As the school year is quickly approaching, I wanted to provide answers to some common questions many parents have. Please see information below if you have questions that are not answered in the FAQ, please feel free to email me your question at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Does my child have to wear a mask at school? Yes, if your child is in 3rd-12th grade, he/she will need to wear a mask. PreK-2 are not mandated to wear a mask except when riding the bus. ECSC will be providing each student with one reusable cloth mask.
- Do students have to constantly wear face masks? When can they remove them? Can they sit on the student’s desk? Is it ok for the student to handle the mask multiple times during the day to take it off and on? Students are to wear face masks throughout the day, with exceptions for lunch and certain situations in which they can socially distance, are outside for recess or are in PE class. However, if all the students are facing the same direction and are socially distanced, then taking them off during class to have a break from wearing them will be an option. When students remove masks, they may be clipped to the student (each student will be given one lanyard), placed in a paper or plastic bag, or hung in their locker when they do not share lockers with other students.
- Are there guidelines for students who due to health needs or their disability, will not be able to wear a mask? In these cases, parents should talk with their healthcare provider about whether returning to inperson school is medically appropriate. Face shields would also be an option in such instances.
- Is there a specific mask that is recommended? How do I know if it is fitting them correctly? The mask should be a face covering that covers the nose and mouth and is secured to the head with ties, straps, loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face. Please see the following document for how to fit and care for a cloth face mask: Face Covering-Family Tip Sheet (7-10-20).pdf
Symptoms, Quarantine, Exclusion and Return to School
- What should I do if my student doesn’t feel well? Students who do not feel well should NOT come to school. Report the absence to your student’s school attendance officer/school secretary making sure to relay the symptoms the student has. The student should then start a quarantine and a phone call to their healthcare provider should be made for further examination. Please see the following “Screening and Exclusion Chart for Parents.” ISDH – Screening and Exclusion Chart for Parents (7-21-20).pdf. This chart also provides very valuable information on when students can return to school after illness.
- How often should I screen my child for illness? Parents should use the “Screening and Exclusion Chart” (above) every morning before sending their child to school.
- How will I know if my child has been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19? If a positive case is identified within the school, the school nurse, along with the health department, will determine any students who may have been exposed. The health department or the Indiana State Department of Health will then contact you with further instructions.
- How will the school be notified of positive cases? Can the school accept a verbal positive test result from a parent? Parents are encouraged to notify the school immediately upon learning of a positive COVID test; the school is encouraged to accept a verbal positive result and immediately notify the local health department so that appropriate infection-control actions can begin. The Indiana State Department of Health will lead contact tracing and investigation efforts in consultation with the local health department to ensure that close contacts are identified quickly. The local health department can confirm the lab result.
- What makes someone a “close contact”? If a student was within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes with anyone within the last two weeks who tested positive to COVID-19, they would be considered a “close contact.”
- If my child has to quarantine because of being a “close contact,” will I as the parent have to quarantine as well? No. The parent would only quarantine if they too were a close contact (being within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes within the last two weeks of a positive case).
- What if my child becomes ill while at school or experiences any symptoms of COVID-19? Students who feel ill or complain of any symptoms of COVID-19 will be taken to an isolation room that is separate from the nurse’s office. There they will be assessed and their temperature will be taken. If their temperature is 100 degrees or higher and/or their symptoms are consistent with COVID-19, they will immediately be sent home and asked to start quarantine and follow-up with their healthcare provider.
- What if my child has a chronic illness (seasonal allergies, asthma) that has symptoms similar to COVID-19? The ISDH recommends that any student with a health situation that may present with symptoms of COVID-19 should meet with their provider before school to get a note beforehand.
- What are recommendations for children with decreased auto immune systems? Children with decreased immunity should consult a healthcare provider about whether in-person instruction is appropriate at this time.
- Are the normal immunization requirements still in effect? Immunizations are more important than ever, and at this time, we expect students to be current on their immunizations unless they have an exemption on file.
- How do I find out what immunizations my student needs? Letters were sent to students in March and April indicating what immunizations they are in need of for the 2020-2021 school year. Parents can also access their student’s vaccination record via “Family Access” in Skyward by clicking on the “Health Information” tab. The chart for the “Required Immunization for the 2020-2021 School Year” can be accessed here: https://chirp.in.gov/docs/2020-2021%20Immunization%20Requirements%20with%20HepA%20all%20grades.pdf