Health Services

Welcome to the Health Services page with important information about the health and wellness of your child.  All important forms and contact information can be found here.

The school nurse’s primary role is to promote good health for students. As a member of the educational team, the school nurse enhances students’ potential for attendance, class participation, and learning by identifying and addressing medical conditions that may impact students’ ability to learn. The school nurse serves as a liaison between school staff, family, community, and healthcare providers to advocate for health care and a healthy school environment.

The nurse is available for first aid and emergency care for a student whose illness or injury occurs on the school grounds during the school day. The nurse and staff will attempt to assess the child as accurately as possible and notify parents when further evaluation or observation is recommended. For accidents or illnesses that occur at home, parents should consult their family physician. Students with injuries or conditions that limit activity or participation in any school function must have a note from the doctor detailing the child’s activity limitations. A registered nurse cannot diagnose disease; medication cannot be administered without a form signed by both a parent or guardian and physician.  

 The best way to keep a student healthy throughout the school year is to encourage frequent hand washing, healthy eating, exercise, and rest habits. Contact the nurse anytime to communicate about your child’s health or illness-related issues that may impact their school day. Information will be kept confidential upon request.

Healthy children are successful learners!

 (American Nurses Association & National Association of School Nurses [ANA & NASN], 2011).

Columbus Torah Academy has a registered nurse daily during school hours:

Sally French: Tuesday, Wednesday
CTA phone: (614) 864-0299  ext. 211

This page contains general information about health procedures at school. An explanation of all required and optional forms is included along with links to download each form. If you know which form you need you may go to the “Medical Forms” tab. 

Minor complaints or injuries during the course of the school day will be reported to parents via email by the end of the day. A phone call may be made at the discretion of the nurse for a more important issue, or if your child is ill and needs to go home. Please communicate with the nurse if you have a preferred method of communication!

Here’s a great document to use as a guide to determine Should My Child Come to School?

Content below about procedures includes:
Illness and Communicable Diseases
Medications at School
Non-prescription/Over the Counter (OTC) Medications
Prescription Medications
Severe Allergies/Epinephrine auto-injectors
Medical Forms
Health Screenings
Tuberculosis (TB) Screening
Head Lice
Bed Bugs


Illness and Communicable Disease                  

  • If your child is ill and will not be attending school, please call the office by 9:00 a.m.
  • If your child seems to be developing symptoms of an illness, for your child’s well-being and that of others, keep your child home. Do not send ill children to school. Your child should be feeling well enough to participate in the full academic program; able to eat a regular diet; and able to adequately hydrate. For younger students in particular waking during the night due to a cough or other signs of illness may be an indication that your child needs to stay home and rest. Contact the nurse if you have questions about when to send your child to school. See the link below: “when to keep your child home”.
  • When a child comes to the office complaining that he/she is not feeling well, the nurse will take his/her temperature. If the temperature is over 100 degrees, the parent will be requested to take the child home. If your child is sent home with a fever or is home with a fever, he/she may not return to school until the fever is gone for 24 hours without fever-lowering medication.
  • If your child has been ill with vomiting or diarrhea, he/she may not return to school until 24 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhea.
  • When you take your sick child to the doctor provide a note to the nurse stating that your child is well enough to return to school. If antibiotics are prescribed keep your child home until 24 hours after the first dose of the medicine. See the section below: Medications at School. The nurse cannot give your child medicine without a written statement from a healthcare provider!

The nurse will follow the guidelines established by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Communicable Disease unit for all communicable illnesses.  Students or school employees found to be suffering from communicable diseases will be excluded from school based on the recommendations of a healthcare provider in conjunction with the ODH guidelines. A healthcare provider may be the child’s physician, dentist, physician’s assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse. You must provide a written statement from your healthcare provider stating that your child may return to school. Check with your doctor as to when your child may return to school.

