Below you will find all policies concerning student health, nutrition, and wellness.
The Department of Health has recently clarified its School Medical Policies and requires that we adhere to the guidelines prescribed below. We are also required to follow the mandates of our local school district, Parma City Schools. It is imperative that you follow the regulations that have been handed down to us. We will not be permitted to make any exceptions.
Administration of Medication
When it is necessary for your child to receive medication prescribed by a physician OR over-the-counter medication, a physician's order MUST be on file along with a parent request form. An Administration for Medication form is included with the enrollment packet. Any medications will require this form (or your doctor can fax orders to our office at 440-842-3226) and you must sign the required form when you bring the medication to the office. If you are requesting that a non-prescription medication (such as Tylenol) be given to your child as needed, a physician's order MUST BE ON FILE, along with the parental request portion completed.
Guidelines for Medications
To protect your child’s safety, the school nurse and BCA staff will adhere to the following medication policy:
Written request from the physician shall include the name of drug, dosage, time interval, possible side effects, and the reason for the medication.
Written permission provided by the parent to comply with physician's order.
Medication MUST be brought to school (by an adult) in the ORIGINAL UNOPENED container (childproof), appropriately labeled by the pharmacy or physician. The dosage listed on the label MUST match the doctor's order.
Over-the-counter medication will NOT be given without a PHYSICIAN'S AND PARENT'S WRITTEN DIRECTIVE AND MEDICATION MUST BE IN THE ORIGINAL UNOPENED CONTAINER.
We will not accept medication in envelopes or plastic bags to refill prescription bottles on file. Parents should come in to refill the bottles as needed.
Medications should NEVER be in the possession of a student. Parents must deliver medication to school personnel.
If your child is susceptible to allergic reactions to food or bee stings, please follow through with the proper paperwork and be sure that we have an Epi-Pen on hand. We are not permitted to dispense creams or lotions of any kind. We cannot distribute cough drops or throat lozenges. If your child requires an antibiotic, please request your physician to order the 12-hour dosage, thus eliminating an afternoon administration at the school. Even medications requiring three doses per day can be given before school, after school, and before bedtime.
If your child cannot take gym or participate in recess a doctor’s note is required.
Inhalers and asthma medications will fall under all these same guidelines. If your child is able to administer his/her inhaler, please contact the school office for the “Self-medication for Asthma Inhaler” form and your child may keep the inhaler in his possession. If you do not want your child to carry his/her inhaler, please follow the above guidelines for medication and inhaler will be locked in the school office. Please note- All medications are locked in the school office. The school office is open and medications will be accessible from 8:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Ideally, all medication should be given at home. Questions and concerns can be addressed to the school nurse. She is available in the school clinic on Wednesday mornings.
Effective March 23, 2007, students in Ohio schools will be permitted to carry and use and epinephrine autoinjector with the permission of the prescriber of the medication and the parent/guardian. The new Epi-Pen law requires:
Acknowledgement that the prescriber has determined that the student is capable of possessing and using the autoinjector appropriately and has provided the student with training in the proper use of the autoinjector.
The school has received a backup dose of the anaphylaxis medication; and whenever an auto-injector is used, a school employee shall immediately request assistance from an emergency medical service provider (e.g., call 9-1-1).
If your child is able to administer his/her auto-injector, please contact the school office for the “Authorization for Student Possession and Use of Epinephrine Auto-injector” form and your child may keep the Epi-Pen in his possession. If you do not want your child to carry an Epi-Pen, please follow the above guidelines for medication and the Epi-Pen will be locked in the school office.
Sending Students Home From School
Students will be sent home from school when the administration deems it necessary.
As a general rule, the pupil will be excluded from the classroom when a student exhibits symptoms such as:
Diarrhea (more than one abnormally loose stool with in a twenty-four hour period); Sore throat or severe coughing (causing the child to become red or blue in the face or to make a whooping sound).
Yellowish skin or eyes
Temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit taken by the auxiliary method when in combination with other signs of illness
Untreated infected skin patch(es)
Unusually dark urine and/or grey or white stool
Evidence of lice, scabies, or other parasitic infestation
Unusual spots or rash
Sore throat or difficulty swallowing;
Other symptoms of illness
When a child becomes ill at school, the parent will be called to take the child home. Most students do not perform well when they are ill. No student will be sent home without being accompanied by a responsible adult. Since contagious diseases are most communicable during the fever stage, children should not return to school until all symptoms of illness have subsided. The student should maintain a normal temperature for 24 hours before returning to school. If one member of a family is ill, the other students may attend school unless the child is showing symptoms of a communicable disease. Since colds, flu, and other viral infections are common during the school year and are easily transmitted in the classroom, students who show symptoms of any type of an infectious disease should not attend school.
