Health Services Procedures
When Your Child is Sick:
To safeguard the health of all students, we ask parents/guardians to monitor their children for possible communicable diseases and follow district policy on attendance accordingly.
Students must stay home from school if they:
- Have a fever over 100°
- Have an undiagnosed rash
- Have vomited in the past 24 hours
- Have diarrhea more than once in past 24 hours
- Have copious yellow/green mucus discharge from nose
- Have a severe sore throat with symptoms indicating possible strep throat
- Complain of severe earache, with or without fever
- Have conjunctivitis (pink eye) with discharge
- Have a skin wound, sore or lesion that appears infected, e.g., is red, swollen or draining fluid
- Have a communicable illness
Students must remain home:
- For 24 hours after an elevated temperature returns to normal without anti-inflammatory medication
- For 24 hours after vomiting has ended
- After a throat culture – until the results are available (regardless of health care provider advice)
- For 24 hours after their first dose of medication with a diagnosis of strep throat, to prevent spread to other students
- For 24 hours following treatment for bacterial conjunctivitis or conjunctivitis with discharge
- Until they are adequately treated for head lice, scabies, or other infestation, communicable illness or skin infection, and assessed by the school nurse; or have been assessed by a physician and determined to be non communicable. A physician’s note may be required for return to school based on nursing judgment
Immunization and Health Assessment Requirements
Below are the immunization requirements for students attending any of the Westport Public schools:
Exclusion Guidelines (pdf)
Prevention and management of head lice infestation among students
Westport Public Schools relies on current standards in public health and scientific research to guide its practices related to communicable disease and infestation. Current public health standards and research-based recommendations indicate that, to effectively control head lice, routine screening and management at home are the key factors. Head lice do not cause disease and, when first identified on a head, have usually been resident there for a few weeks. They are very annoying and can sometimes be difficult to get rid of, but they are not dangerous. Head lice are usually well-controlled when managed through mechanical or chemical means, or a combination of both, and appropriate housekeeping techniques (see attached information).
In keeping with current standards and research, mass screenings for head lice are no longer conducted in our schools. Rather, our emphasis is on prevention through parental education, and home-school communication and collaboration. Not only are mass screenings relatively ineffective, but they cause students to lose a significant amount of educational time in the classroom, often result in misdiagnosed cases, and lead to considerable stigma for children who are sent home in the middle of the school day.
Please remember that rapid communication is the most critical element to prevent the spread of head lice at school, at sleepovers and at other community activities. Therefore, should your child become infested with head lice, please inform the school nurse immediately so that she can alert families in your child’s class to increase their vigilance and screenings at home. The information you provide is confidential and the names of affected students are never shared with other families. If all families communicate with the school nurse in this way, and if the school nurse in turn alerts families in general to be more vigilant, we can prevent unnecessary spread of this difficult pest.
If you have any questions about our head lice procedures, please call the school nurse in your child’s school, or call the Health Services Supervisor at 341-1251.