Health-related Attendance Guidelines
Each day many families are faced with a decision: should they keep their sick child home or send them to school? Often the way a child looks and acts can make the decision an obvious one. Keeping your sick child home allows your child the opportunity to rest and recover and prevents the spread of illness in the school community. Both are important items to take into account when determining whether or not your child should attend school.
In the event that your student is absent from school due to illness, please contact your school to report both the absence and specific illness information. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your School Nurse.
Quick rules for when to keep your child at home
- Fever greater than 100° F
- A child should remain at home with a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The child may return to school after they have been fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medicine such as Tylenol, Motrin, Advil, or a cough/cold medicine containing ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Vomiting/ Diarrhea
- A child with diarrhea and/or vomiting should stay at home and return to school only after being symptom-free for 24 hours. In rare cases, your School Nurse may allow a child to return to school prior than the 24 hour period due to explained causes of the vomiting/diarrhea.
- Common infectious diseases with rashes are most contagious in the early stages. A child with a suspicious rash should return to school only after a healthcare provider has made a diagnosis and authorized the child’s return to school with a communication to the school.
- Strep throat or strep infections of any kind, ringworm, bacterial conjunctivitis, or impetigo
- These are all contagious infections and must be treated with medication provided by a healthcare provider for at least 24 hours before returning to school. Please ensure that your healthcare provider sends information to your school health office and that any continued medication needs are communicated to your school health office.
- Head Lice
- A parent/guardian must follow up with the School Nurse prior to returning to school.
- Cold / Flu / COVID-19 Symptoms
- Consider keeping your child at home if they are experiencing discomfort from cold symptoms, such as nasal congestion and cough. A continuous green discharge from the nose may be a sign of infection. Consider having your child seen by a healthcare provider.
- In the case of COVID-19 symptoms, please see below.
Masssachusetts has specific guidelines for management of COVID-19 and they are summarized below.
- Students should stay home for 5 days following symptom onset or positive test. The first day home or first day of a positive test is Day 0.
- Students may return to school on Day 6 if symptoms have improved and they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
- For instance, if a student tests positive on Tuesday (Day 0), they may return to school on the following Monday (Day 6).
- Students should wear a high-quality mask, such as an N95 or KN95, through Day 10. Per Massachusetts recommendations, if the student has a negative test on Day 5 or later, they no longer need to wear a mask.
Quarantine is not required nor recommended for students who have been exposed to someone with COVID. All exposed individuals should continue to attend programming as long as they remain asymptomatic. Those who can mask should do so until Day 10, and it is recommended that they test on Day 6 of exposure.
- Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- New loss of taste or smell
- Muscle aches or body aches
- Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
- Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
- Nausea, vomiting, when in combination with other symptoms
- Headache, when in combination with other symptoms
- Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
- Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies), when in combination with other symptoms