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New York State Education Department Seal

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

Office of Student Support Services

89 Washington Avenue, Room 318-M EB; Albany NY 12234

518-486-6090

To: 
BOCES District Superintendents
Superintendents of Public Schools
Administrators of Public, Charter, and Nonpublic Schools
From: 
Assistant Commissioner Kathleen R. DeCataldo, Esq.
Subject: 
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month
Date: 
May 29, 2018

In recognition of Lyme Disease Awareness Month, the Department has partnered with the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Library, and other expert organizations to bring awareness, education, and resources to promote the education of students, families and schools on the prevention of tick and tick-borne diseases. Please share this information with school health educators, school health professionals, and other staff in your school or district.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is caused through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and sometimes a bull-eye looking rash. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.

Being bitten by a tick and acquiring tick-borne diseases are both preventable and treatable. Therefore, it is critical that students, families and schools learn about ticks and tickborne diseases as it relates to prevention, action to be taken if bitten by a tick, possible symptoms and seeking medical treatment. To accomplish this, the Department is encouraging the inclusion of ticks and tick-borne disease education in a comprehensive K-12 health education program and to integrate it into other curricula areas.

To teach our students about ticks and tick-borne diseases the Department has provided developmentally appropriate resources and sample lesson plans to aid schools in educating school personnel, students and families: Tick and Tick-borne Disease: Education in Schools . These resources are located at the Department’s Office of Curriculum and Instruction and the Office of Student Support Services Health Services Webpages.

Please review these comprehensive and inclusive resources to use in your schools. Thank you for everything you do to help and support our students, families and communities. Should you need any additional information or have any questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Student Support Services at (518) 486-6090, or studentsupportservices@nysed.gov .