• ANNOUCEMENTS

     Strengthening Families Program

     For Parents and Their Children Ages 10-14

     REGISTER NOW!  On Tuesday, January 7, 2020, The Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources, A Program of Children’s Aid and Family Services, in collaboration with the Bergen Family Center, will be initiating the first session of their FREE 7-session Strengthening Families Program  that will be held from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at Bergen Family Center, 44 Armory Street, Englewood, NJ.  The six remaining sessions will be held on the following Tuesdays:  January 14, January 28, February 4, February 11, February 18 and February 25th.

     Strengthening Families is a comprehensive, family skills training designed to develop and strengthen parents’ confidence in their ability to supervise, support and communicate with their children. This program helps parents and caregivers build on their strengths in showing love and setting limits, helps youth develop skills for building a positive future, and helps families grow together and become stronger.  Each two and a half hour session includes family meal time, separate group meetings for parents and children, and large group interaction among all family members participating in the program.

     Each week families begin the program by eating a free dinner together. After dinner, the families break up into three groups: parents, youth, and babysitting where parenting skills and life skills are taught. Some of these topics include: parents - Love and Limits, making rules, consequences, and protecting against substance abuse and youth – speaking, listening and staying out of trouble.  The families then come together and do family bonding games and activities around these topics. 

     The only requirement to participate in the program is that the family has a child in the 10-14 age group.   To address the issue of parents having children too young to be in the program, free babysitting will be provided for children (minimum age of 2 years) who would accompany their families.

     The Strengthening Families Program is a great opportunity for families. Many parents have found that this program has helped them to connect with other parents, understand their youth more, and communicate better as a family. Many of the youth have found that this program helped them to resist peer pressure, taught them about drugs and alcohol, and helped their families connect.

     When families graduate from the program, they receive a $100 Visa Gift card.

     With seating limited, registration is required and the deadline is January 3rd, 2020. To register, contact Jan Michael Quinit Ramos, CHES, Prevention Specialist, The Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources, at 201-740-7081 or jramos@cafsnj.org.

     Attached are promotional flyers in English and Spanish.  

     Strengthening Families Flyer

     

    Tick-Borne Disease Awareness and Prevention-See attached for information on Tick-bourne Diseases

    Tick-Borne Diseases 

    Proclamation from the Governor about Tick-Borne Diseases 

     

    ATTENTION PARENTS 
     https://newjersey.heart.org/eat-smart-month-resources/ 

     
     SPORTS  
    All intramural sports activities as well as Track must have a physical on file in the Health Office at least ONE MONTH prior to the start of the activity.  
    Forms can be printed from the Health Office web site or picked up in person.
     
    FALL SPORT/ BASKETBALL/ CHEER  

    Due date for the up-coming season of sports  October 25, 2019.  If you, the student, are thinking about going out for the FALL  Sport check with the nurse to see 
    if you have a physical on file. All players
    must have an approved Pre-Participation Athletic Physical on file in the Health Office prior to try outs/ practice. 

    ALL PHYSICAL EXAMS MUST BE ON THE REQUIRED FORMS, These can be downloaded from my web page under medical forms.  
    UNIVERSAL CHILD HEALTH RECORD is NOT an acceptable form for sports.


     
    *ALL GRADE 6/NEW STUDENT PHYSICALS ARE DUE PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING  OF SCHOOL ALONG WITH A COPY OF THE IMMUNIZATION RECORD. 
    Arrangements may be made with me regarding delayed exams due to insurance.
     
     
     
     * MEDICATIONS- 

    Medications In School/ Medication Forms

    Parents/Guardians are encouraged to administer medications at home whenever possible.  Medications in school should be administered only when necessary for the health and safety of the student.  All medications administered in school must be brought in by the parent/guardian in the original container and be clearly labeled.  Our school Medication Consent Form must accompany the medication and be filled out and signed by your child’s physician, and signed by the parent. The form also applies to over -the -counter medications including Tylenol, Advil, and cough drops.  Any omission will result in the nurse being unable to dispense medication to your child.  This form must be completed every year.  At the end of the school year, leftover medications are to be picked up by a parent or will be discarded.  No medications can be left over the summer months.

