Rocky View Schools has come up with a guideline for parents and caregivers as to when is too sick for school.

RVS, Lead Psychologist, Chris Pawluk, says RVS is trying to raise awareness about how often kids should or shouldn't come to school, and the importance of student attendance for overall success.

Pawluk says there are three different decisions parents/caregivers need to make when it comes to deciding whether to call it a sick day.

"We want them to say, should I: a) go to school, b) stay home, or c) should I be calling a doctor. The rule of thumb is you should keep someone home if you have a temperature higher than 100F and you have some kind of other symptom; so whether that is like throwing up, diarrhea, or pink eye."

Pawluk adds there seems to be a lot of parents keeping kids at home when it is not required.

"If you've just got a runny nose or a little cough then come to school, we will take care of you."

Absences are not necessarily on the rise, per se, but RVS would still like to see that number go down. Pawluk comments that 10% of kids miss more than 10% of school.

"We want you to come to at least 90% of school every year, as we have grown (in population) the percentage hasn't changed."

The other purpose of the guideline is to determine why kids are missing; for some it could be academic challenges, for others it could be sports related absents, but either way they are missing more school than RVS would like to see. 

"It's not just attendance that is concerning by itself. If you are not coming to school as much as we think you should, and your grades are dropping, and particularly if it changes, that is something we want to jump on really soon."

Pawluk says the guideline will still be fallible at times, but will hopefully help keep more kids in school and learning, than staying home.

Send me to school if:

  • I have a runny nose or just a little cough, but no other symptoms.
  • I haven't taken any fever reducing medicine for 24 hours, and I haven't had a fever during that time.
  • I haven't thrown up or had diarrhea for 24 hours.
  • If I can drink fluids and my fever is below 100F.
  • If my eyes are only slightly pink and this discharge is clear or watery.
  • A  sore throat accompanied by a runny nose is often just due to simple irritation from the draining mucous.
  • If a stomach ache is the only symptom and their active. It could signal constipation or even a case of the nerves.

Keep me home if:

  • I have a temperature higher than 100F- even after taking medicine.
  • I am throwing up or have diarrhea.
  • My eyes are pink and crusty.

Call the doctor if:

  • I have a temperature higher than 100F for more than two days.
  • I have been throwing up and having diarrhea for more than two days.
  • I had the sniffles for more than a week, or they just aren't getting any better.
  • I still have asthma symptoms after using my asthma medicine.