School Health

The School Health Programs help child care facilities and schools meet the health needs of their children so all are healthy and ready to learn.

Our programs include:

School Nursing

Health and education are dependent on each other. Healthy children learn better.

Buncombe County Department of Health contracts with Asheville City and Buncombe County Schools to provide school health services. Our team is integral part of the comprehensive school health program promoting the health and safety of students. School Nursing services are available to reach 30,000 school-aged youth in the public schools.

To optimize learning, they help each child achieve and maintain their best possible health through:

  • Health Assessment and Referrals
  • Training of school staff to handle daily health needs of students including medication administration, non-invasive procedures, and care for chronic illness (diabetes, asthma, seizures, life threatening allergies and other concerns.)
  • Coordinate healthcare for students with special health care needs
  • When available, will see students for health concerns,
  • Provide linkages to the student’s medical home and other health services.
  • Follow-up on health screenings to assure students get the care they need.
  • Provide health information and education to students, school staff, and families on a variety of health matters including hygiene, communicable disease prevention, safety, growth and development, and other topics.
  • Assist with immunization compliance and school safety.
  • Advises the principal and family about infectious and contagious diseases.
  • Reports to parents, school personnel, physicians, and other agencies on school health matters.
  • Maintains confidentiality of individual student health status.

Vaccination Records for Kids

Keeping up-to-date vaccine records for your family, especially your children, is important and it can be difficult to manage.  We want to help you.

It is important to know that your children's vaccine records are often required to register them for school, participate in athletic teams and summer camps or to travel outside the United States. If you need official copies of vaccination records for your child, or if you need to update your personal records, start by checking with your child's doctor or the Department of Health.

Another important reason to have your child's vaccine records is so you can keep up with when they need additional vaccinations or to be revaccinated against diseases that can be prevented.

Talk to your child's doctor to decide what vaccines your child needs to protect them against disease and keep them healthy. In special circumstances children can have their blood tested to find out if they are immune to certain diseases. Your child's doctor may prefer to revaccinate your child for best protection. It is safe for your child to be vaccinated even if he already received that vaccine.

Vaccinations are important not only for your child, but to members of your family, and our community. What you do matters. By each of us doing our part to get vaccinated, we help to protect our entire community.

Next time you go to your child's doctor, make sure to ask if your child’s vaccinations are up-to-date.

Vaccines Required to Enter School:

North Carolina Law requires children to be vaccinated for certain diseases. Children must have the vaccines below before they may enter school. (NC law GS 130A 152)

Vaccine Number Doses Required Before School Entry
Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (Tdap) 5 doses
Polio 4 doses
Measles 2 doses
Mumps 2 doses
Rubella 1 dose
Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) 4 doses
Hepatitis B (Hep B) 3 doses
Varicella (chickenpox) 2 doses

For more information about vaccines visit the immunization requirements page at Immunize.NC.gov.

Immunizations Required for 6th grade:

One booster dose of Tdap vaccine is required for:

All public school students who enter the 6th grade on or after August 1, 2008, if five years or more have passed since the last tetanus/diphtheria vaccine.

For more information about 6th grade vaccines visit the Immunize.NC.gov Adolescent Vaccine page.

Immunizations Required for 7th Graders:

Adolescents should be up to date on all the vaccines required for kindergarten entry. In addition, adolescents need one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of meningoccal conjugate vaccine prior to starting 7th grade.

Please visit the NC Immunizations page for more information about required vaccines for those going into 7th grade.  

Vaccines Recommended for Age 11 and Above:

There are other vaccines that are recommended, but not required. These vaccines protect against:

  • Meningococcal Disease (meningitis) -- recommended for adolescents; most effective when given at 11 - 12 years of age, with a booster dose at 16 years of age
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) -- recommended for adolescents ages 11 - 12 years old, or those 13 - 26 years old who did not complete the 3-vaccine series when they were younger
  • Influenza -- recommended every year for anyone age 6 months and above
  • Hepatitis A -- recommended for adolescents and adults who did not receive the vaccine when they were younger
  • Varicella (chickenpox) -- recommended for adolescents and adults who did not receive the vaccine when they were younger

For more information, check out our childhood immunizations section or go to Preteens / Teen Vaccines page on the CDC website.

