While attendance at school is critical for the success of students, not one should come to any school campus or school district building if they are unwell or exhibiting any symptoms.
Process if a student is not feeling well at school
Any student not feeling well or exhibiting any COVID-19-like symptoms will be referred to the school nurse/clinic in alignment with school-based protocol. Please note, that if a student is not feeling well, another student will NOT be asked to walk alongside them to the clinic as their buddy. If a teacher or school-based staff member notes a concern, the teacher will call the school nurse. The school nurse will come to the classroom to assess and escort back to the clinic, if needed to limit any potential exposure to others. Protocols for referring a student to the school nurse will be part of all staff training prior to students returning in August 2020.
School Clinics with a separate clinic space for students who are not feeling well
During the 2020-2021 school year, every school will have a full-time nurse to support the wellness needs of the students in Pinellas County Schools. In addition, all schools will have two identified, dedicated spaces for nursing services.
The clinic space will provide services traditionally done by school nurses, but to the extent possible some services will be handled within classrooms to limit exposure.
- All school health staff will be provided with adequate and appropriate PPE and guidelines for appropriate usage.
- School nurses will be available for consultation to assist in guiding classroom staff with appropriate decision making.
- Basic first aid situations, to the greatest degree possible, should be handled by the student/teacher in the classroom to prevent congregation in the office and possible cross exposure. All classrooms will be stocked with basic first aid supplies.
- Students with diabetes will be encouraged to perform their own care in the classroom to the greatest extent possible, given the student’s knowledge of their disease, age and amount of supervision required.
- Approved medication dispersal (in alignment with Board policies), will continue to occur with the exception that students with asthma will not be permitted to use nebulizer treatments due to the risk of aerosolization of respiratory particles.
- Parents of students who utilized nebulizer treatments during the 2019-2020 school year were contacted at the end of last school year to notify them of this change.
- Students who utilize these treatments should consult with their medical professional to ensure a plan is in place to meet their needs.
- School health staff will closely monitor trends of absenteeism and will follow-up with students who have been absent for multiple days.
- Families will be encouraged to maintain wellness visits with their child’s healthcare provider and keep up-to-date on all age-appropriate immunizations and the recommended seasonal flu vaccine.
- Separate procedures have been established regarding statutorily-required health screenings (vision, hearing, BMI, scoliosis) and will be communicated with affected school administrators prior to the beginning of the school year.
A separate clinic space for students who are not feeling well or exhibiting symptoms will be established in every school.
- Again, school nurses will be available for consultation to assist in guiding classroom staff with appropriate decision making.
- If a teacher or school-based staff member notes a concern, the teacher will call the nurse. The school nurse will come to the classroom to assess and escort back to the clinic, if needed.
- All temperatures will be taken using a no-contact thermometer.
- If a student is found not to be well and needs to utilize the separate clinic, parents/guardians will be called and expected to pick up their child as soon as possible. Students who are not well, will not be transported home on the bus nor sent back to class or to an after-care provider.
- The room will be monitored at all times when a student is present. Staff assigned to monitor the room (if not the school nurse) will be provided with education on PPE and signs that further assistance is needed by the nurse.
- Parents will be provided with information on health conditions/symptoms that will require an absence from school and recommendation to follow-up with medical professionals. Symptoms requiring an absence include, but are not limited to:
- Active vomiting or diarrhea
- Fever ≥100.4F/chills/generalized body aches
- Undiagnosed, new, and/or untreated rash or skin condition