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Disease Prevention & Mitigation


Our priority is the health, safety, and welfare of our students and staff. By working together, we can educate and build awareness regarding illness in our community, encourage good hygiene, monitor wellness, and follow guidelines and protocols to ensure the best possible learning environment for students and the health of our staff and the whole community.


We know early detection is a significant part of any disease mitigation and Dickinson ISD works closely with Galveston County Health Department during heightened health concerns. School nurses and other staff members play a vital role in identifying illness at its outset and following protocols is critical to controlling outbreaks.


All students and staff should stay home when feeling sick and individuals who come to school or work with symptoms of an illness may be isolated and sent home. Students and staff should not attend school in the following circumstances:


  • Signs of severe illness, including fever, irritability, difficulty breathing, crying that doesn’t stop with the usual comforting, or extreme sleepiness.
  • Diarrhea (3 or more episodes of loose stools in 24 hours). The student must be diarrhea free for 24 hours without the use of diarrhea suppressing medications.
  • Vomiting two or more times in 24 hours, unless a physician feels the cause of vomiting is not an infectious disease and the individual is in no danger of becoming dehydrated. An individual should have one or two meals without vomiting before returning to school. A student may be sent home from school for vomiting one time. 
  • Temperature of 100 degrees or above. An individual must have a temperature below 100 degrees for 24 hours before returning to school without taking a fever reducing medication.
  • Questionable rash until a physician has determined the rash is not caused by an infectious disease.
  • Known communicable diseases must be treated for the appropriate amount of time as directed by Galveston County Health District and Texas Department of State Health Services.


ERYTHEMA INFECTIOSUM - Fifth disease; "slapped cheek" disease; Academy rash

General Information: Erythema infectiosum is a common disease of school children characterized by a red rash on the cheeks followed by a lacy rash on the arms and legs. It usually causes very little illness although adolescents sometimes have mild joint pains or swelling.

Most adults who get Fifth disease develop just a mild pinkness of the cheeks or no rash at all. Adults develop joint pains, especially in the knees, more often than a rash. These pains may last 1 to
3 months.

The Illness: The disease is caused by parvovirusB19. It is spread by direct contact with infected mucus from the nose or mouth or by inhaling droplets coughed or sneezed into the air. Illness starts from 4 to 18 days after exposure. Because of the close and prolonged contact between students, epidemics of fifth disease are common in primary schools and academies.Fifth disease rash sometimes begins with no illness at all but usually starts with 3 or 4 days of low grade fever and symptoms of a mild cold. This is followed in 7 to 10 days by the appearance of a bright red, raised rash, which covers the cheeks, making them look as if they had been slapped. The area around the mouth is usually not involved.

  • After another 1 to 3 days a pink, blotchy and often itchy rash appears on the upper part of the arms and legs, spreading to the trunk and buttocks. As it fades, the rash develops a "lace-like" or "net-like" appearance, which can last for 5 to 10 days. Once cleared, it may reappear for several weeks or months if the skin becomes flushed from exercise, sunlight or a warm bath.
  • Young adults with parvovirus infection can have mild joint pains and swelling (arthritis), often without a rash. The hands, knees and wrists are most commonly affected. Discomfort lasts from a few days to several months. There is no permanent joint damage.

There are no complications from infection in a normal child. Children with blood problems such as sickle cell disease and those with certain cancers or on chemotherapy can develop severe anemia, usually without a rash. Infection in pregnant women can cause spontaneous abortion or anemia in the unborn baby.

Treatment: Most children with erythema infectiosum do not need medication or a change in diet.

Contagion: The disease remains contagious from 2 weeks to 3 days before appearance of the rash (or joint pains). Children usually feel perfectly well or have only a mild illness at this time and continue to play with other children. Thus, little can be done to stop the spread of this infection.

Children are no longer contagious and do not need to be excluded from school once the rash occurs.

Call your doctor about Fifth disease if:

  • The rash becomes itchy
  • Your child develops a fever over 101 degrees F (38.4 degrees C)
  • You feel your child is getting worse.
  • You have other questions or concerns.

