Health & Safety Information

School Safety Operational Procedures

When children are healthy, they can learn better.

At Kansas City Kansas Public Schools, we are committed to the health and wellness of our students and our community. School Nurses at Kansas City Kansas Public Schools support student learning by promoting health and safety at each preschool, elementary, middle and high school. School nurses function as part of the school’s multidisciplinary team to bridge the gap between health, wellness, and learning.

We have provided answers to some of the most common questions asked about the District’s plans to address the health and safety of our students and staff. KCKPS will maintain a safe and healthy school environment by following best practices and recommendations from the Wyandotte County Public Health Department.

Effective Monday, May 3: Updated Illness and School Exclusion Guidelines

COVID-19 and Maintaining a Healthy School Environment

KCKPS remains committed to doing everything we can to protect the health of our students and staff.  Our goal is to restore and maintain in-person learning for all students while adhering to public health recommendations to protect the health of our students, staff, and community. 

KCKPS continues to work closely with the Unified Government Public Health Department (UGPHD) and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Health and safety guidelines will continue to be updated as new information and guidance becomes available. 

Many safety protocols are in place to limit exposure and transmission of COVID-19 in our schools. Families can help maintain a healthy school environment in the following ways:

  • Students should remain home if they are sick or if they have been exposed to someone who may have COVID-19.
  • Parents are encouraged to check their child’s temperature before they leave home. Children with a temperature of 100.0° F or greater should remain home until they are fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications (Tylenol, Motrin, or generic equivalent) and symptom-free for 48 hours. Students with a temperature greater than 99.0°F may be sent home if they have other symptoms of illness.
  • If your child is sick and you aren’t sure if it’s allergies or a virus, you should keep him or her home. Since the symptoms are similar with both, making sure your child does not spread a virus around school is the right thing to do. 
  • If your child becomes sick at home, please notify the school nurse or attendance secretary of the reason for their absence. This will help the school nurse monitor for an increase in illness among students. 
  • Students ages 5 and older are required to wear a mask or face covering which covers the nose and mouth at all times except while eating, drinking, or sleeping.
  • Update their contact information and designate an emergency contact in case a child becomes ill while at school. Due to the pandemic, sick children must be picked up within 45 minutes of being identified as being ill to avoid exposing others. Parents should have a back-up plan if they cannot pick up their child within 45 minutes. 
  • Students should be up-to-date on their immunization schedules and influenza vaccinations to prevent outbreaks of preventable contagious disease. Students who wish to attend in-person learning but have not met the state requirements for school attendance, at the discretion of the Superintendent, may be subject to exclusion. 
  • If your child is sick and you aren’t sure if it’s allergies or a virus, you should keep him or her home. Since the symptoms are similar with both, making sure your child does not spread a virus around school is the right thing to do. 

There are several symptoms and conditions that would require a child to remain home from school, which can be found in the Parent Handbook. Children exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 without other obvious explanations are prohibited from coming to school, and will be sent home immediately. The current known symptoms are:

  • Fever 
  • Chills or shaking
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Fatigue or extreme tiredness
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea, abdominal pain, or vomiting
  • In children, poor appetite or poor feeding, especially in babies under 1 year old

Illness and School Exclusion Guidelines

Wyandotte County school guidelines require that students with any symptom of illness must be tested for COVID before they may return to school. If your child becomes ill at school, the school nurse can administer a free saliva COVID-19 test with parent consent. Test results are typically available in 24-48 hours. These are the same test kits available through the Health Department.

    • Tests are also FREE at the Wyandotte County testing sites: 
  • Former KMart at 7836 State Avenue, 
  • Former Best Buy at 10500 Parallel Parkway
  • The Armory at 100 S 20th St. 
  • Testing sites are open Monday through Friday, but occasionally are closed on Monday if there is a Saturday clinic. Check the WyCo Health Dept COVID-19 Hub for the most accurate info. 
  • If the test is negative, they can return when they are free of all symptoms for 48 hours or 2 days, without fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
  • Absences will be excused, but students are encouraged to participate in remote learning if they are able to. A school nurse will contact you to let you know what date they may return.
  • Per Wyandotte County school guidelines, if your child is positive or you do not get them tested, they must stay home for 10 days from the first day of symptoms. 
  • Their absence will be excused during this period of time.  Students are encouraged to participate in remote learning if they are able to. A school nurse will contact you to let you know what date they may return.

