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TSBVI Coronavirus Disease(COVID-19) Response

March 24, 2020

Today, the City of Austin and Travis County issued a "Stay Home - Work Safe Order" effective midnight tonight through April 13th. Due to this requirement, our school will remain closed through at least April 13th, and we will continue to provide instructional support to students and families while working at home. We will continue to post updates on our website. Be safe and stay well.

March 16, 2020

Over the past few days, we've been receiving guidance from Texas, the City of Austin, Travis County, and nationally in regards to COVID-19. Earlier today, Austin ISD, the Texas School for the Deaf, and other local districts announced closure through at least April 3rd. Our school will be doing the same. This timeline can be extended at any time and we are preparing for that possibility.

Although our in-person programs will be cancelled, TSBVI will still be open and all employees will be able to work on-site as needed or remotely. We'll continue to support the educational needs of students that attend school on our campus and the remaining students who are visually impaired, blind, and DeafBlind throughout Texas.

During this difficult time, we want families to know we'll be reaching out following spring break. For now, we want staff to know they will continue to have their regularly scheduled hours as we work to support Texas students as determined by our mission. In order to achieve this goal, we'll need all staff to think creatively during this unique time.

Emily Coleman


Read the TSBVI Coronavirus Disease Response Plan (PDF) from March 13th, 2020.

Health Center Letter to Parents


Dear Parent/Legal Guardian/Adult Student/Other Person with Legal Authority,

The Health Center looks forward to working with your student this school year. Our goal is to keep all students healthy and safe while attending TSBVI. We want to inform you of our Health Center procedures relating to medications, emergency action plans, illness, hospitalization, and medical appointments.

Medications: To ensure the Health Center has the medications to keep your student in good health and able to participate in the school program, all prescribed medications (including critical and emergency medications for seizures, adrenal insufficiency, asthma, anaphylaxis, diabetes, etc.) must be returned to TSBVI each time your student returns to school. If you bring your student to the weekends home stop or bring your student back to school without all of their prescribed/critical/emergency medications, your student will not be allowed to come back to school.

1. Prescription labels: All prescription medicines must be brought to TSBVI in a properly labeled pharmacy bottle, including the name of the medication, the dose prescribed, times medication is to be administered, and expiration date. Prescriptions may not be altered in any way. Prescription bottles that have writing on them or are expired will not be accepted. 

2. Prescription Labels that State “Use as Directed”: Any prescription labels that state, “Use as Directed” must include a written note or Health Care Provider's Order form from the health care provider explaining the reason, dose and frequency that the medication is to be administered. Any medication (prescribed or over the counter) from outside of the U.S. will not be accepted.

3. Medication Refills: Parent/Legal Guardian/Adult Student/Other Person with Legal Authority is responsible for monitoring and obtaining all medication refills. Parent/Legal Guardian/Adult Student/Other Person with Legal Authority must ensure that an adequate supply of medicine is on hand for the school week. If your student runs out of
medications, you will be asked to make arrangements to pick up your student from school. Your student will not be allowed to return to TSBVI until the medication has been refilled and is at TSBVI.

4. Health Care Provider's Order for Student Medication: Medication will only be given as prescribed by the health care provider. If any changes are made to a student’s prescription, please have the health care provider complete a new written order that includes the name of medication, the reason for administration, dose, time, and method of administration or the health care provider may complete the TSBVI Health Care Provider's Order form.

5. Over-the-counter medications: All over-the-counter medications must have a new written order that includes the name of medication, the reason for administration, dose, time, and method of administration or the health care provider may complete the TSBVI Health Care Provider's Order form. Over-the-counter medications must be in the original container and not expired.

6. Changes in medications and/or doses: Please notify Health Center nurses at 512-206-9136 any time there is a change by the health care provider with your student’s medications or medication dose your student is receiving.

