Friday, August 28, 2020

Pre-screening tool can help parents identify COVID-19 symptoms in RSU 14 students

RSU 14 is providing a pre-screening tool in today's
edition of The Windham Eagle newspaper for
parents, guardians and caregivers to review daily
prior to sending children to school. The tool can help identify
symptoms of COVID-19 and assist parents in
determining whether their children are physically
ready to attend school. COURTESY PHOTO
By Ed Pierce
In returning students safely to school this fall, parents will be the cornerstone in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in RSU 14 schools.
In a special insert in today’s edition of The Windham Eagle, a new COVID-19 pre-screening tool for students, is available for parents of children attending RSU 14 schools in Windham and Raymond. The pre-screening tool information was developed specifically by the Maine Center for Disease Control for the Maine Department of Education. pre-screening tool should be used daily and will help families determine whether or not their student is physically ready for school,” said Christopher Howell, RSU 14 Superintendent of Schools. “The implementation of a pre-screening tool is one of the requirements that must be met by school districts in order to open.”
Along with following established social distancing guidelines, frequent handwashing and sanitizing and the vigorous cleaning of surface areas of schools, Maine’s Department or Education recommends use of the pre-screening tool every day prior to a student going to school.
These self-checks should be conducted by parents, guardians and caregivers prior to children boarding school buses or entering a school, Maine DOE officials say. If a student develops symptoms, they must be held out of school and the school must then be notified about the symptoms.
Howell said that the pre-screening tool is simple to use.
“If a family can successfully answer no to every question, the student is ready for school,” he said. “If a student answers yes or has questions about their situation, we encourage families to reach out to the school nurse in each building to determine whether or not a student should attend school.”
Keeping students healthy during the pandemic was at the forefront of a proactive initiative over the summer months made by RSU 14 school nurses. a statement issued this week, RSU 14 school nurses said that they were able to contribute to the development of the state’s COVID-19 pre- screening tool from input made to a sub-committee of school nurses and school physicians.
“The tool was developed to identify any symptom that could be COVID-related and exclude symptomatic students and staff from school in order to minimize risk to others in the school,” said Matt Bell, representing RSU 14 school nurses.
In the statement, RSU 14 nurses ask that parents and guardians complete the COVID 19 pre-screening tool each morning before school.
“This process is easy to use and shouldn’t take long to complete. It consists of taking their temperature and some basic questions you should be asking your child prior to sending them to school. If you answer yes to any of the questions you should keep your child home and contact your primary care physician,” RSU 14 nurses said in the statement.

https://www.schoolspring.comAccording to RSU 14 nurses, by completing the tool prior to placing your child on the bus or bringing them to school, it will help the schools prevent the possible exposure of COVID 19 to other students and staff.
“The process of minimizing the risk and keeping our students and staff safe has multiple components and the COVID 19 pre-screening tool is one of them. With overlapping safety measures such as proper handwashing and sanitizing, social distancing and wearing a proper face covering, our hope is to provide your child with a safe learning environment,” Bell said, representing the RSU 14 nurses. “However, we cannot do this without support from the RSU 14 families.”
In the RSU 14 nurses’ statement, they say that ensuring the identification of symptomatic children on school buses and in the schools will help reduce COVID-19 incidents throughout the district. And completion of the COVID-19 pre-screening tool daily is an essential part of this process.  
Howell said that everyone has a part in keeping each other healthy during the pandemic.

“The use of the pre-screening tool by families helps to deliver an additional layer of protection for everyone at RSU 14,” he said. “The pre-screening tool does not need to be limited to attending school. Students, parents, or community members who exhibit any of the symptoms, have traveled to high risk areas, or been in contact with infected individuals should limit their contact with others in the community.” said the COVID-19 pre-screening tool is being provided in the newspaper as a method to get it into the hands of as many parents, guardians and caregivers as possible prior to the start of school on Sept. 9.   
“If we screen each day and follow all of the safety precautions, we have a better chance of restoring full face-to-face instruction for all students,” Howell said. <

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