Arlington County

The following were among actions taken at the Aug. 9 meeting of the Arlington School Board. For more information, call 358-6000.

AIDS POLICY UPDATED -- The School Board voted unanimously to change the school system's policy on AIDS to allow an infected student to stay in school under most circumstances while doctors and school officials evaluate the student's condition.

The policy change reflects current medical thinking that AIDS cannot be contracted through casual contact, and follows recommendations by the state boards of education and health that school systems statewide allow infected students to remain in school while their condition is reviewed.

To date, there have been no known cases of an Arlington student contracting the virus, according to David R. Rorick, public information officer for the schools.

Under the old policy, a student diagnosed as carrying the virus would have been taken out of school while a committee of doctors and school officials reviewed the student's physical condition to determine if it posed a threat to others in a classroom setting.

Ultimately, under the old policy, the school superintendent would have determined whether the student could return to school. Parents would have been allowed to appeal the superintendent's decision to the School Board.

Under the new policy, only those infected students who are unable or unwilling to control bodily functions will be taken out of class while their condition is under review. Such students include pre-schoolers, neurologically handicapped students, students with open sores or those whose behavior has included biting.

Confidentiality continues to be required under the new policy.