Status of our Preventive
Efforts Regarding the Flu
29 October 2009
I am taking this opportunity to inform you of
the ongoing status of our preventive efforts related to the
increased instances of influenza and flu-like symptoms:
We continue dialogue between health providers, Pendleton
Community Care, Holly See (PC Schools Health Nurse) and
Pendleton County Department of Health to determine and adhere
to best practices in relation to the disinfecting and sanitizing
our school environments.
are made daily to determine individual school absence, including
both students and staff. While the numbers are certainly
higher than usual, many parents have taken the option of
keeping their healthy child home to decrease the risk of
do not have on-site capabilities to determine whether a
child actually has H1N1 virus or a case of seasonal flu;
thus, we are treating all flu-like symptoms alike whether
it is diagnosed as H1N1 or seasonal.
schools currently have had an outbreak of flu-like symptoms
that seems to occur in certain classrooms or areas - for
example, a classroom of students may become ill, either
nauseated, diarrhea, or fevered. This is not the case, at
this time, in the majority of our school environments.
have instructed all staff to take the necessary precautions
to assist us in keeping the spread of the germs, which include
frequent hand washing, use of antibacterial hand sanitizers,
cleaning with school-furnished antibacterial agents, covering
mouths when coughing, and use of tissues to wipe noses.
who become ill at school will be sent home as quickly and
safely as possible. The children will be isolated as safely
as possible to lessen the potential spread but will continue
to be monitored by an adult. I want to stress that the safety
and welfare of the child is of utmost importance.
is very important that children not be sent to school if
they show flu-like symptoms, especially with a fever. Pendleton
County Health Department, Pendleton Community Care and the
US Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that children
stay home at least 24 hours after their fever has broken.
have asked principals to instruct staff to show compassion
and understanding toward students affected by the flu. Children
will be responsible for all work missed but a somewhat lenient
policy will be followed.
have relaxed our attendance policy - your child will be
marked excused with either: (1) the five parent notes you
have available to you per semester; (2) after use of the
five excuses, simply write a note explaining your child
has flu-like symptoms or has the flu, and (3) presentation
of a doctor's excuse that automatically excuses the child.
We are closely following attendance patterns and
diagnosis of illnesses. Following CDC and Health Department
guidelines are all procedures we adhere to in our everyday practices.
Our sanitization efforts have become the priority in all our
schools. Foggers and Clorox hand wipes are used daily.
Here are a few things you can do to help:
mentioned earlier, if your child is sick, keep him or her
sure your emergency contact information is current at your
child's school. It is amazing the number of times we have
attempted to reach parents or custodians and conclude that
we have not been told about a wrong or changed number.
to your child the importance of practicing good hygiene
to help combat the spread of the virus, especially keeping
fingers away from the face.
positive in your talks with your children - children pick
up quickly when adults exhibit anxiety and stress. We are
all about protecting our most precious resource, our children,
but we also have a duty and obligation to keep things as
normal as possible.
In conclusion, the health and safety of the entire community
has been prioritized presently as it is in all situations.
Please feel free to contact your school or my office if
you have any additional concerns or questions. More information
can be found at the
Douglas S. Lambert, Superintendent
Pendleton County Schools