We want to remind you that you can find all safety protocols in place to limit exposure and transmission of COVID-19 in the Parent and Student Handbook. To read more information, please go to https://kckps.org/parent-student-handbook/ . If you have additional questions please reach out to us. 

COVID Flyer

Is it COVID or Is It Allergies?

Is it allergies or COVID?

Click Here to download an informative PDF on COVID vs. Allergies symptoms.

This is the time of year that many people struggle with seasonal allergies. How can they distinguish those symptoms from COVID-19?

For kids and adults with seasonal allergies, this is the time of year when they may be experiencing respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing and coughing. Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in adults and children and can look like symptoms of other common illnesses such as colds, strep throat, or allergies. Allergies and viral symptoms can be similar but there are some key differences. For example, think about the timeline. Does your child always have problems this time of the year? Think about or have your pediatrician check back to see if your child came in for a visit the same time last year with the same symptoms.

  • Itchy, runny nose, sneezing,
  • coughing
  • Itchy, watery eyes. Redness
  • Itchy, sensitive skin, rash or hives– swelling
  • Shortness of breath, cough,
  • wheeze, chest tightness

Second, check for fever. Allergies do not cause fever, but it could be a COVID-19 symptom, along with these other symptoms that can appear 2-14 days after a COVID-19 exposure:

  • Cough
  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Congestion or runny nose

 

Last, check if your child is itchy. Children with allergies are typically rubbing their eyes or noses more, especially during this time of year. It’s important to speak with your pediatrician about all of the symptoms your child is experiencing. Because some of the symptoms of COVID-19 and seasonal allergies are similar, it may be difficult to tell the difference between them, and you may need to get a test to confirm your diagnosis.

If someone has a history of seasonal allergies, what should they do to avoid them being sent home from school for these symptoms?

Many symptoms of seasonal allergies overlap with COVID-19 symptoms. Both conditions can cause:

  • Congestion
  • Runny Nose
  • Coughing
  • Sore Throat
  • Fatigue
  • Headache

 

If your child is sick and you aren’t sure if it’s allergies or a virus, you should keep him or her home. Since the symptoms are similar with both, making sure your child does not spread a virus around school is the right thing to do. Many kids are prescribed or given over-the-counter antihistamines for their seasonal allergies. Most families don’t give it every day or during the winter since the allergy symptoms aren’t present. Speak with your pediatrician first, but as pollen/allergy season approaches your child’s physician might suggest giving your child his or her medicines regularly before the season starts and throughout to help minimize the symptoms.

What else can families do to help decrease allergy symptoms?

You can reduce your child's seasonal allergy symptoms by limiting their exposure to pollens. Take steps to minimize allergy symptoms, including:

  • Staying indoors and keeping windows and doors closed during the peak pollen season
  • Using a HEPA filter
  • Vacuuming frequently
  • Washing clothes and bathing after spending time outdoors
  • Washing cloth masks after each use as the mask might carry pollen particles
  • Using an over-the-counter saline nasal rinse or spray (to flush out pollens)
  • Wearing a mask might also prevent kids from inhaling some of the larger pollen particles that can trigger allergy symptoms. 

 

Taking these simple steps may be even more helpful during the pandemic, as any cough or congestion can be cause for concern.

Symptoms of allergies and mild COVID-19 infections can be similar. How can we know for sure if it is allergies or COVID-19?

If your child has an alternative diagnosis of seasonal allergies and your child is experiencing allergy symptoms, it’s best to speak with your school nurse before sending them to school. Symptoms of allergies and mild COVID-19 infections can be similar, and it can be hard to distinguish between the two without testing. In most cases, testing will be advised and can be done at school by the school nurse, free of charge.  Results are typically available within 24-48 hours. Parent consent is required.

