Therese M. Dydo R.N.
Non-PEL Registered Nurse Certification
Certified Hearing and Vision Technician
Mokena Elementary School
11244 Willowcrest Lane.
Office Hours 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Mokena, Il 60448
About Nurse Therese
In the Fall of 2023, I will begin my 9th full-time year as the School Nurse here at M.E.S. Two years prior to my full-time employment I subbed for our District as well as Lincoln Way 210. In my position, I am first and foremost an advocate for all of our students. Each child and staff member receive direct professional Nursing care, in accordance with professional standards, school policy, and procedures, and state law regarding nurse practice. Each year I maintain school health and immunization records while preserving confidentiality. As each school year begins I assess the health needs of each student, especially those with health conditions/issues. From that assessment a plan of care of implemented as well as any health alert information that needs to be communicated to our support staff. For those that have a medical 504, I act as the case manager. I plan and perform all of the State Mandated annual hearing and vision screenings for the entire 159 District. Each school year I also complete federal, state, and county health reports. (Dental, Hearing, Vision, and Immunization reports.) On a daily basis, I see students for injuries, illness, and medication administration. As well as anything that may come my way. I have even been known to fix a pair of glasses or 2. It is truly my pleasure to care for each and every one of our students and staff.
Additional Professional Responsibilities
I have been a part of the Mokena 159 Strategic Planning Committee, as well as a member of the Emergency and Crisis team. I am the Secretary for the MCSA (Mokena Classified Staff Association, IEA/NEA.) I have also been a part of the bargaining team for the last 2 contracts, the latest one being in the Fall of 2023.
Candy Williams, Health Aide
I am in the Nurse’s office on all Student Attendance days from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. I also come back to the office 5 days prior to the start of School in the Fall and stay 5 days after the Students are released for summer break. There are times I do travel from School to School to screen students for hearing and vision. Mrs. Candy Williams, Health Aide, is in the office daily. In the event I am not in, she will be able to assist you.
I am a member of the IASN (Illinois Association of School Nurses as well as the NASN (National Association of School Nurses.)
Relevant School Board Policies
Found on Pg 22 of Parent/Student Handbook.
5.10 – Immunization, Health, Eye, and Dental Examinations
Required Health Examinations and Immunizations
All students are required to present appropriate proof of a health examination and the immunizations against, and screenings for, preventable communicable diseases within one year prior to:
1. Entering kindergarten, first grade, and sixth grade;
2. Enrolling in an Illinois school for the first time, regardless of the student’s grade.
Proof of immunization against meningococcal disease is required for students in grade 6. A diabetes screening must be included as part of the health exam (though diabetes testing is not required). Students between the age of one and seven must provide a statement from a physician assuring that the student was “risk-assessed” or screened for lead poisoning. An age-appropriate developmental screening and an age-appropriate social and emotional screening is required parts of each health examination.
Failure to comply with the above requirements by October 15 of the current school year will result in the student’s exclusion from school until the required health forms are presented to the school, subject to certain exceptions. A student will not be excluded from school due to his or her parent/guardian’s failure to obtain a developmental screening or a social and emotional screening.
New students who register mid-term have 30 days following registration to comply with the health examination and immunization requirements. If a medical reason prevents a student from receiving a required immunization by October 15, the student must present, by October 15, an immunization schedule and a statement of the medical reasons causing the delay. The schedule and statement of medical reasons must be signed by an appropriate medical professional.
Important Health Information
Please submit all required health forms to the Nurse’s office prior to, or on the first day of school. All immunizations need to be up to date. Each year there is an immunization exclusion date. It is generally on the 15th of October. If your child’s immunizations are not up to date by then, you will be called to come and pick up your child until we receive proof of an upcoming appointment to receive the immunizations, or until the immunization is given
If your student requires an Epi-Pen, Inhaler, or medication at school, be sure to get that to the Nurses before the first day of school. This allows us to have what we need for your child as soon as the school year begins. A Medication Authorization form needs to be completed by the physician and parent. An adult has to bring in any medications, prescribed and over the counter. This ensures the safety of all of our students.
If your child sustains an injury outside of school that results in them having a cast, boot, or sutures, please communicate that to the Nurse’s office. Be sure to submit any doctors/orthopedic notes as well. When a doctor states no activity, your student will refrain from recess as well. This is to keep your child safe and free from further injury.
If your student has a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, they must remain home until those symptoms have resolved for 24 hours, without the use of Tylenol, Motrin, etc. This is to promote wellness and further spread of illness.
Screenings and Education
Mandated Hearing and Vision Screenings are performed annually for all students:
A. In Special Education
B. New to the District
C. Teacher/parent referrals
Hearing and Vision Required annually for Student in:
C. 2nd Grade
Vision required annually for Students in:
A. 8th Grade
Hearing required annually for Students in:
A. 1st Grade
B. 3rd Grade
Vision screening is required annually on all children in special education, children new to the district, and teacher/parent referrals. Vision screening is also required beginning at age 3 in all licensed daycare/preschool programs. Once a child begins school, vision screening is required in grades K, 2, and 8.
