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Southlake Style

Operation #SAFEdragon Provides Facts About District Health Protocols

Oct 16, 2014 09:06AM ● By Kevin
The following letter was sent to Southlake Style by the Southlake Carroll ISD Communications and Marketing Dept.

Dragon Parents,

There is nothing more important to us than the safety and security of our students and staff. We go to great lengths to protect your children and to keep you informed about issues related to their health and well-being. We educate you with facts, not to create fear or alarm, but rather to reassure you and to instill a greater level of confidence in our procedures and protocols.

It's impossible to escape right now from news about the healthcare workers in Dallas County who have been infected with the Ebola virus. It's often difficult to separate fact from fiction and the saturation our society now experiences through social media makes it hard to wrap your head and heart around the extent and severity of the situation. It's on all of our minds and so, we make an effort tonight, to address some of your questions and concerns related to this important regional, national and international health concern.

While there are absolutely no confirmed or even suspected cases in Carroll ISD, we know that as parents many of you have questions or may be wondering about our district's infectious disease protocols. In an effort to communicate these procedures to you, we have posted new information to our Operation #SAFEdragon website. On this page we have provided links to fact sheets from the Tarrant County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control. We encourage you to take a few moments to read these facts and to arm yourself with information on the signs and symptoms of the Ebola virus and more importantly, perhaps, on the ways that it can and cannot be transmitted. 

It is understandable that the public still has many questions and is uncertain about how to respond in these unprecedented times. It's important, however, that we concentrate on the facts and that we remember the important role personal hygiene and simple hand-washing can play in helping prevent the spread of diseases. This is the case when you are talking about Ebola or more common diseases like flu or enterovirus D68. This particular virus has caused significant upper respiratory symptoms in children throughout the midwestern states. Tarrant County Health Department officials have encouraged public school districts to continue to enforce existing protocols that are typically used in handling flu epidemics. We will continue to monitor the situation and will post updates as new or pertinent information becomes available.

You should know that CISD is conferring with regional health officials about ways to manage and assist ill students. We have registered nurses at each of our campuses and they regularly train and practice protocols and precautions when dealing with infectious or contagious diseases. Our clinics are equipped with gloves, masks and supplies to monitor student temperatures and document symptoms. Emergency contact information is kept for each child and students running fevers are isolated from other students/adults to the extent possible until the child can be picked up by their parents or guardians. 

Parents are encouraged to consult with their own family physician or healthcare professional when students begin showing flu-like or viral symptoms. When absenteeism increases beyond typical numbers, CISD has a process for monitoring and reporting student illnesses daily. Our direct contact with health department officials helps us ensure we are following all the suggested steps and procedures for containing and managing infectious diseases. Patient confidentiality is maintained at all times unless there is an overriding health and safety concern involving others at-risk. In the event of world health concerns like Ebola, CISD monitors new information daily and will make adjustments to routines and protocols as warranted to help reduce risks of infection and spread of disease.

One of the most important ways you can help school officials prevent the spread of any infectious disease is to encourage routine hand-washing and talk to your child about NOT sharing water bottles or drinking glasses with others. Also, it is imperative that you ensure that your child is fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing agents before sending your child back to school after an illness. This is not a new policy, but rather CISD's standard operating protocol when a child or adult employee begins to run a fever. Please help us monitor and manage absenteeism by reporting your child's illness to the school nurse as soon as possible so that we can take precautionary measures to clean and disinfect classrooms and common areas. 

It's our goal to keep you informed and to update you regularly as health situations unfold. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. 

Please visit our Operation #SAFEdragon website for updates and fact sheets:

Also be sure to follow us on Twitter @Carrollisd for the latest updates and news.

On Tuesday, October 28th from 3 to 6 p.m. CISD will host its sixth annual Flu Shot Clinic, offering employees, students, families and community members the opportunity to obtain the flu vaccine. Students, families and community members do not need to sign up online; extra flu vaccine will be available for walk-up participants. The shot clinic will be held in the Student Activity Center of Carroll Senior High School. CISD employees were sent an email on October 10 providing a link to sign up, with insurance information as well.  Please join us as we promote healthy Dragons by participating in our annual flu shot clinic.

We consider it an honor and privilege to educate your children. Together, we can work to help ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for all Dragons.

CISD Leadership Team