(Ohio Revised Code [ORC] section 3313.67, 3313.68, 3313.71 and 3707.26)

Covid Policy for students who test positive for Covid (updated 8.31.23)

  • Students may return to school when they have been fever – free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication and their symptoms are improving.
  • We recommend that students wear a mask for 10 days after onset of symptoms or from positive COVID test

The following communicable diseases should be reported to the office:

AIDS/HIV, Chicken Pox, Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye), Covid-19, Fifth Disease, Flu (Influenza), Head Lice, Hepatitis, Herpes, Impetigo,  Measles, Meningitis, Mononucleosis, MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus), Mumps, Rubella, Ringworm, Scabies, Scarlet Fever/Strep Throat, Thrush, Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

MRSA – If a student or staff member is suspected to have MRSA they must see a healthcare provider. A statement from your healthcare provider stating that your child may return to school is required. The infected area must be covered and dry with no drainage. Exclusion from school and activities should be reserved for those with wound drainage (“pus”) that cannot be covered or contained.
Document:  ODJFS Communicable Diseases 


CTA follows the Ohio Department of Health requirements for immunizations. Each student must meet the minimum vaccine requirement in order to attend school. Please provide an updated copy of the student’s immunization record, with the full date (month/day/year) of each required vaccination listed on the form. The Ohio Department of Health updated immunization requirements for the school year are here

CTA only accepts medical exemptions for immunizations. A medical exemption requires that your child’s physician provide a written statement explaining why receiving the immunization would be medically harmful or otherwise injurious to the health or well being of your child. The statement will be reviewed by the CTA medical advisory committee. Additional information must be submitted upon request. The medical advisory committee will determine your child’s eligibility to attend CTA.

  • For all new students, including kindergarten: An updated copy of the immunization record must be on file no later than two weeks after the student has entered school.
  • For all students entering 7th grade:  All 7th grade students must have a TDaP booster AND a meningitis vaccinations.  Please submite an updated copy of the immuniziation record reflecting that your children has received both prior to the start of school.
  • For all students enterint 12th grade:  All 12th grade students must have a second meningitis vaccination.  If your children received the first meningitis vaccination after the age of 16, a second dose is not required.  Please submit and updated copy of the immunization record reflecting your child has received the meningitis vaccination prior to the start of school

As required by Ohio law, students will be excluded from school on the 15th day if immunization mandates are not met. (ORC] section 3313.67, 3313.671)

ODH Immunization Summary

Medications at School                                           

Parents may come to school to administer medications to their child if needed. 

Students must come to the clinic for their medication. It is the responsibility of the student to report to the clinic at the designated time. If medication must be taken with food it is the responsibility of the parent to provide the food, as well as necessary utensils.

If it is medically necessary for your child to receive a snack through the course of the school day please follow the guidelines for prescription medication provided below by providing a note from the health care provider. All snacks are to be provided by the parent/guardian. Snacks must be pre-packaged in individual servings.

Non-prescription/Over the Counter (OTC) Medications: The following over-the-counter (OTC) medications are stocked by the school as a courtesy: ibuprofen, acetaminophen, Caladryl, Tums, and Aquaphor. School personnel may not give over-the-counter medication to any student unless an Over Counter Medication form is completed. The OTC form must be signed by both a parent/guardian and an authorized prescriber (i.e., the child’s physician, dentist, physician’s assistant or advanced practice registered nurse).

Over-the-counter medications that are not on the OTC medication form must have a signed medication authorization form (see below).

Over-the-counter medications include homeopathic and herbal remedies, cough drops, and eye drops for dry eyes.

OTC medications for High School Students ONLY (grades 9-12):

The possession and use of nonprescription, over-the-counter medications during school hours is discouraged, but if health conditions require, students in the High School may possess a small amount of nonprescription medication for their own use. This medication may not be shared with other students. The medication must be in the original labeled container. (i.e. Please do not send your child to school with a plastic baggy filled with pills.) Nurses and school personnel are not permitted to administer OTC medication without the authorization of an authorized prescriber.

OTC Medication Authorization Form

Prescription Medications: Prescription medications may be administered on a daily or temporary basis at school. Medications ordered three times a day or less unless a time is specified, may not need to be taken at school. The medication should be given before school, after school, and at bedtime. All medications not included on the CTA OTC Medication Form, including inhalers and epinephrine auto-injectors, must be accompanied by a signed authorization from the health care provider and signed authorization from a parent or guardian. This is in accordance with Ohio law.

    NEW medication authorizations:

·      Medications must be in the original container with a clearly marked pharmacy label.

·      A written authorization from an authorized prescriber must be provided before the initial dose of prescription medication may be administered.

·      Please complete the Medication Authorization Form with the prescribing physician’s signature for each medication yearly or with any medication change during the school year.

·      Please complete a NEW Medication Authorization Form with the prescribing physician’s signature for any change in medication administration. For example: stopping a medicine; changing the time a medicine is given; or changing the dosage.  

·      These forms must be returned to the nurse.

