January 3, 2022
As noted in our District Update before the break, we no longer have the authority to isolate for a positive Covid test alone. Therefore, our focus will be on symptoms. The guidelines below should help explain how student illnesses will now be managed.
While we expect quite an increase in symptomatic illnesses over the next several weeks, we will be following revised guidance on how we respond to symptoms that may or may not be COVID-related. Most importantly, we need the support of our families to help keep schools open.
- The district schools and clinics will respond to symptoms as we have historically responded to sick individuals prior to COVID. If a student or teacher is presenting a temperature or gastrointestinal symptoms, the individual will be sent home from school. The nurse will use their medical judgment to make a recommendation to send home a sick student.
- Neither the schools nor the clinics will diagnose COVID or suggest a preponderance of COVID symptoms. In addition, they will not suggest or recommend testing. It will be the personal decision of the family to seek testing.
- The outcome of a COVID test does not impact the district in any way as we are no longer allowed to send home positive COVID letters or quarantine letters of any kind. The COVID decision tree and all letters will be removed from our websites today. We are only authorized to respond to symptoms and can enforce keeping a person away from school when presenting symptoms.
- If a family requests a COVID test through our school clinics, the nurse will only provide that option if the symptoms and/or the condition of the family (other members positive; elderly and fragile family members) warrant a complimentary test. Our nurses will be busy this winter taking care of sick individuals, so we do not want to provide “curiosity” or unnecessary testing in the coming months. Again, the outcome of a test does not change any of the procedures we are expected to follow.
- COVID marking of absences will only occur in PowerSchool for families who provide a positive COVID test or families who provide information of electing to take a Household Contact Quarantine. All other illnesses with symptoms will be marked in PowerSchool as an Absence and excused with parent notes, just as we have followed in the past. Of course, when it raises to the level of truancy, school officials will use sound judgment to make determinations to explore or drop.
- Parents/Custodians are not required to have their child tested to receive an excused absence. Absences will be excused with a parent note. Individual cases and concerns of truancy will be explored with the school teams.
- The district will honor all self-selecting quarantines of 5 days for positive cases and household contacts. These will be marked as COVID in PowerSchool.
Thank you, as always, for keeping sick students at home. Your continued cooperation is greatly appreciated.
If you are in a position to purchase (or re-gift) gift cards for this occasion, we would greatly appreciate it. Please drop off cards in any school office throughout the month of January. THANK YOU!