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A Letter from the Clarke Nurses
A Letter from the Clarke Nurses
Cheri McCann & Andrea Miller
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Dear Clarke families,

As you know, the 2020-2021 school year will be different than previous school years, and we will be redefining what a “normal” school day looks like. Returning to school in the fall of 2020 poses many new challenges for Clarke Community Schools, including implementing mitigation measures (e.g., social distancing, requiring the use of cloth masks when social distancing is not possible, increased cleaning and disinfection regimens, increased education on health hygiene practices, etc.), addressing social, emotional, and mental health needs of both students and staff, preparing for the probability of COVID-19 cases in the school community, just to name a few. As always, our main goal is to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of our students and staff as we prepare to educate students this fall. As said many times, this is a fluid and flexible situation that can change at any point. We will continue to take direction from the CDC, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Department of Education and our local public health agencies.

Along with all of these efforts come other important updates. Below are a few reminders and some changes the health staff want to make you aware regarding the health office:

  1. Medications should be given at home whenever possible, especially morning and/or once a day medications. Please refer to CCSD Medication Administration Policy. Prescriptions will need to be brought to the school by a parent/guardian and a doctor’s order is mandatory for this medication to be administered. Appointments need to be made to meet with the school nurse in person to discuss any other questions or concerns. Masks will be required for these meetings as well as social distancing measures.

  2. Nebulizer treatments are considered an aerosol-generating procedure, and it is uncertain at this time whether aerosols generated by this treatment are potentially infectious.  Therefore, nebulizer treatments needed to deliver asthma medication will not be done at school.  These will need to be switched to a metered dose inhaler or dry powder inhaler, preferably with a spacer.  Please call your physician and discuss this change if need be.  The physician is always welcomed and encouraged to contact the school nurse to collaborate on the needs of the student.

  3. Limitations on the amount of over the counter (OTC) medications administered will be in place given they can “mask” a fever and/or headache or other symptoms.  Also, after 5 doses of OTC medications are given within a school year, the parent will be notified and a physician’s note will be required for the student to continue receiving OTC medication at school.  

  4. There are currently no exemptions (other than religious and medical) for required immunizations. These need to be done before the first day of school. This is Iowa law and a student is not allowed to attend until this requirement is met. This pertains to preschool, kindergarten, 7th and 12th grade students. Please call your child’s primary care physician to verify immunization status and make an appointment with them if need be to get the student up to date. Clarke Co. Public Health also offers an immunization clinic on Wednesdays , but you must make an appointment with them beforehand.  August 19th they will be taking appointments until 7pm.  Their phone number is 641-342-3724.

  5. Students who are ill should not attend school in person. Monitor your student each morning for signs of illness. The CDC has created an easy to use tracker sheet, that is attached below. Our Clarke staff will also be using this same form to monitor for illness each day before attending work.  Please utilize this each morning to make sure your child is not exhibiting any symptoms of illness.

  6. To ensure the health and safety of our staff and students, our secretaries will be asking a few questions about your student’s illness when you call to report them absent in the morning. Please take the time to answer these.

  7. We will be collaborating on a continual basis with Clarke County Public Health. 

  8. Per CDC and Public Health guidelines, any student who exhibits Covid-like signs/symptoms will be immediately placed in an isolation area. Due to the wide range of signs and symptoms of Covid-19, and for the safety of all, many students will be sent home. Ill students can return after following school policy and/or have met guidelines recommended by the CDC/Public Health. Ill students will be encouraged to talk with their primary care provider for medical advice.

  9. Clarke Community School will follow guidelines from the CDC and Public Health regarding students who have possible or confirmed Covid-19 or possible Covid-19 exposure or is a close contact to a positive Covid-19 case while maintaining confidentiality. 

  10. Upon returning to school after Covid-19, you and your student will need to check in with the school nurse prior to re-entry to ensure that the CDC/Public Health guidelines have been met. 

  11. Please have several emergency contacts updated and on file for your student and have an emergency contact who is able to pick up your student in 30 minutes or less if you are unable to. 

  12.  If your student has any increased health risk factors or is considered immunocompromised please contact the school nurse before school starts to discuss and review your student’s medical condition and to develop a health plan. It is important to discuss your student’s medical concerns with their primary care provider before starting school. 

  13. In our effort to keep everyone healthy, Clarke School District is following quarantine and isolation guidelines set by the CDC and Clarke County Public Health. Please be aware that beginning August 11th 2020, if your student comes in close contact (within 6ft for 15 mins or greater) with a positive COVID 19 individual, the 14 day quarantine will affect your student's school start date. Please contact the school nurse to discuss your student's altered first day of school should this occur.

Please feel free to contact Andrea Miller, Elementary School Nurse, Cheri McCann, Middle School/High School Nurse, or any member of the Clarke administration staff if you have any questions. As stated, this is a fluid situation and expectations, guidelines, requirements, etc. can change from day to day. Please remember that we will continue to keep your student as safe as we possibly can, but there is no scenario where we can guarantee 100% that your student will not become ill. We ask that you talk to your student about precautions they can take at school to help keep them healthy, e.g. washing and sanitizing their hands, wearing a cloth face covering, socially distancing themselves from others, etc. (attached is some information for you to use with your student). Children model what they see, and you are their biggest role model!

Basic Information:

Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease

How to Protect Yourself and Others

10 things you can do to manage your COVID-19 symptoms at home

Slow the Spread

Cover Your Sneezes

Handwashing Links:

Stay Healthy Wash Your Hands

Handwashing Facts

What You Need to Know About Handwashing.

Hooray for Handwashing -hand washing hygiene for preschoolers

Mask Wearing/Usage Links:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.html

How to Safely Wear and Take Off a Cloth Face Covering

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/coronavirus-masks.html- helping kids get used to masks

 - kids video about wearing a mask

https://www.unitypoint.org/article.aspx?id=cf664b3f-d52b-44f4-a0c6-61f9e41d474f&8+Ways+to+Help+Kids+Adjust+to+Face+Masks+(Infographic

CDC Underlying Health Conditions Link:

cov/need-extra-precautions/evidence-table.html- CDC health risk categories


Parents: Please complete this short check-list each morning and report your child’s information to your respective building in the morning if your child presents with any of these symptoms.