Health Policies

Illness at School and When to Keep Your Child At Home

Students with the following symptoms should remain home or may be sent home from school:

  • An oral temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or above. The child’s temperature must remain below 100 degrees for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications before they can return to school.
  • An illness that caused vomiting two or more times during the previous 24 hours, unless the vomiting is known to be caused by a condition that’s not contagious.
  • Diarrhea. The child should be free of symptom for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Persistent nasal congestion, reddened eyes, sore throat, cough, or headaches that disrupt the student’s learning or pose a risk of illness to others.
  • Unexplained skin eruptions or rashes.
  • Any other health condition that, in the school nurse’s judgment, is of concern for the health and well-being of the child and others.
  • Communicable illnesses for which you have been advised to keep your child out of school until cleared to return by the county health department or your child’s doctor.

To minimize the spread of illness among students, report communicable diseases such as influenza, measles, whooping cough, hepatitis A, tuberculosis, chickenpox, etc. to the school nurse immediately.

The school nurse or another school representative will contact you if your child becomes ill or seriously injured at school. If a parent cannot be reached, other individuals listed on the emergency form will be contacted. For the child’s safety, students will be released only to adults whose names appear on the emergency form. Please be sure that your emergency contact is aware that you have given their number as an emergency phone number. If at any time this information changes, please notify the school immediately.


Iowa law requires a parent to verify proper immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B and varicella to enroll in school. At least one dose of each immunization must be given before starting school. If your child has not received all of the following immunizations, you will need to work with the school nurse and their health care provider to set up a “catch-up” schedule.

Immunization Requirements

Medication Policy

If it is necessary for your child to take medication at school, please observe the medication policy in effect for the West Des Moines Community Schools.

  • The Health Office must have a written daily or as needed authorization form from the parent/guardian. Please include the student’s name, name of medication, amount to be given, time of medication is to be given, reason for the medication, and parent/guardian signature.
  • The medication must be in the original current container (NO plastic bags or envelopes with loose pills).
  • The directions on the medication container must match the parent authorization.

ALL medications (prescription and over-the-counter) must be kept in the Health Office at all times. The only exception to this policy is if a student has authorization to self-administer asthma medications.

Authorization for Daily Medication Administration 

Authorization for Medications Taken As Needed