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Attendance Overboard

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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On 2/11/2020 at 4:24 PM, mainecoonRN92 said:

Does your state Department of Health or BON have any guidance on this? I know my state follows the Public Health Departments Exclusionary Guidelines in order to protect FAPE but also reduce the spread of infectious diseases.

OOOHH that's good. I am filing that away to use later.

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All I can add is that, as a parent, the push for no absences is a huge stressor. My daughter missed 2 weeks of kindergarten due to some awful bug that caused our whole house to have vomiting and diarrhea for 2 weeks! I had to buy the kids new mattresses on their beds and buy sets of new sheets, so much got destroyed. Later on I got a letter stating WA state law requirements for attendance! Which BTW, only took effect once a student was in 1st grade... and she was in kindergarten. I was furious! I should have had her go to school and let the admin clean up after her. 

Luckily we changed schools and there is more common sense here. 

Sorry, just had to vent! 

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tining has 26 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nurse.

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On 2/11/2020 at 10:36 PM, Thanksforthedonuts said:

Later on I got a letter stating WA state law requirements for attendance! Which BTW, only took effect once a student was in 1st grade... and she was in kindergarten. I was furious! I should have had her go to school and let the admin clean up after her. 

Luckily we changed schools and there is more common sense here. 

Sorry, just had to vent! 

Sorry your family was so ill.  To clarify, these letters are generated by the attendance system.  I am pretty sure all public schools will generate the letter after 5 absences.  Even working in the same school as my son, I got the letter after he had flu 2 times in one year.  

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lifelearningrn has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

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20 hours ago, SchoolNurseK said:

This is terrible!  Do you have an overarching School Health Services as part of your district services?  That is the entity that makes our health policies, so if a parent has an issue, we can always point back to them.  

Yes, we do. When I told a parent the 'fever free for 24 hour' rule, my administrator (at the time) told me that "why would you tell them that, parents will keep them home for a week!", I told her it was policy (as I believed it was) and she told me to show her the policy. I couldn't find the policy so called our health and medical at the district and was told, "you have educate them on best practice and CDC recommendations".  It turns out, the district does not have a written policy. 

20 hours ago, denstar said:

Has she considered that if kids attend school while still contagious, they get more children sick, leading to.....MORE absences?!

This is the hardest thing to convince them of. That and parents that medicate a fever and send them anyway. 

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NurseBorg has 21 years experience as a BSN.

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 https://www.dshs.texas.gov/idcu/health/schools_childcare/resources/

I'm in Texas as well and we follow the texas department of state health services exclusion criteria and they state they need to be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication and define a fever being 100.0 or greater. 

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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

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Show them the articles of entire school systems being shut down due to flu outbreaks in an attempt to get it under control. There's one in Texas as we speak.

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NurseSpeedy has 18 years experience as a ADN, LPN, RN.

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On 2/11/2020 at 12:25 PM, ChristmasNurse said:

Curious how everyone here deals with this: My principal is nuts about attendance. I’ve had several kids with flu whose parents are afraid to keep kids home because they don’t want to get in trouble for excessive absences.  I’ve sent kids home with high fevers and she’ll tell them on the way out to be back by tomorrow. Every notice that goes home has some in your face or subtle message to be at school every day. I can go on and on with examples. I get that our state had some ridiculous rules regarding  attendance. But will anyone stand up for common sense In the name of kids health? Aaaaahhhhhh!!!

Require a doctor’s note to return to school if child is sent in with a fever-will cut back on just sending sick kids to school-and with a doctor’s note it proves the child was ill and should not be at school infecting everyone else. This principal needs a serious lesson on infection control-maybe some printouts from the CDC website?  

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TheSquire has 9 years experience as a DNP, EMT-B, APN, NP and specializes in Urgent Care NP, Emergency Nursing, Camp Nursing.

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On 2/12/2020 at 8:24 PM, NurseSpeedy said:

Require a doctor’s note to return to school if child is sent in with a fever-will cut back on just sending sick kids to school-and with a doctor’s note it proves the child was ill and should not be at school infecting everyone else. This principal needs a serious lesson on infection control-maybe some printouts from the CDC website?  

As an urgent care FNP who found this thread via the front page - Don't.  Requiring a note is just going to stress economically disadvantaged families further, when the parent/guardian should be capable of sticking a thermometer in the kid's mouth and saying if it's above/below whatever threshold your district and/or state set.

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CanIcallmymom has 4 years experience.

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24 minutes ago, TheSquire said:

As an urgent care FNP who found this thread via the front page - Don't.  Requiring a note is just going to stress economically disadvantaged families further, when the parent/guardian should be capable of sticking a thermometer in the kid's mouth and saying if it's above/below whatever threshold your district and/or state set.

Agreed, especially for minor illnesses that usually don't require medical intervention.

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halohg has 25 years experience as a RN.

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I would encourage a conversation with administrators to discuss a strategy to better educate parents on ways to avoid certain absences. Collect data on how many days are missed because of: physical exams, dental exams; chronic medical conditions (asthma, diabetes, etc.), vacations, “too tired”, missed bus & no transportation, lice policy, poor weather, etc. I feel there are a high number of avoidable absences and possibly if those can be dealt with then administrators will not go after the truly sick. Getting the sick back is the easy conversation, but the one that will have a lasting solution and is more difficulty are the avoidable ones.

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tining has 26 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nurse.

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On 2/14/2020 at 2:19 PM, TheSquire said:

As an urgent care FNP who found this thread via the front page - Don't.  Requiring a note is just going to stress economically disadvantaged families further, when the parent/guardian should be capable of sticking a thermometer in the kid's mouth and saying if it's above/below whatever threshold your district and/or state set.

IF they have a thermometer!  Most parents have the handy dandy palm of hand thermometer.

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On 2/11/2020 at 2:00 PM, Glitternurse said:

our whole district is pushing attendance. Kids are getting prizes for perfect attendance for the month, classes are getting pizza parties or game rooms for having the highest attendance percentage for the month. Letters go home constantly to remind parents that attendance is important. I have seen so many really sick kids, vomiting and, high fevers. I've never had to send so many kids home sick. It's completely insane.

I tell parents they're not giving away Lamborghinis or Bentleys this year for perfect attendance.

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