Nurse’s Letter to Families and Staff -9/26

September 26, 2020

To Parents/Guardians of East Providence Students, Principals, Teachers, Nurses, and Staff,

I hope you all are well and safe,

It is so good to be back to school!

Once again, we are facing a new reality with about half of our students distance learning and the remainder of our students in person at their desks in the classroom.

Our schools are in compliance with all regulations from the CDC, RIDOH and RIDE.  We are strictly following all guidelines for the health and wellbeing of our students and staff.

All staff and students are wearing masks, socially distancing and frequently washing their hands.  We have traffic follow patterns with arrows on floors and signage on walls and staircases.

A few words to address the regulations:

  1. Our schools are frequently cleaned. All surfaces are cleaned multiple times per day.  Restrooms are cleaned after each use. Our custodians are constantly cleaning floors, walls, banisters, doorknobs and anything a student or staff member may touch.
  2. Lunches are eaten in the classroom.  For food allergic students, we are maintaining a peanut free, tree-nut free area designated for your child.  This is similar to the designated peanut free, tree-nut free table that was used in the cafeteria.
  3. Masks are to be worn by all.  This has been mandated by an Executive Order by Governor Raimondo.  Within this order there is language pertaining to exclusions.  A doctors’ note is no longer accepted to exclude mask wearing. If your child is having difficulty wearing a mask due to a medical condition, please have your doctor write a diagnosis pertaining to your child’s inability to wear a mask and send to your school nurse. Each request will be reviewed and accommodations will be determined on an individual basis.
  • Mask breaks and movement breaks are scheduled within the school day.
  • Students are expected to wear their masks throughout the school day with the exception of snack time, lunch and mask breaks.
  • Gaiters and vented masks are not appropriate preventative masks.  Please be certain your child has an appropriate mask.
  1. Pods are maintained throughout the day.  Students will be going outdoors while the weather is nice.  For this outdoor time, your child will remain within his pod.  If another pod is in the same outdoor area, both pods will maintain 14’ social distancing between each pod and 6’ between students within each pod.
  • The opportunity to be outdoors gives our students welcome time to run and play.
  • Fall has begun, the weather is still warm enough to keep the windows in each school building open.  This provides good air exchange in all our classrooms. As Fall continues, the mornings will begin to be cool so, please dress your child in layers.  This will keep them warm in the mornings and students may remove jackets, sweaters, etc. in the warmer afternoons.


  1. A reminder concerning the Wellness information to be completed every morning at least 30 minutes prior to the start of school. These questions must be answered before your child will be allowed into their school building.
  • If your child is ill, or if you have answered “yes” to the Wellness questions, please keep your child at home.
  • Principals, teachers, school nurses and staff have been assessing temperatures and asking Wellness questions for each student with missing information.  Students are not allowed in schools until the Wellness information is completed. Until this is done, your student is waiting outside. Please make every effort to comply by completing this very important survey.
  1. Flu Clinics
  • Flu Clinics are scheduled across our school district at our schools.
  • You will be hearing from your child’s school nurse about a date and time.
  • A registration form must be completed online.  This year, if the registration is not completed you will not be able to have a flu vaccination.

**Alert: This vaccine covers a number of Flu strains. **It does not include COVID-19.

*To date, there is no COVID-19 vaccine.

It is important to know COVID-19 symptoms and when to have a COVID-19 test.


  1. Cough
  2. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  3. New loss of taste or smell
  4. Fever (100.4 degrees or higher)
  5. Muscle or body aches
  6. Headache
  7. Sore throat
  8. Fatigue
  9. Congestion or runny nose
  10. Nausea or vomiting
  11. Diarrhea

If you, your child or anyone else in your household has the first three (1-3) symptoms, you are a probable case of COVID-19.

If you, your child or anyone in your household has any two of the last 8 symptoms (4-11), you are a probable case of COVID-19 .

In both cases, if your child is at school, you will receive a telephone call to dismiss your student, call your doctor and have your student tested.

There is a test site on the corner of Pawtucket Avenue and Waterman Avenue at the site of the Senior Center where your student may be tested.

This is by appointment so please, call 844-857-1814 to make an appointment.


Until the test results are in and are negative, your child must be quarantined for his/her symptoms.

If your child has a rapid test, there is a second test that must be done.  It is called a PCR test. This test is done in 48 – 72 hours after the first test.

Please be certain both are negative.  Your child may not return to school until both are negative.

If one test is positive, your student must isolate.  You and all in your household, must quarantine for at least 14 days.  With a close contact such as a family member who tested positive for COVID-19, all persons in your household will quarantine for an additional 10 days or more for at least a total of 24 days.

This information is available at:

If your child becomes ill at school with one of the last 8 symptoms (4-11), you child will be dismissed with instructions for you to call their doctor.

In all cases, we are asking that you pick up your child within one hour.

When your child becomes ill with any of the COVID-19 symptoms, they will be escorted to our isolation room.  We have isolation rooms at all of our schools in East Providence School District.

Your child will be assessed by our school nurse in the isolation room.

You will be called to dismiss your child.  Dismissal must take place within one (1) hour.

You will be given instructions by our school nurse concerning: calling your physician, testing, quarantine and isolation.

After your student leaves school, the isolation room is cleaned and readied for the next case.

When you have results from testing, please call our school nurse. She with provide you with further instructions

When your child is cleared to return to school, there is an additional form to be completed along with the Wellness questions.

This “extra” form is an Attestation.  Our school nurses’ have them in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

She will give you one when you dismiss your ill child.

This form needs to be filled out completely, signed by a parent/guardian and dated.

This must be done to allow your child back into school.


This is a lot of information!


I will be writing again next week.

Please contact your school nurse or me with questions and concerns.  Stay well and safe!


Thank you.

Diane M. Wallace RNBSN

Head Nurse East Providence School Department

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