Communicating to parents why you require student health information
You have to communicate with parents. You know it. They know it. It’s not always fun, but it is necessary. You communicate with them about everything, and you do it throughout the year, so it’s easy to see how some things can fall through the cracks or simply be ignored by parents.
But, health information cannot be ignored. You have to have the information on the student to properly and completely fulfill your duties as caregiver of the student while they are at school. And that’s exactly what we encourage you to tell parents.
We’ve found that when school administration and health services explain not just what they’re requiring, but why they’re requiring it, the collection and enforcement headaches are alleviated. During the school year, students spend a significant portion of each day in the care of school staff. That time increases dramatically when you factor in sports. And with boarding schools, the school is the primary caregiver all the time.
As the part-time or primary caregiver, schools must require critical health information on their students. Should a student be involved in an accident, have an allergic reaction, fall down in the hall, have an asthma attack, go into cardiac arrest, or require treatment after a natural disaster, that health information could be life-saving, or at the very least, allow for quick and thorough medical care with a knowledge of the student’s health history.
We understand the hesitation in being forceful with parents, and we’ve even heard some schools say the only way to truly require this information is if there’s a waiting list to enroll at the school. But, the truth is, this is health information. This is information that could save a child’s life. The chances of a parent withdrawing their child from a school simply because the school has a passion around properly caring for the child are extremely slim. So, don’t be hesitant to require information, but do be clear about why you’re doing it.
In an effort to help schools express the need for information and their deep-rooted moral and ethical obligation to students, we’ve created the Parent Communications to Enforce Health Form Compliance Toolkit. In the toolkit, you’ll find recommendations to emphasize why schools are collecting information, as well as customizable sample emails. The sample emails cover both rolling out your stance on collecting health information to parents, as well as communication leading up to the start of school.
Download your copy of the Parent Communications to Enforce Health Form Compliance Toolkit and start customizing your communications with parents today!