The district is required to provide educational services to all school age children who reside within its boundaries. By law, however, admission to school may be denied to any child diagnosed as having a disease whereby attendance could be harmful to the welfare of other students and staff, subject to the district’s responsibilities to disabled children under the law.
The Committee recognizes that communicable diseases that may afflict students range from common childhood diseases (acute and short-term in nature) to chronic, life-threatening diseases such as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Management of common communicable diseases will be in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Health guidelines. A student who exhibits symptoms of a communicable disease may be temporarily excluded from school attendance. The district reserves the right to require a physician’s statement authorizing the student’s return to school.
The educational placement of a student who is medically diagnosed as having a life-threatening communicable disease will be determined on an individual basis in accordance with this policy and accompanying administrative procedures. Decisions about the proper educational placement will be based on the student’s behavior, neurological development, and physical condition; the expected type of interaction with others in school setting; and the susceptibility to other diseases and the likelihood of presenting risks to others. A regular review of the placement decision will be conducted to assess changes in the student’s physical condition, or based on new information or research that may warrant a change in a student’s placement.
In the event a student with a life-threatening communicable disease qualifies for services as a disabled child under state and federal law, the procedures for determining the appropriate educational placement in the least restrictive environment will be used in lieu of the procedures designated above.
Neither this policy nor the placement of a student in any particular program will preclude the administration from taking any temporary actions including removal of a student from the classroom as deemed necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the student, staff, and others.
In all proceedings related to this policy, the district will respect the student’s right to privacy. Only those persons with a direct need to know will be informed of the specific nature of the student’s condition. The Superintendent will determine those who need to know.
MSC first vote: 11/26/13
MSC second vote: 12/19/13