Health Services

William Penn Charter School is dedicated to meeting the health and safety needs of our students, faculty and staff during the school day.We are committed to the ideals of health promotion and prevention in our administration of care in order to meet our school's overall educational goals.

We invite you to read the following information on specific health-related topics.

Health Forms

Students will not be permitted to attend classes or participate in any school activity, including athletics, until all medical, dental and electronic consents are completed.  We recommend that you scan/upload your forms to your Magnus Health Account and keep the originals.  The deadline for all forms is July 31.  

Health Forms:

Allergy Emergency Action Plan

Dental form – grades K, 3 & 7 only

Physical Examination form – grades PK, K & 6-12 
(New students, regardless of grade, are required to submit a physical examination and immunization form)

Immunization form – grades PK, K, 7 & 12

Permission to Administer Medication in School form


Keeping Your Child Home

In the hustle and bustle of the morning routine, it is often difficult to know when to keep your child home from school due to illness. Absence from school is warranted when your child is either too ill or tired to participate in the learning activities, or the condition creates an unhealthy environment for others.

Guidelines for keeping your child home from school:

  • Stay home for acute stomach pains/diarrhea
  • Stay home for 24 hours after the last episode of vomiting
  • Stay home for 24 hours after the last elevated temperature (a temperature higher than 100.5 F)
  • Stay home for lethargy or increased fatigue
  • Stay home with a weeping rash, or a rash associated with a fever
  • Stay home with a pink eye with a lot of crusting, tearing or mucus discharge
  • Stay home with severe congestion causing difficulty breathing with or without a persistent cough

Frequent hand washing continues to be the best defense against illness transmission. 

Please routinely check your children for lice and ticks and notify the health office of any concerns. 

Medication in School

In accordance with the school's drug policy, students are not permitted to carry or self-administer any prescription or non-prescription medications without prior authorization. Families must submit written documentation to the health office for notification and approval of any self-administered medications while on campus.  Currently, the only approved self-administered medications are asthmatic meter dose inhalers, insulin for diabetic students and emergency anaphylactic medications (Epi-pens).  All other medications must be administered in the health office and follow the medication policy protocol.

The school nurse may administer acetaminophen, ibuprofen, antacids (Tums) or sore throat/cough lozenges to your child during school hours with consent from the parent/guardian. An electronic signature authorizing this medication is requested annually.

Medication Policy Protocol

Please contact the health office at ext. 142 to discuss the policy for administering prescription medications during the school day. Medication to be given on a regular or "as needed " basis requires a written prescription/authorization from your child's health care provider each academic year.  This includes Epi-pens and inhalers, as well as oral medications. Please ask your child's health care provider to complete the Permission to Administer Medication in School form.

Medication that needs to be given for treatment of an acute nature, such as oral or topical antibiotics, requires a note from your health care provider stating the time of day as well as the length of treatment. All medications must be delivered to school in the original prescription labeled container. Medications can be returned home on a daily basis if needed. Medications should also be picked up by the parent at the end of the school year.

Illness or Injury

Parents should contact their divisional office for any absences. However, please contact the health office for any unusual or prolonged medical injuries or illnesses. This will help us better prepare and support your child upon his or her return to school.

Parents are required to immediately notify the health office upon diagnosis of a communicable disease such as chicken pox, impetigo, conjunctivitis, strep throat, scabies, pinworm, ringworm or pediculosis (lice).

The school nurses are only permitted to administer emergency first aid and to assess and treat illnesses or injuries that occur during the school day. Students are not permitted to excuse themselves from school when ill, but must see the nurse for evaluation. Parents/guardians must be contacted prior to dismissal from school.

Parents are notified if a student is ill or has an injury that requires further medical evaluation. Transportation for medical evaluation is the responsibility of the parent/guardian for non-emergent situations. If a serious illness or injury occurs, the nurses will activate the 911 emergency system for transport to the hospital.

All emergency medical information must be updated yearly within the electronic form system. The health office should be updated on any changes during the school year.

Automatic External Defibrillators

An automatic external defibrillator is a life-saving device used to restart the heart in a victim with sudden cardiac arrest. The incidence of cardiac arrest is very low in the school-age population; however, we are prepared as a community for any such event. Penn Charter has numerous AEDs located throughout the school. The locations are the main office (receptionist area), health office (main building basement), Field House training room and lobby, Graham Center lobby and fitness center, Middle School faculty room, Kline & Specter Squash Center at Strawbridge Field, Kurtz Center and the mobile unit that travels with the athletic trainer during afternoon events. Key personnel, including the school nurses and the athletic trainers, have been certified in the use of the AED.

Emotional Health

The school learning specialists, counselors and nurses work with teachers and parents to provide support for academic, social, and physical and emotional health needs. 

Support Services

Members of the support team work with specific students and teachers around learning issues. The team consists of the divisional learning specialists, the school nurse and the divisional school counselors. Students and/or families become involved with members of the team on a referral basis. Referrals are usually made by the school director.

A trained school counselor is available to students to discuss any adjustment issues. The school director, the dean of students, a teacher or a coach may refer students to the counselor. The counselor also will meet with students who are "walk-ins." In addition to individual sessions, the counselor may conduct transition groups throughout the academic year and other group sessions as needs arise.

Nursing Staff

Debra A. Foley, RN, MSN, CRNP
Coordinator of Health Services/Health Faculty
215-844-3460, ext. 142 or 487

Nancy Hirschfeld, RN, MSN, CRNP
Associate Nurse
215-844-3460, ext. 142

Counseling Staff

Upper School Counselor
Elizabeth Hitschler, BA, MEd
215-844-3460, ext. 205

Middle School Counselor
Katie Martin, BS, MEd
215-844-3460, ext. 352

Lower School Counselor
Lisa Reedich, BA, MSS
215-844-3460, ext. 171