Is your student too sick for school?
As a parent/guardian, you can help prevent the spread of illness by not sending a sick student to school. In determining whether to keep your student home, we encourage you to consider:
1. Is your student rested and alert enough to learn, pay attention in class, and able to participate in all school activities, including physical education?
2. Is your student’s illness contagious to others?
Please use the following guidelines.
- Appearance and behavior – A student that is difficult to wake, unusually tired, pale, irritable and/or lacking in normal appetite should remain at home. These symptoms could indicate the onset of illness.
- Fever – A temperature of 100.4 F (38C) or higher suggests infectious illness. Your student must be fever free for 24 hours (without fever reducing medication) before returning to school. Please note that if your child has a fever during school hours, they need to stay home the following school day. This means it may be greater than the 24-hour period. A fever is a symptom of COVID-19 and the student is required to stay home and should be tested. Please see the Washington State Department of Health “What to do if a Person is Symptomatic” flowchart for more information.
- Cold symptoms or COVID-19 symptoms: The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, shortness of breath, body aches, new loss of taste or smell, cough (new, changes, or worsening), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or sore throat. With any of these symptoms, individuals should stay home and should be tested for COVID-19. If testing positive, individuals should stay home for five days (first day of symptoms is day zero). If testing is negative, individuals can return if symptoms have significantly improved, and they are fever free for 24 hours without medication.
- Please see the Washington State Department of Health “What to do if a Person is Symptomatic” flowchart for more information.
- For full COVID-19 guidelines while at school, please click here.
- Please note: A severe sore throat or sore throat that is worsening or not improving could be strep throat even if there is no fever. Other symptoms of strep throat in students are headache and stomach upset. Keep your student home from school and have your student medically evaluated. If strep has been diagnosed, they may return to school as early as 24 hours after antibiotic treatment begins.
- Eyes – White or yellow drainage from the eye, altered vision, and/or redness of the eye lid or skin surrounding the eye requires medical evaluation and provider clearance for school return. Pink eye is highly contagious.
- Ear infections without fever – Please have your student medically evaluated as repeated ear infections can cause permanent hearing loss. School exclusion is not necessary unless your student is uncomfortable.
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting – Three or more watery stools in a 24 -hour period and two or more episodes of vomiting in the past 24 hours is a reason to keep your student at home. Please keep your student home for 24 hours after the last episode (without medication). If episodes of diarrhea and/or vomiting happen at school, please keep student home the following school day or until free of incident for at least 24 hours. A single episode of diarrhea or even vomiting, unaccompanied by any other symptoms, may not be reason enough for the student to miss school – it is best to look at your student’s overall condition in determining if they are well enough to attend school. If you do decide to send your student, please be sure that you are available to pick your student up if their condition worsens.
- Rash with fever or behavior change – This may indicate an infectious illness. Please have your student medically evaluated and keep your student at home until they have received provider clearance for school return.
- Chicken pox – Your student may return to school when all blisters have formed scabs and there is no evidence of new blister formation. This may take five to seven days from onset of blisters.
- Open wounds – Open wounds must be kept covered with a dressing that is taped on all four sides. Any wound that appears to be infected should be evaluated by a medical professional.