MCPS Health and Immunization Information

  • To maintain a healthy and safe environment in our schools, we ask parents to read the information on this website thoroughly so that they can make the best possible decisions regarding their child's health. If you have questions about a school's health policies and procedures, please contact the school nurse

When should a child stay home from school?

  • Not all illnesses or symptoms of potential illness require exclusion from school. When in question, staff and parents may directly consult Communicable Disease: A Guide for Schools in Montana.

    A paper copy is available in the school office or school nurse office. Consult the school nurse for further assistance or questions. The school nurse may use additional evidence based and most current resources, including consulting with the local health department when needed. Additionally, the local or state health department may direct more stringent exclusion criteria in times of disease outbreaks.

    In general, children should stay home when:

    • Ill with any symptoms and is feeling too sick to participate in the usual school activities or what is normal for that child.
    • The illness results in a greater need for care than school staff can provide without compromising their ability to care for other students.

    That said, sometimes it is very challenging to know when a child may be sick and needing to stay home from a virus or other physical cause or when emotions such as anxiety may cause symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches.

    Attendance Works has these suggestions below:  

    • Don’t let your child stay home unless she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
    • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other parents for advice on how to make her feel comfortable and excited about learning.

    For additional suggestions and handouts for different grade levels, you may also visit the Attendance Works website.