HCPSS participates in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. Students from households that meet federal income guidelines are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals. Parents/guardians must submit a new application every school year to maintain their student's eligibility. To apply, go to the HCPSS FARMs webpage.
HCPSS students and families can view menus and nutrition and allergen information for meals served in all HCPSS schools through the Nutrislice website and free smartphone app. Download the Nutrislice mobile app for iOS or Android.
Information on the HCPSS wellness policy and commitment to quality is available online.
Breakfast is free for students who qualify for free and reduced meals. Breakfast costs $2.00 for all other students.
Lunch is free for students who qualify for free and reduced meals. Lunch costs $2.80 for all other students.
HCPSS uses MySchoolBucks.com, an online meal payment system. This system allows families to easily manage student accounts and make payments online on personal computers and mobile devices.
School Health Services strives to enhance academic achievement and student and staff well being through the provision of a comprehensive school health services program.
For easy access to health care, contact the Health Room personnel at your child’s school or the School Health Services office listed below.
School Health Services
Howard County Public School System
10920 Clarksville Pike (Route 108)
Ellicott City, MD 21042
Maryland regulations require all students to have complete immunizations. No student may attend school for even one day without an official record of complete immunizations. The immunization record must have the month, day, and year of each required vaccination, must be signed by a health department official, physician, nurse practitioner, day care provider, or school official and must be approved by your child’s school.
If your child is in need of additional immunizations for school entry or if your records are lost or destroyed, free immunization and assistance is available from the Howard County Health Department at immunization clinics at area high schools (for clinic appointment please call 410-880-5888). Students whose records are lost may be required to be re-vaccinated. A parent or guardian must accompany all students under age 18. Please take all available immunization records with you to the clinic.
Hearing and vision screening is done annually in all HCPSS schools by the Howard County Health Department in Grades K, 1, 8 and PreK if the child enrolled is age 4. Limited re-screening is performed.
Referrals are mailed to parents of those children who did not pass the screening. This referral includes information on the reason for the referral and asks that the form be completed and returned to the school’s health room.
Maryland State law requires documentation of Blood Lead Testing for all public pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade students in areas designated as at-risk for lead poisoning. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Blood Lead Testing Certificate form is distributed to all students in the above grades at the beginning of the school year. The form is to be completed and returned to the school’s health room.
Medication includes ALL prescribed drugs and ALL over-the-counter medication prescribed by an authorized prescriber. Otherwise, over-the-counter medications may not be used in any school.
The taking or administering of medication during school hours is discouraged. Ideally, all medication should be given at home. If a student is to receive medication for a period of time, arrangements should be made to have it administered either before or after school hours whenever possible.
It is recognized, however, that students with chronic disabilities or illnesses may require medication if they are to remain in school. Students should have medication available and administered in a manner consistent with school health services procedures.
Medication administered during any school-sponsored activity must be administered according to the Maryland State School Health Services Guidelines/Administration of Medication in Schools and HCPSS Medication Administration Procedure.
Medication should be administered to students on school-sponsored trips only when absolutely necessary. Timing of doses should be adjusted to occur before or after the school sponsored activity if medically appropriate. A medication order form completed by a physician/prescriber is required for all medications, i.e., prescription, over-the-counter (OTC), homeopathic and herbal. Written consent of the parent/guardian for the administration of medication is required. Administration of OTC, homeopathic, and herbal medicines must be conducted in accordance with the procedures for prescription medication.
The determination of whether a medication is administered during a school-sponsored activity and by whom should be determined by the cluster nurse or school nurse in collaboration with the school administrator and parent/guardians.
Students cannot be excluded from participation in school-sponsored activities because of the need for medication.
Child care referrals to before- and after-school programs can be obtained by calling Locate: Child Care at 877-261-0060 or by visiting www.mdchildcare.org and “searching for providers.” Each school* in Howard County has a child care program on site.
*Important — Prior to a child attending any MSDE licensed, registered or approved child care or nursery school in MD, the below form must be completed and submitted to the school where the child will attend. Download MSDE Health Inventory form .
Before and After School Care – School Age Services
Contact: 410-715-3164 or SAS@ColumbiaAssociation.org
For available Summer School Before and After Care, click here.
The school system does not carry medical insurance for accidents that occur at school, including non-sport related injuries, such as trips and falls, physical education injuries, and recess/playground injuries. Thus, parents are encouraged to enroll students in the accident insurance program offered through HCPSS.
The Maryland Children’s Health Insurance Program (MCHIP) is available for families, pregnant women, and children in need of medical insurance. Applications are available through the school health assistant or by contacting the Howard County Health Department at 410-313-7500.