School Board Policy 420 -
Students and Employees with Communicable or Infectious Diseases

Adopted: April 29, 1996
REVISED: May 9, 2005
Revised: may 12, 2008
 april 12, 2010
revised: july 16, 2018
Revised: June 13, 2022

I. Purpose

The School Board will adopt measures effectively responding to health concerns regarding communicable or infectious diseases while respecting the rights of all students, employees, and contractors, including those who are so infected. The purpose of this policy is to adopt such measures.

II. General Statement of Policy

A. Students

The policy of the School Board is that students with communicable diseases should not be excluded from attending school in their usual daily attendance setting so long as their health permits and their attendance does not create a significant risk of the transmission of illness to students or employees of the school district. A procedure for minimizing interruptions to learning resulting from communicable diseases will be established in consultation with community health and private health care providers by the school district in its IEP and Section 504 team process. Procedures for the inclusion of students with communicable diseases will include any applicable educational team planning processes, including the review of the educational implications for the student and others with whom the student comes into contact.

B. Employees

The policy of the School Board is that employees with communicable diseases not be excluded from attending to their customary employment so long as they are physically, mentally and emotionally able to safely perform tasks assigned to them and so long as their employment does not create a significant risk of the transmission of illness to students, employees, or others in the school district. If a reasonable accommodation will eliminate the significant risk of transmission, such accommodation will be undertaken unless it poses an undue hardship to the school district.

C. Circumstances and Conditions

1. Determinations of whether an infected individual’s school attendance or job performance creates a significant risk of the transmission of the illness to students or employees of the school district will be made on a case-by- case basis. Such decisions will be based upon the nature of the risk (how it is transmitted), the duration of the risk (how long the person is infectious), the severity of the risk (what is the potential harm to other people) and the probabilities the disease will be transmitted and will cause varying degrees of harm. When a student identified as having a disability, such a determination will be made in consultation with the Individual Educational Planning (IEP) team.

2. The School Board recognizes that some students and some employees, because of special circumstances and conditions, may pose greater risks for the transmission of infectious diseases than other persons infected with the same disease. Examples include students who display biting behavior, students or employees who are unable to control their bodily fluids, who have oozing skin lesions or who have severe disorders which result in spontaneous external bleeding. These conditions need to be taken into account and considered in assessing the risk of transmission of the disease and the resulting effect upon the educational program of the student or employment of the employee. These considerations may be in consultation with the physician of the student or employee, the parent/guardian of the student, and/or with the Minnesota Department of Health.

D. Student with Special Circumstances and Conditions

The Director Student Support Services, along with the infected individual’s physician, the infected individual or parent(s)/guardian(s), and others, if appropriate, will weigh risks and benefits to the student and to others, consider the least restrictive appropriate educational placement, and arrange for periodic reevaluation as deemed necessary by a Minnesota Department of Health epidemiologist. The risks to the student shall be determined by the student’s physician.

E. Extracurricular Student Participation

Student participation in nonacademic, extracurricular and non-educational programs of the school district are subject to a requirement of equal access and comparable services.

F. Precautions

The school district will develop routine procedures for infection control at school and for educating employees about these procedures. The procedures shall be developed through cooperation with health professionals taking into consideration guidelines of the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Health. (These precautionary procedures shall be consistent with the school district’s procedures regarding blood-borne pathogens developed pursuant to the school district’s employee right-to-know policy.)

G. Information Sharing

1. Employee and student health information shall be shared within the school district only with those whose jobs require such information and with those who have a legitimate educational (including health and safety) need to know and shall be shared only to the extent required to accomplish legitimate educational goals and to comply with employees' right-to-know requirements.

2. Employee and student health data shall be shared outside the school district only in accordance with state and federal law and with the school district's policies on employee and student records and data.

H. Reporting

If a student or staff member has a reportable communicable disease or their medical condition threatens public health, a report will be made to the county and state health departments, and it must be reported to the Commissioner of Health.

I. Prevention

The school district shall, with the assistance of the Commissioners of Health and Education, implement a program to prevent and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases in accordance with the Minn. Stat. 121A.23.

J. Vaccination and Screening

The school district will develop procedures regarding the administration of Hepatitis B vaccinations and Tuberculosis screenings in keeping with current state and federal law. The procedures shall provide that the Hepatitis B vaccination series be offered to all who have occupational exposure at no cost to the employee.

Legal References: 
Minn. Stat. §121A.23 (Health-Related Programs)
Minn. Stat. §144.441-442 (Tuberculosis)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 363A (Minnesota Human Rights Act)
20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq. (Individuals with Disabilities Employment Improvement Act of 2004)
29 U.S.C. 794 et seq. (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, § 504) 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq. (Americans with Disabilities Act)
29 C.F.R. 1910.1030 (Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens) 
Kohl by Kohl v. Woodhaven Learning Center, 865 F.2d 930 (8th Cir.) 
cert. denied, 493 U.S. 892, 110 S. Ct. 239 (1989)
School Board of Nassau County, Fla. v. Arline, 480 U.S. 273, 107 S.Ct. 1123 (1987)
16 EHLR 712, OCR Staff Memo, April 5, 1990

Cross References: 
WBLASB Policy 402 (Disability Nondiscrimination)
WBLASB Policy 407 (Employee Right to Know - Exposure to Hazardous Substances)
WBLASB Policy 521 (Student Disability Nondiscrimination)
WBLASB Policy 530 (Immunization Requirements)