·      Prescription medications must be provided in the original container from the pharmacy, which is properly labeled and dated. All medications must be delivered to the nurse or an administrator.  Do NOT send medical in to school with your student.

·      No student may possess any prescription or nonprescription medication at school (with the exception of OTC medications for Upper School students, see above).

·      Please contact the school at the beginning of the school year if your child requires the administration of medication. School personnel will send parents a medical form and medical authorization form for each child together with a notice that prescribed medications will be permitted in school only when a physician verifies the necessity of taking the medications during school hours.

·      The medication authorization form must include all of the following information:

o   The name and address of the student

o   The class in which the student is enrolled

o   The name of the drug and the dosage to be administered

o   The times or intervals at which each dosage of the drug is to be administered

o   The date the administration of the drug is to begin

o   The date the administration of the drug is to cease

o   Any severe adverse reactions that should be reported to the physician with one or more phone numbers where the physician can be reached in case of emergency

o   Special conditions for administration or storage of the drug

     CHANGES/ADDITIONS to a student’s routine medication schedule:

Examples of changes include: stopping a medicine, changing the time a medicine is given, changing the dosage, or adding a new medication to an existing medication schedule.

In order to ensure that students receive the proper medications at the right time and the correct amount, if there is a change to a chronic medication taken during school, a responsible adult is to appear at CTA in-person to provide the nurse with the following items. Medication will not be accepted without a signed form from the prescriber and the parent/guardian.


1. A written authorization from a health care provider with a signature. This may be a CTA Medication Authorization Form or a hand-written prescription signed by the prescriber.

2. A CTA Medication Authorization with the signature of a parent/guardian.

3. The new medication in the original pharmacy container with a clearly marked/dated pharmacy label.  IF there is a change in dosage that can be accommodated using the existing supply of medication (i.e. from 5mg to 10mg), or a change in the time of day, we may make an exception to the requirement for a new bottle.  We will only cut scored tablets in order to meet new dosing requirements.


Failure to adhere to this policy may result in your child not receiving their medication(s)!


·      The physician’s signature will be required on the medication authorization form if medications are to be administered during the school day.

·      All leftover medication must be picked up by the parent or guardian on the last day of school. Expired medications will be disposed of properly.

·      Parents may come to school to administer medications to their children if needed.

Medication Authorization Form

 Inhalers: Complete the Asthma/Inhaler Medication Authorization form if your child has asthma or uses an inhaler and needs assistance with their inhaler. Bring an inhaler to school with the signed medication authorization on the first day of school. Also, complete an asthma information form.

Ohio law allows a child to carry their inhaler if they are able to administer the inhaler without assistance.  Permission to carry and administer an inhaler is incorporated within the form below. Bring a backup inhaler to school with the signed medication authorization on the first day of school. Please complete the asthma information on the third page of the Asthma/Inhaler form.

(ORC section 3313.713)

Inhaler SELF Carry Form

Severe Allergies/Epinephrine auto-injectors:

Columbus Torah Academy is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for students.  There are students with severe food allergies in our school. For some students, even trace amounts of an allergen can cause a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. Our goal is to reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions of students with known food allergies while at school. The focus of allergy management shall be on prevention, education, awareness, communication, and emergency response.

 Parent/guardian responsibilities:

  •  Notifying the school nurse and teacher of any life-threatening food allergy on or before the first day of each school year, or as soon as the allergy is diagnosed.
  • Bringing an epinephrine auto-injector to school with the signed food allergy action plan on the first day of school. All medications should be delivered to the nurse.
  • Providing the school with any medications prescribed and a supply of “safe snacks” for use by their child.
  • Parents of children with life-threatening food allergies are responsible for notifying bus transportation providers.
  • Completing a food allergy action plan with a physician who specializes in allergy treatment. 

 A food allergy action plan will be developed for students with severe food allergies. The food allergy action plan will address the actions to be taken to reduce exposure at school, and what actions will be taken in the event of exposure. The action plan will be shared with the appropriate school staff. 

Ohio law allows a student to carry an epinephrine auto-injector with them during the school day. Permission to carry an epinephrine auto-injector is on the form below. The physician must indicate that the child is able to self-inject using the auto-injector. Provide a backup auto-injector to the nurse on the first day of school.

