Absence and Lateness

Keeping Children Home Due to Illness

The attendance policy at BACS strongly encourages students to be at school whenever possible. There are, however, situations when it is detrimental for students to be in attendance. One of those times is when the student is ill, especially with a contagious illness. If you are having difficulty determining whether your child is well enough or too sick to come to school, please feel free to contact the school nurse, Kathy McQueen (Kathy.mcqueen@bacs.org or 215-947-4086, ext. 225). All other questions about attendance should be directed to Kirsten Huff (Kirsten.huff@bacs.org or 215-947-4086, ext. 214).

A child should be kept home from school if any one of the following symptoms appears either during the night or in the morning. These symptoms can be precursors to many different illnesses. A day of rest will help your child recover more quickly and prevent the spread of illness to other children. *

  • Mouth sores associated with an inability to control saliva
  • Rash with fever or behavioral changes
  • Purulent discharge from the eyes
  • Productive cough with fever
  • Oral temperature equal to or greater than 100.6 F (students must be fever free for twenty-four hours, off of fever reducing medication, prior to returning to school)
  • Unusual lethargy, irritability, persistent crying, difficulty breathing or other signs of severe illness
  • Vomiting (until resolved)
  • Diarrhea (until resolved)
  • Symptoms of flu: body aches/pains, headache, lethargy, fever etc.

In accordance with Pennsylvania State Regulations, certain contagious diseases require children be kept home from school.
Children must remain home from school with the following diseases: 

  • CHICKEN POX:   until the last blister has scabbed over
  • CONJUNCTIVITIS (purulent):    twenty-four hours on antibiotic therapy and drainage subsides
  • GERMAN MEASLES (Rubella): at least four days after the appearance of rash and symptoms have subsided
  • HEPATITIS A:  at least seven days after onset of illness/jaundice (note from doctor required)
  • IMPETIGO:  twenty-four hours on antibiotic therapy and/or note from doctor
  • LICE (head):  from end of school day until after first treatment with a pediculicide (consult your doctor)
  • MEASLES:  at least four days from onset of rash (further exclusion may be required by the Health Department)
  • MUMPS:  at least nine days after onset of symptoms or until parotid swelling goes down
  • PERTUSSIS:  five days on pertussis specific antibiotic therapy or twenty-one days with no antibiotic
  • RINGWORM:  until effective antifungal treatment has commenced and/or note from doctor
  • SCABIES:  until effective scabicidal treatment has commenced and/or note from doctor
  • SCARLET FEVER:  at least twenty-four hours on antibiotic therapy and no fever
  • STREP THROAT:  at least twenty-four hours on antibiotic therapy and no fever
  • TONSILLITIS:  at least twenty-four hours on antibiotic therapy and no fever

Your cooperation will help maintain a healthy environment for our children.

The school nurse is available to care for students at school with mild symptoms of illness (e.g. cold or allergy symptoms). In the event a student has vomiting, diarrhea, fever or other signs that an illness is progressing, the parents will be called to pick up the student. A parent or approved guardian must pick up the ill student – he/she may not walk home alone.

*There are extenuating circumstances when it is best for students to remain in school, despite exhibiting some of the symptoms above, but in each of these cases there has been previous communication between parents and the school. We aim to limit exposure to contagion as much as possible, so in the event that a child is at school with some of the symptoms above, we have already made a determination that the child is not contagious