Health Services

All students receiving medication in school (prescription and over the counter) must have written parental permission. In addition, a doctor’s written order is required for medications which will/may be given for the entire school year, for a long term (more than 10 doses), or for medications for which the nurse deems a doctor’s order necessary.

All medicines must be in the original, pharmacy labeled container – baggies will NOT be accepted. A parent or responsible adult must drop-off and pick-up the medicine. Students are NOT allowed to carry medicine to school on the bus or during school in their possession (backpack, purse, locker, etc.). Exceptions are for inhalers, EpiPens, or other emergency medications – providing that prior arrangement has been made with the nurse. Please see the important forms below.

Important Medical Forms


The school nurse promotes an optimum level of wellness for students and staff by:

  • Serving as a bridge between the education and medical professions
  • Providing emergency care
  • Managing the care of students with special healthcare needs
  • Administering medication
  • Performing nursing procedures and maintaining student health records
  • Ensuring compliance with Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations
  • Collaborating with school and community resources to promote learning, wellness, and safety
  • Referring to and assisting families with community resources
  • Providing information about health promotion, growth/development, and other health-related issues
  • Conducting screenings and referrals for health conditions
  • Participating in crisis management and intervention teams
  • Advocating for child safety as a mandated reporter to the Department of Social Services

“You cannot educate an unhealthy child and you cannot keep an uneducated child healthy.”
– Dr. M. Jocelyn Elder, Former Surgeon General

Physical Examinations are required for:

  • Kindergarten entry
  • Grades 3, 7, and 10
  • Within 30-days of entry into the District
  • Annually for all interscholastic sports programs – physicals are valid one year from the date of exam.

Regarding Sports Physicals:
Effective July 1, 2011 the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District will no longer provide sports physicals at school. It will therefore be necessary to obtain sports physicals from students’ own medical providers. Please note that physical exams for sports will continue to be valid for thirteen (13) months from the date of exam per Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) regulations. Please feel free to contact your building nurse if this presents a financial hardship.

GDRSD adheres to federal & state mandates regarding exemptions to these requirements. Please visit the Crusader Athletics page for additional information on athletic physical information.

In order to protect the health and safety of all members of our District, the following Illness Attendance Guidelines have been established. Students should remain home for any of the following reasons:

  • Fever of 100 Degrees Fahrenheit or higher – Students need to be fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol or Motrin) before returning to school. Fever-reducing medicine may cover-up a fever, and the fever could return when the medicine wears off. Your child should remain home for 24 hours after
    the fever has passed.
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea – Student may return to school 12-24 hours after last episode at the School Nurse’s discretion.
  • Uncontrollable Cough Contagious
  • Bacterial Infection (such as strep throat, conjunctivitis, impetigo, etc.) – Students need to be on antibiotics for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Suspicious Rash – Student may return to school with written documentation from
    healthcare provider certifying that the rash is not contagious.
  • Serious Illness or Injury

The best way to protect against contagious disease is to practice sound hygiene and respiratory

  • Wash your hands frequently. Almost all infections are spread by hands, so it is
    important to wash them frequently with soap and water for about 20 seconds. If soap
    and water are not available, hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue and dispose of your tissue immediately. If you
    have no tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow, not into your bare hand.
    Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Do not share water bottles or silverware. Do
    not leave your toothbrush lying around on the bathroom sink.


Contact Health Office

Lorinda Dishington Ortiz, M.Ed, BSN, RN
Boutwell ECC, Nursing Coordinator
Phone: (978) 448-2297
Fax: (978) 448-8459
Russell Coleman, MD
School Physician
Pediatrics West
Phone: (978) 577-0437

Karen Balestrieri, PNP
School Nurse Practitioner
Pediatrics West
Phone: (978) 577-0437
Cheryl Shea, BSN, RN
Leah Caruso, BSN, RN
Groton-Dunstable Regional High School
Phone: (978) 448-6362
Fax: (978) 448-0390
Jennifer DeRouin, BSN, RN
Middle School South
Phone: (978) 448-6155
Fax: (978) 448-1201

Alex Flett, BSN, RN
Middle School North
Phone: (978) 448-6155
Fax: (978) 448-1201

Kate DeLoureiro, BSN, RN
Jennifer Gervais, BSN, RN

Swallow Union Elementary School
Phone: (978) 649-7281
Fax: (978) 649-5078
Email: Email:
Natalie Petrucci, BSN, RN
Florence Roche Elementary
Phone: (978) 448-6665
Fax: (978) 448-3988