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Attendance Overboard

School   (1,335 Views | 25 Replies)

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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!

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k1p1ssk has 9 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in pediatrics.

385 Posts; 4,824 Profile Views

I am surprised she wants them back so soon after being/while sick. Our policy (and I think many here will agree that theirs is similar) is that a student needs to be fever/vomit free for 24 hours without the use of antipyretics. We don't want sick kids in school. They are considered contagious until the fever has been gone for 24 hours. They are going to spread it to others and cause more overall absences. Their performance will be lower regardless, so why not keep them home and keep the overall population healthier...

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

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15 minutes ago, k1p1ssk said:

I am surprised she wants them back so soon after being/while sick. Our policy (and I think many here will agree that theirs is similar) is that a student needs to be fever/vomit free for 24 hours without the use of antipyretics. We don't want sick kids in school. They are considered contagious until the fever has been gone for 24 hours. They are going to spread it to others and cause more overall absences. Their performance will be lower regardless, so why not keep them home and keep the overall population healthier...

In Texas, funding is lost for every absence, even if it's excused for medical reasons. Those funds are usually in the tens to hundreds of thousand dollars a school year, depending on the average daily attendance for the prior year.

The push on schools to keep their attendance up is massive. Our district has no written policy on the how long a student has to be fever free to return to school.

My first month on the job I was reprimanded for telling a parent that very thing.

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MHDNURSE has 21 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN, NP and specializes in Pediatrics, Community, and School Health.

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7 minutes ago, lifelearningrn said:

In Texas, funding is lost for every absence, even if it's excused for medical reasons. Those funds are usually in the tens to hundreds of thousand dollars a school year, depending on the average daily attendance for the prior year.

The push on schools to keep their attendance up is massive.

This is crazy! I am in a district with major issues with attendance but they are stil reasonable when it comes to actual excused absences vs. nonsense.

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SchoolNurseK has 18 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Home Health, School Nurse Newbie.

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24 minutes ago, lifelearningrn said:

The push on schools to keep their attendance up is massive. Our district has no written policy on the how long a student has to be fever free to return to school.

My first month on the job I was reprimanded for telling a parent that very thing. 

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.

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denstar has 4 years experience and specializes in School Nursing.

42 Posts; 1,540 Profile Views

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

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Eleven011 has 20+ years experience and specializes in Home Health,Dialysis, MDS, School Nurse.

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I am lucky to have admin that understand the balance of me trying to keep healthy kids in school vs. the sick ones at home.

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28 Posts; 522 Profile Views

30 minutes ago, denstar said:

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

She probably would if she didn’t live frenzied. Im usually pretty good about not letting that effect me, but it’s flu season....which is coinciding with truancy meetings.

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Glitternurse has 3 years experience as a LVN and specializes in pediatrics.

231 Posts; 1,558 Profile Views

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.

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BrisketRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

700 Posts; 2,859 Profile Views

Do you know what attendance percentages your schools want? I'm at a private school so, other than for truancy or illness tracking, we don't track overall attendance too closely.

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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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2 hours ago, lifelearningrn said:

In Texas, funding is lost for every absence, even if it's excused for medical reasons. Those funds are usually in the tens to hundreds of thousand dollars a school year, depending on the average daily attendance for the prior year.

The push on schools to keep their attendance up is massive. Our district has no written policy on the how long a student has to be fever free to return to school.

My first month on the job I was reprimanded for telling a parent that very thing.

OOOHHH. Here in the NTX in two different districts we've been very consistent in encouraging the "no return until the fever's gone without Tylenol or Motrin" policy.

So - what is the district policy? And who above you might have that conversation with the principal?

I wonder how the principal would feel if the campus has to shut down due to flu absences?

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mainecoonRN92 has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

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3 hours ago, lifelearningrn said:

Our district has no written policy on the how long a student has to be fever free to return to school.

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.

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