     
    JUST A FEW IMPORTANT REMINDERS:    
    * OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATION FORMS MUST BE RENEWED EVERY SCHOOL CALENDAR YEAR. 
    No over the counter medicine, which includes Tylenol and cough drops can be given without this signed by both 
    parent and physician. 
    This form may be downloaded  from my web page under medical forms.   


     
    * ASTHMA INHALERS/EPIPENS- These also should be returned on the first day of school with the proper documentation 
    from your physician.
     
    EMERGENCY CARDS In the event of illness or injury it is imperative that we are able to conform to the wishes of parents or 
    guardians regarding the release of their child for treatment. It is MANDATORY that EMERGENCY CARDS be completed for
    each student. Every attempt will be made to contact the parent or guardian before calling the persons listed on the card as
    emergency contacts. Your child will be released ONLY to the persons listed on the emergency card.
    Please keep this card up
    to date as needed. If you change  phone numbers: cell, home, or work, please notify us immediately.
    Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
     
     
    ALL MEDICATIONS THAT ARE LEFT IN THE HEALTH OFFICE WILL BE THROWN AWAY . MEDICATIONS CAN NOT BE 
    STORED 
    IN THE HEALTH OFFICE OVER THE SUMMER.
     This includes all over the counter, allergy and daily medication your child receives. 


     In coming 6th Grade Students:

    You must have both a Tdap and Meningococcal immunization prior to the first day of school.
    You cannot attend class without these immunizations. Please have a copy of your shots sent to your present nurse or better
    have a copy with your most recent physical exam to the Health Office here at VMS.
     
      
    **REPORTING A CHILD'S ABSENCE
     
    In order to ensure that every child is safely where they are suppose to be, we are asking that the parent call the main office (201-337-8185) by 8 a.m.  
    to report your child's absence.


    If you call prior to 7:30 a.m., please leave a message indicating your child's name, grade, and homeroom number by pressing option 3 for the main office. 
     
    We thank you for your cooperation.
     
    Attention DeficitHyperactivity Disorder
     
     (ADHD) is more than just hyperactive behavior. Parents with children who have ADHD should consult their own doctor for further advice. 
    Research funded by the FSA has suggested that consumption of mixes of certain artificial food colors and the preservative sodium benzoate
     could be linked to increased hyperactivity in some children. It is important to remember that hyperactivity is also associated with many
     other factors in addition to certain additives; so dietary advice may help manage hyperactive behavior but may not be the total solution. 
    Other factors include premature birth, genetics and upbringing.If your child shows signs of hyperactivity, or if on the basis of this 
    information you have concerns, you might choose to avoid giving your child food and drinks containing the following artificial colors:
    •sunset yellow FCF (E110)•	quinoline yellow (E104)•	carmoisine (E122)•	allura red (E129)•tartrazine (E102)•	ponceau 4R (E124)
    These colors are used in a wide range of foods that tend to be brightly colored, including some soft drinks, sweets, cakes and ice cream. 
    Parents may wish to check the labels of brightly colored foods if they want to avoid certain colors. When colors are used in food, they must
     be declared in the list of ingredients as 'color', plus either their name or E number.A European Union-wide mandatory warning must be put
     on any food and drink(except drinks with more than 1.2% alcohol) that contains any of the six colors. The label must carry the warning ‘may
     have an adverse effect    on activity and attention in children’. This became mandatory across the European Union from 20 July 2010. 
    Food and drink produced before 20 July 2010 can continue to be marketed, so it may take time for newly labeled products to appear on some
     store shelves. If you buy any foods that are sold without packaging you will need to check with the person selling the product or with the
     manufacturer.  The Action on Additives website contains a list of some foods that contain the above colors (see below).The Agency is 
    encouraging manufacturers to work towards finding alternatives to these colors. Some manufacturers and retailers have already taken 
    action to remove them.
     
