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Tag: Illness Policy

Flu Prevention and Safety

It has been an especially bad year for respiratory infections, especially influenza, and many of our students have been ill. We are working hard here at school to encourage healthy practices and a clean environment, but we need help from families as well. There are a few things families can do to help prevent spread of these viruses.

Flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly.  We thank you for keeping your child home if they experience any flu-like symptoms. Students are not permitted to return to school unless they are symptom-free for 24 hours.  In some cases, parents may be asked to provide a doctor’s note before their child will be permitted to return to school. Students experiencing flu-like symptoms will be sent home from school immediately.

Please have your child stay home if they are ill. These signs and symptoms include:

 fever over 100˚F (38˚C)  For many adults and teens, a sudden high fever is the earliest symptom of the infection.

 muscle aches

 fatigue

 loss of appetite

 chills

 vomiting

 headache

 stuffy nose

 Remain home until at least 24 hours after the fever or fever symptoms (chills, feeling very warm, flushed appearance, or sweating) resolve without fever reducing medicine such as Tylenol or Motrin.

 You and your child can shed influenza for up to 5-7 days, so an extra day or two home is also encouraged if you are known to have influenza.

 Children who have been vaccinated for influenza do not generally develop symptoms as severe as others, so may only have low grade fever or mild cough and it could still be influenza.

 Although most people will recover fully without complications, antiviral treatment may be helpful if given in the first 48 hours of illness. This can prevent serious complications and shorten duration of illness. Contact your healthcare provider to discuss this if you or your child are sick.

Help us with health habits to prevent spread of illness:

 We encourage everyone to get a yearly influenza vaccine. It is not too late if you have not received one. Even if you get the flu, your symptoms will be less severe and shorter in duration thus helping the spread of influenza.

 Even if you get influenza, you should still receive vaccine as there are several strains circulating.

 Students and staff should cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their bent arm.

 Put the used tissue in a trash can and wash their hands right away.

 Students should avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

 We will provide supplies that are easily accessible for everyone.

 Luckily influenza does not live on surfaces more than 24-48 hours, but enhanced cleaning measures in classrooms are being implemented. Influenza will respond to any general cleaning method at home as well. Soap and water or products such as Lysol are effective.

These children may need antiviral prophylaxis if they have a known influenza exposure. If your child falls in one of these categories, please contact their healthcare provider if there has been an exposure in the classroom.

 Children younger than 6 months old

 Children aged 6 months up to their 5th birthday (especially those less than 2)

 American Indian and Alaskan Native children

 Pregnant women are at very high risk for complications. Please contact your Obstetrician if you or a family member/close contact are ill.

 Children aged 6 months old through 18 years old with chronic health problems including asthma.

 Children who are taking aspirin or salicylate-containing medicines.

 Extreme obesity, which has been associated with severe flu illness in some studies of adults, may also be a risk factor for children. Childhood obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile, for age and sex.

Here is a link to the parent information from the CDC website:
The Flu: A Guide for Parents

Thank you for reading this guidance and helping us keep our school healthy! Let us know if there are questions.

Illness Policy – When to Send a Sick Child to School

The beginning of a new school year can bring many wonderful new things; new friends, new classroom works and new routines are just a few of our favorites.  Unfortunately, new illnesses tend to make an exuberant appearance as well.  While we understand that illness at home can impact schedules and routines (for both parents and children) we want to urge each of you to read up on and abide by our illness policy here at MCS.

We will do our part here at school to try to minimize the spread of illness by encouraging lots of hand washing and nose blowing (and then more hand washing) and by sending children and staff home when they are ill.  We ask that you each support us by following the illness policy set forth in our parent handbooks and as listed below so that we might minimize the spread of illness to our students and our staff.  It is so important that our staff remain healthy so that they can be here to help the children settle in and create effective classroom communities.