All students will be required to have a signed emergency medical authorization form on file. In case of any emergency, this form will grant permission to Bethel Christian Academy to take the injured or ill student to the family's designated doctor, dentist, or hospital (preferred medical staff). If neither the family, emergency contact person (which should be someone other than parents), nor the preferred medical staff can be contacted, Bethel Christian Academy will take the injured or ill student to Parma Hospital Emergency Room. In the event that Bethel Christian Academy is denied permission to take the injured or ill student to Parma Hospital Emergency Room, specific instructions must be on file as to what procedures BCA is to follow.
All students must have Immunization proof on file in compliance to the immunization requirements of the state of Ohio. Immunizations are required prior to the 1st day of school attendance. The immunization requirements will be considered fulfilled with the presentation of a physician's statement. A parent or guardian may indicate, in writing, objections to the immunization process. Objections on religious or philosophical grounds are a valid exemption only when the parent or guardian signs a written statement to this effect. A student who has not been immunized will be subject to exclusion from school in the event of an outbreak of any of the diseases mentioned in the section on communicable diseases. State requirements are listed below:
In order to attend school, the student must have completed the following immunizations, which are required under Ohio Law Sections 3313.671 and 3701.13 of the Ohio Revised Code* (February 1999):
Four (4) immunizations against DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough). If received before 4th birthday, a fifth dose is required.
All incoming 7th grade students are now required to have a DTaP booster (Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis).
Three (3) immunizations against Polio (Poliomyelitis). If third dose was received before 4th birthday, a fourth dose is required.
Two (2) Measles (Rubella) vaccine - first dose must be received after the first birthday and the second dose at least 28 days later.
Two (2) Rubella (German Measles) vaccine - first dose should be received after the first birthday, second dose at least 28 days later.
Two (2) Mumps vaccine - first dose must be received after the students' first birthday, second dose at least 28 days later.
Two (2) doses of MMR (Measles (Rubella), Mumps, and Rubella (German Measles) vaccine are required for incoming Kindergarten students. The first dose must have been received on or after the 1st birthday and the second dose at least 28 days after the first dose.
A tuberculin skin test to determine if the student has been exposed to tuberculosis is highly recommended but not required.
Two (2) doses of Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine are required for children entering Kindergarten.
The rules for the new hepatitis B school law require all Kindergarten students show evidence of having received three (3) doses of hepatitis B vaccine; the second dose must be given at least one month (28 days) after the first dose, and the third dose at least two months after the second. Students "in the process" of receiving the series may be admitted to school, but must be monitored by school staff to ensure that other doses in the series are received.
According to Section 3313.671, on the 15th day after school entrance it will be necessary to exclude all students from school who do not meet the above requirements.
Medical authorities and school educators urge that every child have a complete medical examination before entering school in order that defects, if present, may be corrected and the child is physically ready to accept all the advantages which education has to offer.
Health Screening Programs
Students will have the benefit of vision and hearing screenings done by the school nurse. These screenings are not diagnostic. When results are not within normal limits, students will be referred to their private physicians. Parents NOT wishing their children to participate in these programs should advise the school office in writing.
Control of Communicable Diseases
Please report all contagious diseases to the school. This is of great help when other students in the class show symptoms. These would include: Conjunctivitis, Chickenpox, Impetigo, Scarlet Fever, Gastroenteritis, Meningitis, Lice, Whopping Cough, Severe Colds, Streptococus, Scabies, Mono, Mumps, Ringworm, Hepatitis, German Measles, Measles, Pinkeye, or Pinworm.
Students and staff will wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer: When visibly dirty, after using the restroom, before lunch, and when necessary after art and science classes, after handling animals, and athletic practices.
Students will have age appropriate Health Class instructions on:
Nutrition and making healthy choices in their diet.
Abstaining from choosing to use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.
Students of BCA should not encourage others to make unhealthy choices.
Frequent hand washing and cleanliness.
The BCA Food Service Department appreciates the opportunity to contribute to the overall well-being of our students by offering a choice of healthy meals each school day. Our mission is to provide a variety of appealing, nutritious, and safe meals in an attractive environment. BCA Food Service employees are committed to the success and excellence of every student with a vision of improving student performance in a cost-effective and efficient program. All meals served must meet nutrition standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Our school cafeteria menus meet federal nutrition standards for school meals, ensuring that meals are healthy and well balanced and provide students all the nutrition they need to succeed at school. School meals offer students milk, fruits and vegetables, proteins and grains, and they must meet strict limits on saturated fat, sodium and portion size.
The best way to start the day is by eating a healthy breakfast. By making breakfast part of every child’s school day, absenteeism, tardiness, and disciplinary referrals drop, while overall student performance and behavior improves. We can help students fuel-up for their busy day by providing a nutritious breakfast consisting of a two bread/grain equivalent selection(s), or one bread/grain equivalent and one meat/meat alternative selections, a choice of 100% fruit juice and/or fruit, and a choice of 1% white or fat-free chocolate milk. Every day a nutritious lunch is offered, consisting of an entrée (which can include a bread/grain and a meat/meat alternate), two different fruit and/or vegetable choices, and a choice of milk. The milk choices consist of 1% white or fat-free chocolate milk. As mandated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), school breakfast meets 1/4 of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and school lunch 1/3 of the RDA.