Immunizations Recommended for College/University Students*:

North Carolina law requires students of public, private, or religious colleges or universities to receive certain immunizations. There are some exceptions to this law.

For more information on college immunizations, check out the Immunize.NC.gov Colleges and Universities page.

* Some colleges/universities may have additional vaccine entry requirements for their campuses.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why does my child need immunizations?

Immunizations are very important to protect your child from diseases. Germs that cause vaccine-preventable diseases and death still exist and can be passed on to an unvaccinated child or adult.

Where can my child get immunized?

You can get your child immunized at their doctor's office or at the Immunization Clinic of the Buncombe County Department of Health.

What Parents Need to Know About Vaccines and Immunizations

Learn more about vaccines:


Growth and Development (5th Grade):

As children reach the upper elementary grades, they may begin the very important stage of development called puberty. There will be changes happening to their bodies, both on the outside and on the inside.

We think it is important for students to learn about the normal changes of puberty. School nurses from Health and Human Services visit 5th grade classes in Asheville City and Buncombe County Schools to teach about puberty. The programs taught by the school nurses address NC Essential Standards for Healthful Living.

In order to create a comfortable environment for students to ask questions, boys and girls are separated into different classrooms for this program. Parents can review the outline and materials prior to the presentation. Links to the outline and slideshow are provided below.

Growth and Development Parent Permission Forms:

For parents of boys: For parents of girls:
Growth and Development Class Outlines:

For more information and a preview of the 5th grade slide shows, please go to:

http://www.buncombe.k12.nc.us/Page/27487

Resource for parents: KidsHealth.org - Type “puberty” in the search bar.


Head Start / Early Head Start Program

Provides nursing services to Head Start (Community Action Opportunity) and Early Head Start (Asheville City Pre-school)

A registered nurse completes screenings and assists with medical needs of all children enrolled in Head Start or Early Head Start Programs. The nurse provides staff training for the care of children with special needs, and for OSHA, CPR and first-aid requirements, as needed.


Health Fair for Students

Building a better future together by helping children get the health screenings they need.

Each fall and throughout the year, health fairs are provided for students while they are at school. Children are screened for hearing, vision, dental, and height and weight (BMI) concerns. Some of the screenings are done every year, while others are offered at other times. The health fairs are held during the school day.

Parents will receive screening results on the day of the health fair. If a child does not pass a vision or a hearing screening, they will be re-screened before being advised to see a doctor. If there is a concern with the student's BMI (height and weight ratio), parents are advised to contact their child's doctor. The child may also receive additional follow up from the school nurse. Kindergarten and second grade students found to have dental decay will receive a referral to the dentist.

The health fairs are a helpful way for children to receive screening for health issues. If a parent does not want their child to participate in the health fair, they need to notify the school. A written letter stating the request must be sent to the school prior to the date of the health fair.

Please contact your child's school to find the date of the next health fair.


Dental Programs

Elementary School Dental Screening, Assessment, and Referral
Buncombe County is partnering with the Eblen Kimmel Charities to provide dental screening to kindergarten, second and fifth grades in selected schools. Dental screenings are scheduled in conjunction with selected Buncombe County schools’ health fairs, which take place in the fall each school year. Students determined to need immediate dental treatment are referred to dentist. When needed, the School Nurse will assist the parent in obtaining dental care for their child.

Second Grade Dental Sealant and Oral Health Education Program
The Children’s Dental Sealant program provides sealants and basic oral health education to 2nd grade students in targeted Asheville City and Buncombe County Schools. The program operates through strong community partnership with AB Tech, Eblen Kimmel Charities, and many community dentists and their dental staff.


Hours of Operation:

School Health Services are available during school hours.

How are services paid for?

School nursing services are paid for by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Mission Hospitals, Asheville City and Buncombe County School Systems, and the Buncombe County Department of Health.