7. TSBVI Standing Orders for Medications: With Parent/Legal Guardian/Adult Student/Other Person with Legal Authority approval, the health center has medications on our TSBVI Standing Orders that may be administered on an as needed basis to cover short term illness such as headaches, eye pain/dryness, muscle pain, stomach upset, allergy/cough, etc. If your student needs a medication from our standing orders for longer than 7 days, your student will need an order from the student’s health care provider to continue the medication.

Emergency Action Plans

If your student has one of the following conditions: seizures, diabetes, adrenal insufficiency, asthma, allergic reaction requiring Benadryl or Epi-Pen, the student will be required to have an “Emergency Action Plan” completed by the student’s health care provider (allergist, neurologist, endocrinologist, etc.). Students must bring their prescribed emergency medications that are listed on the Emergency Action Plan with them at registration. Some examples of emergency medications include Diastat, Xopenex, Solu-Cortef, Epi-pens, and Glucagon.

a. Seizures
b. Diabetes (Type I or II)
c. Adrenal insufficiency
d. Any allergy that requires emergency treatment such as Benadryl or an Epi-Pen
e. Asthma

Other Forms

Health Care Provider's Order
Student Physical Examination to be Completed by Physician

Illness: If your student becomes ill while at TSBVI, the Health Center will notify you. If the Health Center nurses feel that it will take more than 24 hours of care in the Health Center for your student to get well, you will be requested to make arrangements for your student to go home.

Hospitalization: If it becomes necessary to transport your student to a hospital, you will be required to come to Austin as soon as possible so that you can manage and attend to your student’s care, communicate with health care providers, and make medical decisions. TSBVI is unable to assume this responsibility.   

Once your student is discharged or released from the hospital, a return to TSBVI will not be discussed until follow-up by the student’s primary care physician has been completed. Close monitoring and/or rest at home is often necessary following a hospitalization. TSBVI will require medical information and a doctor’s release prior to planning a return to school.

Medical and Dental Appointments: All routine medical and dental appointments need to be scheduled by Parent/Legal Guardian/Adult Student/Other Person with Legal Authority in student’s hometown. If your student requires emergency care, TSBVI will make arrangement for your student to be transported to the appropriate
medical facility or hospital and parent/legal guardian/other person person with legal authority will be notified.

Again, we look forward to having your student at TSBVI. Feel free to call the Health Center at (512)
206-9136 or email at if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,
Sally Freeman, MSN, RN
Health Center Director

The Texas Department of Health has ruled that students must be current with immunizations in order to attend school unless an exemption has been filed with the school in accordance with Texas Education Code. Parents may fax or mail the updated immunization record to Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired at 1100 W. 45th Street, Austin, Texas 78756.  Immunization records can be faxed to 512-206-9445.

View the 2019-2020 Immunization Requirements for Schools from the Texas Department of State Health Services website. 

For more information related to school immunization compliance, including exclusions/exemptions from immunizations, please refer to the TX DSHS Provisional Enrollment for Students Flowchart, or visit the Texas Department of State Health Services Immunization Branch website. For the most up-to-date immunization resources, please call 211 or visit the Texas Health and Human Services 211 resource webpage.

For assistance with additional questions, please contact the TSBVI Health Center at 512-206-9136.

  • Mission Statement: The mission of the Health Center is to advance the professional practice of school health nursing in ways that promote each student's optimal level of wellness and educational potential.
  • Philosophy: The Health Center believes that good health is essential for optimal growth and achievement. Therefore, the major objectives of the Health Center is to provide health services and to stimulate the development  of those attitudes and practices which will enable each student and teacher to realize their full potential.  
    • We believe that the parents are primarily responsible for the care of their child/children. The obligations of school health services are health appraisal of the child; informing and interpreting the results to the parents; encouraging, motivating and supporting the parents in their efforts to follow through on the recommendations of the educational and health teams to the end that each child may perform at his/ her maximum level. This philosophy emphasizes the coordination of our school health services with private practitioners, community agencies and other civic resources.

