Illness Policy Clarification
While most families understand, appreciate and are complying with the approach to exclusion to illness we are following, others have sought further clarification because we are accelerating vigilance in monitoring and enforcing these guidelines. I specifically want to comment on cough and/or runny noses as these symptoms are currently prevalent within our community and I have been filtering a few concerns regarding the exclusion vigilance of these symptoms and the hardship these restrictions impose on our working families.
We understand that young children often present with runny noses and that immune systems are building in the first couple of years of life, that common colds are frequent and typical, and that runny noses can take up to two weeks to subside. We also sympathize and appreciate that keeping children home for that amount of time is an extreme burden to families for a variety of reasons. However, these are the expectations and recommendations from state and federal officials, and we will be remaining firm in applying them to our community. Especially, given the fact that the surrounding local area is experiencing increased community spread of COVID-19, we will be rigorously applying these exclusion criteria and insisting on the abatement of ALL symptoms prior to the return to school. It is vital that we do this to slow the transmission of illness within our direct school community, as well as the greater local community.
This means that working families need to develop plans for managing exclusions and/or closures. Our priority needs to be in managing this current crisis and developing plans for crisis management as things continue to unfold. We ask that you respect the work we are doing to prepare our community, and that you adhere to these guidelines and please refrain from asking us to reconsider them.
To reiterate, if your child experiences ANY as of the following symptoms they are considered too ill to attend school and they must stay home until they are completely symptom free. We are being vigilant about this out of the need to protect the health and safety of our community.
Please reference the following resources used in developing these policies:
Lake Washington School District Communication 3/2/20
Lake Washington Guidelines for Keeping Sick Children at Home
Washington Department of Health Guidelines for Schools on Emergencies for Managing the Coronavirus