    FOOD ALLERGIES 
     
    As you know, food allergies are a common, serious and sometimes fatal problem. New Jersey's Department of Health and Senior Services has been directed by the New Jersey State Legislature to 
    conduct ASK BEFORE YOU EAT!  This is a campaign to help protect New Jersey's residents from the dangers of food allergies. The goal is to help everyone understand why it is so important for 
    people with food allergies to avoid foods that trigger allergic reactions.For further information go to the following web site: www.foodallergy.rutgers.edu
     
    MANDATED FLU IMMUNIZATION FOR CHILDREN SIX MONTHS TO FIFTY-NINE MONTHS
     
    As we approach the peak of flu season, please be advised that the seasonal influenza vaccine is the best and safest protection available against influenza. New Jersey mandates that all children 
    six months through 59 months of age attending any licensed child care center, or preschool facility on or after September 1, 2008, annually receive at least one dose of influenza vaccine between 
    September 1 and December 31 of each year. NJDHSS is fully enforcing the seasonal vaccine mandate for children 6-59 months of age in childcare, preschool, and Headstart programs to receive 
    the seasonal flu vaccine by December 31st. There will be no grace period or waivers granted for unvaccinated children. Children who do not receive the vaccine by December 31st will be excluded 
    until the end of flu season, which is March 31st in New Jersey, or until they receive at least one dose of influenza vaccine. By law, the superintendent and education officials have the responsibility to 
    exclude children. Local or regional health departments have the responsibility to audit vaccination records and the authority to assess fines.In accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:57-4.24, each violation of 
    the rules shall be subject to the penalty set forth at N.J.S.A. 26:1A-10, (sic) Violation of the Sanitary Code, "each violation of any provision of the State Sanitary Code shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable by a penalty of not less than $50 nor more than $1000. Each penalty shall be sued for and recover in a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction.." and the N.J.A.C. 8:57-4.2 Proof of Immunization, "A principal, director or other person in charge of a school, preschool, or childcare facility shall not knowingly admit or retain a child whose parent has not submitted 
    acceptable evidence of the child's immunization, according to the schedules specified in this subchapter." Just for clarity, the penalty action is taken against the facility or school not the parent. 
    However, the code requires that the child either not be admitted or be removed from school if they are unable to show proof of immunization as required by the Immunization of Pupils in School 
    rules. An accommodation is made for a parent/guardian to submit the necessary written letter requesting a religious or medical exemption as specified in the each of the respective sections of the 
    rule
     
    ASTHMA IN OUR SCHOOL
     
    Over the past few years we have seen an increase of students diagnosed with asthmatic conditions. Environmental allergens, upper respiratory infections,irritants and exercise may provoke an 
    asthmatic incident. When the situation is exacerbated, the student’s condition can and may develop into a life-threatening situation. As hard as these students try to lead normal lives, even with 
    parental help, many cannot. They are in constant danger of entering a situation that may cause anaphylaxis, leading to respiratory distress and possible death.At school, it is our job to try and be as 
    vigilant as possible in providing a safe an environment that promotes healthy learning. This is an ongoing challenge. To help us here at school, I am asking that the school community to be as
     sensitive to these students as we are to others who have life threatening food allergies.Please encourage your student NOT to overload himself or herself with cologne or perfume. Discourage him or her
    from bringing these products to school fo ruse after gym class, in bathrooms, at lockers, or while attending any after school event. The use of any of these products may cause a student with 
    this allergy to have an Anaphylactic Episode.
     
     
    I thank you all in advance for your cooperation  I wish you and your family HEALTHY WINTER!
     
     
    New Jersey FAMILY CARE MANDATED HEALTH INSURANCE The past administration in Trenton had made a commitment for New Jersey to provide universal health insurance to children and 
    affordable options for parents/guardians. This new law mandates that ALL children age 18 and under have health insurance. Information packets are available in the health office or you may visit 
    their website for application and information.Call, 1-800637-2997, web info at www.njfamilycare.org
     
    CHICKENPOX "BREAKTHROUGH" DISEASE

    Chickenpox is one of the common diseases of young children. If you think your child has been exposed to Chickenpox, be on the look out for symptoms. The incubation period is about one to three weeks
    after exposure. During this time period, start looking for the signs of the disease, such as slight fever, aching joints and muscles, headache, loss of appetite, general malaise, and irritability. Most children
    have been vaccinated with Varivax/Varicella. Only a small number of vaccinees develop Chickenpox, this is called "Breakthrough Disease." The occurance of breakthrough disease indicates that the
    vaccine has provided partial protection, but the immune memory response was insufficient to entirely fight off the infection. Keep this in mind if you notice any rash on your child; please call your school
    nurse and/or consult your child's physician. Follow your physician's orders and keep your school nurse informed. Please know that any child with Chickenpox must be excluded from school and must be
    checked by the school nurse before returning to school. 

