Health Services » Communicable Diseases / Exclusions from School

Communicable Diseases / Exclusions from School

West Independent School District
Communicable Disease 
Exclusion from School for Health Reasons 

To protect all students as well as our faculty and staff from communicable diseases, students infected with certain diseases are not allowed to attend school while they are contagious. We ask that you follow these policies. The student may return to school after they are symptom and fever free for 24 hours, have been diagnosed and treated by their health care professional and submits a signed doctor’s note stating that he/she is not contagious.
The guidelines below have been developed for the exclusion of students who have communicable or contagious diseases. These regulations are in compliance with the requirements of the Texas Department of State Health Services, health.
REMEMBER- Parent/Doctor's note MUST be turned into the School Office within 72 hours from first date of absence in order to be excused.  (Weekend days do not count). Note turned into school office after 72 hours is considered an unexcused absences. 
 1.   A student with any of the following symptoms will be excluded from school until such time as the student is free of symptoms, has been satisfactorily treated or submits a signed physician’s statement that he/she is not contagious.
  • Temperature of 100.4 degrees or more. Student must be fever free for 24 hours, without medication, before re-entry.
  • Pain and/or swelling at angle of jaw.
  • Undetermined rash over any part of the body.
  • Undiagnosed scaly patches on the body or scalp.
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Student must be symptom free for 24 hours without medication before re-entry.
  • Red, draining eyes.
  • Intense itching with signs and symptoms of secondary infection.
  • Open, draining lesions.
  • Jaundice
2.  The Principal or his/her designee, in collaboration with the school nurse, will notify parents that the student must be excluded for medical reasons.
3.  It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to transport the student from school to his/her home.
4.  For readmission, some diseases may require a statement from the student’s physician affirming that the student is not contagious.

 For more information:
Health Services / Communicable Diseases / Exclusions from School

  • FEVER(100.4 or higher)—keep child at home until fever free for 24 hours without the use of Tylenol, Advil or any other analgesic.
  • VOMITING/DIARRHEA—student may return to school when totally symptom free and fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication.
  • CHICKENPOX—student may return to school seven days after onset of rash and/or when all blisters are crusted over.
  • STREP THROAT/SCARLET FEVER—student may return to school after antibiotic treatment has begun and they are fever free for 24 hours. Diagnosis per doctor is requested.
  • INFLUENZA—vaccine is available and highly recommended for children with certain chronic diseases. Student may return to school after fever free for 24 hours.
  • FIFTH’S DISEASE—student should see a health care provider to rule out measles and rubella. If fever is present, may return to school when fever free for 24 hours. NOTIFY THE SCHOOL NURSE SO THAT ANY PREGNANT FACULTY OR STAFF MAY BE NOTIFIED OF EXPOSURE.
  • CONJUNCTIVITIS (Pink Eye)—may return to school with a note from their health care provider and after treatment has been started.
  • IMPETIGO—may return to school with a note form their health care provider and after antibiotic treatment has been started. Keep lesions covered.
  • LICE-may return to school after treatment with a medicated shampoo. Proof of treatment is required and will be checked by the school nurse. At home, launder all clothing and linens; check family members and treat if necessary.
  • RINGWORM, SCABIES-may return to school after 24 hours of treatment. Proof of treatment is required and will be checked by the school nurse when the student returns to school. At home, launder all clothing and linens; check family members and treat if necessary.
Notes for prevention:
  • Cover mouth and nose with arm and/or elbow when sneezing and coughing.
  • Teach the importance of hand washing, especially before meals, after using the restroom and after blowing their nose, sneezing or coughing.
  • If your child has any complaints of illness, please take their temperature before sending them to school and follow the fever guidelines listed above.
  • If there is not a fever present, please send a note or notify the school nurse so that your child may be checked during the day as needed and medicate before sending to school with an appropriate over the counter medication for the complaints voiced by your child.
  • If medication needs to be given at school, please send the medication with a written note or medication dispense form completed and signed.
  • If your child is diagnosed with a contagious disease, please have the health care provider’s office give you a note stating the disease and when to return to school.
  • Please contact the school nurse or principal’s office if you have any questions or medical concerns about your child.
  Chicken Pox / Varicella
  • Most cases of chicken pox these days are very mild in children who have been vaccinated against varicella.  It is best to consult your physician if you suspect chicken pox.  Your child must remain at home until all of the lesions (pox) are crusted over and there can be no new eruption of lesions in the last 24 hours.  He / she must also be fever free for at least 24 hours. This process generally takes about 5 days.  Your physician may require a longer period of isolation.  A doctor’s note is recommended. 