Should children become ill at school we will do our best to make them comfortable but please keep in mind that we are not staffed to care for ill children in our classrooms or in the office.  We thank you, in advance, for allowing your child to stay home and rest when they are ill.

MCS Staff


Colds, flu and other contagious diseases are a serious issue in a school environment because they can spread so rapidly. Parents are asked to keep children home when they show symptoms of illness. If the child is ill, please call the school before 9:00am to report the absence. If your child exhibits any active symptoms of illness, he/she will not be admitted to the school, both for the child’s own comfort and to minimize the spread of illness to other children in the school. In the event of an outbreak of an infectious disease, such as measles, MCS will follow the guidelines set forth for schools by the Utah Department of Health.

The following tips are to help you decide if your child should be kept home from school:

  • How does your child feel? Variations from normal behavior are the best indicators of illness. You know your child best; trust your instincts.
  • Fever. If your child has a fever at night, he/she must not attend school the next morning. Temperatures are lower in the morning and a fever may occur again in the afternoon. You are required to wait 24 hours after the fever breaks before sending your child back to school.
  • Upset stomach. If your child vomits during the night, do not send him/her to school the next day. You are required to wait 24 hours after a child vomits before sending your child back to school.
  • Diarrhea. Loose and frequent stools have many causes. Do not send a child to school until bowel movements are normal.
  • Cold. Be sure a child knows how to handle tissues for coughing, sneezing and nose blowing, and practice good hand washing techniques. Your child may go to school as long as he or she does not have a fever or discomfort. If symptoms are severe (e.g., persistent cough or severe runny nose with thick mucous that will consistently interrupt their work or rest time), please keep your child at home so he/she may rest and recover.
  • Earache. Never ignore an earache. Contact your physician and keep your child at home.
  • Strep Throat. A strep infection requires a doctor’s visit and medication. Strep can lead to a more serious illness if not properly treated. The child must be on medication at least 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Contagious Condition. Head lice (see below), scabies, impetigo, chicken pox, strep throat, measles, rubella, mumps, whooping cough, meningitis and some forms of conjunctivitis (pink eye) are contagious and must be properly treated and no longer contagious before your child may attend school. Please notify the school if your child has a contagious condition so that other parents can be alerted.
  • Head lice. Due to the arrangement of student work spaces in the Montessori classroom and the number of collaborative work spaces and projects, if we find signs of lice (nits/eggs), in order to contain the spread we may ask parents to pick up their student early to begin treatment. If parents detect lice at home, please let the Office know immediately so that we can check the rest of the students in the class. Prior to the student’s return to school, we will need to know the specific treatment that s/he will be undergoing and the date that the treatment began, so that we can follow up regarding the second application of the treatment (which typically needs to be applied 7-10 days after the first application). Upon returning to school, before the child enters the classroom, please bring her/him to the Office where he/she will be discreetly checked for nits, and where we can record treatment dates and methods. Students will be allowed to return to class when they are nit-free. Nit removal can take several comb throughs and we ask that parents check the child each day during their treatment. Thorough combing with an egg removal comb each day during the 10-day period following the first treatment is an essential part of eliminating the lice and helping to prevent a lice recurrence. We will follow up, checking students and classes as needed to ensure that all active lice and eggs have been removed.
  • If your child has been out of school due to illness, we ask that you consider whether he or she is well enough to be outdoors before you send him or her back to school. The outdoors is part of our program and we do not have the staff to supervise students indoors and outdoors simultaneously.

Illness or Injury at School
If a child becomes ill at school, he or she will be taken to the office sick area. A parent/guardian will be contacted and will be expected to pick up the child as soon as possible. If a child is injured at school, first aid will be administered if the injury is minor. An accident report will be filed for injuries which require medical attention, including first aid. Parents will be asked to sign the accident report when they pick up their child and will be notified immediately if there are any questions concerning the severity of the injury. The student’s emergency contacts and physicians will be called if the parents are unavailable. All classroom teachers are CPR/First Aid certified. Paramedics will be called when necessary.