Hearing screening is required annually on all children in special education, children new to the district, and teacher/parent referrals. Hearing screening is also required beginning at age 3 in all licensed daycare/preschool programs. Once a child begins school, hearing screening is required in grades K, 1, 2, and 3.
Screens performed by the doctor’s office as part of the School Physical DO NOT FULFILL THE MANDATE.
If there is documentation in the student’s file of an eye examination having been done by an optometrist or ophthalmologist within the last 12 months, the student does not have to be screened.
When time allows, I will visit each grade level to teach certain health topics. I teach Pre-K and Kindergarten students about germs and handwashing. First and Second grades will learn about nutrition through the “My Plate” recommendations. Third grade will learn the importance of personal hygiene.
Found on pg. 23 of the Student/Parent Handbook.
5.20 – Student Medication
Taking medication during school hours or during school-related activities is prohibited unless it is necessary for a student’s health and well-being. When a student’s licensed health care provider and parent/guardian believe that it is necessary for the student to take medication during school hours or school-related activities, the parent/guardian must request that the school dispense the medication to the child by completing a “School Medication Authorization Form.”
No school or district employee is allowed to administer to any student or supervise a student’s self-administration of, any prescription or non-prescription medication until a completed and signed School Medication Authorization Form is submitted by the student’s parent/guardian. No student is allowed to possess or consume any prescription or non-prescription medication on school grounds or at a school-related function other than as provided for in this procedure.
Self-Administration of Medication
A student may possess and self-administer an epinephrine injector (e.g., EpiPen®) and/or an asthma inhaler or medication prescribed for use at the student’s discretion provided the student’s parent/guardian has completed and signed a School Medication Authorization Form.
Students who are diabetic may possess and self-administer diabetic testing supplies and insulin if authorized by the student’s diabetes care plan, which must be on file with the school.
Students with epilepsy may possess and self-administer supplies, equipment, and medication, if authorized by the student’s seizure action plan, which must be on file with the school.
Students may self-administer (but not possess on their person) other medications required under a qualified plan, provided the student’s parent/guardian has completed and signed a School Medication Authorization Form.
The school district shall incur no liability, except for willful and wanton conduct, as a result of any injury arising from a student’s self-administration of medication, including asthma medication or epinephrine injectors, or medication required under a qualifying plan. A student’s parent/guardian must indemnify and hold harmless the school district and its employees and agents, against any claims, except a claim based on willful and wanton conduct, arising out of a student’s self-administration of an epinephrine injector, asthma medication, and/or medication required under a qualifying plan.
The school may maintain the following undesignated prescription medications for emergency use: (1) Asthma medication; (2) Epinephrine injectors; (3) Opioid antagonists; and (4) Glucagon. No one, including without limitation, parents/guardians of students, should rely on the school or district for the availability of undesignated medication. This procedure does not guarantee the availability of undesignated medications. Students and their parents/guardians should consult their own physician regarding these medication(s).
**All over-the-counter and prescribed medication must be brought in and picked up by an adult. All prescribed medication must be in the box/canister with the prescription label attached. Please do not send students to school with any medications in their backpacks.
Food Allergy Management
1.120 – Students with Food Allergies
State law requires our school district to annually inform parents of students with life-threatening allergies or life-threatening chronic illnesses of the applicable provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other applicable federal statutes, state statutes, federal regulations, and state rules.
If your student has a life-threatening allergy or life-threatening chronic illness, please notify the building principal and/or the school nurse. In order to provide a safe environment for students, it is possible that the building principal will identify an allergy-free area.
Federal law protects students from discrimination due to a disability that substantially limits a major life activity. If your student has a qualifying disability, an individualized Section 504 Plan will be developed and implemented to provide the needed support so that your student can access his or her education as effectively as students without disabilities.
Not all students with life-threatening allergies and life-threatening chronic illnesses may be eligible under Section 504. Our school district also may be able to appropriately meet a student's needs through other means.
9.30 – Student Athlete Concussions and Head Injuries
Student-athletes must comply with Illinois’ Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act and all protocols, policies, and bylaws of the Illinois High School Association before being allowed to participate in any athletic activity, including practice or competition.
A student who was removed from practice or competition because of a suspected concussion shall be allowed to return only after all statutory prerequisites are completed, including without limitation, the School District’s return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols.
Communicable Disease Management
5.50 – Communicable Diseases
The school will observe recommendations of the Illinois Department of Public Health regarding communicable diseases.
1. Parents are required to notify the school nurse if they suspect their child has a communicable disease.
2. In certain cases, students with a communicable disease may be excluded from school or sent home from school following notification of the parent or guardian.
3. The school will provide written instructions to the parent and guardian regarding appropriate treatment for the communicable disease.
4. A student excluded because of a communicable disease will be permitted to return to school only when the parent or guardian brings to the school a letter from the student’s doctor stating that the student is no longer contagious or at risk of spreading the communicable disease.
Health Information and Forms
Release of Information