We are seeing an increase in flu district-wide, like all other school systems. However, the numbers of flu cases that have been reported to us this school year are not out of the ordinary from what we see annually. What's different for us this year is the concentration of flu in January. In previous years we would see flu and flu-like illnesses start in the fall or around October. This year we had virtually no cases in October, November or December.
Health and student wellness are top priorities. As a district, we always proactively share messages with families about steps they can take to prevent or stop the spread of annual or seasonal illnesses like the flu. In the schools, staff remind students about the importance of hand washing, and we also have a hand washing video online along with information for parents on when to keep their students home in order to prevent the spread of illnesses. We also encourage parents to keep students home if they have flu symptoms, which helps us prevent the spread of illnesses. This information is shared at the start of the school year, and many of our school nurses have included messages in school newsletters this year on flu and other illness prevention, as part of ongoing health promotion information for our families.