Health & Safety

The district’s goal is to promote and protect the health and wellness of every student. This commitment is reflected in its school nurse offices, health and physical education curricula, its adherence to state and federal health regulations and guidelines and comprehensive wellness policy.  

Reporting Absences

For absences at the high school, call the main office at (518) 895-5350, ext. 224.
For absences at the elementary school, call the school nurse or main office at (518) 895-8310, ext. 243.

School Nurses/Health Office

It is imperative that the school nurse be aware of children’s existing medical conditions, such as asthma and diabetes, and allergies, including environmental, food, bees and other insects. Please keep the school updated on any changes in your child’s medical conditions and/or medications.

Student illness

Please help the district prevent infection by keeping students home when they have vomiting, diarrhea, a fever higher than 100 degrees in the past 24 hours, uncontrollable coughing, strep throat (if on medication less than 24 hours) or conjunctivitis (if on medication for less than 24 hours).

Please call your child’s school to report any absences, and note your child’s major complaint or illness. Please be aware that a written note is required by New York state law for all absences and late arrivals.

Medications in schools

The school nurse may only administer prescription or non-prescription drugs to students in school if the parent or guardian submits a written request accompanied by directions for administering the medication from the prescribing physician. Medication should be in the original container with the child’s name on it. All medication turned over to the school nurse is kept under lock and key. These precautions are in place to protect the student’s well-being.

Behavioral health services

Life can be challenging. Duanesburg Central School District offers students and their families expanded behavioral health services through a partnership with Northern Rivers, an organization that includes the Northeast Parent & Child Society and Parsons Child & Family Center. Yvonne Lerner, MHC-LP, a Northern Rivers mental health counselor, provides confidential care through a referral process. Parents and guardians seeking more information should contact their DCS school social worker or Yvonne at (518) 895-5350, ext. 235.
Although the clinic is housed at DCS, insurance coverage for Northern Rivers services is handled in the same manner as when accessing other services located in a non-school setting. In other words, the program operates similarly to clinical visits off-site and therefore, parents/guardians provide their insurance information to Northern Rivers.
Northern Rivers also offers mobile crisis response services in the community to help resolve crisis situations. Parents, guardians or adults may call (518) 292-5499.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). First identified in China, the virus has spread worldwide.  Read more

Immunizations and Screenings


New York Public Health Law requires all students entering sixth grade to be immunized against varicella, or chicken pox.  If your child has had chicken pox, state law requires written documentation from your child’s physician. 

Students entering seventh and 12th grades must be vaccinated against meningococcal disease in order to attend school in New York state. 

Visit the New York State Department of Health website for a complete schedule of required immunizations.

Health exams and screenings

New students, and students entering pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 in the fall, are required to have a health exam. 

New students, and students in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1, 3, 5, 7 and 11 are required to undergo vision and hearing screenings.

Girls in grades 5 and 7, and boys in grades 9, must be screened for scoliosis.

Health exams and screenings are the responsibility of the family. Documentation should be provided to the family by a physician, to be submitted to the district.

Information about health screenings for athletes can be found in the Athletics Code of Conduct.

Body Mass Index

New York State Education Law requires body mass index, or BMI, and weight status group to be included in a student’s school health examination. To determine BMI, a student is weighed and his/her height is measured. The BMI helps the nurse or doctor know if the student’s weight is in a healthy range or is too high or too low.

Some schools will be surveyed by the state Department of Health each year and asked to share the number of pupils they have in each of six possible BMI categories based on students’ age and sex. If Duanesburg CSD is surveyed by the state, it will only share group data (for instance, the number of second grade boys whose BMI is below the fifth percentile), not individual data. However, if parents wish their child’s data to be excluded from such group calculations, they may do so by contacting their school nurse.

Head lice

If head lice are discovered, a child’s parent or guardian will be notified. The school nurse will provide information about treatment procedures when head lice are detected.

Parents who detect head lice are asked to complete treatment before returning the student to school. The student will be re-assessed by the school nurse before returning to the classroom.

Influenza (The flu)

The flu, or influenza, is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs that comes on suddenly and can involve other symptoms. Adults can spread the flu from one day before getting sick to up to 5 days after getting sick. This can be longer in children and in people who don’t fight disease as well (people with weaker immune systems).

Children with the flu should stay home until they have no fever without the use of fever-control medicines and feel well for 24 hours. Infants and young children are at greater risk for getting seriously ill from the flu. That’s why the New York State Department of Health recommends that all children 6 months and older get the flu vaccine.
Read more about the flu and the flu vaccine.

NYS SAVE Safety Plan

The Duanesburg Central School District has developed a District-wide Safety Plan in accordance with the New York State Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Law (Project SAVE) of 2000. The regulation requires that each public school district have a district-wide safety plan and that it is reviewed, updated as necessary and submitted to the New York State Education Department, if updated, prior to July 1 annually.

For information concerning the district-wide safety plan, please contact Penny Hardenstine, (518) 895-3000, ext. 224.

Safety drills are routine and important

Fire drills, lockdown drills, go-home-early drills: all are a routine but important part of keeping students and staff prepared and our school safe. Practicing for emergencies is key. A set number of drills is required by the state, and drills are held throughout the year, not announced ahead of time and coordinated with local fire, emergency and law enforcement agencies.

Vaping sensors 

Given our concern for the health and welfare of our students, vape sensors have been installed in Duanesburg Jr./Sr. High School. The sensors are triggered by vape and also can detect elevated sound levels, alerting staff to incidents occurring within the bathrooms. Vaping has become a real health issue for teenagers. Parents/guardians are encouraged to have a conversation with their students regarding using vapes/e-cigarettes. For information about how the vape sensors work, visit

Building and facility health and safety

The Building Maintenance Department oversees the quality and safety of the district’s school buildings, facilities and systems.