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School and work attendance policies — how do they affect you?

DD told me she had a scratchy throat and congestion last night — the start of something, but I'm not sure what. I'm hoping it's not strep throat, as there have been some reports of kids coming to school with strep throat.

She didn't have a fever, and of course, she couldn't miss school.

Ugh. I hate the emphasis on school attendance because I really feel that it is counterproductive to what they're after. The other day, the school social worker actually told a group of us parents, "If they're not throwing up or about to faint, send 'em to school."

I'm really seeing more of that emphasis on school and workplace perfect attendance in the past few years. A former employer of mine used to do raffles each quarter to encourage attendance — each week, you'd submit a perfect attendance slip signed by your supervisor, and that ticket would enter you into a quarterly drawing. At the end of the year, you'd be entered into a grand prize drawing. 

On the flip side, you couldn't report to work if you had a fever or an infection that wasn't treated by antibiotics for 24 hours, so at least they understood that.

What sort of attendance/sick policies does your work or school have? Does it make it easier to keep your family and yourself well? What would you change if you could?

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  • Jen

    For our schools, the biggie is that they don't want kids there who have had  a fever or vomiting in the past 24 hours.  Generally, that's when I keep my kids home from school.  There have been other times when they just haven't slept well due to illness or you can just tell they're miserable.  It can be such a tough call because you know they'd do better with extra rest and might not be fully focused at school.  At the same time, they sometimes miss a lot of work. Also, if I kept mine home every time they complain of cold symptoms (or a mild tummy ache), they'd miss a lot of school.

  • K8sMom2002

    Our schools used to be really good about wanting sick kids to stay home, Jen. There was something in the handbook that said if you had a fever over a certain amount (100?), then you needed to stay home. 

    I agree — kids can't stay home for every little sniffle, but strep throat is where I draw the line. I know that kids can have strep and not realize it, but I'm always fairly suspicious of a severe sore throat. I guess it's my history with scarlet fever …