Food Allergy EpiPen Form

Medical Forms    

An Emergency Medical Authorization (emergency card) must be completed each year for each student attending school (ORC 3313.712). Emergency cards must be on file by the 30th day of school. This is completed electronically through the student information system. A parent or legal guardian must complete the information and electronically sign the form. A parent or legal guardian is to complete and sign the form. An out-of-town student who is boarding with a host family should list the host family as one of the emergency contacts. It is preferable that emergency contacts be local residents. The consent for medical treatment is used only in the case of an emergency, not for routine care. Ohio law requires all students have 2 emergency contacts, not including parents or guardians. A copy of the emergency card is given to classroom teachers for all school field trips. 

health history is needed for every student new to Columbus Torah Academy. This form may be completed by a parent or guardian. Update this form with any new health information at the beginning of every school year. Information will be kept confidential upon request. Please indicate on the health history which information is confidential. 

Student Health History

A copy of the child’s most recent physical examination is needed for every student new to Columbus Torah Academy. Due to insurance regulations, physical exams are done annually. The Ohio Department of Education requires that a physical examination shall occur within 12 months prior to the date of admission. The date of the exam must be documented on the form with the Physician’s signature. Only hard-copy forms can be accepted. Returning students are asked to submit an updated physical exam with changes in health status.

Physical Examination Form

A copy of the child’s most recent oral/dental examination is requested for every student new to Columbus Torah Academy.

A summary of required medical forms:

Summary of Required Medical Forms


Health Screenings

Ohio law 3313.69 requires school nurses to conduct periodic health screenings. The health screening is the school nurse’s way of checking students for possible health problems that might interfere with the child’s classroom performance. Vision and hearing screenings are done on all new pupils and routinely in select grades. Screenings may include the child’s health history, parent and teacher observations and the nurse’s professional evaluation. The school nurse will make a referral if any concerns are identified. Parents and staff may request a screening by contacting the School Nurse. To opt out of health screenings for your child, send a written request to the school nurse each year that you do not want your child to be assessed. Health screenings start in October and continue until spring. 

Students who wear corrective lenses should have them at school.

 Tuberculosis (TB) Screening

 CTA follows the most current recommendations of the local health department regarding TB testing. Consult the school nurse for the current requirement. 

Head Lice                                                                  

·      A common problem among young children

·      Not a serious health condition as they do not cause disease but they are a nuisance to eradicate.

·      Can be successfully treated

·      Lice only crawl, they cannot jump or fly.

·      Passed by close contact with someone who has lice (head-to-head contract) and sharing brushes, combs, or hats.

·      Lice cannot live off of the head for more than 48 hours.

What to look for:

  • Mature head lice are tiny grayish-white insects the size of a sesame seed.
  • They cannot fly or jump, they only crawl.
  • Sometimes lice are difficult to find in a child’s hair.
  • The lice eggs (nits) are much easier to see. They are about the size of a comma in (12 points) and shaped like a teardrop. They vary in color.
  • Nits are tightly attached to a single hair shaft and cannot be washed or brushed out.
  • They are commonly found in the hair at the back of the neck or behind the ears.

Types of treatment:

  • Medicated shampoos–check with doctor, pharmacist, or school nurse for more information.
  • Most products are available over the counter and are easy to find.
  • Combs specially designed to help with nit removal is helpful.
  • Parents have reported many positive comments about vendors that remove head lice. Follow their directions if you choose this service.

Get rid of head lice:

