Peanut_AllergyFood allergies. We've talked about them, you've talked about them, and the scientific community has certainly been studying them. For the amount of people in world that are affected by food allergies - including 6 million children - it's no surprise that allergies reach front page news each week. And recently there's been even more buzz about peanut allergies in particular. Why? Because there could in fact be a cure.

I'm happy to let you in on a bit of a secret: we have some really, really good webinars coming your way. Not just any webinars, guest expert webinars. A full lineup will be announced soon, but what I can tell you here and now, is that February 17, from 2-3 PM Eastern, guest expert Missy Fraser will present on traumatic brain injuries and recent research. Missy will speak from her own experiences and research at The Matthew A. Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center, and the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes.

During this webinar, Missy will answer the following questions:

  • What are the effects of cognitive and physical rehabilitation on Return to Play (RTP)? 
  • Head Impact Sensors: What's out there? How can you use them? Are they all they're cracked up to be?
  • Long-term impact: Can sport-related head impacts result in long-term cognitive, physical, or emotional changes?

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We're not all serious talk about student health information and school health forms here at Magnus. We like to learn about everything school related, including the unique world of boarding schools. So, recently I asked an online community of boarding school staff members what their favorite part of working at a boarding school is. The feedback was overwhelming.

Directors of Operations, Deans, Administrative Assistants, Directors of Admissions, and Educators all rushed to share their stories of working at boarding schools and what their experiences mean to them. The one theme that each person shared: A sense of community.

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Flipped classrooms. Bring Your Own Device days. Smart Boards. iPads. If you recognize any one of these concepts, then you know how essential technology has become in K-12 schools. Gone are the days of shying away from virtual classes and student laptops. Now, schools and teachers embrace technology as a resource for investigative learning. Now, educational technology is a concept of the present and the future.

Technology has made its way into every facet of education - the front office, the health office, classrooms, athletics - and now it appears education technology can help prevent lost instructional time on snow days, too. While the concept of e-learning has been around for some time, only recently has it become a way to alleviate the school calendar headaches that come along with inclement weather-related closings.

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According to the Education Commision of the States, laws vary from state to state on the minimum number of instructional days that students are required to have per year, but most require 180. In the midst of a particularly harsh winter in 2013-14, many schools and districts were forced to find creative ways to keep students on track to hit that number. Policies that allowed for e-learning days were the solution adopted in several areas of the country to minimize the impact of inclement weather.

updated_ESD-146524-editedThe progression of technology over the last fifteen years is incredible. Not long ago, cell phones were a rarity and wireless internet was just becoming a staple in American homes. Fast forward to today and schools have active Twitter accounts while students use iPads to check into the school nurse's office.

We're no strangers to the technology conversation, either. After more than eight years of working directly with schools to help them bring their student health records online, we know that technology has enormous benefits, especially during re-enrollment.

We've seen schools that we work with transform their re-enrollment process by bringing their health and signature-only forms online. So if you're wondering how to make re-enrollment run more smoothly, then you came here at a good time. Let's talk about how electronic forms can change the way you think of re-enrollment.

A quick Google search for "student peer-counseling" returns roughly one million results. There's a lot of information out there, and a lot of schools are already employing peer-counseling programs with successful results. But, the idea of having students counseling other students can create some understandable hesitation. However, according to nearly every piece of research, and an actual licensed school counselor I questioned at length, the key...

If you are like me, you always dread the question, “Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?” I used to feel that anything less than a clearly packaged response would be a reflection of my failure at life’s planning. Truth is, I’ve come to embrace the way my internal guiding compass works.

East coast bound all my life, when I decided to trek across the country to Texas for grad school, I just knew what I wanted to study and that I wanted to do it at one of the best institutions in the world. When I chose to study abroad in Cuba, it was totally the unknown that drew me there. I’m driven by a larger purpose and then finding my role to further that purpose...rhyme or reason not always required. In both endeavors, I was consumed with personal fulfillment and growth that was unimaginable; it just felt right to make those decisions.

In my time here at Magnus, I realized that to deliver the best answer to that age old question, I needed to not only focus on communicating my future professional growth, but moreso how I wish to feel about it. Lo and behold, I’ve found my muse. February 2015 will mark three years working here at Magnus. I don’t expect any longevity awards with this milestone but for a start up, not unlike high school/college, that seniority is nothing to balk at!

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New Year's resolutions: Overrated or inspiring? For those of us who make resolution lists longer than Tom Clancy novels, they just might be overrated. But, when correctly planned and thoughtfully pursued, it's true that resolutions can bring about real change - and inspire others to do the same.

That's why New Year's resolutions at school are so powerful. When anyone - a student or staff member - takes on positive resolutions, their change can inspire the entire community. But what kind of resolutions should school staff members be making? How can they inspire students to have a productive and fun year? We propose using these six New Year's resolutions that are perfect for schools.

