purchase of winter clothing:

  • Warm boots that do not have removable liners. Boots should be tall enough so that snow cannot get between the snow pants and boots (to protect ankles and feet from frostbite).
  • Coats should be easy to zip, button, or snap so that your child can be independent in the process of putting on and taking off outdoor clothing. Jackets should be long enough to cover below snow-pants hip line.
  • Waterproof lined mittens or ski gloves with attached strings or mitten clamps should be attached to the coat. Please do not buy thin knitted gloves. They are difficult to get on, are not warm, and aren’t waterproof.
  • Hats should cover the forehead and cheeks. Please be sure the coat or hat provides neck coverage.

If your child cannot put it on themselves (snow pants/coats/full snowsuits), don’t buy them!

Getting the children outside is very important to us. The children love it, except when their clothes do not provide proper warmth or are frustrating to get on. Getting forty-five Primary and Extended Day dressed and undressed is a challenge! With your help and forethought, your child will enjoy winter recess!