    • Medicated shampoos–check with doctor, pharmacist, or school nurse for more information.
    • Lice in Ohio may be resistant to over-the-counter remedies. 
    • Combs specially designed to help with nit removal is helpful.
    • “Nit-picking” or removing with your fingernail and thumbnail is time-consuming but the most effective way to remove lice and nits. 
    • Parents have reported many positive comments about vendors that remove head lice. Follow their directions if you choose this service.
    • Getting rid of head lice:
    • Wash your child’s hair with the chosen medicated solution. Follow the instructions carefully. Some types are applied to dry hair.
    • A second treatment is needed in 7-10 days. DO NOT use these solutions more often than recommended because they can be harmful to your child’s health. Also, these solutions WILL NOT prevent lice. They should not be used on a regular basis, only when live, crawling bugs are found.
    • You will need to remove nits by either combing the nits (eggs) from your child’s hair with a lice comb or by using your fingernail and thumbnail to pull the nit off the hair shaft. (This is where the term “nitpicking” comes from.) Manual removal may be necessary as the nit comb may not remove all the nits. Removing nits requires lots of patience. You will need a good light source such as a lamp or sunny window. Spread the hair in a fanning motion to observe the entire length of the hair. If you need help in identifying nits, consult your school nurse.
    • Pull longer hair back into a braid or bun. 
    • All family members and household contacts of your child should be checked for lice. This is very important. People of any age can get lice, including adults and babies. Everyone over 2 years old with live bugs must also be treated with the medicated solution on the same day. Frequent checking by parents is recommended. If your child has lice, check the child daily for 2 weeks. Comb out any remaining nits that are seen. Then check weekly.
    • Taking care of your home:
    • All washable clothing and bed linens that have been worn or used in the past 24 hours should be washed in hot water and dried in a dryer at high heat for 20 minutes.
    • Things that cannot be washed and dried may be dry cleaned or simply left in a plastic bag for 10 days. This works for toys and stuffed animals.
    • Combs and brushes can be cleaned by soaking them in the medicated solution or by putting them in hot water. CAUTION: Heat may damage some combs and brushes.
    • Sprays are NOT recommended and can be harmful to your family. Head lice do not want to leave the head & it would be very rare for a louse to be on a piece of furniture or in the carpet. Focus your efforts on the head. Do not waste time, effort, and money on exhaustive cleaning or sprays. Simple vacuuming of areas that may have been in direct contact with the head such as car headrests, sofas & chairs, or child car seats is all that is necessary.

Taking care of your home:

  • All washable clothing and bed linens that have been worn or used in the past 24 hours should be washed in hot water and dried in a dryer at high heat for 20 minutes.
  • Things that cannot be washed and dried may be dry cleaned or simply left in a plastic bag for 10 days. This works for toys and stuffed animals.
  • Combs and brushes can be cleaned by soaking them in the medicated solution or by putting them in hot water. CAUTION: Heat may damage some combs and brushes.
  • Sprays are NOT recommended and can be harmful to your family. Head lice do not want to leave the head & it would be very rare for a louse to be on a piece of furniture or in the carpet. Focus your efforts on the head. Do not waste time, effort, and money on exhaustive cleaning or sprays. Simple vacuuming of areas that may have been in direct contact with the head such as car headrests, sofas & chairs, or child car seats is all that is necessary.

Notifying others:

  • Households, where your child may have spent the night or extended periods of time (like a babysitter’s house), should be notified to check heads. 
  • Only those found to have active infestations should be treated. 
  • Please call your child’s school to inform us if you find head lice. It will help us to monitor for lice school-wide.

Returning to school:

  • Children found to have live lice while at school must be picked up immediately for treatment.
  • Your child may return to school after treatment and combing.
  • The school nurse or another staff member trained in the procedure will check your child’s head to make sure there are no live bugs and progress has been made on combing.
  • An adult must accompany the child to school to meet with the nurse or staff member on the return to school.
  • The process of nit removal may take a few days. Continue combing daily and remove any nits found. 

Bed Bugs  

Treatment by a licensed and experienced pest control company is highly recommended.

Bed bugs are a common problem across our city. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases, but bites can cause itching and may become infected if the skin is broken while scratching. Because bed bugs are attracted to blood, the home of any person can become infested by bed bugs.

What do bed bugs look like and why are they hard to get rid of?

  • Bed bugs are insects about ¼ inch in size. They crawl but do not jump or fly.
  • Adult bed bugs are rusty colored but change to red after a blood meal. Eggs are tiny and colorless.
  • Bed bugs have thin bodies that make it hard to see them. They hide in narrow cracks and crevices so inspections and treatments must be very thorough.
  • Bed bugs are extremely hardy and can survive a year without a blood meal.
  • Bed bugs are commonly found in hotels, motels, dormitories, shelters, and apartment buildings.
  • Bed bugs do not mean poor hygiene or housekeeping, but a cluttered home can make it much harder to get rid of bed bugs.

How do I know if I have bed bugs?

