By Terrylin Kinard and Tonia Holloway
With cold weather comes an uptick in viral illnesses. At TCS, we’re seeing an increase in strep, Covid and the flu.
The good news is that the school has ways to help slow the spread of viruses, and one of them is partnering with you to recognize when it’s safe to send your child to school or when you should keep them at home.
Ways TCS Helps Slow the Spread of Viruses
To help keep our community healthy during cold and flu season, TCS has the following in place:
- School-wide Air Filtration System: In summer 2020, we installed an air filtration system in each building. The system uses needlepoint bipolar ionization technology to help clean indoor air.
- Upgraded Air Filters: The system is paired with upgraded air filters (from MERV 9 to MERV 13) to help improve HVAC filtration.
- Deep Cleaning Classrooms: The TCS facilities team conducts enhanced cleanings in classrooms where an illness is going around.
- Good Hand Hygiene: Teachers are encouraging students to wash their hands more often to help prevent illnesses from spreading.
When to Stay Home
You can help us keep our community healthy by being vigilant about your child’s health and, when necessary, keeping them home if they exhibit these symptoms:
- Stuffy or runny nose and/or cough
- Mild sore throat
- General feeling of being unwell
Kids must stay at home if they display any of these more severe symptoms:
- Fever (100.4 degrees or higher)
- Vomiting (even once)
- General malaise or feelings of fatigue, discomfort, weakness, or muscle aches
- Frequent, congested, wet, or dry cough
How to Help
You can help prevent spreading viruses by teaching your child these good hygiene habits:
- Wash hands frequently and scrub for at least 20 seconds (Sing “Happy Birthday” to make sure you’re washing long enough!)
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth
- Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, use a tissue, and then properly dispose of it before washing hands
- Steer clear of close contact with individuals who are unwell
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org when your child is ill. We track illness in classrooms to spot trends and implement preventative procedures when necessary.
General Tips to Navigate Virus Season
Here are a few tips and information to help stay healthy this winter:
- Colds are most contagious during the first 48 hours.
- A child with a fever should remain at home until fever-free for at least 24 hours.
- When a child wakes up with vague complaints that indicate colds or the flu, consider observing them at home for an hour or two before deciding to bring them to school.
- Make sure your child is physically able to participate in all school activities when they return.
- Keeping a sick child at home significantly minimizes the spread of infections and viruses within the classroom.
Thank you for your partnership, especially during cold and flu season! Together, we can help slow the spread of viruses and ensure the well-being of your children.