Amazing first week of school!

And what does the symptom-free protocol really mean?

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Good Job!

I am SO happy to see the kids back in school. I have missed them!

And "Good Job!" to parents and students. By the second day, students were wearing their masks consistently, practicing proper hand hygiene, and distancing themselves in the hallway.

Symptom-free School Protocol: How does this effect you and your child?

The vast majority of students that are sent home due to the symptom free protocol will not have COVID-19. While it is awesome that our numbers are low, it can be really frustrating and upsetting when you get the call from the nurse/school asking you to pick up your child because they have just one symptom of COVID-19. AND the symptom-free protocol must be met before your child can return to school. We realize this is a hardship for families/staff and we are all looking forward to simpler times.

Please know that we are doing our best to keep students and staff healthy while having in-person instruction. The symptom-free protocol along with wearing masks, keeping physical distancing when possible, and frequent hand washing will help keep us healthier.

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Symptom-free School Protocol: Seasonal allergies

Oh man. This one is a bugaboo. We want your children to be in school but seasonal allergies frequently present as a runny/stuffy nose, coughing, sometimes a sore throat, red and itchy eyes-most of those are symptoms of COVID-19.

If you would like to avoid having the school send your child home for their usual allergy symptoms, the COVID Symptom Exemption form needs to be completed by the doctor. It states that your child has seasonal allergies and lists the usual symptoms your child experiences. Please note! If your child has green mucus pouring out of their nose and that is not listed as a normal seasonal allergy symptom, we will still be calling you to pick up your child! If your child is sent home, the symptom-free protocol will need to be met before their return to school.

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Symptom-free School Protocol: Anxious Student

For some of our students, the first couple days, weeks, months... at school can cause anxiety. The symptoms of anxiety can present as headache, nausea, stomach pain, and even diarrhea. All of these are also symptoms of COVID-19.

How do we support the student experiencing anxiety?

Please communicate with your classroom teacher and school nurse about some of the techniques your child uses to help soothe themselves when they start to feel anxious. The nurse will consult with the teacher, assess symptoms, and most likely call you. If there isn't a clear explanation for the symptoms (got in trouble on the bus, pet missing, forgot to study for test, got in disagreement with friend, etc), we will call you. If your child is sent home, the symptom-free protocol must be met before returning to school.

If your child experiences anxiety regularly, you can ask your doctor to complete the COVID-19 symptom exemption form and that will help guide us. See link above.

Your School Nurse

Laura Peek, RN

West Homer Elementary

Fireweed Academy 3rd-6th