Promoting school attendance for children
with complex health needs during the pandemic.
Children with complex health needs have serious medical conditions and often rely on medical devices or people to help them with daily activities. The unique circumstances facing children with complex health needs require extra attention to attend school safely.
Though COVID-19 is still with us, a lot has changed since the beginning of the pandemic. Effective vaccines and treatments have been developed and are widely available. We have also learned a lot about how to better protect our must vulnerable students and staff from COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses.
As a central principle, the safety of children with complex health needs requires the safety of all children and staff at school. Families of children with complex health needs should be supported to make the best decision for their child with their health care providers and school staff when considering the risks of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
Spring 2021: 460 Wisconsin families, school staff, and clinicians collaborated with a team of 35 experts representing families, schools, clinicians and policymakers across Wisconsin to prioritize strategies to help children with complex health needs attend school during the pandemic.
Spring 2022: These priorities were updated based on the most up-to-date information and experiences of families, students, and schools during the 2021-22 school year. These updated priorities, expanded to include other respiratory viruses, are shown here.
This information was developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health and in partnership with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Healthy Kids Collaborative, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Waisman Center ECEDD, and Family Voices of Wisconsin. Published July 2022.
This research was, in part, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Agreement No. 1 OT2 HD107558-01(award number OT2 HD107558). The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the NIH.