    As always, thank you for your cooperation!
     
     
     
    RSV-Respiratory Illness RSV, 
     
    Respiratory Syncytial Virus, causes acute respiratory illness in patients of all ages, but is an important cause of bronchitis and pneumonia in infants and children. It may also be associated with 
    significant respiratory illness in the elderly. Children with congenital heart disease, including underlying pulmonary disease, prematurity, and compromised immune systems are at greater risk of 
    severe RSV infection. Transmission of RSV occurs by direct or close contact with droplets or contaminated secretions that may persist for hours one environmental surfaces including hands. The 
    incubation period is typically 4-6 days. Contact precautions are recommended for those hospitalized and proper hand washing/hygiene and respiratory etiquette should be implemented  for all to 
    help contain and surpress this virus. Typical outbreaks are October through March with a peak during the month of January.
     
    BREAKFAST AND YOUR CHILD
     
    My middle school experience to date has been should I say “invigorating.”The students here at Valley Middle School have been most helpful in making my transition from elementary school a 
    smooth one. Over the past  four years here,many students have come through my office with various health issues and complaints, two of which are stomachaches and headaches. After doing a 
    health appraisal of these students I have found that a large percentage of my students are coming to school without breakfast. Over the years, studies have been made on the positive affects of 
    eating a “healthy breakfast.” These included the academic performance relevant to leaving the house having eaten from at least three of the food groups. Children learn the benefits of starting the
     day off right as early as grade one in health class. “The New Food Pyramid” is introduced and the children are shown how to use it during each day. Healthy snacks are also discussed.....those 
    which give us long lasting energy, such as cheeses, fruits and those which should be saved for lunch or after school....cookies, chips etc. We are fortunate here at Valley Middle School to offer
     breakfast choices for those students who skip breakfast at home. Don’t we all as parents owe it to our children to get them off to a great start in the morning!!
     
    SEASONAL ALLERGIES/MEDICATIONS
    	
    Unfortunately, along with onset of the changing of seasons, comes the sneezing, the coughing and the itchy, watery eyes. For most parents, the hardest part is trying to distinguish these typical 
    symptoms from a cold.Seasonal allergies affect a significant number of children every year, bring watery, red, itchy eyes and sneezing. Children with seasonal allergies can also manifest signs of  
    dark circles under their eyes called “allergic shiners”or little wrinkles in the middle of their nose because they are constantly taking the palm of their hand and wiping their nose upward, commonly 
    referred to as the “allergic salute.”	Different seasons sprout different allergens (substances causing allergy symptoms). In the first few weeks of spring, the pollen coming from trees  are likely to 
    blame. In late spring and summer, grass pollens and some weeds begin to spread throughout the air. By late summer and fall more weeds, especially ragweed, produce their strongest pollen, 
    usually until the first frost. In the fall, some molds will also develop due to decaying leaves.Molds can be found year-round whenever conditions are damp and humid.	Allergens can irritate the 
    body and activate what is called the histamine response. This gives children the symptoms of sneezing, itchy watery eyes and scratchy throat. If these symptoms persist they can start to cause 
    swelling or inflammation symptoms in the nasal passages. Thick mucus can block the nasal passages, and infection can potentially develop. Other complications from seasonal allergies are that
     they may trigger asthma or wheezing, or they may complicate eczema. For children and adults alike, nasal saline flush is best to open blocked passages. Medication for seasonal allergies usually 
    begins with a trial of anti-histamine oral medicines.Studies have shown, however, that nasal sprays can be more effective at treating seasonal allergic symptoms because they prevent the allergen 
    from triggering the histamine response right at the source. There are also natural ways to combat seasonal allergies, such as air conditioners and indoor air filters.Some research has shown that 
    citrus fruits rich in vitamin C may provide anti-histamine benefits and help reduce allergy symptoms.   If a child has repeated symptoms around the same time every year, it maybe helpful to discuss with 
    your pediatrician if your child may have seasonal allergies. If the symptoms persist, allergy testing is also an option to try to figure out exactly which allergens to avoid.Lastly and most
     importantly, please inform your school nurse if your child suffers from seasonal allergies.  Children become symptomatic, especially during recess and outdoor physical education. If you are giving your child medications for allergies, you should inform the school health office in writing via a note addressed to your school nurse. 
    Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
     
    Suggestions from “Lice beaters” on Ways to Prevent Head Lice 
     
    While campers eagerly await opening day of their summer camps, many parents have one particular worry on their minds: head lice. Statistics show that the incidence of head lice peaks during 
    summer months. Fueled by increased head to head contact(through sports, group games and art projects, and horsing around), children are often subject to cases during the summer months at 
    camp.Even children who do not attend camp, but who are with other children at the town pool, or on a baseball team, at the beach, or even at the movies are subject to picking up lice. Since, short of 
    keeping children in a bubble, our children will be out,  the following is a list of suggestions that Lice beaters (www.Licebeaters.com) have developed to help minimize your child's chances of getting 
    lice this summer.** Before sending children to camp, carefully inspect child's hair by parting it into small sections. Look through each section carefully.** If you see signs of nits or lice, you must 
    physically remove them. In many cases, the chemical shampoos DO NOT take care of the problem as the lice have developed a resistance to the bugs.** If you are unsure of what to do or are 
    overwhelmed by the number o nits/lice you find in the home, bring in a professional who will guarantee results.** If you find signs of lice or nits in your child's hair, it is advisable to tell any friends who 
    have been in close contact with your child so that child can eradicate her/his case and not give it back to your child.** At camp, children should avoid putting their heads together. Bugs crawl from 
    head to head; they do not fly. Head to head contact is by far the most common way to communicate lice. ** In addition, campers should not share hair brushes, hair clips, towels,hats, helmets or 
    anything else that comes into contact with the hair. Bugs can live on those objects for up to 2 days.** If your child is doing gymnastics, please request that the mats be thoroughly cleaned between 
    groups as children tumble on the mats and may leave lice behind for the next group to pick up.** For children who go to sleep away camp or have camp overnights or sleep-overs at friends'  houses, it is advisable to bring your own pillow and not share that pillow with anyone. If other kids sit on your child's bed during the day, you should encourage your child to wipe off the bed before she/he 
    gets in at night.  Lice are a nuisance but they do not carry disease and they are treatable. Take precautions and then let your child go and have fun at camp. If despite being careful, your child 
    contracts a case of lice you can try to manually  treat  with an over the counter  lice shampoo or visit the www.Licbeaters.com     973-376-6878 or 908-647-4198 or 201-407-7484 
     
    LYME DISEASE TIPS FOR PERSONAL PROTECTION FROM BERGEN COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
    1. Avoid tick-infested areas, especially in May, June and July.
    2. Wear light-colored clothing so that ticks can be spotted more easily.
    3. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants.
    4. Tape the area where pants and socks meet so that ticks cannot crawl underclothing.
    5. Use insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin.
    6. Spray insect repellents containing permethrin on clothing only.
    7. Wear a hat and long-sleeved shirt for added protection.
    8. Walk in the center of trails to avoid overhanging grass and brush.
    9. After being outdoors, remove, wash and dry clothing at a high temperature;inspect body carefully and properly remove any attached ticks.
    10. Clear brush and tall grass around house and at the edges of gardens. 
     
     
     
    FOOD DYES 
    Read "Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks," to learn more. Commonly used food dyes, such as Yellow 5, Red 40, and six others, 
    are made from petroleum and  pose a “rainbow of risks.” Those risks include hyperactivity in children,  cancer (in animal studies), 
    and allergic reactions. In 2008, because of the problem of hyperactivity, the Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the 
    Food and Drug Administration to ban the use of these dyes. The British government and European Union have taken actions that 
    are virtually ending the use of dyes throughout Europe. Food dyes also serve to deceive consumers: they are often used to simulate
     the presence of healthful, colorful fruits and vegetables.But considering the adverse impact of these chemicals on children, and 
    considering how easily they can be replaced with safe, natural ingredients,it's time to get rid of them altogether from the United States
     and Canada.Food Standards Agency-March 30, 2011 FSA advice to parents on food colors and hyperactivity. Hyperactivity is a genera
    l term used to describe behavioral difficulties affecting learning, memory, movement, language, emotional responses and sleep patterns.