Thank you for engaging the school with your partnership.
I have received a few responses to the letter yesterday. Those responses included two questions, the answers to which I want to address widely:
Q: What constitutes a fever?
A: It is worth noting that resting body temperature varies between individuals, varies for any person over time based on ambient temperature, exercise, and other factors, and varies based on where the temperature is taken. A doctor should make the determination that a person has a fever. For the purposes of administration of our fever policy, the school uses a threshold measurement of fever of 99.5 degrees F taken in the ear. This temperature strikes a good balance considering the consequences of false-positives (lesser consequences of inconvenience) and false-negatives (greater consequences of spreading illness).
Q: How does the school promote hand washing?
A: Teachers remind students of the importance of washing their hands and provide students the opportunity to wash their hands, especially before snack and lunch. We also provide alcohol based hand sanitizer in classrooms and in the lunchroom that are always available. I also personally made an all school announcement encouraging the practice this morning.
I also would like to inform the school community of three additional health developments:
- We have been notified of three confirmed cases of strep throat in members of the school community. All the individuals were absent from school for at least a day prior to their diagnosis and will not return until directed after taking antibiotics for more than 24 hours. Two individuals are not associated with any particular classroom and one individual is associated with the 1st grade. Given these confirmed cases, students at the school with strep-like symptoms, especially those in first grade should see a doctor. Tell the doctor of the existence of confirmed cases of strep in your school. He or she may order a strep test.
- We have been notified of one confirmed case of influenza in the school community. Based on the timing of the diagnosis and notification any student that developed flu-like symptoms last week should see a doctor and inform the doctor of a confirmed case of flu in your school. He or she may order a flu test.
- I received a forwarded email from D95 stating that individuals who had contact with the patient with a confirmed case of COVID-19 at NW Community Hospital are in voluntary self-quarantine and reside in the same household as individuals associated with May Whitney and MSNorth. D95 has been advised by health agencies that "... these two individuals are not considered Coronavirus cases, and they have no restrictions in terms of work, school, or other activities." I will continue to share relevant information with you that I receive from D95.
Education and health are both things that are deeply connected to community. I want to personally thank all of you that are communicating reliable and timely information to the school for us to share, for those of you encouraging us to further increase our proactive measures, and for those of you following our policies of keeping sick students home for the health of others. I know that sometimes this is a particular burden for working parents that have to miss work to stay with children; your sacrifice contributes to communal health, is invisible to most, and I personally feel appreciation toward you for it.
I also want to thank those of you that have contacted me via e-mail about other matters for your patience as health topics have been a priority for school administration these past two days.
In your service,