  • Bed bugs hide during the day in cracks and crevices of bedding, mattress seams, and wood bed frames. With severe infestations, they can hide in baseboards, picture frames, dressers, window and door frames, carpeting, drapes, and floorboards. In extreme cases, bed bugs have been found in the corners of the ceilings.
  • Bed bugs are fast-moving and usually come out only at night to feed. If seen in daylight it may mean heavy infestation.
  • Signs of bed bugs include dark spots on mattress edges or rusty/reddish spots of blood on the bedsheets.
  • The bites are painless and usually occur when the person is asleep.
  • The bites can cause inflamed and irritated skin, although people differ in their sensitivity.
  • Unlike flea bites that mainly occur around the ankles, bed bugs bite skin that is exposed during sleep, like the face, neck, arms, shoulders, and hands. Rows of three or so welts on exposed skin can be a sign of bed bugs. A small, hard, white welt may develop at the site of each bite along with severe itching that can last several hours to days. Bed bug welts do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites.
  • Suspect bed bugs if a person wakes up with itchy welts that were not present when they went to sleep.
  • Someone having bites on their skin does not automatically mean that bed bugs are the cause. The bites can be mosquito or flea bites.

Where do bed bugs come from? How can I keep from bringing bed bugs into my home?

  • Be careful when obtaining used furniture. Inspect any furniture before it is brought into your home.
  • Check belongs after visits with family members or friends who may have bed bugs and if needed bag items in sealed plastic bags until they can be laundered or treated in hot dryer.
  • To find and identify bed bugs may require the help of a professional pest control company.

Can bed bugs make me sick?

  • Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, and the small amount of blood loss due to bed bug feeding usually does not cause problems for the person who is bitten.
  • Scratching of welts can cause skin infections.
  • It is best to consult with a physician before treating any rash or skin irritation. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, &/or antibiotic ointment may be prescribed to decrease allergic reactions or infections.

How can I get rid of bed bugs?

  • It is very hard to get rid of a bed bug infestation, and the use of a licensed and experienced pest control company is highly recommended.
  • Vacuum mattresses, box springs, and carpets. It may be necessary to throw out infested items, like beds, chairs, and couches if repeated treatments are not successful. Also, linens such as sheets and pillows may need to be thrown away.
  • Throw vacuum contents away in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Cover mattresses and box springs with zippered mattress covers.
  • Some people spray bed bugs with alcohol, using a small plastic bottle with 91% rubbing alcohol, undiluted. However, alcohol is flammable, and alcohol is not approved as a pesticide by the EPA. Alcohol does not kill eggs and may cause problems for people with asthma.
  • Wash bedding and garments in hot water (120 degrees) and/or place them in a hot dryer for 15-20 minutes to kill adult bed bugs and their eggs. Washing or drying without high heat will not kill all adults and eggs.
  • Remove clutter to eliminate bed bug hiding places
  • Since bed bugs can easily spread throughout a building, it is important to inspect all rooms and apartments that are next to, above, and below a room where bed bugs are found.
  • Most effective pesticides can only be obtained through a certified pest control company.


Resources and additional information are available on the Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force website at 

Columbus Torah Academy Wellness Policy on Physical Activity and Nutrition
Updated March 2024

The Board of Columbus Torah Academy and its staff recognize that good nutrition and physical activity affect the health and well-being of its students. Research supports a positive correlation between a student’s health, well-being, and the student’s ability to learn.  Schools play an important role in the developmental process to help students establish health and nutrition habits. Nutritious meals and snacks through the schools’ meal programs positively influence students’ eating habits. Nutrition Education is included in the Health curriculum and embedded in other disciplines like Science, Physical Education, SEL, and ELA so that instruction is sequential providing students with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to lead healthy lives. Through Physical Education and opportunities for physical activities both in and out of school, students are encouraged to promote their health through physical activities.

The Board believes that it is the responsibility of the staff, parents and the community to be involved in an effort to promote, support, and model healthy behaviors. The school alone cannot achieve this goal. To this end and in compliance with both Section 204 of the Child Nutrition and WIC Authorization Act of 2004 and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which requires that any local educational agency participating in the National School Lunch Program shall establish a local school wellness policy to be a useful tool in evaluating, establishing, and maintaining a healthy school environment.  It is the policy of Columbus Torah Academy that:

  • The school will engage  food service, health professionals, school administrators, teachers, parents, students, and the board in implementing, monitoring and reviewing school nutrition, nutrition education, physical activity, and student wellness guidelines.
  • All students in grades K-12 will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
  • Foods and beverages sold or served at school will meet the nutrition guidelines of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • The food service staff will provide students with access to a variety of affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutritional needs of students in addition to meeting kosher guidelines; and will provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for students to eat.
  • To the maximum extent practicable, within the limitations of the kosher menu, Columbus Torah Academy will participate in available federal school meal programs, such as the National School Lunch Program, and will utilize planning and educational materials provided by the federal government.
  • Every effort will be made to eliminate any social stigma associated with eligibility for free and reduced meals and to make parents aware of the opportunity for eligibility.

