Health & Safety

Health and safety preparedness is an essential part of our school life. This includes illness policies, campus safety, emergency preparedness, staff training, and more.

Our operating plans are the result of careful and collective planning by our Emergency Management Team and Educational Leadership team, with important input from our faculty, administration, staff, parents, and trustees, in consultation with members of the medical and public health community. Our plans prioritize the health and safety of our students and employees and is informed by data and recommendations from local authorities and nationally recognized best practices.


Guiding Principles in Policy Development

  • The health and safety of all our people - students, families, and employees.
  • Government recommendations and restrictions.
  • Social and emotional health and well-being.
  • Equity and inclusive accessibility.
  • Relationships and relational teaching and learning.
  • Developmentally appropriate approaches to teaching and learning.
  • Joy, positivity, and hope.


Illness Policy

Students should not attend school when they have a contagious disease, diarrhea, a fever (100.4 or above), have been vomiting within the last 24 hours, have yellow-green mucus discharging from their nose, or when they are in the early stages of a cold. Please send your child back to school only after they are symptom-free and have had a normal temperature for 24 hours without medication. If a student becomes sick at school, their parents/guardians or a specified person will be called to take them home.

COVID-19 Policy

Following state guidelines, any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 must stay out of school for a minimum of 5 days. Day 0 is considered the first day of symptoms, OR the day of the positive test, if the individual is asymptomatic. Upon return on Day 6, it is recommended that the individual wear a mask through day 10. Please report all positive cases to Colleen McCullagh and Attendance.

Those identified as a close contact should consider wearing a mask when indoors and testing frequently for the ten days after last contact. Please know that a recent exposure may not result in a positive test until after day five. 

Westside will inform the community of possible exposures within a classroom, grade level, or division. Individuals, classrooms, or grade levels may be asked to mask due to exposures or case numbers in school.

Vaccination Policy

Following state law, all students are required to be fully immunized in alignment with CDC regulations. Additionally, all students and employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a medical or religious exemption on file with the school. We also strongly encourage all to stay up to date on any boosters as recommended by public health or a healthcare provider.

Peanuts and Other Allergy Accommodations

As of the 2023-2024 school year, Westside School will be changing its food allergen policy and WILL allow peanut products on campus. There will be no school-wide restrictions on foods allowed on campus at this time.

Westside School may restrict certain foods, including peanuts and other common allergens, in classrooms where life-threatening allergies are present. If a student is so allergic that touching or being near foods made with the allergen causes a severe, life-threatening reaction, Westside will work with the family to develop an appropriate risk management plan for that student. This may include restrictions in the classroom or with students sharing common eating spaces. 

If your child has food allergies, please fill out a Food Allergy Action Plan form and give it to your healthcare provider to sign before giving it to the Front Desk Coordinator. Westside School has a legal obligation to accommodate a child with an allergy.

Campus Safety & Emergency Preparedness

Westside has comprehensive and detailed emergency procedures that are clear and well-resourced. Our Emergency Policy Handbook is available to all families and staff on our family portal. Westside School is constantly thinking about upgrades that are appropriate and necessary to improve the safety of our school while not unduly compromising the welcoming culture that is essential to our identity. Please contact Colleen McCullagh with specific questions.