Encourage all school staff who work in close proximity with children with complex health needs to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and other diseases including influenza
Wear a well-fitting mask based on current public health guidelines and CDC recommendations in school and transit.
Consider masking to protect children with complex health needs from other respiratory illnesses, especially when students or staff are exhibiting symptoms.
Ensure a respiratory protection plan is in place for school staff that includes N95 mask fit testing or availability of Powered Air Purifying Respirator for those performing high-risk care, such as aerosol-generating procedures
Educate school staff and families about the increased health risks of contracting COVID-19 and other viruses for children with complex health needs.
Discuss COVID-19 and other outbreak mitigation strategies for children with complex health needs in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings.
✔ Account for COVID-19 safety and mental and behavioral health adjustments with in-person school and virtual attendance.
✔ Contingency plans should include a clear description of the amount, frequency, duration and location as well as when contingency plan services will be in effect for each contingency plan service. Contingency plans should be documented in the program summary of the IEP.
Ensure that each child with complex health needs has their own medical equipment or single use disposable equipment at school.
Partner with health care providers about ways to keep each child with complex health needs safe at school and circumstances in which a child should stay home.
Have at least one medical staff available to address acute COVID-19 symptoms or questions. School health personnel should collaborate with public health department staff to plan and provide counseling on mitigation strategies within the school.
Provide families of children with complex health needs with the opportunity to change between in-person and virtual or homebound school based on illness or COVID-19 spread.
✔ These decisions should prioritize in-person instruction options while taking into account student safety and families’ needs.
✔ Work proactively with families to set decision-making criteria for when and under what circumstances IEP contingency plans will be necessary to meet children's unique individualized education program needs.
Experts also endorsed important recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and American Academy of Pediatrics: