COMMUNICABLE DISEASES -- STUDENTS Policy Code: 4230
The board strives to provide a safe and orderly environment for all students and employees. The board also strives to maintain a balance between the need to educate all eligible students, to protect students' and employees' rights, and to control communicable diseases, including HIV and AIDS. Under certain circumstances, students with communicable diseases may pose a threat to the health and safety of students and staff. Decisions regarding the educational status of students with communicable diseases will be made on a case-by-case basis in accordance with this policy. Nothing in this policy is intended to grant or confer any school attendance or education rights beyond those existing by law. This policy shall be shared with school staff annually and with new employees as part of any initial orientation.
A. Definition of Communicable Disease
A communicable disease is defined as an illness due to an infectious agent, or its toxic products, which is transmitted directly or indirectly to a person from an infected person or animal.
In order to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, guidelines for necessary health and safety precautions will be distributed by the administration and followed by all school district employees. (See board policy 7260, Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens and board policy 7262, Communicable Diseases -- Employees). Employees are also required to follow the school system’s bloodborne pathogens exposure control plan that contains universal precautions and specific work practice controls relating to the handling, disposal, and cleanup of blood and other potentially infectious materials. Students should not be involved in the handling, disposal and cleanup of potentially infectious materials unless the student has been specifically trained in the handling of such materials and is qualified to perform first aid services. Faculty should take reasonable precautions to avoid allowing students to come in contact with these substances.
The school district will include health, hygiene and safety education in its curriculum. The curriculum will include age-appropriate information concerning safe health practices that will inhibit and prevent the spread of diseases, including HIV and AIDS. (See board policy 3540, Comprehensive Health Education Program.)
D. Education/School Attendance for Students with AIDS/HIV Infection
Students with AIDS and HIV infection will be permitted to attend school without special restrictions except in accordance with 10A N.C.A.C. 41A.0201-.0204, and this subsection.
When the local health director notifies the superintendent that a student with AIDS or HIV infection may pose a significant risk for transmission, the superintendent, in consultation with the local health director, will appoint an interdisciplinary committee in accordance with state health regulations and procedures established by the superintendent. The committee is to consult with the local health director regarding the risk of transmission and advise the superintendent regarding the placement of the student. The committee will include appropriate school system personnel, medical personnel and the student's parent or guardian and may include legal counsel. The parent may request additional participants as necessary to appropriately evaluate the risk. The health director shall be responsible for determining whether to add additional members that may be requested by the parents. The superintendent is also to inform the board of education whenever a committee has been formed and will advise the board of the professional composition of the committee.
The interdisciplinary committee will review each case individually in consultation with the local health director to determine (1) the degree to which the student’s conduct or presence in school exposes others to possible transmission or other harm and (2) what risk the school environment may pose to the infected student. If the local health director concludes that a significant risk of transmission exists in the student's current placement, the committee must determine whether an appropriate adjustment can be made to the student's school program to eliminate this risk. If that is not possible, the student shall be provided instruction in an appropriate alternative educational setting which incorporates protective measures required by the local health director.
If the administrative or instructional personnel on the committee determine that the student has limited strength, vitality or alertness due to a chronic or acute health problem that adversely affects the student's educational performance, they must refer the student for possible identification and placement as a student with special needs.
All deliberations of the interdisciplinary committee will be kept strictly confidential and shared only as allowed by law.
Legal References: G.S. 115C-36, 130A-136, -142 to -144, -152 to -157; 10A N.C.A.C. 41A.0201 through .0204
Adopted: August 28, 2006