Columbus Torah Academy will provide nutrition education and physical education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity and will establish linkages between health education and school meal programs, and with related community services.

Nutrition Education

The goal of nutrition education is to positively influence students to make healthy choices in their eating behaviors and lifestyle. Nutrition education is embedded in the health, SEL (Social Emotional), ELA (English Language Arts), and Judaic curriculum. The instruction stresses the relationship between where food comes from, good nutrition, physical activity, well-being, hygiene, and the capacity of everyone to learn.

Examples of nutrition and wellness education incorporated within the school and the community at large:


  • First grade participates in the Take10 program, making sure to do 10 minutes of exercise in class each day that the students do not have gym.  A unit on Vitamins and World Nutrition teaches students about different vitamins, what they do for our bodies, and what foods they are in.  We also learn where in the world those foods were originally found.
  • In High School, the Health course includes units on Nutrition for Health, Managing Weight and Eating Behaviors,Physical Activity and Fitness and Personal Health Care. Additional High School courses with a priority on health lifestyles include Alcohol and Drug Awareness, Psychology, Social Emotional connections, and CPR/AED training.
  • The school boasts a School Garden with raised beds that provides an opportunity for students to engage in the learning process about the environment, how food is grown, where it comes from, and the importance of healthy eating.  Teachers work with the Garden Coordinator to find time for students to work and harvest in the garden as well as additional educational activities using the garden and associated resources.
  • Other opportunities for learning about the environment give way to talk about healthy living, and healthy eating.  Judaic classes include learning about the blessings over foods which reinforces the importance of healthy and nutritious meals.  All teachers discuss being prepared for the school day, at testing times, and being a good citizen should start with a healthy breakfast and what that constitutes.

Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education 

Our goal of the physical education program at Columbus Torah Academy is to provide students with the knowledge, processes, and skills needed to participate in physical activity both now and throughout life.  In class, students learn how to lead a physically active lifestyle and are shown and taught new athletic activities that they may never have learned before. Columbus Torah Academy students also have the opportunity to join multiple athletic teams/clinics from Kindergarten to high school where they will learn life skills like teamwork, organization, time management, sportsmanship, fortitude to name a few.  These are important components that students need for life after Columbus Torah Academy.

In the Lower School, classes meet twice a week for 45 minutes each and engage students in various activities. The lower school participates in the CATCH PE (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) program.  This program is a developmentally appropriate physical education program that develops health-related fitness, skill competency, and cognitive understanding about the importance of physical activity.  CATCH PE instruction provides a variety of learning experiences, which address the wide range of student abilities in physical education class. CATCH PE content enhances movement skills, sports skills, physical fitness, social development, and subsequently, promotes lifelong physical activity.

The Junior High program, just like the lower school, meets twice a week for 45 minutes.  These 7th and 8th graders’ curriculum focuses on the cognitive aspect of physical education.  Using the CATCH program as a guide, we participate in more game-like situations and use modified game strategies.  We also get into more depth and a harder skill set of a particular sport.  There is a high dose of personal fitness and testing muscular strength is stressed along the way.

The High School physical education course consists of two-semester courses and the option to take physical education their Senior year. The main objective is to learn through moving. Students will engage in various activities including aerobics, basketball, bowling, fitness, flag football, ultimate, floor hockey, handball, and many others. Students will be challenged to learn new activities, learn about lifetime sports, and learn the importance of maintaining personal fitness to live a healthy active lifestyle.  

After-school athletics is an important part of the Columbus Torah Academy educational experience.  The Athletic Department’s goal is to challenge students physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in accordance with the overall vision of Columbus Torah Academy. CTA students will experience the joy of winning and the disappointment of losing, but doing it with grace and goodwill. The program is a privilege offered by the school and community outside of the regular school day. All students who accept the challenge and responsibility are encouraged to bear the right to wear a Torah Academy athletic uniform. Athletics and clinics are offered to all of CTA’s students throughout the Fall, Winter, and Spring seasons.  Also, open gyms are held periodically throughout the Summer.  Because of the small stature of the school, more than 75% of the school’s enrollment can compete in interscholastic athletics.

Sports participation will not be substituted for meeting the physical education requirement. Students will spend at least 50% of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity. Grades K-8 will participate in Presidential Physical Fitness assessments twice a year and jump rope for aerobic activity in the spring.

