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Should my child stay home from school?

December 11, 2019 | Emily Ford Sytsma

First experiences with school often mean an increased rate of illness. Do not be surprised if your child gets sick more often than usual. For the benefit of your child and his/her classmates, please make sure that your child is in good health before sending him/her to school. A child who does not feel well cannot effectively participate in our program and will spread illness to others. 

If the following conditions exist, please keep your child home: 

  • Fever of 100°F or above
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Persistent cough
  • Sore throat and/or strep throat
  • Flu-like aches and pains, weakness and general lethargy
  • Unexplained rashes
  • Chicken pox
  • Head lice
  • Reddened eyes
  • Herpes mouth sore
  • A green or thick white nasal discharge
  • Persistently runny nose

Children with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher are to be kept home until they are free of fever and symptoms for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. If antibiotics are prescribed for any reason, your child must take them for 24 hours before returning to school. Children who come to school are expected to participate in all activities, including outdoor time. If your child is unable to participate in all aspects of the class, please keep him/her home.

If your child becomes ill at school, you will be contacted and expected to bring your child home within 30 minutes of receiving a call from the school. If you are not available, we will call one of your emergency contacts.

Contagious Disease

 We require that parents report incidences of contagious disease to the Early Childhood Director or the Main Office. This includes, but is not limited to, chicken pox, head lice, conjunctivitis, strep, Fifth’s disease, H1N1, and the Coxsackie’s virus. To help protect all children, we will notify parents of any known exposure. We will maintain confidentiality.

In the case of head lice, you may be asked to provide a doctor’s note confirming the absence of lice before your child returns to school. We may also require a doctor’s note indicating that your child is free of infection in the case of some infections.

Emily Ford Sytsma

Early Childhood Director

Ms. Sytsma began her career as an educator working in inclusive classrooms in the state of Hawaii but found her roots began to grow here at Mustard Seed School when she came to teach in 1996. She joined the preschool team in 2007, after teaching for many years in the Middle School. She finds delight in the preschool’s approach to teaching and learning, inspired by the preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. As Early Childhood Director, she seeks to support teachers in their work helping children learn about thinking and creative expression.

Ms. Sytsma’s the mother of a MSS alum and a current student. When not at school, Ms. Sytsma enjoys traveling with her husband and two children. She tends a very simple rooftop garden in Jersey City Heights and on long Saturday mornings, she may be seen taking long walks along the Hudson River and listening to audiobooks or podcasts while organizing her thoughts and getting her heart rate up.

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