In addition to adhering to the USDA nutrient standards, the BCA School Food Service Department follows the Offer verses Serve (OVS) serving method, which allows students to decline some of the food components offered in a school lunch or breakfast.
OVS at Breakfast
At breakfast, schools must offer students all three required food components in at least the minimum required amounts. The components at breakfast are: grains (with optional meats/meat alternates allowed); juice/fruit/vegetable; and milk. Under OVS, a student must be offered at least four food items and must select at least three food items. Students are required to take a minimum of ½ cup of fruit or vegetables for OVS.
OVS at Lunch
At lunch, schools must offer students all five required food components in at least the minimum required amounts. The components at lunch are: meats/meat alternates; grains; fruit; vegetables; and fluid milk. Under OVS, a student must take at least three components in the required serving sizes. One selection must be at least ½ cup from either the fruit or vegetable component.
Parents are always welcome to join their child(ren) for lunch. Please inform the classroom teacher or call the office by 9:30 a.m. to make a reservation and purchase a lunch in the cafeteria when you arrive. Prices are listed on the monthly menu.
Meal Charging Policy
Students will have a negative $100.00 charging limit. If your child’s balance falls below negative $100.00 you will be asked to make arrangements for your child to bring a lunch to school until the account can be made current. Students will not be allowed to charge a la carte items. They must have money in their account to purchase these items
Payments can be made via your ParentsWeb or by sending in cash or check to the school. Negative balances will roll over from one school year to the next until paid. Should a student leave our school with an unpaid balance of any kind, we will not be able to release records or forward them to the new school until the balance is paid. Parents may make payments to their child’s accounts and view their account balances and charges by visiting their ParentsWeb account and clicking on "Family Information."
Notification of Negative Balances
Lunch, Breakfast, and Milk accounts are updated every afternoon. As soon as a student's or family's account reaches a negative balance, parents will receive an automated email notifying them of the account balance and asking that money be added to the account. If a family's account balance reaches $20, they will receive a written notice from BCA requesting payment be made.
Free and Reduced Price Breakfast and Lunch Programs
BCA participates in the federally funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). This program allows us to serve the children of qualifying families a breakfast and lunch at free or reduced price rates. The application for free and reduced price meals is included in the orientation folder and available in the school office. If you have any questions or require assistance in filling out the application, please contact the school office. Information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining eligibility. BCA takes all actions that are necessary to ensure that there is no overt identification of any of the participating children. Households may apply for benefits any time during the school year. If a household is not currently eligible and if the household size increases or income decreases because of unemployment or other reasons, the family should contact the school office to file a new application. Such changes may make the children of the family eligible for free or reduced price benefits if the family income falls at or below the income eligibility guidelines. All students are offered a full meal.
“In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights,1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) E-mail: . This institution is an equal opportunity provider.”
If your child qualifies for the School Meals Program, your family may also qualify for free health coverage. Click here for more information.
Lunch Bags and Boxes
If your child brings his/her lunch from home, we ask that all lunch bags and/or boxes and reusable containers we identified with his/her name, and include all necessary eating utensils and napkins. Please do not pack foods that need to be reheated. Microwave ovens are not accessible to students. Teachers or staff will not microwave student’s items.
Due to the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Smart Snacks in School rules which set nutrition standards for all food sold in schools outside of the federal school breakfast and lunch programs, including cafeteria “a la carte” items, vending machine food and other snacks and beverages, students are restricted from accessing vending machines located on the school property during the regular school day and extended care program, and includes periods in which students are participating in school-sponsored extracurricular activities, academic or enrichment programs. The federal nutritional standards apply to all school systems participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, which includes Bethel Christian Academy.
Classroom Snacks and Celebration/Reward Foods
We encourage parents to send in healthful foods for snacks and classroom parties. Some celebration food ideas include fresh fruit assortment, fruit salad with whipped topping, 100% fruit snacks, vegetable or fruit kabobs, cheese cubes, string cheese, pretzels, low-fat popcorn, tortilla chips and salsa, graham crackers, animal crackers, whole-grain crackers, low-fat puddings or yogurts (great frozen!), 100% frozen fruit bars or cups, cereal mixes or bars. For additional ideas, please contact our Food Service Administrator.
The Wellness Policy is available by request and can be obtained from the BCA office. In compliance with Ohio Law, Bethel Christian Academy will work to attain good health and habits in our faculty and students. Please feel free to provide any input on the Wellness Policy as we would like for you to help us make it the best it can be for our students. Click here to view the current wellness policy. Feedback can be emailed to Mr. Burnett.