Physical Education (P.E.): Kindergarten through 8th-grade students receive 90 minutes/week of physical education throughout the year. In the upper school, Grades 9 and 11 receive 225 minutes/week for one semester.

Grades kindergarten through 6 has a monthly pacer test to measure cardiovascular endurance to progressively increase their personal stamina. Grades 7 & 8 and high school students have a pacer test twice yearly.

The Athletic Department oversees and shares the school with the school community for interscholastic sports for all ages.  In the 6th grade through 12th-grade interscholastic sports participation is highly encouraged.

Physical education classes are taught by a certified physical education teacher.  

Teachers and other school and community personnel will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) as punishment. Withholding opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess or physical education) as punishment is discouraged but may be used on a very limited basis.

Daily Recess. All elementary students will have at least 15 minutes a day of supervised recess, preferably outdoors, during which school should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the provision of space and equipment.

Columbus Torah Academy will discourage extended periods of inactivity (i.e., periods of two or more hours of inactivity). When activities, such as testing, make it necessary for students to remain indoors for long periods of time, schools should give students periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.

Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School.  Columbus Torah Academy will offer extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical activity clubs or intramural programs for the entire school. Sports programs and clinics will be offered to the lower school grades after school.  The upper school will offer interscholastic sports programs.

Use of School Facilities Outside of School Hours.   School spaces and facilities will be available to students, staff, and community members before, during, and after the school day, on weekends, and during school vacations as scheduling permits and as supervision is available.  There are open gym times available with supervision from a certified teacher or coach throughout the year. These spaces and facilities also should be available to community agencies and organizations offering physical activity and nutrition programs.  School policies concerning safety will apply at all times.

Monitoring and Policy Review

Monitoring: The upper and lower school principals will ensure compliance with established school-wide nutrition education and physical activity wellness policies for their respective schools.

Fundraising, Celebrations, Incentives, and School Sponsored Events:  To support nutrition education and healthy lifestyles, school fundraising activities, celebrations and school sponsored events in and outside the school day will not involve food or only use foods that meet the above nutrition standards with limited special opportunities outside of those standards.

Communications with Parents:  Columbus Torah Academy will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children.  The school will send home nutrition information, and post nutrition tips on the school website and in the newsletters.  The school will encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks and to refrain from including beverages and foods that do not meet the above nutrition standards for individual foods and beverages.

The school will provide parents with a list of foods that meet the school’s snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, rewards, and fundraising activities.  In addition, the school will provide opportunities for parents to share their healthy food practices with others in the school community, for example, by soliciting ideas for healthy snacks they provide at home.

Food Marketing in Schools:  School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion.  As such, Columbus Torah Academy will limit food and beverage marketing to the promotion of foods and beverages that meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually above.

School-based marketing of brands promoting predominantly low-nutrition foods and beverages is prohibited. The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is encouraged.

Staff Wellness

Columbus Torah Academy highly values the health and well-being of every staff member and will plan and implement activities and policies that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  The school contracts with our health insurance provider who offers various tools for wellness assessments, fitness, and discounts on healthy lifestyle services.  As available, opportunities will be promoted to encourage healthy eating, physical activity, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle, and information and resources to staff members. The benefits provider website is available for individual wellness information. 

School food service staff will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within the school food service areas and will report on this matter to the school principals.  In addition, the food service director will report on the most recent USDA Administrative review findings and any resulting changes which are held every 3-5 years.

A summary report will be developed every three years by the head of school or head of school’s designee on compliance with the school’s established nutrition and physical activity wellness policy.

Policy Review. A baseline assessment will be made of the district’s existing nutrition and physical activity environments and policies using the School Health Index.  Assessments will be repeated in compliance with administrative review to help review wellness policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement.  As part of that review, Columbus Torah Academy will review our nutrition and physical activity policies; provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity; and nutrition and physical education policies and program elements.  Columbus Torah Academy will as necessary revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.

Make a Donation

Donations to CTA are accepted through this online form. When you complete the form, it will take you to a Paypal payment processing site. If you have any questions about making an online donation or would like to speak with someone about designating your donation, please contact Shari Herszage at 614-864-0299 or


July 15, 2024

Columbus Torah Academy |181 Noe Bixby Rd | Columbus, Ohio 43213 |
(614) 864-0299 |

Accredited by ISACS (Independent School Association of the Central States)