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Important Notice
April 28, 2009

Update on Swine Flu

New York State has entered a heightened state of alert as the result of presence of a swine flu virus that is making people sick in several states including New York.  So far only mild illness has occurred in the United States but we do realize that many people are worried.  We hope to address your concerns.

Despite confirmed cases of swine flu in a private school in Queens, we believe students can safely attend classes here.  Therefore, our schools will remain open at this time.

School and local health officials are working together to monitor the situation.  Parents will be updated with any important information.

At this time, the state and local health departments have advised us that students can continue to come to school as long as they are not sick and do not have flu symptoms. 

Flu-like symptoms include:

  • fever (over 100 degrees F.)
  • feverishness
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • stuffy nose

Additional symptoms may be experienced with swine flu including:

  • muscle pain
  • fatigue
  • vomiting or diarrhea

We are consulting with local health officials regarding best practices for infection control as well as cleaning practices for our schools.  However, to keep flu from spreading to more people, we ask you to keep sick children home.  If your child is getting the flu, it is essential that he or she does not attend school or go anywhere else including childcare, the mall, sporting events, anywhere other people would be exposed to the virus.  Any child who comes to school with flu-like symptoms or respiratory illness will be sent home.

Please teach your children how to reduce their risk of getting the flu and protect others from infection.

  • Teach your children to wash their hands often.  Washing with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds is ideal (that's about as long as it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice).
  • Teach your children the proper use of hand sanitizer.  Gels, rubs and hand wipes all work well as long as they contain at least 60% alcohol.  Hand wipes must be disposed of properly.  Always read and follow label instructions when using hand sanitizer.
  • Teach your children to keep their hands away from their face and avoid touching their mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Teach your children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or by coughing into the inside of their elbow.  Cough or sneeze into your sleeve - not your hands.
  • Help your children to learn these healthy habits by setting a good example and always doing them yourself.

If we all practice good hygiene, health officials believe we can limit the spread of swine flu in our school at this time.

The current situation does not warrant school closure, but if swine flu continues to spread and more students become ill, it may be necessary to close schools for a period of time.  The district continues to receive regular information and support from the State Department of Health, the State Education Department, the State Emergency Management Office, and the Schenectady County Health Department.  We will keep you updated with pertinent information as it becomes available.  We will inform parents immediately if the situation changes and it becomes necessary to close schools.

Please check back often and stay informed.  The 24 hour toll-free hotline offers answers to your questions.  Call 1-800-808-1987.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our children and school healthy.

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Letter from Superintendent Ely HERE

More
Information on Swine Flu 
HERE

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