Communicable Disease Prevention Policy
The Christian Academy in Japan strives to promote mental, physical, and spiritual health from a biblical perspective. In striving toward this goal, we strive to balance the needs of the individual with those of the community. One of our efforts to that end is the prevention, control, and containment of communicable diseases.
Common Communicable Diseases
- Diseases which are transmitted through casual contact or airborne route may include, but are not limited to:
- Common childhood diseases
- Strep throat
- Immunization Schedule — CAJ strongly recommends that students' basic immunizations be completed according to the Japanese or US schedule. In order to encourage parents to complete immunizations, this recommendation will be included in the student handbook, parent letters,, etc., whenever applicable. The school nurse will maintain student records of immunization data, waivers, and exclusions, and issue exposure notices as needed in order to reduce continued transmission of disease.
- Health History and Physical Examination Forms — The head of school, in consultation with the school nurse, will exclude students from school who fail to submit the completed Health History and Physical Examination Forms by the first day of school. These forms, required of all new students and those entering grades 6 and 9, include a student’s medical history, immunization data, and a physical examination dated within 6 months from when the student begins classes. TB screening dated within 6 months from when the student begins classes is required for all new students and those entering grade 6. Exceptions will be allowed at the discretion of the school nurse. For new students and students entering grades 6 and 9 who participate in co-curricular sports, the Health History and Physical Examination forms will be valid for one calendar year from the date of the physical examination. All other middle school and high school students participating in co-curricular sports must submit a yearly sports physical. (SY 00-01: 186; SY 01-02: 85)
- Waivers for Parents Refusing Immunization — Parents who refuse immunizations for their children must sign a waiver stating that they absolve the school of any liability related to the possible consequences to these children in the event of an outbreak of a communicable disease at school or during school activities. The waiver includes an understanding that the school may exclude non-immunized children from school for a specified period of time if certain communicable diseases are found at school.
- Exclusion From School — The head of school or school nurse may exclude students from school who are suspected to have or are diagnosed with a communicable disease, or whose exposure to a communicable disease may threaten the well-being of that individual. The school nurse may request a physician's note documenting a student's health status upon returning to school following any communicable disease.
- School Closings for Communicable Disease Outbreaks — The decision to close school due to communicable disease outbreaks will be made by the head of school. Consultation on such decisions may be held with the school nurse, the occupational health doctor, and the leadership team.
- Sharing of Medical Information — Individuals known to have or carry a communicable disease may be asked to submit medical information to the head of school and school nurse. It is within the head of school and/or school nurse's prerogative to share this information with other staff members if necessary.
Serious Chronic or Communicable Diseases
- Serious infectious diseases transmitted by blood-borne pathogens through contact with bodily fluids include, but are not limited to, hepatitis viruses and HIV.
- In the event a prospective student or employee has a serious chronic condition or any infectious communicable disease (HIV, hepatitis, TB, etc.), the following procedures will be followed:
- Interview — The head of school will conduct an interview including, but not limited to, the student and parent or prospective employee and review with them a recent physician’s report of the person's current health status. The report must have been written within three months. The physician may be contacted directly by the head of school or school nurse.
- Consultation Regarding Enrollment or Employment — The head of school will consult with the division principal and school nurse and make a determination about enrollment based on the student's age, grade level, health status, and parent(s) and student's understanding and attitudes toward the disease, as well as the mode of transmission.
- In the case of a prospective employee, the head of school will consult with the division principal and school nurse and make a determination about employment, based on the person's age, health status, and understanding and attitudes toward the disease, as well as the mode of transmission.
- (IHP) Individualized Health Plan — If the student is enrolled, an individualized health plan (IHP) will be written regarding any accommodations or restrictions the student may need due to the serious chronic condition or the communicable disease. The IHP will be shared with the appropriate staff and will strive to provide for the total well-being of the student, both as an individual and in relationship to the entire school community.
- Change in Health Status — If a student or employee who is currently at CAJ should later test positive for HIV, hepatitis viruses, etc., that person will be subject to the same procedure.
The CAJ Community
- Universal Precautions Procedures — In addition to known carriers, the school recognizes the possibility that within the CAJ community there may also be those who are unknown carriers of a communicable disease; therefore, all school personnel shall practice procedures related to the prevention and containment of communicable diseases as described in the CAJ Universal Precautions Procedures. The emphasis of the Universal Precautions Procedures is on the protection of all persons rather than on the identification and discrimination of infected persons. The procedures will be printed in the student handbook and staff hand book, and updated as necessary.
- Emergency Situations — It is understood that in some emergency situations it may not be possible to apply universal precautions; however, emergency action should never be delayed, since the risk of transmission of blood-borne diseases is too small to justify endangering a child.
- Health Education — Every effort must be made to provide appropriate health education, including information on the prevention and containment of communicable diseases.
Communicable Disease Health Records
- As a condition of employment, CAJ will provide an annual staff health examination including a blood test and a chest x-ray. The chest x-ray acts as a screening for tuberculosis.
- These records must be updated at least once every three years.
- In the event a prospective employee has a serious chronic condition or any infectious communicable disease (HIV, hepatitis, TB, etc.), the following procedure will be followed:
- The head of school will conduct an interview with the prospective employee and review with him/her a report of his/her current health status written in the past three months. The physician may be contacted directly by the head of school or the school nurse.
- The head of school will consult with the division principal and school nurse and make a determination about employment, based on the person's age, current health status, and understanding and attitude toward the disease and the method of transmission.
- Any restriction of duties will be outlined in writing by the head of school and division principal prior to the beginning of the employee's duties.
- Currently employed staff members who test positive for HIV, hepatitis, TB, etc., shall be subject to the same procedure. (Adopted SY 93-94:35; amended SY 97-98:236)