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Student Health & Wellness

Nursing Department

For additional information about student health and wellness, please visit the Nursing Department page.

Vaccine Requirements for Students

Massachusetts state law requires all public school students to receive specific vaccinations against diseases.

The deadline for all students to receive their vaccinations for the 2023-24 school year is January 16, 2024

If you have any questions regarding your child’s current vaccination status, please reach out to your school nurse. Nurse Staff Directory

Worcester Free Health Clinics

If your child does not have a medical provider, please contact a free health clinic in Worcester that may be able to provide vaccinations or other medical services. View a list of Worcester’s free health clinics.

Flu Clinics

The Worcester Public School Department of Nursing in coordination with the Worcester Department of Public Health will be holding Flu Clinics in all schools throughout the district during school hours.  We invite all students to participate in these citywide flu vaccination initiative.  A parent/guardian does not need to be present for your child to receive this vaccine but you are welcome to attend if you choose.  Please be sure to fill out and sign all paperwork brought home with your child or we will not be able to vaccinate your child.  Nurses and other medically trained volunteers will be available to provide information and answer questions related to these vaccines.

Helping Students Cope with Grief and Loss

The National Association of School Psychologists has numerous resources for staff and parents/guardians on how to assist  students in coping with the death of an adult, friend, peer, or loved one. Visit the NASP “Addressing Grief” website to view many helpful resources in multiple languages.

Some basic tips from NASP include:

  • Be patient. There is no timeline for the grieving process. Everyone heals at a different pace. Give it time; know and remind yourself that feelings might come and go and come back again.
  • Surround yourself with caring people. Make sure that the friends and relatives around you are compassionate individuals who care about you and will be sensitive.
  • Grief is a healthy and natural response to death. It is a necessary process as part of the healing.
  • Anger is a normal feeling experienced by those who grieve. Do not be afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed to seek outside help if necessary. Ministers, therapists, counselors, and doctors can help when grief becomes too heavy to bear alone.
  • Take care of yourself. Take time to rest, get some fresh air and exercise. Eat healthy meals and drink plenty of water. Take some deep breaths or learn some relaxation techniques.

Counseling resources for staff are available anonymously through the Employee Assistance Program; view information on EAP.

Speaking to Children About War

The following resources are for parents/caregivers and educators on how to communicate with children about conflict and war, as well as how to provide them with support and comfort.

Talking to Children about War – The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers a fact sheet for parents/caregivers on the potential impact and considerations when talking to children about war, how to start the conversation, understanding media coverage, and how to foster resilience.

How to talk to your children about conflict and war, 8 tips to support and comfort your children. – UNICEF Parenting provides some tips for parents on how to approach the conversation with children to provide them with support and comfort.

Helping Students in Troubling Times – American School Counselor Association gives some suggestions and resources on how provide ongoing support for students.

Handle With Care: Supporting Young People During Crises – Learning For Justice provides recommendations and resources to support families, educators and community members on how to respond to the needs of children during traumatizing events.

Speaking to Children About Violence

The following resources are for parents/caregivers and educators on how to communicate with children about violence and frightening news, as well as how to provide them with support and comfort.

School Violence Resources – National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) developed resources to help educators and administrators support students and families cope with bullying and school violence.

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers – National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provides tips on how to help children and youth feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security, reinforcing their natural resilience, and talking with them about their fears.

How to Talk to Kids About Violence – Child Development Institute provides some tips to help parents talk to their kids so they can cope with violence.

Helping Children Cope with Frightening News – Child Mind Institute provides information about what parents can do to aid scared kids in processing grief and fear in a healthy way.

Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting – American Psychological Association provides tips and strategies for parents on how to help their children manage their distress.