Communicable Disease Control------------------File:JGCC

I.          Purpose 


A.  Good health and safety are essential to student learning.  The education and monitoring of communicable diseases during the school year is necessary to keep students healthy and learning.  The knowledge of standard/universal precautions, transmission, prevention and treatment of communicable diseases will enhance health education, prevention and equality for all. 

B.  The objective of this policy is to allow for procedures to be in place for detectionof potential communicable diseases, inclusion and exclusion, standard/universal precautions and enhancement of knowledge to ensure preventative measures occur for students and school personnel.  This policy will assist in developing a workingrelationship with school personnel, parents/guardians, the students’ medical home and the local health department while decreasing duplication of health services offered by the school and the medical home and/or the community serving the students. 


II.        Disease Prevention Measures 


A.  It is best practice to wash the hands with soap and clean running water for twenty seconds.  However, if soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based product to clean the hands.  Alcohol-based hand rubs significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and are fast acting.  Good hand hygiene is the single most effective procedure to prevent the spread of communicable disease in the school setting.  An allowance for hand washing should be incorporated into the daily routine of all students in Pocahontas County public schools, especially before eating, after blowing the nose, coughing, or sneezing, after going to the bathroom and as deemed necessary by the school. 


B.  Students must be in compliance with the required immunization schedule as set forth by the WVDHHR State Health Officer.  The WVDHHR State Health Officer, or his/her designee (local health officer) shall make the final determination in cases in which an authorized medical practitioner’s written medical exemption is challenged by school personnel as inappropriate or invalid.  The immunization record shall be entered and reviewed annually into the West Virginia Education Information System (WVEIS).


1.   All children entering prekindergarten (Pre-k), kindergarten and a West Virginia public school for the first time must have immunizations and show proof upon enrollment as defined by W.Va. Code §16-3-4.  All Pre-k students shall also meet requirements in West Virginia Board of Education Policy 2525, West Virginia’s Universal Access to a Quality Early Education System. 

2.   It is strongly recommended that students entering grades six and nine receive adolescent immunizations as defined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WVDHHR State Health Officer.  The immunization record for each student in grades six and nine shall be entered into the West Virginia Education Information System (WVEIS) in order to ensure that updated immunization information is readily available to health officials in the event of a communicable disease outbreak that presents an imminent danger to students or other members of the community.


C.  Instruction on the principle modes by which communicable diseases, including, but not limited to, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) are prevented, spread and transmitted shall be taught to students as outlined in West Virginia Board of Education Policy 2520.5, Health Content Standards and Objectives.  An opportunity shall be afforded to the parent or guardian of a child subject to instruction in the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases to examine the course curriculum requirements and materials to be used in such instruction. The parent or guardian may exempt such child from participation in such instruction by giving notice to that effect in writing to the school principal as set forth in W. Va. Code §18-2-9. 

D.  An educational inservice on the prevention, transmission and treatment of current communicable diseases shall include, but not limited to, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), shall be provided to all school personnel every two years by the county boards of education, as specified in W. Va. Code §§ 18-2-9 and 18-5-15d. 


III.       Disease Control Measures 


A.  Distinctions will be made related to diseases that are communicable in the school setting versus those known not to be spread by casual contact e.g. AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and other like diseases. 

B.  Each reported case of disease known not to be spread by casual contact will be validated by a designated individual such as a school nurse. 

C.  The administrator or school nurse shall exclude from the school any pupil or pupils known to have or suspected of having any infectious disease known to be spread by casual contact and is considered to be a health threat to the school population. The superintendent has the authority to exclude a staff member from school when reliable evidence or information from a qualified source confirms him/her of having a potential communicable disease that is known to be spread by any form of casual contact and is considered a health threat to the school population.  Such a student or staff member shall be excluded in accordance with guidelines of American Academy of Pediatrics and WVDHHR unless his/her physician approves school attendance and the condition is no longer considered contagious.  All reportable communicable diseases will be referred to the county health department, without disclosure of personally identifiable information, as set forth in West Virginia Bureau for Public Health Legislative Rule 64CSR7, Reportable Diseases, Events and Conditions.  The county health department is able to provide reportable communicable disease guidance or go to 

D.  Mandatory screening for communicable diseases that are known not to be spread by casual contact is not warranted as a condition for school entry or for employment or continued employment, nor is it legal based on W. Va. Code §16-3C-l.  All screenings performed in the public school setting should be age appropriate deemed effective and necessary through evidence-based and scientific researched-based practice utilizing standard procedures and with the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), 20 U.S.C. §1232h.  W. Va. Code §18-5-22 allows county boards to provide proper medical and dental inspections for all students attending school and gives authority to take any other necessary actions to protect students from infectious diseases. 

E.   Irrespective of the disease presence, standard/universal precautions shall be used and adequate sanitation facilities will be available for handling blood or body fluids within the school setting or school buses.  Blood and body fluids from any person in the school setting shall be treated with standard/universal precautions; no exception shall be made when handling blood and body fluids.  School personnel will be trained in standard/universal precautions as set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommendations and guidelines at 

IV.       Confidentiality 

A.  All persons privileged with any medical information that pertains to students or staff members shall be required to treat all proceedings, discussions and documents as confidential information.  Before any medical information is shared with anyone in the school setting a “legitimate educational reason” or “health or safety emergency situation” must exist, all other releases of confidential medical and health information shall be released only with the consent of the parent/guardian, student if over 18, employee or their representative as outlined in West Virginia Board of Education Policy 4350, Procedures for the Collection, Maintenance and Disclosure of Student Data, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1988 and Family Educational Rights and Privacy: Final Regulations. Part II, 34 CFR Part 99.      

B.  Information from health records is part of the educational record and should be shared with the child’s parents/guardians and pass freely among the school and medical home/health care provider to enhance student health and prevent duplication of services, only after permission is obtained from the student’s parent/guardian. 


                    The Superintendent shall develop administrative guidelines for the control of  communicable disease which shall include:

    1.  instruction of teaching staff members in the detection of these common diseases and measures for their prevention and control;
    2.  removal of students from county property to the care of a responsible adult;


C. preparation of standards for the readmission of students who have recovered from               

D. filing of reports as required by statute and the State Department of Health.

Adopted:  January, 1989

Revised:  June 11, 2012

Reference:  West Virginia Department of Education Policy 2423, W. Va. Code §§ 18A-5-1, 16-3-4, 16-3-5, 16-3C-1 through 16-3C-9, 18-2-5, 18-5-9, 18-5-22 and 18-5-34.