    Parent Fact Sheet / Chickenpox and the Vaccine (Shot) to Prevent


 Managing the Flu Season Together 
  • Flu season is typically from October thru mid-May. Preparation is the key. Management is a team effort between parents, students, health care professionals, West ISD and Mclennan  County Health Department. Each plays a vital role in managing the flu season responsibly.

    West ISD Schools Help by:

    • Teaching and encouraging proper hand washing technique.
    • Teaching effective coughing and sneeze technique such as cough in your sleeve.
    • Posting signs around the campus as a visual reminder.
    • Offering free flu vaccine to all staff.
    • Encouraging all staff to remain home when ill.


    Parents help by:

    • Having their families vaccinated against the flu.
    • Encouraging proper hand, sneeze and cough techniques be used at home.
    • Consulting their health care providers when flu-like illness symptoms begin. Flu like symptoms include: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, fatigue and nasal congestion.
    • Keeping their children home when ill.


    Students help by:

    • Washing their hands for twenty seconds with soap and water before and after eating, after sneezing or coughing into their hands, after using the restroom, after playing outdoors, and any other time their hands are dirty.
    • Using Kleenex to sneeze and coughing into their sleeves.
    • Not sharing food and drink.
    • Encouraging others to do the same.


    McLennan County Health Department can help when:

    • Increased incidences of diagnosed flu or absences related to flu like illness are noted in a particular school.
    • Helping plan and making suggestions for managing increased incidences in a particular area.


    More information can be found on the following government sites:

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus “MRSA”
Staphylococcus aureus “Staph” is a bacteria commonly found on the skin or in the nose of healthy people. In the United States,, Staph bacteria are the most common cause of skin infections, causing pimples, boils and abscesses. Rarely, Staph can cause more serious infections leading to pneumonia or blood infections.
Some Staph bacteria have become resistant to common antibiotics, such as penicillin. These more potent bacteria are called “Methicillin-resistant.” In the past, these bacteria were found almost exclusively in hospitals. Recently, “MRSA” is being seen more and more in community settings, and is called community-associated MRSA, or CA-MRSA.
CA-MRSA usually develops as a skin infection such as a boil or abscess. Often, people describe the initial lesion as a “spider bite.” The involved area is swollen and red, painful and pus may be present. The lesion will often get worse until proper treatment is begun.
MRSA is usually spread through direct skin-to-skin contact between an infected person and another individual, often on contaminated hands. Factors related to transmitting staph from one person to another include:
Poor hygiene, especially lack of hand washing
  • Close physical contact and crowded conditions
  • Sharing personal products
  • Contaminated laundry
  • Shaving
  • Lancing (puncturing/picking/piercing) boils with fingernails or tweezers
  • Activities that result in burns, cuts or abrasions or require sharing equipment
  • Intravenous drug use, unsanitary tattoos, and body piercing
  • Inadequate access to proper medical care
Meningitis Awareness

  • Information regarding bacterial meningitis is available online from the CDC . The CDC recommends the meningococcal vaccine for all 11 and 12 year olds.

    Information from the CDC

    This is current information on the increased risk of meningitis for children who receive cochlear implants
Pertussis - AKA Whooping Cough

Tuberculosis Awareness
 Clean Hands - A Critical Issue
  • Protect yourself and your children from infection. Use the hand hygiene guidelines below, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent or reduce the rate of infection. These simple guidelines can be easily adapted to the school environment and carried through in the home environment.


    Hand hygiene for yourself and your children should occur:

    • Upon arrival at school
    • Immediately before and after eating
    • After using the toilet
    • After contacting any body fluids, including wet or soiled diapers, runny noses, spit, or vomit
    • After handling pets, pet cages, or other pet objects
    • Whenever hands are visibly dirty or after cleaning
    • After removing gloves used for any purpose
    • Before giving or applying medication or ointment
    • Before going home


    Recommended Hand Hygiene Techniques:

    • Handwashing - Wet hands with water first, apply soap, and rub hands together for at least 15 seconds. Rinse and dry with disposable towel. Use towel to turn off the faucet.
    • Alcohol-based hand rubs/gels - Application is the key. Apply to palm of one hand. Rub hands together covering all surfaces until dry. The volume used is based on the manufacturer. Let it dry!