DPS students, staff asked to monitor, report health

Dickinson Public Schools Central Administration office. (Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press)

As part of the draft of its plan to reopen schools, which was released for feedback last Friday, the Dickinson Public School District is asking its staff and students monitor their health this fall.

As they prepare for school each day, staff and students should ask themselves whether they have any of the following symptoms not attributed to another condition: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.

If they do have any of those symptoms, the district says they should not go to school and contact their healthcare provider to determine if they should be tested for COVID-19.

If a student has tested positive for COVID-19 or was advised by their healthcare provider to stay home, the district is asking that the student's parents not send their child to school until he or she has been quarantined for at least 10 days after they first exhibited symptoms and at least three days after symptoms have improved — except in the instance in which the healthcare provider has diagnosed the child with a different illness and thus cleared them to return to school.

If a student tests positive, his or her parents should also notify the school of results and follow guidance by their healthcare provider regarding isolation and contract tracing.


Personnel from the school the student attends should tell a supervisor about the positive result. The supervisor then should contact local health officials and assist them with contract tracing.

According to the plan, the district will "coordinate efforts to communicate to staff, students, and parents the possible exposure to COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Americans with Disability Act (ADA)."

Also under the plan, children who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should stay home from school until they have been quarantined for 14 days and experience no symptoms. The plan defines "close contact" as being within six feet for more than 15 minutes.

In a letter sent to parents by the district, Dickinson Public Schools asked parents to ensure they have access to a thermometer at home for student and employee health screening practices, ensure their contact information is up-to-date in PowerSchool, ensure their children are up-to-date on vaccinations and use safety precautions throughout the summer.

The reopening plan, which is currently in draft form, will be finalized and given to the school board for approval prior to the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

Kayla Henson is a former Dickinson Press reporter.
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