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Safety and Wellness

Back to School Decisions and Support

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Gillette Is Here For You

At Gillette Children’s, we understand the difficult decision parents are making this fall as you consider education options for your child amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. As you receive guidance from your child’s school, we are here to support you as you make the best choice for your child and your family. While individual schools and districts will make decisions based on local COVID-19 case rates and other considerations, state guidance does require school districts to offer an equitable distance learning model to all families who choose not to attend in-person learning due to medical risks or other safety concerns. This guidance also states that families are not required to provide documentation of risks in order to utilize distance learning models. More information on state guidance can be found here

We recognize that the learning options you may be considering are not ideal, and every family must weigh all of the risks, benefits and options to make the best decision for your child. Whatever decision you make, we encourage you to stay in regular contact with your child’s teacher and school administrators to ensure your child is meeting their appropriate educational and developmental milestones.

Increased Risk For Complications Of Covid-19 With Certain Medical Conditions

While every parent must weigh the potential risks and benefits to returning to in-person learning and everyone is at risk for getting COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus, children with certain medical conditions are more at risk for developing complications from COVID-19. Children may be at risk for complications if they have any of the following:

  • Any underlying lung condition, including restrictive airway
  • Chronic cardiac condition
  • Weakened immune system

If you have questions about your child’s degree of risk for complications from COVID-19 or have other questions, please contact your primary care provider and others on your child’s care team who know your child best.

Factors To Consider In Your Decision

As you consider your child’s educational options, we encourage you to also consider the following factors when making this decision:

  • The ability of your child to wear a mask
  • The ability of your child to appropriately social distance
  • The potential impact of an educational option on your child’s therapy needs and progress
  • Your child’s social and mental health needs
  • The nutritional options and needs of your child and your family
  • Your child’s overall medical needs and medical fragility

Gillette Resources

If your child is having a difficult time adjusting to distance learning, is showing signs of stress or having significant behavioral changes, Gillette Children’s is here to help. Please contact the Gillette Child and Family Services team at 651-229-3855 to learn about psychotherapy services or for assistance with other resources to help you and your child during this time.

Complex Care Clinic Support for Education Decisions and Challenges

As you prepare for school this fall, Gillette’s Complex Care team is here to help. Please call 651-310-1807 to schedule an appointment to discuss the unique challenges of distance learning, particularly for children who have an individualized education program (IEP) or other special needs. Our Complex Care Clinic is here to support families throughout the school year and these appointments are billed through insurance.

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