Parents/Guardians/Students are responsible for ensuring current phone numbers, consent forms, immunization records, health insurance card are up to date.

Each medication requires current doctors order with medication in a properly labeled container that is not expired.

A Message from The Health Center – Please Read Thoroughly To Protect Your Child and Others!!!

The purpose of this letter is to provide information about when to keep your child home from school. A child who is sick will not be able to perform well in school and is likely to spread the illness to other children and staff. Childhood illnesses are spread easily when children are in close contact in the school and dorm setting. If your child becomes ill at school and the health center feels your child is too sick to benefit from school or is contagious to other children, you will be called to come and take him/her home from school.

When should your child stay home? Here are a few guidelines we ask that you follow:

  • Fever is an important symptom; when it occurs along with sore throat, an earache, nausea, listlessness or a rash, your child may be carrying something very contagious. PLEASE keep children home during the course of a fever and for an additional 24 hours after the fever has passed.
  • A bad cough or cold symptoms can indicate a severe cold, bronchitis, flu or even pneumonia. Some children suffer one cold after another all winter long and a run-of-the-mill cold should not be a reason to miss school. But if your child is not acting “right”, has difficulty breathing, or is becoming dehydrated, it could be serious. Check with your physician right away. Remind your child to cover coughs and sneezes with the bend of their arm/inner elbow- in their sleeve.
  • Diarrhea and vomiting make children very uncomfortable, and being near a bathroom becomes top priority. If your child has repeated episodes of diarrhea and /or vomiting accompanied by fever, a rash, or general weakness, consult a doctor and keep your child out of school until the illness passes.
  • Strep throat and scarlet fever are two highly contagious conditions caused by a streptococcal (bacterial) infection. They usually arrive with a sore throat and high fever. Sometimes nausea and headache are present too. Twelve (12) to forty-eight (48) hour after the onset of scarlet fever a rash may also appear. A child with either strep throat or scarlet fever should be kept at home and treated with antibiotics, as prescribed by a doctor. After 24 hours on an antibiotic, a child is usually no longer contagious and may return with a doctor’s return to school note.
  • A runny nose or “leaky faucet” is the way many children respond to dust, pollen or simply a change in season. If it isn’t a common cold, then it may be an allergy and allergies are not contagious. Don’t keep the child at home. Remind your child to use a tissue to wipe their nose, discard tissue, and immediately wash hands!

Thank you for your help during this time and please call the Health Center and ask to speak to a nurse if you have any questions or concerns at 512-206-9136. Feel free to email us at as well!

Updated 8/15/2019

 Updated June 2018:

Yanni Crespo, RN  Health Center Director

Shaunna Johnson, Administrative Assistant

Bethany Hepokoski, RN Day Shift Charge Nurse

Amy King, RN 

Flo Dunn, RN

Dianta Bouldwin, LVN

Karen Cosentino, RN Evening Shift Charge Nurse

Molly Omelchuck, RN

Jeanie Graves, LVN

Amy Raskin, RN

Alyson Foster, LVN

Morgan Barton, RN

Maria Vargas, RN  Short Term Programs Nurse

Sara Bradley-Carta, RN

Angi Blackwood, LVN


Substitute Nurses:

Bethany Maneikis, RN

Ingrid Myers, RN

Mary Erlandson, LVN

Victoria Oetting, RN

Vanessa Kuecker, RN

Heather Whiteside, RN

Sylvia Herrera, LVN

Bethany Tucker, RN

Julie Salem, LVN

Laverne Bell, LVN

Leslie Collins, LVN

Mary Garza, LVN

Meredith Herring, RN

Rachel Adams, LVN

Tawnya Garro, RN




tsbvi logoTexas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Health Center

Doctor's Orders

Instructions: Please print this page, have it completed by the student's doctor and returned to the TSBVI Health Center.

Re. Student Name: __________________________________________
Date of Birth: _______________________________________________


Enter the form fields here. 

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