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Guidelines For Keeping Children Home From School

A sick child cannot learn effectively or participate fully in educational activities in a meaningful way.  Keeping a sick child home from school allows your child to rest and recover and prevents the transmission of the illness to others.  To help maintain a safe and healthy learning environment, please see the guidelines below on when to keep your child home from school for common illnesses that we may see in our schools. Other criteria can be found in the student handbooks or from staff in our health offices.  When in doubt consult with your healthcare provider or our Health Care staff.

Any of the below criteria is subject to change based on requirements from MCDH, IDPH or the CDC.

CD Reference Chart for Schools

Huntley 158 Exclusion Information


If your child has a moist, productive cough, chest congestion, or thick nasal discharge, they need to stay home from school.  If you see a continuous greenish discharge, that may be a sign of infection and you should consult with your healthcare provider. 

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

A student who has been diagnosed with conjunctivitis may return to school 24 hours after their first dose of prescribed medication.


Per the updated CDC COVID guidelines (March 2024), COVID-19 guidance is now aligned with all respiratory viruses. If your child is ill with COVID-like symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting,  or diarrhea), they should remain home until their symptoms have improved for 24 hours. They must also be fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.


Your child can return to school after being fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of any fever-reducing medications.  A fever is 100.4 degrees or greater according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.


If your child has a rash that you cannot identify, it is recommended that you consult with your healthcare provider.  The student should not return to school until the rash has been diagnosed and deemed not contagious.

Strep Throat

If your child has been diagnosed with strep throat they need to remain at home until they have been on antibiotics for a full 24 hours and fever free for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.


Students need to remain home from school until they are symptom-free for 24 hours without any over the counter medication or antibiotic.

*If multiple cases of Conjunctivitis, strep,  COVID 19 or other communicable diseases are reported within a classroom or school, we will evaluate the number and notify families as a proactive measure as recommended by the CDC or local health department.

Other situations where a student need to stay home or must be picked up from school include, but are not limited to: vomiting, diarrhea, open lesions that cannot be covered, lethargy, serious head injuries, undiagnosed persistent or disruptive cough, eye drainage or redness, undiagnosed or new rashes, and serious limb injuries.Flu