Is My Student Well Enough to Go to School?


Many students and parents/guardians are frequently concerned about when students should stay home or attend school. The following information is intended to help with this decision.

General Guidelines:

If the student:

  • Has a fever of 100° degrees or more, the student should stay home for 24 hours after the temperature returns to normal without fever reducing medication.
  • Has vomited or has had diarrhea, the student should stay home until 24 hours after the last episode.
  • Has a rash that may be disease-related or the cause is unknown, check with health care provider before sending student to school.
  • Has an illness, keep the student home and call the school daily to report the symptoms for Influenza tracking and attendance purposes.


If you have any questions, please call the school’s health office or your family health care provider.






Chicken PoxFever and skin rash that comes in
Rash begins on the chest, back, under
arms, neck and face, changing to
blisters and then scabs.
Usually 13-17 days
following exposure,
but can be as long as 21 days.


Excluded from school until blisters have dried into
scabs and there have been no new lesions for 24
hours, usually about 6 days after rash first appears.
Notify health office if diagnosed.

Chicken pox spreads very easily from person to person by direct contact with fluid from blisters or through the air
when an infected person coughs or

Blisters (Herpes

Cold sores appear on the lips and face,
and sometimes in the mouth. Sores
usually crust and heal within a few
May be confused with impetigo.
 2-12 daysYes.
No exclusion is necessary for mild sores in children
who are in control of their mouth secretions.
The virus is transmitted by direct contact with infected persons.

Common Cold

Runny nose, sneezing, chills,
tiredness, fever, muscle aches, sore
throat, and cough that may last 2-7
Colds: 1-3 days
Other respiratory
illness: up to 10 days
Yes, unless fever is present.
Exclude from school until student is fever free for 24 hours and is well enough to participate in normal daily activities.
Different viruses spread directly
through coughing and sneezing and
from direct contact with a person who
is infected.

Fifth Disease

Rarely any symptoms other than a rash that begins on the cheeks, and
then later can be seen on the arms
and/or chest.
 4-14 daysYes.
No exclusion necessary unless fever is present.
Spread through contact with infected
respiratory secretions.

Hand, Foot and
Mouth Disease

Sores occur in the mouth, and may
last 7-10 days. In most cases, sores are on the palms of the hands, fingers, and soles of the feet. A low-grade
fever may be present for 1-2 days.
 Usually 3-5 daysNO.
Exclude until no fever for 24 hours and blisters have dried into scabs.
Spread through contact with nose and throat drainage and stool of infected persons.

Head Lice

Itching of the scalp. Look for live lice
in the hair and small nits (eggs)
attached to the hair near the scalp.
Nits hatch in 6-10
days. Re-infestation
can occur if nits are
not thoroughly
Exclude from school until the first treatment is
completed and no live lice are seen.
Student must be checked by health office on return
to school.
Transmitted primarily by direct contact with an infested person, or through combs, brushes, bedding, headwear, hair ornaments, helmets and sleeping bags.


Blister-like sores that form an oozing, sticky, yellow crust. Itching is often present. 1-10 daysNO.
Exclude from school until 24 hours after antibiotic
treatment begins.
Spread by direct contact with an
infected person or with nose or throat

Influenza Like
Illness (ILI)

Sudden onset of fever, headache,
muscle pain, body aches, cough and
sore throat.
 1-7 daysNO.
Exclude from school until no fever for 24 hours and student is well enough to participate in normal activities.
Spread directly through coughing,
sneezing and contact with nose or
throat secretions.


Fever, sore throat, tiredness and
swollen glands in the neck. A rash
may be present.
 4-6 weeksYes, unless fever is present.
Exclude from school until the student is well
enough to participate in normal activities.
Spread from person to person through
saliva, direct contact and kissing.

Pink Eye

Bacterial: The white part of the eye
is pink or red with pus or sticky drainage. The eyes are painful or itchy.

Viral: The white part of the eye is pink with clear, watery discharge.
The eyes may or may not be painful or itchy.
 1-3 days

No exclusions are recommended, unless the child has a fever or is not healthy enough to participate in routine activities. Antibiotics or a note from a health care provider are not required. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends considering conjunctivitis like the common cold--both diseases are easily spread among children and both resolve without treatment.

Most infections are due to viruses.
May be spread through direct contact, hand to eye. 


Appears as flat, spreading ring-shaped lesions.

The edge of the lesion may be dry and scaly or moist and crusty.

As the lesion spreads outward, the center often becomes clear.

Ringworm on the scalp may be hard to detect.

4-14 days


Exclude from school until 24 hours after treatment begins.

Lesions should be covered with clothing or a bandaid while the student is in school.

Spread by contact with an infected person, animal or contaminated articles.


Rash with intense itching that may be more severe at night. Look for a rash of pink bumps or tiny blisters commonly seen between fingers, around wrists, elbows and armpits.

2-6 weeks


Exclude from school until 24 hours after treatment begins

Mite is transferred by direct contact with skin or through shared bedding, towels, and clothing of a person with scabies.

Strep Throat and Scarlet Fever

May have sudden onset of fever, sore throat, swollen glands, headache, nausea, stomachache or vomiting.

Scarlet fever: A very fine raised rash is present on the neck, chest, elbow, groin, thighs and armpits.

1-3 days


If positive for Strep, exclude from school until 12 hours after antibiotic treatment begins, and student is fever free for 24 hours, and student is well enough to participate in normal activities.

Streptococcal bacteria are spread directly from the nose and throat discharges of infected persons.

Whooping Cough


Begins with runny nose, sneezing, mild cough and low grade fever. After 1-2 weeks, a persistent cough develops which may occur in explosive bursts. Coughing attacks occur more frequently at night.

4-21 days


Exclude from school until 5 days after antibiotic treatment begins.

Notify health office if diagnosed

Spread by coughing and sneezing.