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Attendance Health and Safety Guidelines

Health and Safety:

Good health is essential to learning. The Thompson School District is committed to the health and safety of all students. School health offices are staffed by highly-trained health assistants who are supervised by school nurses. School nurses are regularly scheduled at multiple school sites and partner with parents and health care providers to design and implement the health services provided to all students.

School health services are meant to augment, not replace, annual health care supervision by your student's primary health care provider. Therefore, the district requests that students entering kindergarten, fourth, seventh, and tenth grades have a physical examination. A physical form is available from your school, on the Thompson School District web site (Health Services Department), and at most local doctors' offices. The examination should be performed by the student's family physician and at no cost to the school district.

Health Screening Procedures:

In accordance with state guidelines, students receive hearing and vision screening at selected grade levels (K, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9) and by teacher referral. Referrals are then made to the parent/guardian for any students who do not pass the screening. Once a referral has been made, it is necessary that the school nurse obtain a response from the parent or physician. Parents may opt out of vision and hearing screening by contacting the health office at your student’s school. Additional screenings include blood pressure, height and weight, and communicable diseases/conditions on an as-needed basis only.

Medications at School:

If at all possible, medications should be given at home. Parents are encouraged to work with their student's health care provider to find a schedule for medications outside the school day. Students requiring medication while at school must have a written authorization from a parent and a physician. Some over-the-counter medications require only a parent's written permission (check with the school for details). Reference: District Policy JLCD.

Only the amount of medication required to be taken at school for the duration of an illness should be sent to school. Medications are kept in the school health office and administered by school personnel. All medication should be sent in proper containers with doctor's/pharmacy label stating the medication name, dosage, time of day, and name of physician and student.

Exclusion from School:

In accordance with state guidelines, students are excluded from school if they have a fever ≥101 with symptoms of illness, vomiting, diarrhea, or known or suspected contagious disease/condition. See How Sick is Too Sick for specifics.

A student shall bring a written note from home after being absent (unless a call was made to the school) to explain the reason for the absence. In the event the absence is for a contagious disease/condition, it is advisable to check with the school nurse before returning to school. The most frequently asked questions regarding return to school involve chickenpox, streptococcal infections (strep throat), flu, and pertussis. A student with chickenpox may return to school once all blisters have crusted over and the student’s temperature has been normal for 24 hours; for strep throat, the student may not return to school until he/she has received antibiotics for at least 12 hours; for flu, return when the student is able to attend class all day and the student’s temperature has returned to normal for 24 hours without the assistance of fever-reducing medications; for pertussis, the student should stay home from school until the student has taken the prescribed antibiotic for 5 days.

Special Health Needs:

If your student has special health care needs, requires medication or medical treatments during the school day, requires changes to the regular school program or scheduled monitoring, or has a chronic health concern, please contact the school nurse so that we can prepare for the student's entry into school. Some situations require the development of a health care plan and the training of staff to assist your student prior to the first day of attendance. It is extremely important that parents notify the school nurse of their student's health concerns or of any procedure that parents wish staff to employ when managing health concerns at school or during school sponsored activities.

Health updates are requested of parents/guardians on the yearly basis and are needed even if your student does not have a health concern, as this assists us in keeping our records up to date.

A note from a doctor is required if a student needs to be excused from physical education (PE) for any reason or has limitations to physical activities on an ongoing basis (generally greater than five days).

Emergencies at School:

It is necessary that the school have at least one current emergency phone number to contact a parent or responsible party.

In accordance with state guidelines, schools may only provide first aid treatment for student emergencies in the school setting. Schools are not equipped to provide advanced emergency care. For this reason, a student needing urgent medical attention will be seen by local emergency medical services (ambulance personnel) and transported to a local emergency facility if needed. Every attempt will be made to contact the parent in such cases. If contact cannot be made, the supervising staff member, the health aide, or the school nurse shall exercise reasonable judgment in acting to address your student's health and safety needs. If the parent cannot provide transportation to seek medical treatment when it is needed or is unable to pick the student up from school when indicated, an ambulance may be called.

School personnel cannot legally permit a student under the age of 12 to go home unattended and/or to an empty house. No sick student will be sent home without the knowledge of the parent, guardian, or other responsible person (see district policies regarding emergency school closings).