COVID Absences: What that Means for Students

  Aliso Niguel’s return of all students this fall means that they are challenged with the surging number of COVID-19 cases. The administration as well as students have specific procedures in place to follow when someone tests positive for Covid.

  Assistant Principal Sue Puccinelli explains that when a student is positive, their parents are called to find out details such as when their symptoms started or when they tested positive. She goes on to say that for the student a positive test means “I use [the date they tested positive] and then I count ten days after and that’s their quarantine period.”

  After the school is made aware of a positive test, their procedure to notify others is to send an email to the school community to let them know of the infectious case of coronavirus and the dates the anonymous person was on campus. In addition, any student who was in close contact with the positive case will be personally notified.

  Mrs. Puccinelli expands on how while at home, a student in quarantine’s first step, if they feel well enough to complete work, would be to email their teachers to inform them they have tested positive. Then, through Canvas, students can try to keep up with class work and assignments. 

  When the student returns, Puccinelli describes that “however many days they were out, school days, they’ll have that many days to get their work in.” However, teachers will be willing to work with the student as they attempt to catch up on any learning they may have missed.

  Considering the school’s full capacity on campus this new school year, the number of positive cases has met an increase from last year’s hybrid system. Capistrano Unified School District’s website tracks the amount of active cases every school has, one case staying on the dashboard for two weeks.

  Chelsea Melkie, one of Aliso Niguel’s nurses, explains how among the teenagers at the school, common symptoms of COVID-19 are “cold symptoms, headache, runny nose, and cough.” She continues by sharing how the health office does not often see fever as a symptom. 

  With the steady number of positive cases this school year, it is crucial to both the administration and students to continue to do their part by following the coronavirus guidelines to continue to keep everyone safe.