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JLCC - Communicable Diseases

Policy JLCC

Adopted: April 14, 2003
Amended: October 5, 2017

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The School Committee recognizes that diseases that may afflict students and staff range from common, short-term diseases or infections to chronic diseases; and that some of these may be transmitted to others in a school setting. Management of such communicable diseases shall be in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines and the advice of the District Physician.

Per M.G.L. c. 71 §55, a student who exhibits symptoms of or is diagnosed with a communicable disease may be temporarily excluded from school. Furthermore, a student may be excluded if the Hopkinton Board of Health’s regulations require exclusion in situations where a student or someone with whom the student lives is infected with a disease that is dangerous to public health. A student returning after such an exclusion shall provide either a certificate from the Board of Health that the danger of the disease is past, or be examined by the District Physician and determined to be healthy.

Staff members are encouraged to remain out of school if they have a communicable disease that poses a risk of transmission to others in a school setting.

For a student returning after having a communicable disease not covered by the Board of Health regulations, the district reserves the right to require a health care provider’s statement authorizing the student’s return to school. Staff members are required to present a note from their health care provider clearing them to return to work per the requirements of the Employee Handbook or individual collective bargaining agreement.

The educational placement of a student who is diagnosed by a health care provider as having a communicable disease shall be determined on an individual basis in accordance with this policy and administrative procedures. Decisions about the proper educational placement shall be based on the student’s behavior, neurological development, and physical condition; the expected type of interaction with others in a school setting; and the susceptibility to other diseases, and the likelihood of presenting risks to others. The school nurse, with the assistance of the Nurse Leader and District Physician, will regularly review the placement decision to assess and changes in the student’s physical condition or based on new information or research that may warrant a change in a student’s placement.

In the event a student with a communicable disease qualifies for services as a handicapped student under state and/or federal law, the procedures used by the Student Services department for determining the appropriate educational placement in the least restrictive environment shall be used in lieu of the procedures designated above.

Neither this policy nor the placement of a student in any particular program shall preclude the administration from taking any temporary actions including removal of a student from the classroom as deemed necessary to protect the health of students, staff, and others.

In all actions related to this policy, the district shall respect the staff member’s and student’s right to privacy. Only those persons with a need to know shall be informed of the specific nature of the condition. The District Physician and the Superintendent will determine who is in need of this information.

Legal References:

M.G.L. c. 71 §55

School Committee Policies