 

If your child does not have an alternative diagnosis of allergies, your child must be tested for COVID-19 or remain at home for 10 days. If their test is negative, they should stay at home until symptoms go away for 48 hours. They must also be fever-free for 48 hours without Tylenol or other fever-reducing medication before returning to school. Speak with the school nurse if you have questions about when your child can return to school. Your child’s absence will be excused, but your child is encouraged to participate in remote learning if they are able to.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#People-with-Seasonal-Allergies

https://www.childrens.com/health-wellness/fight-seasonal-allergies

https://www.hopkinsallchildrens.org/Patients-Families/Coronavirus-(COVID-19)

 

Health & Safety Reopening of Schools Questions

What actions can I take at home to help prevent my family and my child from contracting COVID-19?

Coronaviruses, including COVID-19, spread between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) via coughing or sneezing. It may also spread by touching a surface or object with the virus on it. The same good health habits that prevent other viruses like the flu also prevent the spread of COVID-19 and decrease the risk of getting sick:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, with 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available.
  • Wear a cloth face covering or a mask in public spaces to prevent the spread of droplets that carry the virus.
  • Practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cough into a tissue or your elbow (not your hand), then throw tissue away and wash your hands.
  • Keep students home if they are running a temperature or they report not feeling well or appear weak or ill.
  • Consult your health care provider if you or your child has health conditions that put you at increased risk.
Will students and staff members be required to wear a face mask?

All students and staff members must wear a mask or cloth face covering while inside and in outdoor groups at all times. Masks must be worn outdoors when 6ft distance cannot be maintained. Masks may be removed temporarily while eating, drinking, and sleeping.

Does everyone have to wear a mask, or are there exceptions?

Some people are exempt from wearing masks for health, safety, or accessibility reasons. Exemptions include:

  • Those who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Children younger than five years old. Please note: the CDC recommends masks for anyone over the age of two. Children under age two should never wear face coverings due to the risk of suffocation
  • People with medical conditions, mental health conditions, or disabilities that prevent wearing a face covering. This includes individuals for whom a face covering would obstruct breathing, and people who are unable to remove a face covering without assistance. Contact your health care provider regarding medical exemptions. Documentation is required.
  • Those participating in solitary outdoor exercise where 6 foot social distancing can be guaranteed are exempt.
My child has a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. Will they need a doctor’s note so they do not have to wear a mask?

Speak with your child’s medical provider to determine if your child’s condition requires special precautions to attend in-person school. Your child’s school nurse will need documentation from a medical provider if accommodations are being requested.

My child has asthma. Can they wear a mask? What happens if they have an asthma attack at school?

People who have asthma can protect themselves and others from COVID-19 by wearing a mask or face covering. It is especially important to keep your child’s asthma under optimal control. Students who are experiencing acute asthma attacks should not attend school without approval by a medical provider. The school nurse must have a new Asthma Action Plan on file for 2020-2021. A new Medication Authorization and Treatment form and a new inhaler and spacer should be brought to the school nurse by appointment prior to the first day of in-person class. The use of nebulized medications should be avoided, especially in a school setting. The use of an inhaler with a spacer is the preferred method of inhaled medication delivery. Please speak with your child’s medical provider and the school nurse about your child’s asthma prior to the first day of in-person class.

Since my child is attending school remotely, do they still need their immunizations?

Yes. Please continue to focus on your child’s immunizations just as you would for in-person learning. State immunization requirements have not been waived for the 2020-2021 school year. Families are encouraged to make an appointment with their medical provider or the health department so they are compliant with state requirements by the first day of school.

Should my child get a flu shot this year?

Students should be up to date on their immunization schedule and their annual flu vaccination to prevent outbreaks of preventable contagious disease.

When in-person class resumes, will students have their temperatures taken?