Head Lice (Pediculosis) 


Head lice are a common nuisance among school aged children and can affect anyone at any time of year. It is spread by direct head to head contact and sharing of personal items such as combs, brushes, hair accessories, hats and jackets.

Dickinson ISD follows recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatricts (AAP)The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) to manage head lice in the school setting. 

When a case of headlice is discovered in an elementary classroom a letter will be sent home to all families in that class so parents may check their students at home for evidence of lice.

Contact your school nurse for assistance with head lice information and treatment. Please see helpful flyers below as well as view the video demonstrating how to identify lice and their eggs. 


Exclusion and Readmission


Students  found to be symptomatic of lice infestation will be assesed by the school nurse/clinic personnel. For students found to have evidence of live lice infestation:

  • Exclude students at the end of the school day. Parents have the option to pick up their student before end of day to allow enough time for treatment.
  • Students must be free of live lice before readmission.
  • School nurse/clinic personnel will check students excluded for live lice upon return to school to determine effective treatment.
  • Instructions for the treatment of head lice are available from the school nurse.


SCABIES - A SKIN DISEASE CAUSED BY AN ALMOST INVISIBLE ORGANISM, THE "ITCH MITE" (SARCOPTES scabiei). Crowded conditions and/or poor hygiene make it very easy for the mite to grow and spread.

Scabies can be acquired very easily because it is a highly contagious condition. Scabies often spreads among school children quite rapidly, due to their close contact. In addition, family members, roommates and sexual partners are all candidates for spread of an infestation.
Usually scabies spreads by direct contact with another person who is infested. Even handholding games among children, or simply shaking hands, can result in scabies being transmitted from one individual to another. Exchanging clothing or sharing a bed or towels is also a means of spreading scabies. The scabies mite does not "jump" from one person to another and does not survive more than 3-4 days without skin contact.

The male and female mite mate on the skin surface. Then, the female burrows into the outermost layer of skin where she lays one to three eggs daily. In a few days the eggs hatch, and the larvae travel to the surface of the skin. The larvae become mites, and the cycle begins again.

The male mite dies after mating; the female dies after her egg-laying is completed, usually five weeks after reaching adulthood.

It is extremely difficult to see the female mite without the aid of a magnifying glass (length is 1/60 of an inch). The male is slightly smaller. However, linear zigzag burrows just below the surface of the skin are often visible to the naked eye. Usually, a grayish-white thread on the surface of the skin marks her trail. If your doctor suspects scabies, he/she will look for these characteristic trails in the spaces between the fingers, the back of the hands, elbows, armpits, breasts, groin, penis, along the belt line, on the back or the buttocks.

The only way to find out if you have scabies is to see your doctor. A red, itchy rash, typical of scabies, is very common in other skin disorders, too. Your doctor can tell precisely what causes the rash. If it looks like scabies, he/she may want to confirm the diagnosis by scraping a few tiny specks of skin from the itchy area and examine under a microscope.

If this is your first case of scabies, it may have taken four to six weeks from the time you contracted scabies for the symptoms to emerge. There will probably be intense itching, particularly at night.

Treatment is effective and easy if you follow your doctor's instructions. Treatment is so effective that scabies is almost always gone within 24 hours. However, the itch may last as long as two to three weeks.

Yes. With a second infestation the symptoms show up much faster. The itching may start within a few hours after contracting the mites. However, you should see your doctor for a proper diagnosis, as the rash may be cause by something else.

Good personal hygiene is essential. Wash hands often, shampoo hair frequently, wear clean clothes daily and don't exchange clothes or towels with others. Also, if one member in the household has scabies, the doctor may recommend treatment of all family members.

Meningitis Awareness


En Español: Meningitis Bacteriana


In the 86th Legislature, HB 3884 required DSHS to create procedures for school districts to provide information relating to bacterial meningitis to students and parents. DSHS shall prescribe the form and content of the information. School districts should provide the information below on the district website or provide a link to this page on the district website. For school districts that do not maintain a website, the information should be provided in hard copy to each student.


Click HERE for information from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

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