Best Practice Guidelines for Sick Students

Realizing the importance of regular school attendance, guidelines should be followed so as to minimize unnecessary exclusion of students from school. Student who have the following symptoms should therefore be excluded from school until a health care provider determines the child is well enough to attend, the symptoms are absent for 24 hours, or unless otherwise noted:
  • A temperature of 100 degrees or above
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Uncontrollable cough, wheezing, or shortness of breath
  • Suspected communicable disease (i.e. Chickenpox, Strep Throat, Tuberculosis - symptoms, return guidelines, and protocols vary)
  • Possible Conjunctivitis: Eye redness, itching, crusting, or drainage - until written authorization is received from the health care provider, or student has been on treatment for 24 hours
  • A rash of unknown origin – until written authorization is received from the health care provider
  • Head lice infestation - until students have been treated and all lice and nits have been removed
  • Signs or symptoms of possible severe illness (persistent crying, irritability, severe head or body aches, loss of sensation, unexplained fainting or loss of consciousness, loss of taste or smell, lethargy - return guidelines and protocols vary)
  • Students under Quarantine, Isolation, or other health officer orders. 
Symptoms that arise during the school day will call for judgment decisions by experienced school health office staff.
California Code of Regulations Title 5, 202 states “A pupil while infected with any contagious or infectious disease may not remain in any public school.”  Education code 49451 states that “Whenever there is reason to believe that the child is suffering from a recognized contagious or infectious disease, he shall be sent home and shall not be permitted to return until the school authorities are satisfied that any contagious disease does not exist.” This is further supported by Arcadia Unified School District Board Policies 5141.33 and 5112.2.
The goal of Arcadia Unified School District is to have all students who can benefit from educational instruction present in class.  However, if the child is ill with a contagious disease that could potentially infect other students and staff, the educational process is compromised. When a student has a temporary illness that impairs their ability to benefit from class instruction and that requires the attention of staff to care for them, the educational program is adversely affected for all students.
We appreciate the partnership of all students, staff, and families in keeping our schools healthy and safe