Parents are advised to take their child’s temperature and observe their child for any symptoms of illness each morning. If a child has any one symptom of illness, including a temperature above 99.0F they should remain at home. Students will have a temperature screening when they enter their school and at any time when their health status may be of concern.

What are symptoms for which my child should stay home from school?

There are several symptoms and conditions that would require a child to remain home from school, which can be found in the Parent Handbook. Children exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 without other obvious explanations are prohibited from coming to school, and will be sent home immediately. The current known symptoms are:

  • Fever (we will use 99.0oF as a sign of possible illness)
  • Chills or shaking
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Fatigue or extreme tiredness
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea, abdominal pain, or vomiting
  • The following symptoms are concerning for a complication of a previous exposure of infection of COVID-19 known as Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS). Children with the following symptoms of PMIS should not attend school. Parents should contact their child’s doctor or primary care provider for further guidance and evaluation:
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Skin rash—diffuse, red rash that may be on the inside of the mouth, the inside of eyes, on the palms of hands, or on the soles of the feet
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Feeling extra tired
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Neck pain
What happens if my child is sick at school or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19?

Teachers will monitor students for signs and symptoms of illness at school as they have in the past. If your child does not feel well or shows signs of illness, they will be sent to the school nurse for an assessment. If they are identified as having symptoms, you will be contacted for immediate pick-up from school. Due to the pandemic, sick children must be picked up within 45 minutes of being identified as being ill. Parents should have a back-up plan if they cannot pick up their child within 45 minutes. Your child will be placed in a separate area and will wear a mask until they are picked up. This is for the protection and health of your child and those caring for him/her. We recommend that you contact your child’s medical provider and follow their specific guidance regarding next steps.

What if my child has been tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting test results?

A child who is awaiting test results must be excluded from in-person school and must stay home until results are
available.

What if my child has tested positive for COVID-19?

If a student/child has tested positive for COVID-19, the parent must notify the school of the positive result and must be excluded from in-person school for 10 days since symptoms first appeared and remain fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, whichever is longer. Siblings and other household members must quarantine for a minimum of 14 days and will be excluded from in-person school.

Please note, in accordance with state and local laws and regulations, schools are required to notify the local health department immediately of any case of COVID-19. For the safety of our staff and students, if your child or another family member receives a positive COVID-19 test result, do not send them to school.

What is my child has tested negative for COVID-19?
  • If a child has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, they must complete the 14-day quarantine before they can return to school.
  • If a child has not been identified as a close contact and does not have any symptoms, they may return to school.
  • If a child has symptoms of illness, but received a negative test result, they may return when they are free of all symptoms and are fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
What if my child has symptoms of illness but does not get tested for COVID-19?

They may return when ten (10) calendar days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and they have been fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, whichever is longer.

What if someone in our home has tested positive?

If someone in your home is confirmed as having COVID-19, household family members, including children, will be required quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact. It is important for the positive person to isolate within the home, because the 14-day quarantine period for household contacts begins once the case is released from isolation by the health department.

Please note, in accordance with state and local laws and regulations, schools are required to notify the local health department immediately of any case of COVID-19. For the safety of our staff and students, if your child or another family member receives a positive COVID-19 test result, do not send them to school.

What isolation and quarantine procedures will KCKPS follow?

KCKPS will follow quarantine and isolation guidelines as recommended by the Wyandotte County Health Department.

What happens if there is a positive case of COVID-19 in a school or district building?

If a person is identified as being positive for COVID-19, the school nurse and principal will begin contact tracing to determine if there are close contacts who need to quarantine for 14 days. Student and staff confidentiality will be protected in accordance with HIPPAA and FERPA laws. Custodial Services will be notified to perform cleaning of any exposed areas. In accordance with state and local laws and regulations, the Health Services Coordinator will notify the local health department immediately of any case of COVID-19. In all situations, the Health Services Coordinator and the Wyandotte County Health Department will be consulted as the final decision-makers regarding COVID-19 related decisions.

Forms

2020-2021 Student Health Form
SPANISH 2020-2021 Student Health History Form

Online Resources

ReStart Wyco
KSDE
CDC