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Stay At Home Guidelines

School-aged children may be exposed to a variety of communicable diseases. At times it is difficult to decide whether or not to send your child to school. MPCSD families should follow these guidelines.

When to Stay Home

Your child needs to stay at home when experiencing:

  • Nausea or vomiting within the last 24 hours
  • Temperature over 100 degrees F (must be normal for 24 hours before returning to school)
  • Frequent coughing or very runny nose
  • Diarrhea within the last 24 hours
  • Sore throat
  • Severe headache
  • Skin rash (ALL rashes must be diagnosed by a doctor)
  • Open sores, unless the area can be covered with a dressing
  • Earache, tooth ache, or other severe pain
  • Please remember to notify your school when your child is diagnosed with any contagious disease (COVID, strep, lice, etc.)

Additionally, a child should stay home (or go home) from school when any new illness or symptom:

  • prevents them from participating meaningfully in school activities OR

  • results in a need for care that is greater than the staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of other children

Under California law, a child may be required to stay home (or go home) from school in specified circumstances where an apparent illness presents a significant risk to other children or school personnel. (Education Code § 49213; Education Code § 49451.)


If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please refer to this COVID-19 Response Flow Chart, provided by the San Mateo County Office of Education in alignment with California Department of Public Health guidelines. MPCSD follows these COVID-19 guidelines.

Report Absences

When your child needs to stay home from school, be sure to report their absence. Absence reporting information may be found here.

Medication at School

If your child needs to take medication at school:

  • A Medication Authorization form must be completed and returned to the school office with medication(s) before your child begins school. Medication Authorization forms may be obtained here or in any school office.
  • All medication (prescription and over-the-counter) must be in the original labeled container.
  • Consider asking your child's doctor to arrange the dosage intervals so that medication can be given during non-school hours.

Health Screening

The district provides vision and Hearing screening in grades K, 2, 5 and 8.

Illness or Injury at School

If your child becomes ill or injured at school:

  • Basic first aid will be administered by designated school personnel.
  • For more complex illnesses and injuries, you will be notified and asked to pick up your child immediately.
  • If you are unavailable, please arrange for an alternate plan of care and pick up.
  • Evaluate your child's readiness to return to school based on the When To Stay Home guidelines listed above.

Health Condition Changes

If your child’s health conditions change, complete and return a new Health History form (Health History form available here or any school office), or notify the district nurse at 650-321-7140, x5913. 

Emergency Contact Changes

Emergency contact information is collected during school enrollment/registration. It is important for the school/district to have current emergency contact information on file. If your information changes during the year, call the Registrar at 650-321-7140, x5600 or contact the school office to update your student(s)'s files.