In a previous blog, we covered new research for independent school nurses and health services, and we gave an overview of the 2013-14 Annual Report of Independent School Health Services. Now, it's time to dig a little deeper and look at the staff and facilities that make school health services possible. To segment and analyze data, we asked respondents a series of questions focused on each school’s...

International_Travel_AbroadTo prepare for international travel with students and staff takes quite a bit of time, and I don't think I overstep my bounds when I say keeping everyone alive and healthy are the main goals. Ebola and polio have dominated the headlines in recent months, but it's no secret that health concerns exist everywhere, not just in high risk areas of the world.

As with many great and wonderful things in life, preparation is key, as is revising any existing policies and procedures. To assist you in those efforts, below are some resources and tips gathered from around the web, geared toward traveling abroad with students and staff.

misc_10_minute_clock_smallerWe all know that time is valuable. And in the world of runny noses, broken arms, and chronic diseases, time matters even more. School nurses are in a constant race for time, and we know that. That's why we're sharing five ways for school nurses to save valuable clock ticks on a daily basis. Some of these tips may require a little extra time to set up or put in place, but after they are established, life will be a breeze. So let's get started!

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Last week we had the opportunity to present to an audience of boarding school professionals at the TABS 2014 Annual Conference. It was a fantastic experience to say the least, and we were grateful to be part of the event.

Presenting at the event was Allen Cobb, Chief Product Officer at Magnus Health, with commentary by Dr. Adrianna Bravo, Medical Director at Episcopal High School. Allen brought with him new research from the Annual Report of Independent School Health Services, along with guidelines to success in school health services. The presentation, "The State of the Boarding School Health Center" was the first of its kind, focusing on health center management in boarding schools. If you didn't get a chance to see the presentation, don't worry. We're about to share the key takeaways with you right here.

nurse_with_boarding_school_studentOne of the biggest questions we've received when talking to independent schools about the Annual Report of Independent School Health Services is: "What information is applicable to boarding schools?". It's a good question to ask, because not all independent schools are the same. For example, boarding schools are responsible for student care 24/7, which differs from their day school counterparts. It's these increased hours of care that mean boarding schools prepare differently for student health concerns - and the proof is here.

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Ever heard of the saying, "I get by with a little help from my friends"? For students these days, that saying couldn't be more true. As they wander a hectic maze of mentally and physically draining activities - including early morning classes, after-school sports practices, peer pressure, and increasing chronic illness - it's no wonder why teens and children always seem tired. It's because they are! But luckily, they get by with a little help from a few unconventional friends. And this time of year, we're extra thankful for those friends.

tech_laptop,_typing_on_mac_4_smaller_cropThe way you collect, update, and manage student information is critical to effectively managing an independent or private school. In order to make the process efficient and streamlined, many schools utilize a student information system (SIS). But because student information systems can't cover every need, they often integrate with systems that can provide a concentrated focus. For example, health and health center needs. Even student information systems that provide a “health option” often find integration a better option for schools seeking a health center solution. 

finalsite_logo_and_magnus_gearThere's been quite a bit of talk about our independent school software integrations lately, and for good reason. As more schools look to reduce their carbon footprint and increase data security, it only makes sense to take student health information paperless. And the whole processes is even easier when your school's Student Information System and/or website works together with your school's Student Medical Record software.

Screen_Shot_2014-11-12_at_10.43.41_AMTechnology has done wonders for informational organization and security at independent schools. The old ways of filing student information into cabinets have transformed into online record-keeping via Student Information Systems and Student Medical Records. But as wonderful as these robust technologies may be, wouldn't it be even more wonderful if they worked in harmony? Wouldn't it be a life saver if you could enter information into one school software portal, and that same information appeared in another? The answer is a resounding "yes." 

AnnualReport2014-thumb-400px_1-1In an earlier blog, New research for independent school nurses and health services, we gave an overview of the 2013-14 Annual Report of Independent School Health Services, but the research and annual report wouldn't exist without the people who created it and the people who participated in it. So, without further ado, I present to you, the Who and the How of the annual report.

With advice, input, and direction from an advisory panel of distinguished independent school nurses, the Magnus Health marketing and product teams designed the annual research questionnaire. The panel of six members allowed us to identify and hone in on the topics most important to school health professionals so the information gathered would be as useful as possible.

Simplifying processes is never a bad thing. Neither is easing the burden on parents or decreasing time spent on redundant administrative tasks. So the Senior Systems, Magnus Health integration, which accomplishes all these tasks, can only be a good thing. In fact, it’s a great thing. Senior Systems and Magnus Health have partnered to offer Single Sign-On (SSO) for parents and an automated data transfer integration, which will save school administrators time by streamlining the information update and account creation processes.

The SSO process requires that schools use both My Backpack and Web Services. With those pieces in place, parents can use their My BackPack username and password when logging into Magnus. Schools must create parents and students in the Magnus system before the parent can successfully login. There are various methods of doing that, but we recommend using Auto Roster Import to make it as seamless as possible.